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Finn Named Global Scholar

Professor Scott Finn, Auburn Architecture

Prof. J. Scott Finn, Director of the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture's (APLA) International Studies Program in Rome has been named a member of the University's Global Teaching Academy, an Auburn University program that recognizes and celebrates selected members for exceptional teaching in an international context.

By 2005 APLA's study abroad  efforts had been through several iterations, originating from the Alagasco-sponsored design competition and evolving into a faculty-led European exploration. Finn proposed to develop a place-based program where students have the time to balance "rigorous classroom requirements with the experiences of learning to live in a new and different place and situation." The intention of APLA's Rome Program is that through the study of urban form and first-hand experience of the city, the student will better understand and be able to develop strategies for the making of public spaces and architecture in cities. As Finn explains, "Living in the city and being immersed in the situations of daily life, the students are not simply tourists, but become citizens and learn to appreciate not only the wide ranging architecture, but [also] the culture of Roman life."

The Rome Program joined forces with the University of Arkansas Rome Center in 2008 when it became apparent that the two programs could benefit from a collaborative relationship; the twenty-five year old, well-established, Arkansas Rome Center had regional parallels, had faculty in common, and Bachelor of Architecture program similarities. "By pairing with the UA Rome Center we have been afforded unparalleled access to aspects of the culture and places of the city that would not otherwise have been available to us, exposing the students to architects and historians and designers from around Europe and the world while studying there," states Finn. Following the successful teaming of Auburn's School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture with the Arkansas Rome Center, the participation of schools that include UT Knoxville, LSU, Texas Tech, Philadelphia University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Ohio State University has broadened the experience.

Finn's most recent efforts include working with Arkansas Rome Center's resident director Davide Vitali to grow the strengths of the Center with institutional partners, as well as develop their location at the Palazzo Taverna as Auburn University's Rome Campus, where programs from other schools and colleges across the university can find a home in Rome. Currently the Office of International Programs plans to send the first cohort of Liberal Arts undergraduates in the summer of 2015.

It is for these efforts that Prof. Finn has been recognized by Auburn University's Global Teaching Academy. With further university support Finn intends to continue developing opportunities for students to have an international experience through a lasting and sustained relationship with the Rome Center and its evolution into Auburn University's Rome Campus.