By Wendy Jo Moyer
What do the Orlando International Airport and the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts have in common? Both grand locations have past Valencia architecture students — who were educated and influenced by Professor of Architecture Allen Watters — working in the professional practice of architecture and managing their expansions.
“I am most proud (and words don’t really do it justice) of seeing graduates go on to become leaders in the architecture field in Orlando,” Allen explained as he shared the above-mentioned student successes. “Also, I am proud to be a part of a program that has equipped students with the skills necessary to matriculate to some impressive graduate schools including Harvard, Cornell, University of Michigan, Pratt, the University of Texas Austin and the University of Florida (Go Gators!), to name a few.”
Allen says that he’s lucky as he gets to teach the subject he loves, and it certainly shows in his work as a full-time professor at Valencia since 2006, and program chair for the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Bachelor of Design in Architecture, a degree that compliments Valencia’s Associate in Arts Architecture program.
“Professor Allen Watters is a talented educator who exercises integrity through his professional commitment and his dedication to the students and the Architecture program,” shared Dean of Arts and Humanities Ana Caldero Figueroa. “He cares deeply about the students and their learning experience at Valencia and beyond as he is always helping them navigate through the challenges they will face in the professional environment as they become architects. His classroom is an effective, positive atmosphere where students learn, collaborate and support each other. He has taught me a lot about architecture and its connections with other disciplines such as humanities, philosophy and art history.”
He loves working at Valencia because he can empower students to achieve their goals, and in doing so, make a better community. Allen also enjoys his colleagues, especially the wonderful, meaningful and impactful conversations that he has with them each day.
One of those colleagues, Professor of Architecture Kourtney Baldwin, reflected on the friendship that she and Allen have and the role he plays in the Architecture department..
“Allen and I are dear friends, and he is a HUGE blessing and very important person in my life,” she said. “Allen has a fantastic commitment to the program and wants every student to succeed. He is instrumental in the success of the Valencia and UCF Architecture programs and works tirelessly to ensure its continued path forward.”
Additionally, Allen appreciates that Valencia is a much-beloved institution for the opportunities we offer residents of the Central Florida community and beyond.
“Once, I was traveling in Toronto and told a Canadian citizen where I worked, and they beamed with pride as their child was currently a student,” he recounted.
Allen, a third-generation Floridian, was born and raised in Vero Beach. He attended the University of Florida for both undergraduate and graduate school where he participated in a study abroad semester in Italy. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family and friends, traveling and landscaping, particularly in his new home’s yard.
Know of someone who embodies one of Valencia’s Values (learning, people, diversity, access or integrity), who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.