Former architecture dean Piomelli honored as Great Immigrant by Carnegie Corporation

Jul 01, 2019 206

M. Rosaria Piomelli, an architect and former dean of architecture at The City College of New York, has been recognized by the Carnegie Corporation of New York as a Great Immigrant. Every Fourth of July, Carnegie Corporation honors Andrew Carnegie’s legacy by celebrating the wide-ranging contributions of immigrants who enrich American communities and culture, strengthen the economy, and invigorate democracy.  Scottish immigrant Carnegie, who rose out of poverty to become a major American industrialist and philanthropist, believed that the infusion of talent that immigrants bring to the United States keeps American society vibrant.

In 1980, Piomelli was appointed architecture dean at City College of New York, becoming the first woman to head an architecture school in the United States. Piomelli worked to open the profession to more women, most notably as director of the American Institute of Architects Equal Opportunity Committee in the 1970s. In 1974, she organized an exhibition featuring the work of women architects across New York City. The New York Times mentioned the exhibition in a story headlined “Female Architects Building Influence in a Profession That Is 98.8% Male.” As Piomelli told the Times, “We have been demanding a piece of the pie.” She remained on the faculty at City College until her retirement in 2004.

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