El Camino College Architecture Professor Receives Regional Honor

December 18, 2023 Torrance, CA

El Camino College’s Architecture Department is delighted to announce that fellow faculty member Reuben Jacobs has been recognized as the “2023 Educator of the Year” by the Southern California Chapter of the National Organization for Minority Architects (NOMA). Reuben has served as adjunct faculty in numerous architecture and interior design departments at various community colleges across southern California while simultaneously forging a career in professional practice. He initially joined El Camino College (ECC) in the mid-1990’s and rejoined ECC faculty in 2017 focusing on digital technology and design-build practices. It is during his current tenure that he resurrected the ECC Architecture Club and subsequently established a NOMA student (NOMAs) chapter where he currently serves as the faculty advisor.

In his capacity as advisor, Reuben has spearheaded multiple efforts that enrich student’s architecture experience.  In 2021, he initiated the ECC Architecture Program Guest Speaker Series where industry professionals such as architects, landscape architects, urban designers, project managers, and interior designers are invited to speak on a wide range of topics associated with the built environment. The lecture series has featured design leaders and project managers from renown industry firms such as HOK, Perkins&Will, and Gensler, to name a few. He has had speakers present projects such as the Expo/Crenshaw Line Station, the new LAX International Terminal, and Frank Gehry’s The Grand LA.  Recently, he brought together the teams who designed and built the SoFi Stadium to discuss the process of constructing the $5 billion home to the Los Angeles Rams and Los Angeles Chargers.  In addition to his advisory duties and planning lectures, Reuben seeks out opportunities to further support students’ educational journeys via construction or ‘hard-hat’ tours, building excursions, and firm visits.  He also serves as faculty advisor for several student competitions including the Annual NOMA Student Design Competition and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s Design Village Competition. 

Founded in 1971, NOMA has 40 professional chapters across the country which manage nearly 100 student chapters. Membership is open to anyone in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) fields. The Southern California Chapter of NOMA, or SoCal NOMA, has 14 student chapters that comprise of only three community college architecture programs, including ECC. The organization develops mentorship programs, student grants, and partnerships with other organizations including AIA to increase minorities in the field.