Dr Manolis Stavrakakis (First Year Coordinator-Fellow Design Tutor, Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL/History and Theory Tutor, AA, London/PhD AA/MSc in Advanced Architectural Design, Columbia University/Ptychion in Architecture NTUA)

Dia Gerontoudi has been my teacher for many years. More than a teacher she has been – and still is – my mentor. She has been guiding me throughout my postgraduate studies for my Master’s degree (Advanced Architectural Design) at Columbia University and for my Ph.D. at the Architectural Association. Even today that I have become a teacher myself, Dia Gerontoudi still offers me her advice – generously sharing with me her knowledge and her experience. Her exceptional skills as a teacher are not simply the result of her committed study, profound knowledge, deep understanding, and love for the English language, or her flawless technique and systematisation of how to apply them. It is her passion and her unique –rare for a teacher – talent to identify what is the best for each of her students, making sure to arm them with the knowledge, the skills, and the help needed to achieve success that set her apart. I am deeply indebted to her not only for helping me enter the schools of my first choice and succeeding in my postgraduate studies, but also for fuelling my drive to become an architect and a teacher of architecture.