ASLA SKILL | ED:: In It for the Long Haul? Perspectives from Three Mid-Career Landscape Architects - 1.0 PDH (LA CES/non-HSW)
Although not yet senior partners or managing principals, mid-career landscape architects possess considerable expertise in various aspects of their profession. As they step into leadership roles, they encounter distinctive challenges while embracing opportunities to influence the field. In this session, we'll explore the journeys of three such landscape architects who are currently midway through their careers. Their diverse career paths span across different design offices, academia, and professional practice. During an open and candid discussion, the speakers will address recruitment and retention challenges, the vital role of mid-career landscape architects in mentorship and management, and the impact of their personal lives on their professional journey.
- Gain a comprehensive understanding of the distinctive role that mid-career professionals assume in bridging the gap between junior staff and senior management.
- Acquire a deep comprehension of the various challenges encountered by mid-career professionals who aspire to advance their careers, including both professional and personal obstacles.
- Recognize and appreciate the efforts of mid-career landscape architects as they challenge prevailing norms, aiming to promote a more equitable and inclusive practice within the field.
Steven Lee, PLA, ASLA
Steven T. Lee is a Professional Landscape Architect and urban designer with a passion for crafting meaningful and engaging public spaces and urban landscapes. As an Associate Principal at SWA/Balsley, he brings a strong design voice to lead complex public realm projects domestically and abroad, including parks, waterfronts, plazas, and campuses. Prior to SWA/Balsley, he was a Project Leader at West 8 after having transitioned into landscape architecture from urban planning. Steven holds an undergraduate degree from Claremont McKenna College and a Master of Landscape Architecture and Master of City Planning from the University of California, Berkeley.
Lisa DuRussel, PLA, ASLA
Assistant Professor of Practice in Landscape Architecture
University of Michigan
Lisa DuRussel, RLA, LEED AP, ASLA has a unique background as an educator, landscape architect, urban ecologist, builder and design activist. Her 15+ years of experience has resulted in a progressive landscape design portfolio of professional work, creative inquiry into ecology + design and enthusiasm for transdisciplinary collaboration. Lisa collaborates with practitioners at Unknown Studio and OSD NYC on design implementation in addition teaching graduate level courses on design, design thinking and public engagement at the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram + Twitter: @lisadurussel / @fieldcatalysts
Grace Prem, PLA, ASLA
Senior Management Lead
Grace Prem, RLA, is a Senior Management Lead at SCAPE. She has led a wide range of project types across scales, from public open spaces to institutional and residential landscapes at award winning firms like Mahan Rykiel Associates, SWA/Balsley, and SCAPE. Her goal has always been to create places for people to build meaningful relationships with each other and their surrounding environment. Grace holds a Bachelor’s in Landscape Architecture with Honors from the University of Maryland, where she was awarded Maryland ASLA’s Student Honor Award, the Landscape Architecture Student Award of Excellence, and was named an Olmsted Scholar.
Jennifer Nitzky, FASLA, RLA, ISA (Moderator)
Studio HIP Landscape Architecture, PLLC
Jennifer is a seasoned Landscape Architect and ISA Certified Arborist with 20+ years' expertise in urban planning and design. She excels in community-oriented planning, workshops, and design charrettes. With a rich background in leading projects from concept to construction, she combines visionary insight with meticulous detailing. Jennifer's notable projects include the Bronx Community College Quad, JFK Airport Green Roof, and over 200 playgrounds for the Trust for Public Land. Her dedication to environmental advocacy is evident through her roles in professional associations and community engagement. She's a former 2-term president of ASLA-NY, an Urban Design Forum Fellow, and an active member of various environmental groups.
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