Barbara Moely service learning teaching award announced

The Center for Public Service recognized alumna and School of Architecture professor of practice Emilie Taylor Welty, interim director of the Albert and Tina Small Center for Collaborative Design, with the 2017 Barbara E. Moely Service Learning Teaching Award.

Welty began working as a graduate student at the Small Center in 2006, then known as Tulane City Center, the community design center of the Tulane School of Architecture. Since then, she has managed Small Center’s design/build projects and worked with hundreds of students on more than 30 of its projects including a large urban farm, Grow Dat Youth Farm and a small solar-charged bus shelter with Groundwork New Orleans.

The Small Center harnesses “student energy and creativity, and [that of] our faculty and staff, to take what they’re learning in the classroom and make it useful to our community partners,” Welty said.

“All of our work is a team lift.”

Emilie Taylor Welty

“Teaching students to design with others and build their ideas is incredibly rewarding,” she added. “It’s an empowering experience that gives them agency: They realize they can change the environment around them for the better.”

Welty “has steered her projects and partnerships around pressing social issues,” said Robin Forman, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, when he presented the award to Welty in December. “The projects she’s led have been meaningful to our community and span various social issues like food access, homelessness and affordable housing, the preservation of culture and community spaces, youth development, and many more.”

Welty shared credit with her Small Center colleagues and partner organizations on making community projects a reality and emphasized Small Center’s collaborative efforts.

“All of our work is a team lift,” she said.

The Moely Award is given in honor of professor emerita Barbara E. Moely, who founded service learning at Tulane University in the 1990s.