Rice professor is Texas architecture educator of the year


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David Ruth

Mike Williams

Rice professor is Texas architecture educator of the year

Nonya Grenader honored for decades of service at Rice and to community

HOUSTON – (Aug. 15, 2018) – Nonya Grenader, a professor in the practice in the Rice School of Architecture, has been named the year’s top educator in the annual Texas Society of Architects Honor Awards.

Nonya Grenader

Nonya Grenader

Grenader won the Edward J. Romieniec Award, the highest honor given to an architecture educator in Texas. The award committee cited Grenader’s knowledge of architecture and art, and noted “she is genuinely interested in each student’s interpretations.”

“Architecture’s such a collaborative field. I have been surrounded by so many bright, engaged students, talented colleagues and a supportive Houston design community, and they have all been a meaningful part of this wonderful recognition,” Grenader said of the award.

Dean Sarah Whiting, Rice’s William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture, who expressed deep admiration for Grenader’s talents as an architect as well as for her teaching and mentoring of students, quoted a student’s comment in writing one of many letters of recommendation for the honor: “I’ve never had a teacher who is as interested in what her students have to say. It’s as if she likes learning from us as much as we enjoy learning from her.”

Grenader has taught design studios and seminars since 1994 at Rice Architecture, which is consistently ranked one of the nation’s top architecture schools for undergraduate and graduate education.

Along with her teaching duties, Grenader was for 20 years associate director of the Rice Building Workshop (now known as Rice Construct), through which students have designed and built a number of projects in Houston, including affordable housing in the city’s Third Ward, the ZeRow House presented at the Solar Decathlon in Washington, D.C., and a sculptural bench to celebrate the anniversary of Hermann Park, among other projects.

Grenader’s private practice focuses on domestic and adaptive reuse projects, the most recent of which is the award-winning renovation of the Heights Clock Tower, a century-old textile mill on the National Register of Historic Places in Houston’s Heights neighborhood.

“I teach a seminar called Adaptation: Restoration, Renovation, Re-use,” she said. “I don’t always take students to my projects, but I take them to that building because it’s so interesting, historically and structurally. They see a lot of the methods involved in restoring a building.

“That’s the most incredible thing about mixing practice and teaching: You can take advantage of opportunities to engage with students in a different way,” Grenader said. “Both of my seminars bring students into contact with Houston architects, who all add to the students’ experience.”

Grenader was also honored recently by the American Institute of Architects Houston with a lifetime achievement award.


Read the full list of awards at https://magazine.texasarchitects.org/2018/08/09/2018-honor-awards/.

Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.

Related materials:

Nonya Grenader bio: https://arch.rice.edu/people/faculty/nonya-grenader

Rice Architecture: https://arch.rice.edu//

Image for download:

Nonya Grenader











CAPTION: Nonya Grenader.

Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,970 undergraduates and 2,934 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is just under 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked No. 1 for lots of race/class interaction and No. 2 for quality of life by the Princeton Review. Rice is also rated as a best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/RiceUniversityoverview.

About Mike Williams

Mike Williams is a senior media relations specialist in Rice University's Office of Public Affairs.