The College of Humanities and Fine Arts is proud to announce its 2022 College Outstanding Teaching Award recipient, Ray Kinoshita Mann, professor in the Department of Architecture. Mann is celebrated for exceptional teaching, mentoring, and curriculum development efforts, and her impact on students’ lives.
Mann has been teaching at UMass Amherst since 1995. During that time, has become known as a compassionate and empathetic educator, who is sensitive to those with unique learning needs and students with disabilities. She is noted as a respectful and active listener who will often go out of her way to help students who need extra one-on-one support outside the classroom. Colleagues note that she is incredibly generous with her students while inspiring and encouraging them to take risks and stretch their skills beyond what they thought were their limits.
Through her work with the local Nipmuc Tribe, Mann has been able to engage students in developing designs for a community center and the design-build of several small-scale projects, giving students the thrilling experience of working with a client through the design and realization of a project.
Mann has developed a deep slate of classroom studio topics related to the public good. In addition to her work with the Nipmuc Tribe, Mann and her students have designed the adaptation and re-use of abandoned structures in Springfield and Holyoke as therapeutic spaces for Alzheimer’s patients.
“Ray Mann was one of the most influential members of the faculty on the Department of Architecture during my time as a student at UMass,” says one of Mann’s students. “Through her guidance and design philosophies as a studio instructor, I was able to learn how to think critically and innovatively through multifaceted design prompts and engage architecture as not just as a building enclosure but as a process of engagement between culture, identify, and creativity.”