For playing a vital, hands-on role, teaching woodcraft to Texas A&M College of Architecture students and motivating them to realize their creative potential, college woodshop supervisor Jim Titus received the 2012 Linda Todd Outstanding Support Staff Achievement Award.
Presented during a Jan. 13 staff lunch with college administrators at the Langford Architecture Center, the annual award honors Linda Todd, who served on the Department of Architecture staff for more than 30 years. It is the highest staff honor bestowed by the college.
Beyond his charge of managing the daily operations of the college’s woodshop, Titus as demonstrated a commitment to student excellence and service, said Rodney Hill, endorsing the award nomination. “He can find ways to make the impossible become fleshed,” he said.
“If a student has a problem or can’t figure out how to do something, Jim gives them a solution and several alternatives,” Hill continued. “He goes out of his way to instruct, mentor and advise students. No matter what the student’s major or size of the project, Jim takes pride in the quality of work produced in the woodshop.”
In nominating Titus for the award, Julie Rogers, who heads undergraduate programs for the Department of Architecture, noted that the woodshop supervisor “is extremely patient with students in discussing process, joinery and materials” and that “he continually encourages them to explore their projects within the bounds of reality.”
Titus’ willingness to engage students and assure their success on woodshop projects was also detailed by ten members of the Texas A&M Chapter of the American Institute of Architecture Students who endorsed his nomination for the award.
“We discovered part of a wheelchair ramp we had been constructing was built incorrectly,” the students recalled a particular project. “Instead of turning us away when it was time to close the shop, Jim stayed more than two hours to help us correct our mistake and even helped us move the ramp into a truck for transport.”
He does not sit idly by as students work on their projects, they said. “He is a vital part of the success of the woodshop and, therefore, the success of students in their design studios.”