College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Dean’s Corner: June 2022


Dear Faculty, Staff, Alumni and Friends,

There are lots of complaints these days about social media: their pernicious effects on the psyche of young adolescents, the toxic nature of the political discourse, the further erosion of civility, and the inauthentic nature of the relationship people establish with each other. I have witnessed all of the above and find it quite worrying, to say the least.

But I also want to make a plug for one of the great benefits of social media. For the last several weeks, I have been following the progress of our study abroad classes that, after two years of COVID, are now finally exploring the world once again. Already for the last year, I have been an avid follower of the posts from our two Fluid Campus® locations overseas: the Villa in Genoa, and the Architecture Center in Barcelona. Especially now that I have had the chance to visit both locations in person last Fall, seeing the weekly, and sometimes daily posts of student life and experiences both in their respective classroom settings, and even more now as they have traveled through Italy and Spain to study and marvel at the architectural wonders on display in both countries, has helped me to stay connected and also develop a much better idea of what it is that fills their days.

I’ve been particularly grateful to the people at the Barcelona Architecture Center (BAC), who have been exceptionally attentive about posting almost daily.

Beyond Barcelona itself, with its buildings that range from the remnants of the Ancient Roman occupation to Gaudi’s colorful and imaginative creations, we have gotten glimpses of the lectures they have attended and a shot of BAC Director Miguel Roldán’s amazing studio. Students have traveled to Madrid, Toledo, and locations in Catalonia like Tarragona. I suspect we need to thank Zana Bosnic, BAC Academic Coordinator, for all those posts. Thank you Zana!

Our performing arts students proudly display the Clemson colors in London.

In addition to our Fluid Campuses®, which somehow managed to operate all year despite the difficulties, we now also have our normal summer programs in full swing.

Associate Professor Lisa Odom, together with Professor Becky Becker, is taking a group of performing arts students to London. I have had the pleasure of seeing some photos from their travels via email already, and I am excited to see them shared elsewhere soon. No pressure, Lisa and Becky!

I have also been following Associate Professor of Art Kathleen Thum, who is in Italy with her students. They sketched the Colosseum in Rome, visited the Galleria Borghese, traveled to Orvieto where they drew landscapes, learned to make pasta, and studied Etruscan sculptures.

To end the trip, they went to Florence and saw Michelangelo’s David (among other things), and then off to Venice where they shared a postcard-picture photo of a sunset over the canals. Thanks for all the great posts, Kathleen!

My point? Thanks to social media, I get to see what is going on with our students abroad in real-time. The pictures are fun and lively because social media compels us to accentuate the happy and the picturesque. So, with all the problems, there is also a good side to social media which performs and realizes the third part of our new College motto: Imagine. Create. Connect.

“Go Tigers!”

Nicholas Vazsonyi, Dean
College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

Follow Dean Vazsonyi on Twitter and Instagram.

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