Saluki Pride: Steven Turnipseed’s enthusiasm and devotion fuels architecture students

Steven Turnipseed, senior lecturer in the School of Architecture, encourages innovative solutions to student projects while fostering a dynamic interaction with his colleagues and peers.

“Being both an experienced architectural practitioner (National Council of Architectural Registration Boards-certified and American Institute of Architects member) with an overall pragmatic approach as well as an extraordinary lecturer in design studies, his background bridges the gap between the technical studies and qualitative, human environments that well-informed architecture and urban design can bestow,” said Craig Anz, associate professor of architectural studies. “These attributes set him above the average educator.”

Get to know Steven Turnipseed

Name: Steven Turnipseed

Department and job title: School of Architecture, senior lecturer.

Years at SIU Carbondale: 11 years.

Give us the elevator pitch for your job.

I use my 22 years of teaching experience and 23 years of full-time, award-winning professional architectural design experience to encourage and enable Saluki architecture and interior design students at every level of our program to become knowledgeable and skillful designers. I try to influence them to be responsive to context, confident without arrogance, effective communicators and collaborators, contemplative and self-critical, and compassionate pursuers of excellence.

I try to make my classes enticing and engaging by using uniquely themed studio design projects located in interesting environments, by discussing seven profound points that Mr. Rogers made as presented in the PBS “Mr. Rogers Remixed” video by John D. Boswell, by encouraging them to know their “why,” so their “what” has more meaning and impact and by teaching them how to make balloon puppies.

What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of my job is its potential impact – the impact on me as I interact with great students and colleagues, the impact on our students’ skills and knowledge, and the impact our graduates will have on the quality of life of future clients, and in some cases, on the students our graduates may teach.

Why did you choose SIU?

After an initial 11-year teaching career, followed by a 22-year architectural career, I chose to try to re-enter the teaching profession. The director of the School of Architecture offered me an emergency hire four-month visiting assistant professor’s position to cover for an unexpected extended tenure-track faculty search. I joined the faculty one week before classes started, and the faculty and students welcomed me into the Saluki family! I continued to be needed to cover sabbatical leaves, retirements and vacated teaching positions. I have grown to love teaching at SIU!

If I had one wish it would be … 

My one wish would be for 100 more wishes. I could have some real impact with 100 wishes.

If you could live in a different era, such as the 1950s or 1970s, what would it be?

I would presently like to live in the 2030s – it will be a great time of innovation and progress! And our students will play an important part in that creativity!

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