Awards & Honors

Dean’s Service Awards

The Spitzer School is pleased to announce the Dean’s Service Awards.

Service: Amy Daniel
Teaching: Mohammad Bolhassani
Mentorship: Paul Ruppert
Special citation for service: June Williamson


Furthermore, we would like to acknowledge the following appointment.

Deans’ Equity and Inclusion Initiative
Zihao Zhang – Fellow in Second Cohort (2022),


Here a letter from Dean Gutman describing these awards and their significance.


Dean’s Service Awards for Spitzer Faculty and Staff

Starting this spring, the Spitzer School of Architecture is offering merit awards for faculty and staff; nominations were offered by colleagues, and Michael Miller and Camille Hall joined me in judging them.  These awards come with a $750 prize and the expectation that the winners will join the judging next spring.


Service Award

This award recognizes the commitment of a faculty member or a staff member at the Spitzer School of Architecture and the impact that his, her, or their service has had on the architecture school community. The award is made annually to a person who has demonstrated exceptional service to the Spitzer School of Architecture. To be eligible for the award, recipient must have a minimum of three consecutive years of service at the Spitzer School.


The winner is Ms. Amy Daniel, and here’s an excerpt from Hannah Borgeson’s nomination.


Annemarie (aka Amy) Daniel joined us in late 2018, picking up work from not one but two undergrad advisors who were retiring. In the years since, she has worked with the Advising Team to transform advising for B Arch students. To cite some examples of her work ethic and effect: she increased the frequency of mandatory advisement appointments for students, she creates and shares written records documenting student progress, she troubleshoots issues with Degree Works with an eye toward permanent fixes rather than ad hoc exceptions, and she makes sure students and faculty alike are following departmental and college policies. She does this by meeting with students again and again over time, making and keeping a demanding advisement schedule. When the pandemic struck, she pivoted to remote work without losing a beat. 


Through her previous work in other CCNY divisions, Amy has tremendous expertise and great contacts throughout campus. Meanwhile, she quickly became a trusted colleague here at Spitzer. She gladly lends an ear and provides guidance when I ask her about tricky situations. She also regularly helps track down answers to unusual-for-me questions, which has in turn helped my (future) students navigating prerequisites and other nondegree coursework.


Finally, Amy is a leader in our workplace culture. Friends with all staff, she’s the mother hen of our office celebrations and special occasions. … She is an incredible team player and a true professional. 


Teaching Award

This award recognizes excellence in teaching as acknowledged by peers, current and past students. Consideration for teaching excellence may also include the development of innovative and successful teaching methods or techniques, new courses or major course revisions and the development of quality textbooks, manuals, and support materials. The award is open to all Spitzer tenured and tenure-track faculty and lecturers.


The winner is Professor Mohammad Bolhassani, and here’s an excerpt from Xiao Lin’s nomination.


It is my pleasure to recommend Professor Mohammad Bolhassani. … Throughout my time at Spitzer, I have taken Professor Mohammad Bolhassani’s Structures l, ll, and lll courses …. I have also participated in the 2021 APT-PETC Design Build Masonry Arch Competition with Professor Mohammad Bolhassani as my group’s mentor. …


Structures can be a daunting course …. Professor Mohammad Bolhassani is strategic when it comes to teaching this course to architecture students in the way that it caters to our way of thinking – in drawing visual diagrams …. His homework is fair, so that students are able to do it in a timely manner and understand the materials taught in class…. Professor Mohammad Bolhassani is always welcoming of questions from students ….


Professor Mohammad Bolhassani has taken great initiative in getting students involved in competitions and research projects to enrich our knowledge through hands-on activities. For the 2021 APT-PETC Design Build Masonry Arch Competition, we were tasked to investigate the Guastavino arch at the City Hall Subway Station. Throughout the process, Professor Mohammad Bolhassani was always there to offer advice and the next steps to take if we were doubtful. He knew our limits, when to let us do the work, when to step in, and when to guide us in the right direction. Placing third was a great honor, especially since we were competing against both undergraduate and graduate teams and was placed behind two graduate teams who specialize in historic preservation while we were just beginning to learn about this topic with Professor Mohammad Bolhassani’s extensive knowledge and guidance.


