The Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, Ga., has named Christian Sottile, AIA, the new dean of its School of Building Arts. A professor of architecture and urban design at the school since 1999, Sottile will now oversee the undergraduate and graduate departments of architecture, architectural history, furniture design, historic preservation, interior design, and urban design.

He received his master’s of architecture from SCAD’s School of Building Arts in 1997, graduating as valedictorian. After spending two years researching urban design in Florence, he completed work on his master’s of architecture and urban design at Syracuse University, and returned to Savannah with his wife to found the urban design group Sottile & Sottile.

Sottile is a recipient of a National Honor Award for Urban Design from the AIA, as well as a Charter Award from the Congress for the New Urbanism. USA Today has named him one of the top 100 academics in the nation. Last year, he led designs on the new SCAD Museum of Art, housed in the freight sheds of the only remaining antebellum railroad complex in the country.

“The museum project manifests what we do at SCAD’s School of Building Arts,” Sottile said in a press release. “It dissolves perceived boundaries between design disciplines—architecture, interior design, urban design—and expands the meaning of historic preservation, where the past isn’t necessarily sacred, but part of our future.”