Designing the future

Students wake up before the sun rises in hopes of securing a coveted seat in any of his classes.  He ignites their passion for learning and creating through his thought-provoking discussions.   He propels his students into the 21st century with his Honors environmental design class by asking them to dream up innovative products for the future.  He is an inspiration and an integral part of the Architecture Department and Honors and Undergraduate Research (HUR) program. This May Rodney Hill, Professor for the Department of Architecture, has been awarded the Betty Unterberger Award to recognize his many years of service and significant contribution to the growth and development of HUR.

As a part of his courses Hill encourages students to think about what the future holds.  Hill’s inventive teaching style, which consists of thought-provoking projects, forces students to construct their own concepts for the technology of the future.  After taking his class students have gone on to win national awards for their ideas, such as ‘Seed to Feed’ a project submitted by six of Hill’s students to the Dell Social Innovation Competition.  The ‘Seed to Feed’ project gathers left over or unused gardening tools and seeds to send to hunger-stricken areas.  The group finished 49th in this national competition.

Hill has also held brown bag lunches to mentor students, discuss creativity and instill devotion to life-long learning.  Many of his students are grateful to him for the invaluable advice and education they have received from his classes and discussions. “Professor Hill’s ENDS 101 class is structured very differently than any of the other classes I’ve taken, so I was definitely challenged because I do not consider myself a very creative person,” said Jennifer Bohac, junior animal science major.

Hill uses his knowledge of future studies in combination with social and behavioral sciences and the creative process to create unique educational, self-discovery experiences for every student that sits in his classrooms.

Contact : Chrystina Rago,


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