College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Dean’s Corner: December 2022


Dear Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

Three heartwarming peeks into the three corners of our College to showcase what CAAH is doing to enrich our student experience and the community, all at the same time.

For Architecture, a story from the Clemson Design Center, Charleston. Principal Lecturer and CDC.C Director David Pastre is nearing completion on his latest Community Build project which will be the largest undertaking ever completed by the Architecture+CommunityBUILD certificate program.

Part outdoor classroom and part gardening center, the project will support Edith L. Frierson Elementary School’s ongoing transformation into a Montessori school on Wadmalaw Island. The covered pavilions are arranged to accommodate separate activities, but they are also arranged toward a shared focal point giving the space versatility for groups and activities of many sizes.

CDC.C Director David Pastre (second from left) enjoys a moment with CommunityBUILD students. Left to right: Jed Donkle, David Pastre, Alex Poston, Kyle Kane, Jerome Kishore Simiyon, Amanda Wood, Johnny Newell.

David’s undertaking is what community outreach and experiential learning are all about: a way to give to the community that we are a part of and a priceless experience for our students beyond the classroom.

For Arts, a report on the “Sounds of the Season” concert, sponsored by Kay and Hank Owen, at a sold-out Brooks Center, with President Clements in attendance. Anthony Bernarducci, Associate Professor of Music and our choir director, led the CU Singers, the Men’s Choir, the Women’s Choir and the Cantorei through a rapturous, haunting and moving selection of songs, with instrumental interludes and solo performances by faculty and students. At key moments, the whole audience was urged to join in with the combined forces of all the choirs, and the Brooks Center erupted with the spirit of the Season. Talk about Clemson and its significance for the community!

Anthony Bernarducci leads as Clemson Choirs and the audience join together in song.

For Humanities, Senior Lecturer Philip Randall organized a special outreach project for his English 1030 composition class. His class teamed up with Centerville Elementary School in Anderson this semester for a “Reading Buddies” program that let Clemson students work with third graders on reading skills. Through the Pearce Center for Professional Communication, they connected online for class meetings and small-group book discussions. Beyond boosting reading skills, they also gave local elementary school kids the chance to meet and interact with college students, opening a vista to a possible future that is not currently part of their world.

Clemson students in First-Year Composition enjoy a moment of fellowship with their third-grade “Reading Buddies” from Centerville Elementary School.

The connection worked so well that Centerville Elementary had a field trip to Clemson last week so the students could meet in person. The 3rd graders saw a college classroom, got to run around the football field, and had Clemson ice cream.  

It is noteworthy that two of these three initiatives were conceived and executed by our non-tenure-track lecturers. Unlike our tenure-track faculty—who are here not only to teach, but to conduct research, get grants, publish, and be professionally active—lecturers are a class of faculty that is hired exclusively to teach. As a result, lecturers often feel, quite rightly, unnoticed and under-appreciated. I think that these stories demonstrate loud and clear that our lecturers contribute as much as anyone else to Clemson’s success and significance. They truly are “special faculty,” the backbone of our teaching mission. And I want to wish our lecturers, and all of our CAAH family, a joyous holiday season.

Go Tigers!

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Dean
College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Follow Dean Vazsonyi on Twitter and Instagram.

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