Maya Przybylski named Interim O'Donovan Director of the School of Architecture


On May 25th, the Dean of Engineering, Mary Wells, announced the appointment of Maya Przybylski as interim O’Donovan director of the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo. Przybylski’s term begins on July 1, 2022 when she takes over for Anne Bordeleau, who has served as the director of the school since 2016.

Maya joined the School of Architecture 2011 and has since played important academic and administrative roles at the University. Most recently, she was the Associate Director Undergraduate Studies, where she proved herself a capable leader though her positive, fair-minded and considered approaches to problem solving and decision making. She has demonstrated a commitment to service that is characterized by action – whether by initiating a long-term study of undergraduate workload and wellness, or by implementing a virtual platform to keep the school community connected during recent pandemic-imposed times of remote learning.

Maya has a long track record of teaching design-oriented classes and studios at the school, establishing a vibrant cluster of critically-informed, computationally-engaged learning experiences alongside her colleagues.  Stemming from her own computer science background, Maya is always eager to support interdisciplinary approaches to emerging design challenges. In 2018, Maya received the UW Faculty of Engineering Teaching Excellence Award.

Maya Przybylski is a graduate of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto where she was awarded the Royal Architectural Institute Medal for her thesis work. She previously earned a degree with a specialization in Software Engineering at the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Through her teaching, research and design work, Maya is exploring the complex intersection of architectural design, data and computation. She is developing methods for achieving a more complete engagement, including sociocultural agency as well as technical capacity, with the computational components embedded within data-driven design work.

In addition to continuing numerous important projects already underway at the school, in her role as director Maya is prioritizing the task of ensuring that the school properly reflects on, and builds on, the many pedagogical, cultural and operational insights that emerged during pandemic disruptions.

I’m humbled and inspired in the early days of the transition by how much I must learn: both in terms of day-to-day, term-to-term responsibilities, and also with respect to navigating all levels of our community, which from my perspective expands out to the university at large, Cambridge/Waterloo Region partners, and other even broader networks.  I’m buoyed by the fact that we have an outstanding community of students, faculty, and staff at the school. Nurturing this community’s collective drive towards excellence by cultivating an environment where each of us can thrive, build passion, and collectively fulfill our roles in learning, teaching, research, service and support is the job I signed up for.

The School of Architecture congratulates Maya on her new role and looks forward to her leadership in the year ahead.