November 29, 2000
Director of Media Relations

AMHERST, Mass.—Katherine Kai-Sun Chia of New York City has joined the Board of Trustees of Amherst College as a Term Trustee.

An architect and designer, Chia majored in Fine Arts at Amherst, where she was the founder of the Amherst Cambodian Refugee Tutoring Program. She graduated from Amherst in 1988, and received a Master of Architecture degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1991.

Chia is a partner in the Desai/Chia Studio in New York, with her husband, Arjun Desai, who graduated from Bennington College in 1988 and also received a M. Arch. degree from MIT. Desai/Chia have designed many acclaimed projects, including residential apartments and lofts, a recording studio, a Manhattan day spa and a children’s recreational center in San Diego. Their work has been featured in The New York Times, House Beautiful, New York Magazine, Interior Design, Elle Decor, Elle Decor Italia, Elle Japan and on television in the United States and Japan. Desai/Chia was rated as one of the top 100 design firms in House Beautiful and as the best loft designers in New York in New York Magazine.

Prior to founding the Desai/Chia Studio in 1994, Chia worked at the Maya Lin Studio and Prentice & Chan, Olhausen Architects and Planners. She has contributed articles to several architectural journals, including Architectural Record, World Architecture and Oculus. She also has served as a contributing editor to Architectural Record and Oculus. Chia has served Amherst College as an alumni advisor, class associate agent, class president and class reunion chair. She also is the vice-president of the Chia Family Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides seed money to projects that focus on under-served segments of the Chinese and Chinese-American communities.

The Board of Trustees of Amherst College consists of the president of the college, ex officio, and 20 other members: 14 term trustees, elected by the board, and six alumni trustees elected by alumni of the college. Founded in 1821, Amherst is one of the nation’s leading liberal arts colleges, with 1,650 undergraduates.