Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture

August 2019 President’s Message

CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture)

August 2019 President’s Message

Dear CELA Members,

Save the Date…for the 2020 CELA Annual Conference, 100 Years of CELA: Deep Time in Louisville, Kentucky, March 18-21, 2020. Abstracts submissions are currently being accepted and include three new theme tracks. The deadline to submit an abstract is SEPTEMBER 16, 2019, midnight author’s time zone. Whether you plan to attend the conference or not, abstract reviewers are also needed. For conference information, abstract themes, the abstract submission link and reviewer instructions, go to:

The CELA website is undergoing renovations! New information is being updated regularly including the 2019 Conference Proceedings, which are now available.

Ready for a change? There have been 14+ jobs posted since May! Many deadlines are quickly approaching. Check back often, as these are posted throughout the year on The CELA website.

The Cultural Landscape Foundation is offering CELA member institutions 50% off the rental fees to host the critically-acclaimed traveling photographic exhibitions – chronicling the careers of Dan Kiley, Lawrence Halprin, and Oehme, van Sweden. Now booking for 2020 and 2021. Click HERE for more information.

Moving forward with CELA business. On July 31, 2019, the CELA leadership was thrilled to receive news that CELA has regained its tax-exempt status! Thank you, Charlene LeBleu, for working with the tax attorney and Lori Orta over the last year and a half to get this done. CELA would also like to acknowledge the assistance of Ming-Han Li, Sean Michael, Mark Boyer, Patrick Mooney, and Ken McCowan for their help in data and file collection.

The Landscape Journal vision task force is under way. Dr. Robert Corry, University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, is chairing this committee, which will make recommendations to the Board for changes and the future of Landscape Journal (LJ). In the meantime, LJ is still accepting manuscripts and reviewers. You can find more information on submitting a paper or becoming a reviewer at or by contacting Charlene LeBleu at

The CELA member survey was sent out in May. The results of this survey are being used to guide the next phase of CELA’s strategic mapping and future initiatives. The good news is that CELA services, such as the annual conference and Landscape Journal were recognized as some of the most valuable CELA member benefits providing collegial networking opportunities and valuable research dissemination.

Areas that CELA needs to improve upon are communication and advocacy. The CELA leadership have approved the additional service of a communications director through IMI Association Executives to develop a communications calendar, news releases, and reliable distribution of CELA information and events.

Administrators may find the two annual LAAB activity reports useful. They were submitted by the CELA rep for LAAB, Ken Brooks, who attended the annual LAAB meeting in August. They can be accessed HERE. It includes some program information as well as LAAB activities regarding STEM designation, online programs, and information systems.

LAAB is currently undergoing revisions to their standards for accreditation.Director Kris Pritchard will facilitate a webinar about the review of Standards for interested persons on Thursday, August 22 at 3:00pm ET. You can register for the webinar by going to We hope to continue supporting LAAB with strong representation and in the best interest of our organization and members.

The CELA leadership is discussing ways to address advocacy for programs, administrators and educators. We have begun revising representative positions serving on allied organization committees and boards and I have been developing a committee on education advocacy. This will require a dedicated team of CELA members which are already short in supply and high in demand. We will continue to reach out to our members for help, feedback, and recommendations regarding this committee. If interested in serving on a new education advocacy committee, please contact Ashley Steffens,

In the meantime, CELA needs to fill some upcoming positions to serve on ASLA and LAAB committees. We are looking for a CELA representative for LAAB, a CELA representative for ASLA’s Licensure and State Government Affairs committee, and a CELA representative for ASLA’s Committee on Education (COE). Each position is a three-year term. You can find a description of these positions on the ASLA website: If you would like to apply as a CELA representative, submit a brief bio and letter of interest providing information on your experience with CELA and the position you would like to apply for by SEPTEMBER 16, 2019 to Peter Kralka,

The upcoming Presidents Council meeting will be hosted by CELA, January 8-10, 2020 in Raleigh, NC. We will be discussing organizational initiatives regarding climate change, diversity and inclusion, education advocacy, and the future of the Frameworks project. A summary of Frameworks phase I is being developed by ASLA and will be available for distribution to the CELA membership soon. Phase II, which should start in August/September, will develop prescriptive research to identify and test effective strategies to reframe landscape architecture and provide actionable research recommendations.

CELA’s financial position remains positive with a slightly higher revenue (7%), compared to this time last year (August). This has been accomplished through a variety of cost saving activities such as improved billing for membership dues and following up on outstanding invoices. Several changes in services have also contributed to the 7% increase in revenue such as switching credit card companies to receive reduced processing fees, a transfer to interest earning bank accounts for deposited funds, and a change in our conference calls to Zoom. The reinstatement of CELA’s charitable status will have a positive financial impact. CELA will be able to pursue development and fundraising initiatives, so donors will be able to deduct financial contributions. Contact the CELA Treasurer, Ebru Özer at, or CELA Executive Director, Peter Kralka at for more information.

Hard to believe the summer is almost over. I hope that everyone has a smooth transition back to the academic year.


Ashley Steffens, Associate Professor
University of Georgia, College of Environment and Design
CELA President 2019-2020