Summer 2020 Alumni and Friends Newsletter
Our nation has responded in recent weeks to a call to action from the Black Lives Matter Movement. I appreciate and value all the efforts each one of us are making to support our families and friends, students, colleagues, communities and businesses during this time, and know with the positive attitudes of our students, faculty and staff here in the College of Art and Architecture, and steady guidance from university leadership, we are actively addressing constant change, and planning for a brighter future.
We are living in a defining moment, and all the gracious gestures I see around me have been inspiring and highlight opportunities for institutional and personal growth. Rula Awwad-Rafferty, Interior Design program head and CAA Diversity Committee chair, is an important champion of acceptance and inclusion here at the University of Idaho. She has led the charge to develop a CAA response to the Black Lives Matter Movement’s call for action with the development of our diversity statement. Our goals are to acknowledge, listen, learn and act; to reflect the diversity of our society and world, and to build a culture and climate of equity and inclusion within the college.
In the College of Art and Architecture, we stand in solidarity, empathy and compassion with our colleagues, friends and fellow world citizens of color. We stand united, ready to do the hard work of acknowledging, listening, understanding and committing to action. Black Lives Matter, and we want to be part of the vision for tomorrow. Standing together, working together, we continue our commitment and passion to educate and inspire, to serve and mentor, to explore and empower an equitable, just, resilient and beautiful world.
Currently, when so much focus is on public civil action toward political and social change, we should not forget the critical role the arts have in framing that dialogue. Creativity is integral to expressing empathy, outrage, hope and compassion. That’s why I’d like to take a moment to celebrate a few of our faculty who are accomplishing great things in their fields and inspiring a vast community of artists and creators. I’ll start by congratulating Bruce Haglund and Daniel Cronan, who were both recognized last month for their excellence in scholarship.
Bruce is a distinguished professor of Architecture and has been recognized with the 2020 ASES Leadership in Solar Architecture and Design Award. The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) established this award to recognize leaders in the fields of architecture and design who have made contributions related to the use of solar, low-energy and sustainable design strategies. Bruce received the award for his “outstanding leadership in solar architecture and design and influencing generations of design professionals to improve and advance the field.”
Dan is an assistant professor of Landscape Architecture and has been named the recipient of the 13th Annual Paul G. Windley Faculty Excellence and Development Award. This $1,000 award recognizes three consecutive years of excellence in faculty scholarship and provides support for continuing scholarly activities in written research and dissemination. Cronan submitted the project, “GeoDesign Landscape Architecture Studio,” a proposal to support a research project that will inform his design studio course.
I’d also like to highlight faculty in our Art + Design program. Associate Professor Casey Doyle was recently awarded an Idaho Commission on the Arts Fellowship. Assistant Professor Michael Sonnichsen and recent grad Riley Helal ’20 had work accepted into the Huella Dactilar exhibition at the Terrain Gallery in Spokane in November. Assistant Professor Aaron Johnson has work showing at the Art Spirit Gallery in Coeur d'Alene, and is currently featured on our website for his innovative response to educating our students during the shift to online learning amid COVID-19. He was also invited to a plein-air event in Hood River and a group show at the Vining Gallery in Indianapolis. Art + Design Program Head and Associate Professor Gregory Turner-Rahman and Assistant Professor Dave Gottwald received the Common Ground Research Network award for an article published in the Journal of the Constructed Environment. Additionally, Greg and Dave were recently notified they are winners of the International Award for Excellence for that publication. “The End of Architecture” was one of the highest-ranked articles during the peer-review process. Congratulations everyone!
At the University of Idaho, things are gradually returning to “a new normal.” In CAA, our buildings will soon open (the Prichard Gallery already is), and faculty and staff are preparing to deliver classes in the fall through a variety of flexible methods using university guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of our students and faculty. You can keep up with university COVID-19-related updates on the website.
Fall enrollment for the college is currently up from last year, and we’re hopeful this trend will continue throughout the summer. We know everyone at the university is doing their best to encourage students to go on to higher education, and we hope you are, too. For some students, overcoming the financial hardships resulting from COVID-19 posed a barrier to that goal.
During Vandal Giving Day, the Vandal Family stepped up with compassion and generosity to raise a record-breaking amount for students facing financial hardships. In CAA, we raised over $15,000 more than ever before! Thank you to our generous Advisory Board members and everyone else who stepped up and donated to allow our students to Vandal On. We can’t wait to have them back on campus in the fall, and to welcome new faces.
In solidarity and hope for a brighter tomorrow,
Shauna Corry, Ph.D.
College of Art and Architecture
P.S. This newsletter will be taking a hiatus over the summer and will resume in September. Stay safe and well this summer and Go Vandals!
Check it Out!
Is fake news about the COVID-19 pandemic really that damaging? Our very own Lil Alessa, co-director of the Center for Resilient Communities, discusses people's responses to disinformation during the pandemic on The Vandal Theory podcast. Learn more.
University of Idaho architecture graduates performed better than peers at Columbia University, UCLA and other leading universities on the 2019 Architecture License Exam, exceeding the national average by more than 6%. U of I students scored exceedingly well in the programming and construction evaluation portions of the exam.
Design Bootcamp Update
Design Bootcamp, a condensed and accelerated design foundations course, began recently; for the first time fully online. Twenty-two students are participating. The program is designed to give advance standing in the University of Idaho’s architecture and interior architecture programs to those with bachelor’s degrees in other disciplines, transfers from other programs, and for those with community college A.A. and A.S. degrees.