Featured Certified Autism Specialist – Catherine Purple Cherry

Catherine Purple Cherry, Principal, AIA, LEED AP

City/State: Annapolis, MD

School/Organizations: Purposeful Architecture


1) How has earning the Certified Autism Specialist been meaningful and satisfying?

Being recognized for my experiences and skills in the global special needs arena has been very rewarding.

2) How has the CAS credential affected your professional growth?

The credential has allowed us the opportunity to reinforce my qualifications as a special needs architect.

3) How has your CAS credential been a benefit to your organization?

We have used the CAS credential in print literature, social media, press releases, and conference settings. We believe it has given the firm, Purposeful Architecture, a stronger standing within the professional community.

4) How do you like to be recognized, acknowledged and rewarded for a job well done?

The most rewarding way to be recognized for our work is with referrals from satisfied and happy clients.

5) What is your greatest challenge or roadblock?

My greatest challenge is being able to be easily identified as a national expert and resource within the special needs community.

6) What makes you feel like a valuable contributor?

I feel like a valuable contributor due to my ability to align strategic partners, to not only accomplish successful purposeful projects, but to also influence national policy and contribute to the greater body of knowledge through conference presentations and the authoring of publications.

7) What do you enjoy most about your job?

First, I enjoy interacting with my clients to help them solve programing and design challenges for their projects. Second, I enjoy successfully completing the design and seeing the immediate impact on quality of life.

8) What support, tools/resources, skills or empowerment do you need to be more effective?

To be more effective, it would be help to identify additional platforms to share my experiences and knowledge (e.g. publications, interviews, conference appearances).

9) What strengths or talents do you possess that aren’t being used?

I feel I could serve as a greater resource during early strategy discussions that formulate the project direction, funding, location, etc.

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