Each professor brings to MiraCosta a wealth of information that he or she passes on to students. One of the college’s faculty members, architecture instructor David Parker, brings the worldly experience of teaching and working in the Middle East and Africa, and the educational experience of attending two of the nation’s most prestigious universities.
“I love to learn, travel and learn about foreign cultures,” says David, who was born in Baghdad and spent much of his childhood in Lebanon. “My father worked for a nonprofit educational foundation and we traveled extensively. I had the opportunity to grow up with a number of different families in different countries, and I loved it.”
David returned to the United States for college. He earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University, and a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.
After graduating from Harvard, David worked at an architectural firm in San Diego, and then headed to Kuwait to coordinate architectural services for Pan Arab Consulting Engineers. When David returned to the U.S., he helped design the Solana Beach Town Center and the R.W. Johnson Pharmaceutical Research Building in La Jolla, among others. It wasn’t long, however, until an e-mail from a colleague changed his life direction, and David and his family soon found themselves back on the other side of the world.
“I got an e-mail from a colleague in the United Arab Emirates inviting me to look into teaching at the American University of Sharjah. I accepted, and it was there I found my passion for teaching.”
David spent three years teaching in the United Arab Emirates, and an additional two years on the faculty at the American University of Nigeria.
After living in multiple countries and throughout Southern California, David and his family were ready to plant some roots, and were thrilled when he was offered the position in MiraCosta’s Architectural Technology Program. The program is designed to give students a working knowledge of the practices and technical aspects of architectural design and drawing.
David passes on to his students his passion for teaching, and his experiences around the world help shape the type of education received in his classroom.
“I think my extensive travels and diverse experiences have brought a greater sensibility and interest in the varied cultures and lives of my students. I think I am a more patient teacher because of it. Living in other cultures has also broadened my perspective and one thing I try to bring into the classroom is a sense that there is typically more than one way to solve a problem, at least in design, and each has its merits.”