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College of Environment and Design

Messages from the Dean


Dean Sonia Hirt shares words of encouragement, guidance,
and advice in these regular letters to the CED community. 

UGA College of Environment + Design


Welcome back!




Dear students and colleagues,

Welcome back! Fall 2021 promises to be the most exciting semester in many years at UGA’s College of Environment + Design. The return of students to campus has brought new life to the University of Georgia, and many lessons were learned during the pandemic—this year, we value our students more than ever, and our faculty are grateful to resume in-person classroom instruction.

Many exciting developments have taken place during the past few months at the CE+D. Several staff members have joined us since last spring – Leah Melnik as Graduate Program Administrator, Eric Reisman as FindIt Program Coordinator, and Tim Brown as Communications and Recruitment Specialist. Our new Administrative Assistant, Lucy Barrera, will begin soon as well. 

Our first PhD graduate, Dr. Leslie Palacios, landed a job at Purdue University. Soon-to-be Dr. Lynn Abdouni took a position at Clemson University (but will continue to teach a course with us!). 

I am very proud to announce three new full-time faculty members:

  • Debbie Mitchell (BS UNC Charlotte, MA UGA, PhD UGA) is our new Curator/Instructor at the Founders Memorial Garden. She comes to the CED with a wealth of plant knowledge and pedagogical experiences having worked as the education coordinator and curator of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. 

  • Cameron Berglund (BLA UGA, MLA UGA) joined us as Lecturer on August 1. He has extensive professional experience in landscape architecture having worked on numerous projects in the Athens area including the Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden at the State Botanical Gardens of Georgia. He also has a range of remarkable projects abroad. Check out some of his amazing work at

  • Haemee Han (BLA UI Urbana Champaign, MLA Harvard) will become Lecturer at CED on January 1, 2022. She has superb international experiences and is eager to share them with our students. In addition to landscape architecture, her scholarship and practice intersect with the arts, architecture, historic preservation, and urban design. Please see some of her wonderful projects at

During Fall 2021, we will resume the CE+D lecture series, with presentations scheduled from CE+D faculty members Jessica FernandezScott Nesbitt, and Katherine Melcher. Guest lecturers will include Emeritus Professor Darrel Morrison, who celebrates the publication of his new book, “Beauty of the Wild,” and Adam Gopnik, award-winning author and New Yorker contributor, who will lecture on the urgent need to reconnect the arts and sciences (which we do in our college every day!).

During September, our gallery will showcase the publication of “Plants in Design” by our faculty members Brad Davis and David Nichols—a magnificent volume that has just been printed by UGA Press. The gallery will be filled with large-format photographs from their publication, and several events and educational sessions have been planned throughout the fall to celebrate the exhibit.

Again, welcome back! This is a great time at the College of Environment + Design. I am so happy to begin another successful year together.


Sonia Hirt

CED Dean and Hughes Professor in
Landscape Architecture and Planning

Spring 2021

March 2021 (web)
March 2021 (Download PDF)

Dean's Desk


2020 Messages


December 2020 (Download PDF)
December 2020 (web)

October 2020 (Download PDF)
October 2020 (web)

Welcome back - Fall 2020 (web)
Welcome back - Fall 2020 (video)




July 13- Big changes coming in fall 2020

JUNE 15 - Learning from our past, looking toward our future 

June 1 - Focus on Students


May 1 - Commencement Letter

APril 22- The Importance of space (video)

APril 20- Promoting wellbeing

APRIL 3 - A note of encouragement

March 25


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