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K-State Today

March 30, 2012

Belanger receives Excellence in Design Studio Teaching award

Submitted by Emily Vietti

Blake Belanger, assistant professor of landscape architecture, received the 2012 Excellence in Design Studio Teaching at the Junior Level award from the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture at the annual meeting at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, on March 29. 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 fourth-year landscape architecture student Elise Fagan. She believes 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 so 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 department head, noted that the national prominence of this award reflects the high quality of studio instruction that department of landscape architecture/regional and community planning values. Her nomination letter said: "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. 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/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.

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