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K-State News
Kansas State University
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Source: Blake Belanger, 785-532-1096, belanger@k-state.edu
Photo available:http://www.k-state.edu/media/images/apr12/belanger.jpg
News release prepared by: Emily Vietti, 785-532-1090, evietti@k-state.edu

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Head of the class: Landscape architecture professor recognized for outstanding studio teaching

MANHATTAN -- A Kansas State University landscape architect is being recognized for his outstanding teaching.

Blake Belanger, assistant professor of landscape architecture in the university's College of Architecture, Planning and Design, has received the 2012 Excellence in Design Studio Teaching at the Junior Level award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. The honor was presented at the council's annual meeting March 29 at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. The award recognizes a faculty member's ability to direct design studio projects that demonstrate outstanding quality and/or emphasize the critical thinking, creative process.

Among the students contributing to Belanger's nomination was Elise Fagan, a fourth-year landscape architecture student from Aurora, Colo. Fagan said that Belanger's "contagious passion of landscape architecture, urban design and academia drives his students to excellence while laying the foundations for our individual growth."

She credits much of her design process, thought process, problem solving skills and leadership skills to Blake's teaching, advising and mentoring.

"I am honored to receive this recognition, and proud to contribute to our program's national visibility," Belanger said. "This award speaks to our faculty's ongoing commitment to teaching excellence and preparing our graduates for professional practice. I am grateful to my colleagues for their support and mentoring, as well as to our students for their unwavering commitment to excellence."

Stephanie Rolley, professor and head of the department of landscape architecture and regional and community planning, said that the national prominence of Belanger's award reflects the high quality of studio instruction that the department values.

"Professor Belanger inspires his students by modeling the type of practical professionalism combined with forward-thinking creative work that is needed in the practice of landscape architecture," Rolley said. "The transformative experience he provides students in his classes is evident in the quality of work they produce."

Belanger received a bachelor of landscape architecture degree from Michigan State University in 1995 and a dual master of landscape architecture and urban design degree from the University of Colorado, Denver, in 2006. He joined the department of landscape architecture and regional and Community Planning in 2007. He was the 2010 Kansas State University Mary Jarvis emerging faculty of distinction in landscape architecture and was awarded a K-State Academic Excellence award with colleagues in support of a collaborative studio in 2011.