Professional and Administration Accomplishments (continued)
Ralph Stern championed the development of a Faculty Digital Fabrication Lab (FabLab), bringing in international experts to speak to the integration of leading-edge technology with pedagogy. In turn, this initiative enabled collaboration with other Faculties and models of proposed cooperation receiving significant support from the University administration. Additionally, Dean Stern fostered the first Partner-in-Residence Program in the Faculty’s history with Manitoba Hydro
, further enhancing Faculty research in areas of sustainable and energy efficient design.
In his tenure as Dean, the Faculty has consistently maintained a balanced budget, has engaged in an extensive consultative process resulting in the Faculty’s first Strategic Plan in alignment with the University’s Strategic Priorities, developed a Faculty-wide Workload Allocation Matrix, consistently supported student participation in the award-winning Warming Huts competitions, consistently supported students in producing the award-winning Warehouse publication, created the Faculty’s first Dean’s Lecture Series, facilitated the first program review of the Environmental Design Program since its creation (as Environmental Studies, 1966), and facilitated the first graduate program reviews in Architecture and Interior Design since these programs were created.
Fundamentally, both as Dean of the Faculty and as a member of faculty, Ralph Stern has embraced the University’s pledge to “work with a variety of partners to make Winnipeg the national centre of excellence in Indigenous education, and in particular to allow Indigenous students to be prepared for and to achieve educational success in the full range of academic programs we provide.” Further, he has actively engaged the University’s challenge to “Indigenize the curriculum”, developing relationships with internal and external partners to better engage stakeholders marginalized far too long.
Prior to entering academia, Ralph Stern worked both in construction, developing essential “hands-on” work experience, and for many years on projects of various scales for renowned architectural firms such as Richard Meier & Partners and Kohn Pederson Fox
(New York), has done professional design consulting for large scale projects and has successfully participated in multiple international design competitions. Organizational talents developed in working with stakeholders ranging from connoisseurs to corporate clients, from individual craftsman to construction consortiums, and from day laborers to trade unions enabled the acquisition of a highly diverse and flexible set of administrative skills.