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College of Environment and Design

Dean's Welcome: Fall 2022

Dean Hirt welcome CED community for the Fall 2022 semester

Dear students and colleagues,

Whether you are joining us for the first time or returning to campus, I want to welcome you all to Fall 2022! We are looking forward to an inspiring semester here at UGA’s College of Environment + Design. After a full year of returning to in-person operations, we are excited to continue our momentum safely building community and collaboration across all our programs.

We have many things to celebrate as our academic year begins. Our faculty continue to get prestigious awards. For example, Brad Davis and David Nichols received a Georgia ASLA award for their recent book and Jessica Fernandez received a Georgia ASLA award for her studio teaching. Our BLA program is growing, and we have new homes for many of our programs including relocating the MLA program to Denmark Hall. We are welcoming an outstanding class of new graduate students that includes the first ever CED PhD student, Hexiang Wang, receiving a Presidential Fellowship. Things are really moving in the doctoral program. You may recall, last year we had four PhD students defend—a CED record!

I am delighted to introduce you to our new faculty:

  • Lawrie Jordan (BLA UGA, MLA Harvard) will be our new Visiting Professor.  He served as Director of Imagery and Remote Sensing at Esri, a leader in ArcGIS software. His career includes cutting edge research and application of GIS in environmental and civil projects across the globe. He has advised numerous government organizations on current trends involving imagery and satellite programs. After graduating with his MLA from the Harvard School of Design, Jordan and his fellow UGA alumnus Bruce Rado founded the software company ERDAS, which became an industry leader in processing satellite imagery to show global changes in the environment. It was at the Harvard that the two met Esri founder and fellow Landscape Architect Jack Dangermond. ERDAS and Esri became key strategic business partners for more than twenty years until Jordan and Rado sold their company and retired in 2001. Jordan came out of retirement in 2008 to become Esri’s Corporate Director of Imagery and Remote Sensing and Special Assistant to Jack Dangermond. We are very fortunate that we have such a star among our faculty!
  • Katie Marages (BA Virginia, MA and PhD George Washington University) is our newest tenure-track Assistant Professor. She is joining us from Emory University where she was a Post-doctoral Teaching Fellow. Dr. Marages studies the relationship between architecture, housing policy, race, and visual culture, especially in the context of public housing in Atlanta. While focused on Atlanta, she seeks to address larger questions about how visual rhetoric works as agents in urban politics and in understandings of race. We are fortunate that we are adding such an accomplished teacher and scholar to our community and double fortunate because she will also serve as our new Circle Gallery Director!

We have a new Coordinator of our Historic Preservation Program, Dr. Scott Nesbit, whose office is in Denmark Hall, next to the office of the MLA CoordinatorBrad Davis. We also have a new IT specialist, Brice Eades—please say hello to him in the Owens Library. We are excited to announce we have a new Graduate Program Administrator, Annelie Klein, who will start on September 1, 2022. We will continue to have new staff announcements throughout the fall, so please watch out for more news! CED currently has no less than four open staff positions, so we will be making many announcements in the months to come.

Fall 2022 also marks the return of our highly successful CED public lecture series. This year’s theme is Blue, Green, and Gray Infrastructure. The kick-off is a presentation by our faculty member Ron Sawhill on historic preservation issues along Turkey’s waterfront. Our guest lecturers include Carl Steinitz, Emeritus Professor at Harvard University who will speak on geo-design and green infrastructure, and Professor Ellen Bassett, Dean of Georgia Tech’s College of Design, on land rights and climate change in cities of the Global South. In addition, we will also have a panel from the American Society of Landscape Architecture, addressing issues of the advancement of women in landscape architecture. This panel is organized by CED Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Crowley Professor in Urban Planning and Design Ashley Steffens. We will also hold two mentoring panels: one sharing wisdom about publishing a book with top academic presses, featuring acquisition editors from Cornell Press, MIT Press, and the University of Chicago Press, andone sharing wisdom for success in academic leadership positions. Graduate students will be invited to both these panels, and PhD students are highly encouraged to attend. And naturally, in October we will celebrate together at our world-famous Tailgate!

During September, our gallery will showcase the beautiful artwork of our lecturer Cameron Berglund (see his work also at Berglund Studio Design + Illustration). Other exciting exhibitions will follow soon thereafter.

Thank you for joining us, and I know I speak for our entire team when I say we are looking forward to seeing you all. Together, we are prepared to shape our world. And, as always, Go Dawgs!

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