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Hear Their Voices: Inspiring Stories from Women Leaders in Design Education

Images: (from top left) Diane Jones Allen, D. Eng, FASLA, PLA, Director and Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington; Samantha Solano, Associate ASLA, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Maria Bellalta, ASLA, Dean and Faculty, School of Landscape Architecture, Boston Architectural College; Hazel Edwards, PhD, FAICP, Assoc. AIA, Professor and Chair, College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University; Vini Nathan, PhD, Dean & McWhorter Endowed Chair, College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Auburn University | Design by Simone McKitterick.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

5:00 - 6:30 p.m. ET

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Join ASLA in this powerful and provocative panel that brings together four inspiring women to share their stories of leadership, resilience, and empowerment as leaders and women of color in design education. Structured as a discussion, the focus will be to highlight the diverse paths to leadership, to recognize the challenges and successes experienced along the way, and to chart a path forward for the future women embarking on the path to leadership. Open to everyone, this panel is sure to be a rich and empowering conversation.

Panelists:

Diane Jones Allen, D. Eng, FASLA, PLA, Director and Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Texas at Arlington

Maria Bellalta, ASLA, Dean and Faculty, School of Landscape Architecture, Boston Architectural College

Hazel Edwards, PhD, FAICP, Assoc. AIA, Professor and Chair, College of Engineering and Architecture, Howard University

Vini Nathan, PhD, Dean & McWhorter Endowed Chair, College of Architecture, Design and Construction, Auburn University

Moderator:

Samantha Solano, Associate ASLA, Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

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Presenter Biographies:

Diane Jones Allen, D. Eng, FASLA, PLA

Diane Jones Allen is currently the Program Director for Landscape Architecture, College of Architecture, Planning, and Public Affairs, at the University of Texas at Arlington. She is also Principal Landscape Architect with DesignJones LLC in New Orleans, Louisiana which received the 2016 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Community Service Award.  In 2017, she served on the ASLA Blue Ribbon Panel on Climate Change and Resiliency. Diane also serves on the Board of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF), serving as Vice President for Education. Diane received the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award from the College of Environmental Design, University of California at Berkeley.

Diane was elected to the American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows in 2019.Her research and practice is guided by the intersection of environmental justice, identity and sustainability in cultural landscapes, including “Nomadic” responses to “Transit Deserts,” places of increasing transportation demand and limited access, as discuss in her book “Lost in the Transit Desert: Race, Transit Access, and Suburban Form” published by Routledge Press in 2017.  Diane, recently co-edited “Design for Democracy: Techniques for Collective Creativity”, published by Island Press in 2017. Diane is a Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Board (CLARB) certified landscape architect, licensed in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri and Maryland.

Maria Bellalta, ASLA

María Bellalta is dean and faculty, School of Landscape Architecture, Boston Architectural College (BAC), where she teaches design theory and interdisciplinary studios on social urbanism with a focus on the emergence of Medellín, Colombia and developing cities in Latin America.  Maria has academic collaborations with Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (UPB) in Medellín, and Centro Metropolitano de Arquitectura Sustentable (C+) in México City.  She received her MLA from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design, with prior studies in Environmental Psychology from the University of Notre Dame.  She has held positions as design director with Martha Schwartz Partners, and designer with Sasaki Associates, Inc., and Copley Wolff Design Group, in addition to her own design office, LTX Urban Landscapes Studio.  María is a member of ASLA’s Committee on Education.  She is originally from Santiago, Chile.

Hazel Edwards, PhD, FAICP, Assoc. AIA

Hazel Ruth Edwards has been Professor and Chair of the Department of Architecture, College of Engineering and Architecture at Howard University since July 2016. Dr. Edwards’ unique career has combined place-based research with planning and urban design practice. Her research focuses on livability within urban contexts while focused primarily on historic campus environments. Of note is a planning study that culminated in a book that she co-authored entitled, The Long Walk: The Placemaking Legacy of Howard University (Moorland-Spingarn Research Center, 1996), which traced the 127-year history of the physical development of the campus.  That project has led to funded research and published work on placemaking at other historically black colleges and universities in the United States.

She holds the Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University, the Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University, and the Ph.D. in regional planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and was elected to their College of Fellows (FAICP). Prior to joining Howard University, she taught in the graduate architecture and city planning programs at Morgan State University's Institute of Architecture and Planning and at The Catholic University of America's School of Architecture and Planning, where she served as director of the Master of City and Regional Planning program. 

Vini Nathan, PhD

Vini Nathan is Dean and McWhorter Endowed Chair in the College of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University. An architect-interior designer, she has taught at Michigan State University, New York Institute of Technology, and Thomas Jefferson University (previously Philadelphia University). Through Walker Group/CNI New York, she collaborated with Cesar Pelli Associates on the design of the Kuala Lumpur City Center (Petronas Towers) in Malaysia. She is a senior Fellow of the Design Futures Council and a recipient of the silver honor medal from Tau Sigma Delta. She is a member of the Board of Trustees of Saint Leo University in Florida.

Samantha Solano, Associate ASLA

Samantha Solano is an Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is the founding principal of JUXTOPOS and the co-founder of the Visualizing Equity in Landscape Architecture (VELA) project. Samantha’s scholarship engages with landscapes and narratives unrepresented. Her work with the VELA project aims to reveal and spatialize the inequities of gender and race found within the landscape architecture profession. The VELA work has been showcased in numerous panels on women in landscape architecture and published in several ASLA chapter newsletters. She also engages with topics on landscape and territory, interrogating the significance of water scarce landscapes within climate change discourse. Samantha is a licensed landscape architect and holds a Master in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Virtual events are recorded if you can’t make it to a live webinar. To explore all upcoming ASLA webinars and past presentations, please visit asla.org/onlinelearning. Please note: the webinar above does not offer LA CES-approved professional development hours. You may access nearly 200 on-demand webinars available for professional development via learn.asla.org

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