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College of Environment and Design

CED Appoints New Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

Ashley Steffens HeadshotThis Fall semester, the College of Environment and Design will be experiencing a change of leadership. Ashley Steffens, longtime faculty and alumna of the CED, will take over the role of Associate Dean of Academic Affairs.

Steffens replaces Associate Professor David Spooner, who will return to the CED faculty to focus on teaching and research while continuing to serve on committees with the ACC Government, UGA, and the CED. “I hope to make progress towards promotion to full professor in the near future and will work towards that goal in the coming years,” Spooner said.

Steffens earned her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from UNC Ashville and, in 1994, her Master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the CED. After a short stint in interior design, she taught part time for ten years, focusing on the emerging field of computer graphics. In 2005 the CED hired Steffens as an Assistant Professor, and in 2010 promoted her to Associate Professor. She has taught hand and computer graphics, community design and applied engineering, Senior Studio, Plant ID, Portfolio Development, and several study abroad courses in Costa Rica and Cortona, Italy.

She has published numerous articles in Landscape Architect and Subscriber News Magazine and full papers in various conference proceedings, developed organization policies and procedures, and authored a chapter in Representing Landscapes, A Hybrid and co-authored a book, Computer Graphics for Landscape Architects: An Introduction with fellow CED colleague Jose Buitrago.

Steffens has a long history with CELA, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. In addition to giving numerous presentations at CELA’s annual conferences, she served as co-chair to the Education and Pedagogy track, Managing Editor of Landscape Journal, Vice President of Communication, Outreach, and Publication, and President in 2019. Her extensive involvement with CELA has allowed her to become a strong advocate for landscape architecture education.

In her new role, Steffens aims to take a fresh look at the CED, its curriculum, recruitment and enrollment efforts, and continue to advocate for environmental design education and the professional degree programs in the College.

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