UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – In honor of Black History Month, the Stuckeman School will be running a digital exhibition of successful African American designers – including architects, landscape architects, graphic designers and others – on the monitor in the Stuckeman Family Building lobby.
The exhibition will be on display for all students, faculty, staff and visitors of the building throughout the month of February. Faculty members Cathy Braasch, assistant professor of architecture, and Marc Miller, assistant professor of landscape architecture, worked together to produce the digital display.
According to Miller, the focus of the exhibit is to provide African American students and other students of color within the School with a sense of support and mentorship. He says many students from diverse backgrounds can often feel as though their perspectives are overlooked.
“We selected these specific designers not only because of the important work they are doing, but because, historically speaking, their faces have not been as recognized as some of their white counterparts,” he said. “From firsts in their respective professional disciplines, to contributing to discussions of culture in ‘America’s front yard,’ these individuals represent the level of excellence and commitment we hope students in the Stuckeman School will achieve.”
Miller and Braasch hope that students can view the exhibition and feel inspired by the accomplishments of the featured designers.
“We’re hoping that everyone who walks by the exhibition will pause for a moment and pay attention. We want students to look at the work and the faces of these individuals and realize that they can learn something from the stories they are seeing,” Braasch said.
“We also hope faculty will take note and be encouraged to expand their set of preferred designers and look beyond those that they highlight in their courses,” she added.
The Stuckeman School has worked with department chairs, administrators from both the School and College of Arts and Architecture and academic advisers to host an open house at the start of the fall semester to welcome students of color.
“Our goal is to help students who come from diverse backgrounds find people that they might identify with as they enter their respective programs,” said Miller. “College can be stressful at times so it’s always nice to know you have a group of people that you can turn to for support when you need it. The open house is a first step to make those connections.”
For more information on Black History at Penn State, please visit: http://blackhistory.psu.edu/.