Rosa Otero

Assistant Prof. Design, Director, Design Program

     Dr. Otero was was born and raised in Puerto Rico where her family still resides. She attended undergraduate school in PR and every year she visits with her family to observe major holidays. Several years ago, she took a group of students to experience what her country has to offer. She has also traveled to other islands of the Caribbean and to Central America and Europe.

     Her passion is design of the 20th century; most especially mid-century architecture. Her dissertation focused on Henry Klumb, a German architect and a student of Frank Lloyd Wright who practiced in Puerto Rico from 1944 to the early 1980s. From his work, she developed a system to classify walls according to their permeability. This system looks at the relationship created between interior and exterior space as a means to explain how architects develop solutions that connect their buildings to a specific location. She has presented this research on several occasions, including an appearance on a TV show in Puerto Rico entitled “Prohibido Olvidar.”

     Dr. Otero is married to Todd Shoaf, who is from Winston-Salem, and they have two children: Dania (10) and Loucas (4). They also have a cat, Felito who is 13 years old (as long as their marriage). Dr. Otero lives on a cattle farm that has been in her husband’s family for over 80 years in Davidson County. Every year they go to Puerto Rico during Christmas and celebrate with her family in order to preserve some of her traditions and pass them to her children. Epiphany is observed to honor the Three Wise Men’s visit to Jesus. Children in PR and in many countries in Latin America wake up on the 6th of January to a house full of presents. Obviously, my children truly enjoy this tradition.


Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
M.S., University of Pennsylvania
M.Arch., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
B.E.D., University of Puerto Rico