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By John Tucker

Bob Pahl Sketching Award recipients announced


For over a decade, this 1981 graduate of Alfred State College gives back

The Bob Pahl Sketching Award recipients were recognized by architecture chair William Dean. Dean was joined by the School of Architecture Management and Engineering Technology Dean John Williams, Vice President for Academic Affairs Carrie Cokely, and President Steve Mauro. (From L to R: Williams, Cokely, Katie Petix, Dean, Vina Pham, Lauren Fisher, and Mauro)

ALFRED, NY, Sept. 5, 2023 – The Department of Architecture and Design at Alfred State has announced the winners of the Bob Pahl Sketching Award. The award is given annually to three students who kept the top sketch journal while studying abroad in Sorrento, Italy, as part of their Urban Sketching & Journaling course.

The honor began in 2012 and is named for Bob Pahl, a Boston-area architect, who graduated from Alfred State in 1981 with a degree in architectural engineering technology. Pahl donates the prizes, which were presented this year to Vina Pham (Rochester, NY), who received $700, Lauren Fisher (Buffalo, NY), who received $400, and Katie Petix (Bloomfield, NY), who received $100. All three students are architecture majors.

“We are extremely grateful to Bob for his generous donation each year,” said William Dean, AIA, professor, and department chair. “The Bob Pahl Award provides a valuable incentive for Sorrento architecture students to carefully document, through drawings and notations, their travel experiences and observations.”

As a first-year student, Pahl was inspired by the introduction to architecture course taught by the late Jeffrey Johnston who founded the Sorrento Study Abroad program. 

“Jeff inspired generations of students through his talk of travel and his incredible talent in sketching,” said Dean. “As he developed Alfred State’s first study-abroad program, Jeff shared that same passion for hand sketching with students in Italy as a way of keeping the art alive in architecture.”

Now in its 15th year, Dean directs Studio Sorrento at the Sant’Anna Institute. The program is open to Alfred State architecture students in their third year of study and provides participants a unique opportunity for a spring semester experience that also includes courses in Italian and Archeology in addition to Studio Sorrento.

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