Walk around any city block and many pedestrians will be looking down at their mobile phones. But walk around town with Randy Steiner, professor of architecture and coordinator of the College’s architecture program, and she is looking up—at the buildings. Steiner says she has broken her foot—twice—because she was busy checking out the details on a building instead of watching her step.
It is this love of her profession that wins Steiner high marks from her students.
J.P. Martinez, a freshman, says, “Professor Steiner is great. She has lots of experience and knows how to work with students on different levels.” Sophomore Reyna Delcid agrees. “She’s very patient and always willing to listen and help. You can tell she loves her job.”
Steiner does love her job. “I can’t believe they pay me to do what I do,” she says.
What she does is a dizzying array of tasks, all designed to help her students succeed. In addition to her classroom teaching and academic advising (“Everyone knows they have to see Steiner,” she jokes), she oversees the architecture program and is the architecture club faculty advisor. The busy club hosts trips, portfolio reviews, speakers, and more.
Steiner also founded the Coalition of Community College Architecture programs in 2012. The group is dedicated to promoting the value of the 135 architecture programs in community colleges.
Her dedication to students and the profession over the last 25 years has not gone unnoticed. AIA Potomac Valley, a chapter of the American Institute of Architects, awarded Steiner the prestigious Paul H. Kea Medal for Leadership and Architectural Advocacy this past October. The award is the highest honor given by the chapter and recognizes architects or non-architects who have made a significant and exemplary contribution to the profession, either through a body of work or a single contribution of great scope.