The University of Oklahoma Division of Architecture Professional Advisory Board (PAB) created the Teaching Excellence Award to honor an outstanding educator each year. Students nominate faculty for this award and students in the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) leadership select the recipient, who is awarded a $1,000 prize from the PAB. Read on for more details about the 2020 honoree, Sam Callahan.

On behalf of AIAS, we would like to present the 2020 Teaching Excellence Award to Professor Sam Callahan. Sam was nominated and voted on by the Gibbs College of Architecture students, and he is more than deserving of the award. By now, the whole college has gotten a chance to take from his classes whether it be first/third year studio or history.

As one student noted, “Sam is the professor who invests his time in each student and will always be there to help. He is understanding and patient, yet motivated at all times.”

Another student nominated Sam as “The best studio instructor and history lecturer!”

“He is enthusiastic about architecture and truly cares about us even though he’s always sarcastic.”

Sam motivates all of his students through the good and the bad. He constantly engages the class and can easily cheer anyone up. His dedication was evident through his presence during the transition to online classes.

One student recalled, “Sam goes above and beyond to be a mentor and a knowledgeable instructor in the classroom and outside whenever his students need it. He is always there for students, concerned for their mental health as well.” Sam even let his students vote on his beard shape for a week. Sam has consistently been there for everyone, and no one can top his joyous energy.

And from the wise words of another great professor, Luca Guido, “He’s a good man.”