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Montclair's Jose Alcala Honored for Teaching at NJIT

Jose Alcala, of Montclair, a university lecturer  in the NJIT College of Architecture and Design, has been selected  to receive the “Excellence in Instruction from a University Lecturer Award” at NJIT’s University Convocation, an annual celebration to be held Sept. 14, 2011. 

Convocation at NJIT traditionally honors select faculty and staff members who have demonstrated the highest level of excellence over a sustained period.

Broadcaster, author and motivational speaker Steve Adubato will speak at the event.  A university lecturer, Emmy Award-winning television anchor, and Star-Ledger columnist, Adubato also served in the mid-1980s as New Jersey's youngest state legislator at age 26.  Previously, Adubato anchored three PBS broadcasts including Caucus: New Jersey, an Emmy Award-winning public affairs television series.

Alcala is the coordinator for industrial design at the College of Architecture and Design (COAD) . In a particularly thoughtful and unusually wry statement of educational philosophy, Alcala cheerfully confesses to being a “generalist” whose background in architecture and industrial design has made him by turns an optimist, creative thinker, engineer, anthropologist, entrepreneur, manufacturer and environmentalist. 

In helping to establish the four-year curriculum for the new undergraduate industrial design program at COAD he was obliged to draw on all these attributes, creating and teaching over 10 different courses over the past four years. In sharing himself with his students, he draws on advice he once received to “teach you.” He says that he strives to help each of his students discover their own “me.” 

(ATTENTION EDITORS:  Hi-res photos of the researcher will be taken at the event.  To receive a copy and/or set up an interview, call Sheryl Weinstein, 973-596-3436.)

His success as a teacher is attested by administration, colleagues and students. The director of COAD’s School of Art and Design lauded him as someone who “leads by example.” COAD Dean Urs Gauchat said, “Students are enthralled by Jose, who is like a “Pied Piper.” Colleagues refer to his high standing in the professional design community, but the ultimate tributes come from his students, who trust him completely as someone “who will always have our back” and who "sees greatness in every student he taught.”  As one student notes, Jose is “not only a great mentor to all of us, but a great friend.”