WASHINGTON, June 23, 2015 — (PRNewswire) — The American Society of Landscape Architects has elevated 37 members to the ASLA Council of Fellows for 2015. Fellowship is among the highest honors the ASLA bestows on members and recognizes the contributions of these individuals to their profession and society at large based on their works, leadership and management, knowledge and service. The new class of Fellows will be recognized at the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, November 6-9, in Chicago.
The designation of Fellow is conferred on individuals in recognition of exceptional accomplishments over a sustained period of time. Individuals considered for this distinction must be members of ASLA in good standing for at least 10 years and must be recommended to the Council of Fellows by the Executive Committee of their local chapter, the Executive Committee of ASLA or the Executive Committee of the Council of Fellows.
Adele Ashkar, ASLA
George Washington University
Adele Ashkar, of George Washington University, received her nomination, for Service, from the Potomac Chapter. Throughout her nontraditional career, Ashkar has provided distinguished service to landscape architecture. As a pioneering educator, she seizes every opportunity to expand the boundaries of traditional practice and teaching. An innovative educator and mentor, she promotes landscape architecture to nontraditional, interdisciplinary and career-changing students. By engaging in visible pro bono projects, she has inspired both professional and citizen advocates for sustainable design so that they reach out to celebrate the value of the profession to other public leaders. A visionary, she has sustained an unflagging attitude of advocacy for landscape architecture in local, regional, national and international venues. Her philosophy—that reaching stakeholders at the grassroots level is critical to the support of new public policy—will help shape our landscapes for future generations.
Mary Bates, ASLA
DHM Design Group
Mary Bates, of DHM Design Group, received her nomination, for Service, from the Florida Chapter. Selfless commitment to leadership and service has made Bates a profound influence on the careers of students and professionals alike. She is a strong mentor and role model who has broadened public awareness of landscape architecture and introduced the next generation to the profession. She continues to work with nonprofit organizations and elementary schools to bring her passion for the outdoor environment to hundreds of students, educators, administrators, community professionals and parents, all of whom now realize the value of landscape architecture. Her service within the Florida Chapter and national ASLA includes 13 creatively programmed state annual conferences. So successful have her efforts been, that by 2013, 65 percent of the Florida Chapter's revenue was generated through events that she led.
René Bihan, ASLA
René Bihan, of SWA Group received his nomination, for Works, from the Northern California Chapter. Bihan's work over the past quarter century is recognized internationally for his mastery of the art and practice of landscape architecture. His design-think approach transforms physical and cultural landscapes as he grapples with multi-faceted challenges and educates the public and clients through his unerring commitment to his landscape-centered design principles. He has garnered praise, awards and appointments from fellow design leaders, landscape architecture stewardship organizations, public policy and academic institutions, and professional clientele throughout his career. He is a leader and outspoken advocate for the profession—first as a practitioner, and also as a speaker, juror, lecturer and mentor in domestic and international circles. His works here and abroad continue to thrive and stand as living examples of the impact of thoughtful landscape design.
Mark Boyer, ASLA
University of Arkansas
Mark Boyer, of the University of Arkansas received his nomination, for Knowledge, from the Arkansas Chapter. Boyer's exceptional accomplishments in research and its application in design draws consistent recognition from landscape architects, educators and allied professionals. He is a recognized leader in both education and contributions to the profession's body of knowledge. He influences the profession every day through his groundbreaking research on green roof design and other low-impact development technologies, which he shares generously in the classroom and on the conference lectern. His ongoing work on grading and stormwater will influence generations of landscape architects to come. The public, too, embraces Boyer's expertise as a public policy advisor and valuable resource for master gardeners. His efforts have placed his university at the top in the nation, which also helps drive his department's continuous success in female and minority student enrollment.
Elena Brescia, ASLA
New York City
Elena Brescia, of SCAPE/LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, received her nomination, for Service, from the New York Chapter. A committed professional, Brescia has volunteered for ASLA and worked pro bono for interdisciplinary organizations continuously for 15 years. She worked on the New York Chapter ASLA Executive Committee for six years and, concurrently, represented the chapter on the interdisciplinary design coalition Executive Committee of the New York New Visions for Rebuilding Lower Manhattan. She was on the New York State Council of Landscape Architects, and has contributed for the past nine years within New York's interdisciplinary arts and design coalition, the Fine Arts Federation of New York, as a director, an officer and its president. She engages many influential groups, which reflects positively on all landscape architects as she continually increases recognition for the profession in the city and among affiliated design disciplines.
Richard C. Bumstead, ASLA
The University of Chicago
Richard Bumstead, of the University of Chicago, received his nomination, for Leadership/Management, from the Illinois Chapter. Stewardship embodies preservation, restoration, maintenance and oversight. Bumstead's 32-year stewardship of the University of Chicago campus in turn supports the overall mission of the institution's teaching and research. He develops positive public awareness for the vital contributions landscapes provide, which results in appropriate maintenance, adequate funding and capital investment, environmental practices and asset management. As a result, other institutions have re-examined their own environments and practices, which enhances the role landscape has on the overall campus experience in attracting prospective students, and promoting faculty, staff, student and community collegiality. Through Bumstead's leadership and stewardship, the university is consistently listed as one of the nation's most beautiful campuses, and its landscape is especially noted in travel articles that highlight the surrounding neighborhood of Hyde Park.
Virginia Burt, ASLA
Virginia Burt Designs
Virginia Burt, of Virginia Burt Designs, received her nomination, in Leadership/Management, from the Council of Fellows Executive Committee. Burt has international recognition that includes national ASLA and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects design awards. Her designs continuously attract the attention of industry professionals and clients across North America. At the vanguard of healthcare facility healing environments, she has developed a holistic approach that attends to the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects that weave together the meaning of gardens, genius loci and carefully elicited stakeholder input. She created the first healing garden in Canada dedicated to people with AIDS, the John Gordon Home in Ontario, which incorporates sacred geometry and weaves subconscious meaning into the design. Her body of work successfully demonstrates that exterior spaces intentionally designed for people in disease also deeply benefit the patients' families, volunteers and caregiving staff.
Meg Calkins, ASLA
Ball State University
Meg Calkins, of Ball State University, received her nomination, in Knowledge, from the Indiana Chapter. Calkins is an internationally respected expert on sustainable landscape architecture. Her two books, The Sustainable Sites Handbook and Materials for Sustainable Sites , are used in classrooms and professional offices around the globe. Calkins has been a key technical advisor since the inception of the Sustainable Sites Initiative™ (SITES™) rating system for landscape architecture—which augments the environmental performance of landscape architecture. She is a consummate educator, from her direct student interaction to her easy-to-understand articles and books, as she provides designers and students with the tools to rethink how they consider the environment in their work. She has made sustainability her life's work, and her impact on the underpinnings of environmentally responsible design has been profound. Every design professional can benefit from her knowledge.