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Dr. Bitterman is a proud alumnus of the SUNY system. He graduated from SUNY Buffalo State with a B.S. in Business and a minor in English. Subsequently, he earned his M.Arch. at the University at Buffalo and later earned his Ph.D. in American Studies also at the University at Buffalo.

Dr. Bitterman is currently chair of the Department of Architecture & Design at Alfred State College. When asked about his teaching, he says, "I believe no subject or design discipline is isolated. Design, whether it is urban design, graphic design, or product design is an interdisciplinary profession that influences every facet of daily life. It's this complexity and interdisciplinary that makes any problem interesting." Dr. Bitterman feels that students should be encouraged to recognize the value of any design problem not as a product but as an iterative, holistic process, and with curiosity to develop the confidence necessary to influence the profession and the perceptual significance of their role in our society. Students in this way, are responsible for creating success in the classroom and studio. He says, "My role as educator is to formulate and sustain an innovative, interactive, and interdisciplinary pedagogy that ensures each student the opportunity to discover personal success, ethical accountability, and shared understanding for the collective good."

Dr. Bitterman is an internationally recognized expert in place branding and place-based identity systems. After several years of research Dr. Bitterman has developed a taxonomy of place brands which identifies the five main types of place brands but also provides a basis for testing the efficacy of place brands. This research forms the basis of many presentations and consulting relationships around the world.

More recently, Dr. Bitterman has been studying the evolution of “gayborhoods.” His most recent article on the subject, "Rainbow diaspora: the emerging renaissance of gay neighbourhoods" was published in Town Planning Review (available for download at ) and his next book The Life and Afterlife of Gay Neighborhoods will be published by Springer in Spring 2021.


  • –present
    Professor of Architecture and Design, Alfred State College of Technology, The State University of New York