CoAD Establishes Travel Fellowship to Honor Professor Emeritus Steven Rost

Steven Rost, who recently retired from LTU’s College of Architecture and Design after a distinguished 40-year career, has been honored by the university with an endowed fellowship in his name. 

As described on its website, thestevenrosttravelfellowship.com , the Steven Rost Travel Fellowship “is designed to encourage discovery. Undergraduate student(s) will annually receive financial support to study a design topic exploring the sense or experience of place. The Fellowship will serve as a supplement to formal education by broadening and cultivating influences that come from acquaintances outside the classroom.

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Steven Rost, Professor Emeritus

“The fellowship’s goal is to provide its recipient(s) with a wide horizon. Purposeful travel and cultural immersion in an educational context offer tangible experiential learning. This provides students with content they can use to make a mark on their career path and the world. Most particularly, it is intended to helpfully open, rather than narrow, the range of life-long interests ultimately pursued.”

The Fellowship guidelines also point out that recipients—which will include students of both the Architecture and Design departments—will make a public presentation about their experience to the CoAD community.

Rost also noted the importance of involving LTU alumni in the travel fellowship process, including everything from serving on the advisory board to mentoring undergraduate students on the application process, the planning process, and in the development of the subsequent required public presentation.

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2014, Chandigarh, India / Le Corbusier


“I want the undergrads to understand the value in being alumni before they become alumni,” said Rost.

The fellowship is described in terms of Rost’s own love for travel. “I became passionate about travel because I had so many enrichment travel experiences with groups of students over the past 30 years—basically three-quarters of my career at LTU—including everything from weekend trips to semester break trips or trips to study abroad for a month in the summer,” said Rost. 

“If I could identify a silver lining in retirement, for me it would be the opportunity to be associated with this Fellowship.”

Steven Rost
Professor Emeritus

And, in keeping with the travel motif, much of Rost’s career has been devoted to breaking down barriers and challenging boundaries. In fact, Rost’s teaching philosophy is imbued with the concept of interdisciplinary study, which began early in his own academic career.

“When I got to LTU, I had the opportunity to expand my world by interacting with faculty from a variety of departments such as physics, English, engineering, and others.

These interdisciplinary opportunities really impacted me and gave me a much stronger foundation to teach from,” he said. “I really enjoy making those connections across the campus.

“I can say that I was never ‘taught to teach.’ I had mentors, of course, but I thought of myself as sharing the classroom with my students, as is the case with most of my colleagues. I taught mostly studio courses, and there is nothing really traditional about teaching studio. I would never say I had to go to ‘work’ but it was natural for me to say I was going to ‘school’. I learned much from my students.”

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2017, Anlong, China

Over his career at LTU, Rost also served on faculty search committees both for CoAD and other departments across campus, as university faculty senate chair, and as CoAD faculty council chair. In the true spirit of bringing down barriers, he also served for eleven years as the faculty athletic representative, basically an academic liaison or mediator for student athletes.

In addition to the performance of his classroom and academic duties at LTU, including as a full professor since 2005 and Chair of the Department of Art and Design from 2014 to 2020, Rost has served as an artist-in-residence at Cranbrook Academy of Art and visiting artist at other colleges and universities around the world. As a practicing artist and photographer, he has displayed his work at numerous group and solo exhibitions worldwide and has contributed to a full catalog of publications, including the co-authorship with Harold Linton and Laura Clary of Marketing for Architects and Designers , published by W.W. Norton & Company in 2005.

By Paul Hall

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