Santa Monica architect Michael Folonis has been elected to the College of Fellows by the National Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).

The institute’s Jury of Fellows said it selected Folonis for fellowship because of his notable contributions to the advancement of the profession of architecture.

The American Institute Architects says its Fellowship Program was developed to honor architects who have made a significant contribution to architecture and society and achieved a standard of excellence in the profession.

Election to fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the architect as an individual, but also honors a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on a national level, according to an institute source.

Of more than 80,000 American Institute of Architects members, fewer than 2,000 have received the honor of fellowship.

Folonis has been a resident of Santa Monica since 1972 and established his Santa Monica Architectural firm, Michael W. Folonis, AIA and Associates in 1983. The firm works with residential, mixed-use, commercial and restoration projects.

Folonis earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and a Master of Architecture in design from UCLA.

His work has been published nationally and internationally and he has received awards for his work from the California Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and the American Institute of Architects and Sunset Magazine.

Folonis, the chair of the Santa Monica Architectural Review Board, taught graduate and undergraduate design in the Department of Architecture at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona from 1983 to 2003, and he currently teaches at the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

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