Congratulations to the 2023 John Dale Award Winner: Tolya Stonorov, AIA

This award was created to honor the late John Dale, AIA, who dedicated his service to AIAVT for several years and passed away during his term as 2020 president. This peer nomination award recognizes an AIAVT member architect who dedicates their time both to the profession and to their community, and who, like John, is a thoughtful leader, and an advocate for diversity and social equity.

Tolya Stonorov, AIA is being recognized for her dedication to her profession and community as this year's winner of the John Dale Award. Stonorov is a member of the faculty at Norwich University's School of Architecture + Art, as well as a practicing architect whose firm, Stonorov Workshop, has been recognized for their work by AIAVT's Design Awards, the Passive House National Awards, and Efficiency Vermont Best of the Best Awards, to name a few.  Tolya was nominated by her colleague, Cara Armstrong, who provided a compelling narrative that highlighted the various ways in which Tolya is deserving of this recognition. "Collaboration is at the core of Tolya Stonorov’s professional and teaching beliefs. Stonorov’s collaborative, community-focused work can be understood through two specific projects, the Central Vermont Habitat House and Rabble-Rouser Chocolate & Craft.  With the Habitat House, Stonorov’s firm, Stonorov Workshop, donated countless hours to develop the schematic design.  Stonorov then worked with Norwich University undergraduate architecture students to develop and detail the Habitat design to Passive House standards.

Stonorov’s teaching pedagogy centers on humble hard work, realized in meaningful instances of creativity and new awareness.  The foundation of her teaching methodology focuses on experiential learning and engaging students in the larger community beyond the classroom through collaboration.  Hands-on, collaborative learning is basic to Stonorov’s teaching philosophy, her professional service work and her work as an architect with Stonorov Workshop.  As an architecture professor and practitioner, Stonorov endeavors to generate the opportunity for students to test their ideas in real world experience through community engagement.  Her relationships with these students are in-depth and comprehensive, creating lasting and impactful connections. Through cross disciplinary courses, such as a seminar co-taught with Danny Sagan on housing for previously homeless people with mental illness, and a design build course co-led with Ed Schmeckpeper, Stonorov is able to reach beyond our specific discipline and collaborate with students in Construction Management, Engineering and Nursing.

Stonorov embodies the idea of collaboration through her teaching and professional work.  She clearly infuses all of her architecture work with the passion she has for teaching, for her students, and for architecture." 

Congratulations Tolya on this recognition of your passion, mentorship, and volunteerism.