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Faculty News

Dr. Benjamin George Wins National Award

2017 National ASLA Award
Professor Benjamin George with wife Pamela George. at the National ASLA Award Ceremony
First professional ASL award the LAEP Department has won since Craig Johnson in 1993

Dr. Benjamin George was presented with the Award of Excellence in the Professional Communications Category at the national ASLA Meeting in Los Angeles for his project: The Digital Library of Landscape Architecture History (DiLiLAH). Working on the project with Prof. George was current MLA student Tonya Randall and David Durfee (BLA 2017).

The Digital Library of Landscape Architecture History (DiLiLAH) is a freely available, online public repository of virtual tours of historical landscapes created to encourage education and exploration of historic landscapes. Using immersive panoramic tours, filled with historic

DiLiLAH is used in classrooms across the globe to help children of all ages learn about the history of landscape architecture.

information hotspots, images, sounds, and videos, students are virtually transported to important historical sites across the globe. There are currently 40 virtual tours on DiLiLAH from Europe, North America, and Oceania, representing 2,000 years of history and 24 historic styles and cultures. Over 175,000 visitors from 102 countries have accessed the website. The virtual tours are available on multiple platforms, including desktop, mobile, Google Cardboard, and immersive virtual reality headsets such as HTC Vive and Oculus Rift. DiLiLAH raises awareness and promotes the history of landscape architecture to the public through an engaging and easy to use medium. It is a valuable recruiting tool for introducing primary and secondary school students to the field of landscape architecture, and includes free education worksheets for teachers to integrate into their curriculum.

Several virtual tours on DiLiLAH can be viewed using virtual reality
DiLiLAH is accessible at: dililah.org

Award for Research Excellence

Ole Sleipness & Benjamin George

Dr. Ole Sleipness and Dr. Benjamin George received the Award for Research Excellence, at the Digital Landscape Architecture conference in Bernburg, Germany in 2017 for their research on “Using virtual reality as a design input: Impacts on collaboration in a university design studio setting.”

Ole Sleipness
Benjamin George

Outstanding Alumni Award

Sean Michael

Department Head Sean Michael was honored to receive the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Texas A&M College of Architecture. He graduated from their MLA program in 1992. He was nominated by former students of Texas A&M and is being recognized for the incredible work he’s done as department head, his research on landscape design’s impact on crime, and being a director of the USU Outdoor Product Design & Development program. He will be attending a banquet in November to be honored for this recognition.

Sean Michael


After five years, I bid farewell to the LAEP Department. It was a gift and unique opportunity to end my teaching career in the LAEP Department, where I started it in 1981, after thirty years of living and working in Germany as a landscape planner. For me, the highlight of the experience was teaching once again with Richard Toth and facilitating the return of environmental planning, as it is embodied in the Bioregional Planning program, to the LAEP Department. Universities, departments, faculty and students change over the years; however, I hope the legacy of and commitment to the bioregional planning program and environmental planning in the LAEP Department will continue to grow and be strengthened.

All the best, Barty Warren-Kretzschmar MLA, PhD

New Staff

Development Research Assistant
Alyssa Stastny

Alyssa Stastny graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Brigham Young University-Idaho in July of 2018. Her studies focused on advertising and public relations. She grew up around agriculture and was involved in organizations such as 4H and FFA. These experiences bolstered her love for agriculture. Her goal is to use her communication skills to inform people of the diversity of agriculture. She loves that her joint position as the Development Research Assistant for LAEP and ADVS allows her the opportunity to do this for two very different aspects of agriculture.

Graduate Program Coordinator & Staff Assistant II
Katie Stringham

Katie Stringham graduated from USU in 2016, with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism & Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations. Beginning in 2015, she worked in USU’s Research & Graduate Studies Department. She helped plan TEDxUSU, monthly Graduate Training Series, and the first university-wide graduate student recruitment weekend visit. While working with the Office of Research and Graduate Studies, Katie met with numerous faculty members to develop strategies to enhance their graduate recruitment efforts. She had met with Keith Christensen and gained both an appreciation for and interest in the work being done within the LAEP Department. When the opportunity arose in 2018 to join the LAEP Department, she excitedly sought the position, with hopes of engaging graduate students and assisting them with their degree requirements.

Department of Landscape Architecture & Environmental Planning | InSites 2018