AUdapting: CADC Faculty Work to Make Summer Semester a Success for Students

INDD Summer Box

Summer is a busy time in Auburn’s College of Architecture, Design & Construction (CADC), even in the midst of a global pandemic. When CADC faculty learned that this year’s summer courses would be remote, they acted quickly to ensure that pre-professional students in the architecture, industrial and graphic design programs had the necessary tools to successfully complete coursework and apply to professional programs. “I have never been so proud to work for CADC,” said Katherine Buck, the college’s Administrator of Recruitment. “Our faculty took extreme measures to make sure planned curriculum and goal graduation rates would not be impacted by the shift to remote instruction.”

Summer semester in CADC is very active, with courses offered in all of the programs in the college. In architecture and industrial design, pre-professional students are competing for spots in professional programs. In graphic design, students who have been accepted in to the professional program are beginning their first professional classes. And building construction seniors who plan to graduate in August are working to complete their theses.

When Auburn announced that summer semester would be conducted remotely, CADC faculty realized that most students would lack the materials necessary to complete their coursework. Several programs turned to downtown Auburn’s J&M Bookstore to help supply CADC students at their homes in the US and around the world. “J&M has been supplying art and drawing supplies to generations of our students,” said Associate Professor and Industrial Design Program Chair Shea Tillman, “and Toby was working to order and package student kits even prior to J&M reopening their store.” Toby Hanna, manager of the art department at J&M, worked diligently with faculty to get students the supplies they need in a timely manner. Hanna, who has worked at J&M for 33 years, is a graduate of Auburn’s graphic design program and has built a strong working relationship with CADC faculty.

Because drawing and design are fundamental to most CADC programs, it’s vital that students have access to the necessary tools to master these skills. Industrial design staff members David Gowan and Robert Capps collaborated to get supplies to students by fabricating individual drawing boards out of medium density fibreboard (MDF) in the shop for students to use at home. These boards were shipped out to students in packages that also included supplies like drafting pencils, markers, paper, T-squares, triangles, templates and spray adhesive.

Tillman wants students to know their professors are working hard to support them at Auburn. “Our faculty recognize there are a number of drawbacks to remotely teaching drawing and visualization that will be unique to this summer, but everyone is pulling together despite being physically apart.” A shipment of necessary materials from J&M will go a long way. “Having a big package of drawing supplies hit your doorstep feels a bit like Christmas in May.”

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