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Vol 57 No. 19 : December, 2005
Vol 57 No. 19 | December, 2005

Los Angeles Chapter of American Institute of Architects Presents
Cal State Long Beach Professor with Educator of the Year Award.

Afaculty member in the Cal State Long Beach Design Department, Dorothy Ottolia was recently honored with an Educator of the Year award from the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) at its 2005 Design Award Gala.

The award recognized Ottolia for her role as the Design Department’s director of interior architectural design. She is one of the first CSULB instructors to receive the prestigious award, which recognizes excellence among the state’s top design instructors.

"It is a great honor," Ottolia said of receiving the award. "At first, I was puzzled as to why I ought to be recognized as an educator. Then, I found out the judges were impressed with the level of improvement shown by CSULB’s design students in recent student design competitions and exhibitions. They raised the bar. Now, the design community feels that CSULB’s Design Department is in the same league as private universities and the University of California."

Ottolia added that she was especially proud of the award for the opportunity it offers CSULB design majors to compete at the highest levels. "I am absolutely confident we offer our students the best education available and this award speaks to that," she said. "I get e-mails from students all over the world asking how they can get into this program. That says to me that our design program is on the right track."

The rewards for the recognition do not end with the October festivities. Ottolia said CSULB students will have the opportunity to network with top industry professionals and find mentors among the designers and architects in Los Angeles. She also noted that AIA President Stephen Kanner will be speaking on campus.

Dorothy Ottolia

"This kind of recognition serves as a big steppingstone for our students," she explained. "It lends them an opportunity to become better connected with the profession and other students in the industry."

Ottolia received her bachelor of fine arts degree at CSULB (1994) and went on to earn a master of architecture degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 1998. Previously, the AIA’s Long Beach/South Bay Chapter presented its 2003 Honor Award to Ottolia and her husband, Domingo Ottolia, for their design of a honeybee’s heaven called the Honey Hut created by Ottolia & Barnes Architecture.

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