Professor Mohammad Bolhassani .. has my recommendation for his passion of intersecting engineering with architecture and allowing students like myself to experience the importance of learning in the classroom and more importantly, taking the knowledge beyond and applying it to the real world.


Mentorship Award

This award recognizes both the creativity and commitment of a faculty member or a staff member and his, her, or their impact on the Spitzer School of Architecture through innovative approaches in mentoring students, junior faculty, or staff. The award is made annually to a person who has demonstrated exceptional service via mentoring at the Spitzer School of Architecture.


The winner is Professor Paul Ruppert, and here’s an excerpt from Manfei Shi’s nomination.


 As an undergraduate student … I have witnessed Professor Paul Ruppert provide significant mentoring support to me and to all his students in the Spitzer community. I am pleased to nominate Professor Paul Ruppert for the 2022 Dean’s Merit AwardMentorship Award. 


Having had a first-year studio, an advanced year studio, and one semester of TA experience with Professor Ruppert, I would like to highlight his contributions, not only the remarkable teaching skills but also the support and care that he gave to his students as a professor in the Spitzer community. Professor Ruppert is always able to discern our individual needs. He has his full attention to guide me to grow as a professional architect, consistently encouraging me … to step outside of my comfort zone, to speak up, share thoughts, and present in front of my peers, juries, and first-year students. In addition, he generously offers a portfolio review section for my teammate and me when we are reaching our penultimate year of architecture degree. The impressive suggestions that he gave were extremely beneficial to our later scholarship and work opportunity applications. 


… I have also witnessed him counseling students who need mental support when stressing team collaboration issues and having an overwhelming workload, particularly before midterms and finals, offering appropriate interviews and career suggestions for graduating students in the advanced studio. Furthermore, as a professor in the studio, he creates tutorials videos based on our demands for software such as Vray, Rhino, and Adobe Creative Suite, provides efficient suggestions on proper time management for each project, raises our consciousness on taking positive impacts from other classmates in developing adequate study habits in all stages of architectural studies. Outside his studio, when he was informed by club members from two Spitzer student clubs, AIAS and SSAA, that a SOM firm tour was being collaborated and organized on a Friday, he was willing to devote his private time, and take the care and responsibility of students’ safety during the off-campus field trip last semester. The time and care that he spent on each student are no doubt guiding us towards better young architects both physically and mentally. 


Such experience from me and many other students in the past few years with Professor Paul Ruppert, he has my sincere support for the Mentorship Award of the 2022 Dean’s Merit Award. 


Exceptional Service to the Spitzer School

This year, I decided to add a prize for exceptional service to the Spitzer School; the winner is Professor June Williamson, outgoing chair of the architecture department.


Here’s an excerpt from Professor Sean Weiss’s nomination.


… As Chair of the Architecture Department for the past three years, June’s service has been exceptional. During her tenure, she has worked with four different Spitzer deans. She has consolidated the administration of several important tasks that were formerly held out outside of the Chair’s office, managing responsibilities such as student grants and scholarships as well as appointment letters, among others. She has implemented organizational systems for managing the Chair’s office, creating comprehensive filing systems where there were not before, using Dropbox to better communicate with faculty, and implementing Teams to better communicate with staff. She created the lunchtime lecture series to highlight the research of full-time and adjunct Spitzer faculty. She led several aspects involved in pivoting online during the COVID epidemic and then returning to in-person teaching and administration. On a personal note, I recall working with June on emails to faculty and staff at midnight to help the transition online in March 2020. …. Collectively, her dedication and labor to this role has been unprecedented … in my eight years at Spitzer.


As Chair, June did not simply place to the side her normal responsibilities as a full-time faculty member to become a full-time administrator. In the past three years, she has continued to teach, she has published a book, and she was promoted to full professor. While these details are beyond the scope of this award, I highlight them to demonstrate that her administrative work as Chair has greatly surpassed the normal expectations of the position and should be understood as exemplary service.


The Chair’s work is often thankless and goes unacknowledged. As June brings her tenure as Chair to a close, it is appropriate that we honor the unprecedented work she has done for Spitzer, City College, and our students.


Congratulations to all!


Marta Gutman

Dean and Professor of Architecture

Spitzer School of Architecture