A COLLECTIVE OF BRIGHT INDIVIDUALS WHO BRING THEIR UNIQUE SKILLS TO THE TABLE.
TOGETHER WE ARE BUILDING
A BETTER TOMORROW.
MEET THE TEAM
Paige Zolnierek is a senior majoring in architecture and minoring in Spanish and Sustainability. She works in the Illinois School of Architecture’s fabrication shops. She is passionate about restoration, sustainability, and structures. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, live music, baking, and spending time with friends.
Michael Cachur is a senior majoring in architecture and minoring in business at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He also works in the architecture fabrication shops. Michael is also involved in Habitat for Humanity where he loves learning the hands-on skills of construction that pair well with his architectural studies degree. Over the past summer, Michael interned at OHi (Our Home Improvement), a design and remodeling company, located in Elk Grove Village, IL where he learned the in and outs of the design and construction world.
Owen Smyth is a sophomore in architecture and works for the fabrication shops. In his free time, he enjoys skateboarding and listening to music.
FOUNDER + STAFF ADVISOR
Lowell Miller is an active consultant and advisor to the Root to Roof leadership group. His deep love of nature and social engagement was the catalyst for the idea and founding of Root to Roof.
Currently, he oversees the operations of the Fabrication Shops for the University of Illinois Dept. of Architecture as the Fabrication Coordinator. Lowell is a maker and fabricator with over 15 years in design, development, and fabrication of furniture, tools, and structures. In his free time, Lowell enjoys spending time with his family, being immersed in nature, designing and making furniture and accessories as a personal business, and learning new skills and methods for fabrication and design.
Ainsley Rothrock is a second year undergraduate student in the Bachelors of Architectural Studies program at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. She is also an employee at the fabrication shops at the Illinois School of Architecture and has a strong appreciation for hands on building and woodworking. She is a Star Wars fanatic. She enjoys spending time in the woods hiking, making chili over an open fire, and making smore's with Reece's Peanut Butter cups instead of chocolate bars.
Angela Diep is a first-generation college student in her fourth year pursuing a Bachelor’s in Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Angela’s greatest influence for joining Root to Roof was from a construction class she had in high school that allowed her to build houses for those less fortunate. That opportunity to have a hands-on learning experience while also being able to help others resonated with her when looking for clubs to join, and Root to Roof seemed like the perfect fit. Designing affordable housing and giving back to the community is the ultimate goal for Angela’s future career.
Ean Graff was born at sea to a maritime pilot father and a naval architect mother. He grew up for the first 14 years on a boat, not touching land until he reached the age of 15 after his family boat capsized in the Nordic region and he washed ashore alone by floating on a door that would have fit two. He wanted to experience the sky after his ocean life ended, so he bought a one way ticket to the cheapest location: Florida. He lived in Jacksonville for 2 months while he studied to get his GED. During that time he was imprisoned for offshore money laundering, but was quickly released by the court due to his offshore life and inability to know his way. He attended college for 2 years at Michigan State University where graduated with a bachelor's degree in Music Education. He then went on to get a Master's in music, and a PhD in clarinet. He met the love of his life and married her to get a tax deduction on his education during his PhD, and together they have one child. They all moved to Mobile, Alabama, where he taught at the University of Southern Alabama for 3 years before deciding he wanted different things from life. He is now back in school studying to get a second degree in architecture. He wants to follow in his mother's footsteps and become a naval architect. He yearns for the sea and wants his child to experience boat life just like he did.
During his time in Root to Roof, he wants to build his own boat that will take its maiden voyage the day after he graduates.
In his free time, Ean enjoys sewing mermaid tails, swimming in the ocean, looking for pretty shells, pirating, stealing the voices of poor unfortunate souls, and being swallowed by whales. He also owns a woodworking company that focuses on making peg legs more affordable for those in need.