The first time students, staff and faculty from the W.A Franke Honors College tried to surprise Teresa Rosano with the Margaret M. Briehl and Dennis T. Ray Five Star Faculty Award, she was out near Saguaro National Park East with her architecture students. The surprise was a bust, though the anticipation among the award committee remained.
It’s no surprise that Rosano, an architecture assistant professor of practice in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture, wasn’t just confining her students to studio. She has long advocated for students to get out in the field to experience the places where their designs would be built.
It’s just one reason that she was selected for the prestigious Five Star Faculty Award, which recognizes excellence in teaching and mentoring and is the only university-wide award for faculty members that is determined by undergraduate students. Each year, a committee of students reviews student nominations before selecting eight semifinalists. From there, candidates are observed by committee members over a two-week period, after which five finalists are named, who send teaching statements prior to their interviews. After the interviews, the committee selects the winner. Rosano is just the second CAPLA faculty member to win the award since it began in 1983.
On their second attempt to deliver the award, Rosano was in studio, and though she knew she was a finalist for the award, she was indeed surprised when the W.A Frank Honors College crew showed up with flowers for Rosano and treats for students in the class. Neither teacher nor students minded the joyous interruption.
“To have been chosen from all the professors teaching undergraduate students in the entire university is simply incredible,” says Rosano. “This award is a testament to my students, for whom I am so grateful. Each step of the process demonstrated how thoughtful and kind they are, from their initial nominations, to their enthusiasm when I learned I was a semifinalist, to their help and insightful feedback on my teaching statement for the final round, to their frequent Have you heard yet? inquiries, and finally to their excitement and exuberance when I won. I am beyond lucky to get to do what I do every day.”
Fifth-year architecture student Ally Kwan is one of the students who nominated Rosano. “Teresa Rosano is one of the most special people I have ever met,” she wrote in the award nomination. “Her wit, her compassion and her undying sense of positivity and encouragement should be recognized to the highest extent. Teresa Rosano makes CAPLA better. She reminds students daily what it is to love life and to love what you do. She is the professor who reminds students why they want to be at CAPLA and a part of the architecture community.”
Though this is Rosano’s first university-wide teaching award, she has been recognized by both students and peers at CAPLA recently. She was awarded the inaugural Anne Graham Rockfellow Memorial Award by the Women in Architecture Society in 2021 because of her “hard work and dedication in supporting women in their journey through school, as well as being a positive role in inspiring others to pursue architecture professionally.” And in 2022 she received the School of Architecture’s Commendation for Teaching Award.
“What is truly notable about the Margaret M. Briehl and Dennis T. Ray Five Star Faculty Award is that it is a student-nominated and vetted honor,” says CAPLA Dean Nancy Pollock-Ellwand. “Teresa is most deserving and we are so proud of her accomplishments in the classroom.”
In the studio or in the field, Rosano—who is a 1994 graduate of the UArizona Bachelor of Architecture program and joined CAPLA in 2011—exemplifies stellar teaching and student support. Congratulations on this distinguished award!
Learn more about Teresa Rosano in her faculty profile, or support CAPLA faculty in bringing exceptional teaching to students in the college.