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Rosa McDonald

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Ph.D. Student


Rosa McDonald is an Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture. Prior to joining the faculty in 2022 she taught in the interdisciplinary and architecture first year studios for the past five years, and served as a teaching assistant in other graduate seminars and PhD courses with subjects including tectonics, energy analysis, and research paradigms. She has also been a regular guest reviewer for the advanced architecture airport studio.

Rosa attended the NC School of Science and Mathematics and was awarded the Park Scholarship for her undergraduate education. She graduated magna cum laude from NC State University with her Bachelor of Architecture, and also earned her Master of Architecture from NC State University with certificates in Energy and Technology in Architecture and Public Interest Design. She has interned with Ellen Cassilly Architect and Gensler, and more recently has worked with Community Food Lab on an international project in Kenya.

Rosa’s scholarly interests began with a focus on sustainability and more traditional energy efficiency measures in architecture through daylighting, shading systems, and energy modeling technologies. Her research interests have expanded to include the investigation of how leveraging the ecological and biophilic benefits of daylight and vegetation can foster opportunities for green living systems as integral parts of our built environment. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Design at NC State University in the areas of Design for Sustainability, Design for Health and Well-being, and Design and Technology.

Rosa has received various scholarly and design awards including the Gensler Diversity Scholarship that recognizes emerging architecture talent from minority communities, the Alpha Rho Chi Medal for leadership, service, and the promise of professional merit, the College of Design Dean’s Wings on Wings Award for significant contributions to the college’s community, and the ARCC King Medal for excellence in architectural and environmental research. She was also a member of the design studio that was awarded the Best Architecture University Award for the “Future Airports: Global Design Thinking” Exhibit with Fentress Architects at the Venice Biennale.


Master of Architecture NC State University

Bachelor of Architecture NC State University

Bachelor of Environmental Design in Architecture NC State University