ASLA Presidential Candidates Forum Question 3: ASLA and Emerging Professionals

Wendy J. Miller, FASLA

Candidate for 2019 President-elect

Why is the Society particularly important for emerging professionals?


ASLA is important for emerging professionals for all the reasons seasoned landscape architects find membership useful and meaningful – the Society is the single source of institutional knowledge about the profession and provides strength in numbers to promote our common interests and goals. But of particular importance for young practitioners is the wealth of resources to assist with passing the licensure exam and gaining SITES® certification; exclusive access to employment through JobLink; networking opportunities available through Chapter meetings and the annual conference; and mentorship across a spectrum of ages, locations, practice types, and specialized interests.

Young professionals seek to stay connected with their peers and continue the camaraderie and shared experience that uniquely exist during school. Integral to ASLA membership, the PPNs open up connections to colleagues with expertise in focused areas within the wide range of practice. Joining a PPN offers an avenue to information on best practices and innovative technologies that enriches and expands an emerging professional’s experience while also providing leadership opportunities.

ASLA is using multiple methods to respond to the needs of younger professionals who prefer the convenience of online learning, webinars, or the “Ask Me Anything” conversational format for continuing education that is critical to improving skills and keeping current with evolving issues.

On the flip side, emerging professionals are vital to the Society as they bring new voices, new ideas, and new visions for where the profession is heading. They are attuned to cutting edge technologies for visualization, modeling, and construction and see fresh ways to merge landscape architecture with social equity, community building, and ecological practices. Many emerging professionals have taken advantage of international exchanges and studios or have worked on projects throughout the world. They bring a global view to the profession that is exciting and essential.

Looking back to my own early years working in an environment where I was the only landscape architect, and often the only woman, ASLA provided a place where I could refresh my knowledge and bond with other professionals that shared my interests and passions. ASLA is where I recharge and recommit.

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