Iowa State’s Whitehead and Selek named two of the nation’s top 30 design educators

AMES, Iowa -- Each year, DesignIntelligence honors excellence in education and education administration by naming 30 exemplary professionals in these fields. The 2015 class of education role models includes Rob Whitehead, an Iowa State University assistant professor of architecture, and Hale Selek, lecturer in industrial design.

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The top 30 were selected by the publication’s staff based on extensive input from thousands of design professionals, academic department heads and students. Educators from the disciplines of architecture, industrial design, interior design and landscape architecture are considered for inclusion.

In the citation about Whitehead, DesignIntelligence says:

“Rob Whitehead is described as an enthusiastic, passionate professor. He is admired for his thorough and engaging method of teaching structures as well as his dedication as a studio professor. Whitehead’s ability to teach complicated information clearly as well as inspire design ideas through his lectures is admirable. He is open-minded, thinking outside the box in a logical way, and encourages his students to do so as well.”

Whitehead joined the Iowa State architecture faculty as a lecturer in 2007 and moved into a tenure-track position in 2012. He teaches architectural design studios, undergraduate structural technology courses, and graduate building technology seminars and design-build studios.

Among Whitehead's teaching honors are the 2014 Educator Award from the Iowa Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, 2011 Building Technology Teaching Award for Emerging Faculty from the Building Technology Educators' Society and the 2012-2013 Creative Achievement Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture.

With Jason Alread and Thomas Leslie, Whitehead is a co-author of “Design-Tech: Building Science for Architects, 2nd Edition” (Routledge, 2014). He has presented and published a number of peer-reviewed papers on topics related to the scholarship of teaching and learning, construction history and innovative structural designs. His students frequently are recognized for their work in design competitions and at academic conferences.

Whitehead received a bachelor of architecture with distinction from Iowa State in 1993 and graduated summa cum laude with a master of architecture from the University of Texas at Austin in 1997. Prior to his position at Iowa State, he was a senior architect for nine years at Herbert Lewis Kruse Blunck Architecture in Des Moines. Since 2007 he also has run his own architectural practice, Whitehead Design Workshop, in Des Moines.

Of Selek, DesignIntelligence writes:

“Admired as a caring, attentive and smart educator, Hale Selek is called a role model by many. She shows passion for industrial design and social responsibility. Selek is always readily available outside of studio hours. Her students know she is easy to contact with questions, and they appreciate her dedication to them and their work. She is truly an inspiration.”

Selek has taught advanced undergraduate and graduate design studio courses at Iowa State since 2013, including as part of the Summer 2013 College of Design Rome Program in Italy. Between 2009 and 2012 she taught in the College of Creative Arts and the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology at Massey University, Auckland and Palmerston North, New Zealand, and in the School of Art and Design at Auckland University of Technology.

Selek previously was an industrial designer with Delta Marine Engineering in Istanbul from 2005 to 2007 and a product designer with MG Design GMBH in Stuttgart, Germany, in 2007.

She received a bachelor of industrial design from the Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, in 2004; as a part of her masters degree she studied at the School of Higher Education in Art and Design (ESAD de Reims), France, in 2007; and received a master of science in industrial product design from Istanbul Technical University, Turkey, in 2008.