Most people deal with their fear of heights by staying on the ground or their claustrophobia by taking the stairs. Not ISG Architect, Alyssa Campbell, AIA, LEED AP. She conquered her fear of heights by taking a rock climbing course. As for her claustrophobia, a spelunking course did the trick. Similarly, in her 12+ years at ISG, she has continued to embrace changes in the A/E industry and isn’t afraid to get out of her comfort zone to explore cutting-edge solutions for the firm. Read more about how Alyssa conquers fears and moves mountains in an ever-changing industry.

Tell me about a unique personal or professional experience you’ve had that caused you to grow.

Every time I relocate I am forced out of my comfort zone to meet people. Over the years I have actually gotten a little braver about it. A professor also called me tenacious during a formal critique; I’ve obviously never forgotten that.

Where have you relocated to and from? Why?

After completing my undergrad in Milwaukee, I moved to Atlanta, while attending Georgia Tech for graduate school and working an internship. My family and I moved to Mankato because I had accepted a job with ISG. When ISG opened an office in La Crosse, we made the move so I could take on more responsibilities. We are currently living in St. Louis so my husband can pursue new career opportunities. Meeting people and making small talk have never been my strengths, but I continue to improve. I wouldn’t trade the diversity or the experience.

How did the experience with your professor impact you?

During a studio course my final year in undergrad, my classmates and I were challenged with the Milwaukee Port Authority project. The scope was to integrate the landscape and facility program, which included a classroom and gallery space. There were many comments and critiques throughout the process, but I trusted my gut, responding to the opinions and comments without losing my voice or intent. In the end, I was encouraged to submit my project for the Student Design and Research Competition and ended up winning first place in my division.
I suppose, in a way, I was already learning how to evaluate and discover different options to achieve the end result—alternative analysis!

What do you like to do in your free time?

When I’m not problem-solving 100-year-old house issues, I like to go on hikes with my family, cook, bake, and feed my family and friends who often come over for meals!

What/Who inspires you? Why?

That’s a hard question to answer because I’ve been inspired by a lot of people over the years, but I think the roots of my inspiration are my family. My mom went back for schooling when I was in middle school, and I think I get a lot of my strength of mind from her. My dad worked construction and masonry, and as a kid, I always wanted to impress him with my Lego creations. My oldest brother seems to master whatever he puts his mind to, and if civilization comes to an end and everyone had to live off the land, I would make it a priority to be his neighbor.

What’s your favorite part about working at ISG?

If you would have asked me this 8-10 years ago, I would have said the fact that Ken, the co-founder of ISG and former CEO and President, made it a point to say good morning to everyone, personally. Now, my answer is essentially the same that ISG values those who work here.

How do you work to deliver solutions? (internally or to clients)

When given the opportunity to be lead architect, I work closely with the team. Knowing and understanding the client comes through having conversations and asking the right questions. When I worked on the District One Community Center with the Ho Chunk Nation, it took a lot of listening, communicating, and teamwork to make sure our design for their facility fit not only their functional needs, but also truly belonged to them. They are such a unique people with sacred traditions and culture.

What is it about the A/E field that you think has the largest impact on our future as a firm, the industry, or the world at large?

Change. Because the field is always evolving, three things can happen. First, you don’t change and opportunities pass you by. Second, you change as reaction and most likely eek by. Third, you are the change, you take the next steps, introduce the next thing, propose the creative solutions that haven’t been done before, and excel. I see ISG in the third category.

What are 2-3 interesting things that people don’t know about you? (personally or professionally)

1. I’m introverted, which is most likely why working remotely works so well for me, but when comfortable I’m extremely sarcastic.
2. I met my husband when I was 15, and I’m the mother of three boys.
3. One day I want to take hiking trips abroad.

Meet Sam Boeck

Sam leads talent engagement at ISG, focusing on providing innovative and strategic direction for talent engagement initiatives, including professional development, culture, and recruitment. Frankly put, Sam embodies ISG’s culture and...