RIT professor and architecture student recognized by industry peer group

AIA Rochester honors Jules Chiavaroli with highest award, Catherine Lange with scholarships




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The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Rochester Chapter has awarded an architecture professor at Rochester Institute of Technology its highest honor for distinguishing service and also gave two scholarships to a top student in the RIT program.

Jules J. Chiavaroli, a Master of Architecture professor in RIT’s Golisano Institute for Sustainability, received the AIA’s Medal of Distinction during this year’s awards dinner. Held at the Memorial Art Gallery in Rochester, the event recognized the chapter’s most progressive architectural design projects, professionals and programs.

In addition, Catherine Lange, a Master of Architecture student from Rochester, received the organization’s $2,500 Bergmann Scholarship and the $1,000 AIA Scholarship.

Chiavaroli, the primary author of RIT’s Master of Architecture program, served as AIA Rochester president in 1981 and 2012. He was recognized for more than three decades of service to the local industry as well as his community focus.

“It is nice to be recognized, but it also is humbling to receive this award from such a talented and accomplished groups of peers,” said Chiavaroli, who also serves as curriculum coordinator and co-op director for the RIT program. “In the time leading up to the awards, I couldn’t help but remember all of my colleagues who took the time and care to help me develop—both personally and professionally—over my career. I share this award with them.”

During his career, Chiavaroli has taught both design and technical courses in six different departments and three colleges at RIT. A former faculty member in the National Technical Institute for the Deaf and College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, he played an instrumental role in shaping the continuing development and growth of RIT’s Master of Architecture program, which offers a strong focus on sustainability.

Chiavaroli earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Business Administration from RIT. His community work focuses on the areas of sustainability, urbanism and publishing. In addition to the AIA, he is an active member in the Community Design Center Rochester and other regional professional service organizations.

In his nomination of Lange for AIA Rochester scholarships, Chiavaroli called the RIT student “gifted and hard working.”

“Catherine is not only an ‘A’ student who takes her studies and career very seriously, but she is always at the center of any student activity,” wrote Chiavaroli in his nomination letter—noting that she is outgoing president of the RIT AIA Student Chapter. “What she will be able to bring to an office will be highly prized upon her graduation.”

The annual Design Excellence Awards honor excellence and achievement in design, sustainability and innovation. The AIA Rochester Chapter has over 300 professional and affiliate members.