Professor of the Year recognizes excellence in teaching, scholarship and service. The faculty selects the recipient, and this year’s Professor of the Year is Dr. Victoria Young, professor and chair of the St. Thomas art history program and architectural historian.
A dedicated faculty member, mentor and leader at the university since 2000, Young has positively influenced countless students and colleagues. Her global leadership in architectural history has helped art history rise to a new level at St. Thomas, and her positive influence has helped shape the university through the campus master plan and construction projects over the past two decades.
“Professor of the year should go to someone who makes the institution better, and she does that in every area,” said Craig Eliason, professor of art history and a longtime colleague of Young. “She’s doing all the things that make me proud to be at this university.”
Young’s joint passions for people, architecture and St. Thomas are apparent on a daily basis, drawing people toward her enthusiasm and energy.
“Just seeing how passionate she is about her work really comes through. It makes me want to find something I’m as passionate about,” senior art history major Tom Negaard said.
For countless students like Negaard, Young’s impact on their academic career – and on them as people – are astounding.
“I’m forever grateful for the experience she’s given me, welcoming me into this art history family,” senior art history major Benjamin Schroeder said. “Not only is she brilliant and passionate about her work, she’s equally invested in the students and giving us all the tools for success we could need. I had never experienced that and am so thankful. The care she has for her students, that’s the difference with Dr. Young.”
“It’s such an honor to learn from someone who is so intelligent, so involved, so passionate about what she does,” art history graduate student Annie Vitale said. “If you were just talking to her you would never realize any of that. She never talks about herself. It’s always about her students, the best interest of her students, her peers”
A respected author of works such as 2014’s “Saint John’s Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space,” Young’s excellence is recognized worldwide as in April, 2020 she steps into the role of president of the international Society of Architectural Historians.
Closer to home she has had a huge impact on St. Thomas’ campus as a key member of the campus master plan and advising on the construction of new buildings, such as the Iverson Center for Faith and renovation of the Chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas.
“She takes the time out of her day to be part of the process, and not just as a spectator. To be engaged, to be driving toward solutions,” said Jim Brummer, associate vice president for facilities. “Her efforts are no doubt, in my mind, above and beyond what’s expected. It’s really driven by her passion for architecture and her love of the institution. She’s a Tommie, through and through.”