Geraldine Forbes Isais, dean, UNM School of Architecture and Planning, announced that Matthew A. Barstow, a fourth year student in the Bachelor of Arts in architecture program, has been elected to serve as the 56th National President of the American Institute of Architecture Students, serving in Washington D.C. for the 2012-13 term.

"Matthew currently serves as the director of the western quadrant and has additionally served on accreditation visits for architecture programs across the country. He has served on numerous national AIA and AIAS national committees," Forbes Isais said.

She added that Barstow is the first New Mexico student to hold this position.

"This places Matthew at the forefront of policy making and advocacy in the architectural profession. As president, Matthew will be given a seat on the national board of directors of the American Institute of Architects and will serve as one of the five presidents of the collateral organizations of architecture in the United States," she said.

Barstow intends to continue his work toward congressional testimony in support of architectural student loan exemptions and the AIA's increased financial viability.

Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales (505) 277-5920; email: