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New architecture section head hopes to build program recognition

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A new leader in the school of architecture is responsible for developing lecture series programs and keeping the accreditation process running smoothly.

Beth Blostein, undergraduate studies chair and associate professor in the Knowlton School of Architecture (KSA), will be the new architecture section head starting in July.

Blostein said the architecture section head is responsible for faculty assignments, budget controls, organizing the KSA lecture series, student curriculum and retaining the school’s accreditation. For the school to be respected and recognized as a licensed architecture program, it has to be accredited.

“I would hope to improve the presence of the school of architecture in the community and regionally,” Blostein said.

Current architecture section head, Michael Cadwell, appointed Blostein to the position. Blostein said she is going through training for the position and learning the responsibilities.

“Choosing Beth was fairly straightforward,” Cadwell said. “She knows how the program runs.”

Cadwell said Blostein has been with the architecture program since 2000 and has leadership experience through her position as the undergraduate studies chair.

“It’s a people position,” Cadwell said. “You learn a lot about people and you have a better awareness of the school.”

As an associate professor at KSA in 2010, Blostein made $76,072. Her new salary is not available.

Blostein said she wants to unite the “diverse, talented faculty” through their differences.

“I would hope to be able to provide a collective voice for our faculty,” Blostein said. “We have a great adjunct faculty that I would like to be able to articulate their strength.”

Blostein said she is looking forward to working with all three of the schools programs; architecture, landscape architecture and city and regional planning. She said she is approaching the new position like one of her architecture projects.

“It’s like the challenge of a design project for me,” Blostein said. “I appreciate the opportunity to work productively with all of them (programs).”

Blostein will be in charge of the accreditation process, but the school’s presentation is focused on graduate studies and features some undergraduate work. The National Architectural Accrediting Board accredits architecture schools and administers the test required to practice architecture.

“In order to become a licensed architect, there is an education requirement, internship and test,” Blostein said. “They (NAAB) want you to have a degree from an accredited program.”

Blostein recognized Michael Gregg, a second-year in architecture, last quarter for his improvement in studio classes. Gregg said Blostein is a perfect fit for the position.

“She is probably going to bring a lot of clarity,” Gregg said. “Her ideas are always well represented and clear. That’s just how Beth is.”

In Gregg’s second-year architecture studio class, Blostein listened to ideas and ensured voices and opinions were heard, Gregg said. He said Blostein pushed him to be a good student and produce good work.

“She is a great leader,” Gregg said. “She takes awhile to get to her point, but she always has something good to say.”

Dami Olufowoshe, a second-year in architecture, agreed with Gregg’s recollections of Blostein. While Olufowoshe never had Blostein as a studio instructor, he said everyone knows Blostein and her work ethic.

“Even though I never had Beth, I strive for improvement,” Olufowoshe said. “I try to apply her thinking to my work. Even if you didn’t have her, you are still inspired by her.”

 

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