CTA’s Christensen Wins 2017 AIA Young Architects Award

By: Travis Estvold
15 March 2017

Shannon Christensen, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C, an architect and project manager working from CTA Architects Engineers’ office in Billings, MT, has been named a 2017 Young Architects Award recipient by the American Institute of Architects (AIA). The award honors individuals who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and made significant contributions to the architecture profession early in their careers. Christensen is the first recipient of the award from the state of Montana.

The article about Christensen on AIA.org cites many factors for her reception of the award: mentoring, volunteerism, leadership, and professional engagement; and a capsulized entry about her recently appeared in Architect Magazine, saying:

“Christensen’s efforts have focused on inclusiveness by working to increase the number of women who pursue architecture. Last year, she was named associate principal of Montana-based CTA Architects Engineers, and has leant her expertise to Montana State University by serving on the university’s School of Architecture Advisory Council. She has also directed the AIA Young Architects Forum Northwest and Pacific Region and has held multiple leadership roles within AIA Montana.”

Christensen attained a BA in Environmental Design and a Master of Architecture from Montana State University, joining CTA in 2006 after completing two summer internships with the firm while in college. She serves as Architectural Services Leader for CTA’s Billings office, managing workload, project staffing, and professional development.

“I am honored and humbled to be among this year’s distinguished recipients of the AIA Young Architects Award,” Christensen said. “While the award recognizes personal achievement, it also reflects on the exceptional team members at CTA, wonderful clients, and amazing mentors who have helped shape my career. I am privileged to be able to give back to my community in a meaningful way and shape the profession for the next generation of architects.”

Christensen’s projects have included the Science Laboratory Building at Rocky Mountain College in Billings; multiple Altana Federal Credit Union locations; and many other financial institutions throughout Montana and Wyoming.


“Shannon is a dynamo, constantly churning on innovative architecture projects as well as initiatives for the betterment of her fellow team members and the Billings community. But it doesn’t end there as she expends a lot of energy and personal time on helping the next wave of architects, both at CTA and at-large, attain licensure and be better rounded professionals. Congratulations, Shannon: this award is well deserved!”

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    • Tina Fleming 2 years ago

      Congrats, Shannon…. So very proud of you and all your perseverance……..

    • William Grant 2 years ago

      Congratulations Shannon, The Montana AIA has been admiring your capabilities for years. Well deserved.