2019 School of Planning, Design and Construction director’s message for LandTEXTURE

It is with great honor that I write this message as director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction. Moving to Michigan State University was one of the most important decisions in my personal and professional life.

Photo of Ming-Han Li.
Professor Ming-Han Li, director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction.

It is with great honor that I write this message as director of the School of Planning, Design and Construction. Moving to Michigan State University was one of the most important decisions in my personal and professional life. The past 12 months have been a wonderful opportunity to learn about the university, school and the Landscape Architecture program, as well as the people in this great learning community.

What impressed me the most is how quickly and warmly the Landscape Architecture Alumni and Advisory Board and other alumni connected with me, and made me feel welcomed to the group. My transition into the role as the school’s director would not have been fast and smooth without the previous interim director Scott Loveridge’s guidance. He sincerely wanted the school and me to succeed. His help was pivotal.

Dr. Jun-Hyun Kim addresses LAnniversary participants_web_020519The Landscape Architecture program’s long history at MSU imprinted on my mind as I prepared for the directorship position. With limited time in advance, we were fortunate to celebrate the program’s 120th anniversary on September 13, and it was branded “LAnniversary” by Jun-Hyun Kim, associate professor and program director, who fearlessly organized the event. 

Professor Ming-Han Li, Barbara Deutsch and Associate Professor Jun-Hyun Kim posing together during the LAnniversary event,.The celebration drew alumni to reunite with the program. Many current students attended and witnessed the inspiring lecture by Barbara Deutsch, CEO of the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and were immersed in the Spartan network with alumni. The event is a testament of the strong support from the board. Thanks to Scott Reinholt, past president of the Landscape Architecture Alumni and Advisory Board, for all his efforts. 

The Landscape Architecture program has excellent faculty and students. I am not surprised by the newest top 10 ranking of the program by DesignIntelligence.

What is worth noting is my impression from interacting with two students: Abigail Reimel, past president of the MSU Student Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, and Stephanie Onwenu, the current president.

Both have demonstrated volunteering spirit and strong leadership skills. They are not afraid of speaking up and contributing to the betterment of the program. Their involvement with the club; program accreditation; the LAnniversary, golf outing and SPDC Open House events; the Michigan and national ASLAs; and landscape architecture new faculty search has been very impressive.

I wholehearted thank you for how you warmly welcomed me and what you have done for the program and the profession. Your generosity in giving your time, talents, money, networks and job opportunities to the program keeps us one of the best programs in the nation. I am grateful to be part of this great community.


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