Architecture Professor Honored For Work In Mexico

Architecture Professor Honored For Work In Mexico
Irma Ramirez has been recognized for developing a student project that aids poor communities in Mexico.
Ramirez, local residents and students gather in front of an Info-Structure designed and built by students.
A woman from a community in Tijuana works on mosaic artwork that will be incorporated into an Info-Structure.

Irma Ramirez, an assistant professor in the Architecture department, has been honored with the Citation for Distinguished Engaged Scholarship. The New England Resource Center for Higher Education (NERCHE) granted Ramirez this honor for her extraordinary work with deeply impoverished communities in Tijuana, Mexico.

Ramirez has been instrumental in developing a partnership among the university's Habitat 21: The Lyle Center Project for Sustainable Settlements; Corazon, a non-profit housing organization; and the communities of Nuevo Milenio and Pedregal in Tijuana. The partnership has spurred design-build architectural studios in which students design and build a variety of projects for the disadvantaged communities.

“This collaboration allows Cal Poly Pomona students to get a real-life experience working with and for a community while practicing architecture,” Ramirez says. “I'm honored to be recognized for these efforts.”

Aiming to capture the extraordinary quality of the faculty nominees, NERCHE created the Citation for Distinguished Engaged Scholarship. Ramirez and Pennie Foster-Fishman from Michigan State University, are the inaugural honorees of this award. They were selected from an outstanding pool of 72 nominations from across the country.

They were presented with their honors at the annual conference of the Coalition for Metropolitan and Urban Universities held from Oct. 20-23, in Baltimore.

Habitat 21 was featured in the Fall 2004 edition of PolyTrends.

For more details about Ramirez' award, visit