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LAEP Faculty Honored

by Lynnette Harris


Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning (LAEP) faculty members Sean Michael and Caroline Lavoie were honored this spring by the international Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) during the organization’s annual meeting.

Professor Michael is among the five educators inducted this year into the CELA Academy of Fellows. Michael received CELA’s Outstanding Administrator Award in 2015 and served terms as the organization’s president-elect and president.

Regarding Michael’s work as department head, former LAEP faculty member Bo Yang wrote, “He led the expansion of the department’s fulltime faculty from eight to 14 members, improved its financial situation, which led to new lab and video conferencing facilities, established two new endowed lectureships, helped quadruple appearances by guest speakers, and raised faculty morale.”

Michael oversaw establishment of the university’s first Ph.D. program in landscape architecture, new initiatives for fundraising and alumni relations, and a professional landscape architect-in-residence program.

He has studied and written extensively on landscape design’s impact on crime, and his research findings have informed safety strategies in urban parks and other land uses. He authored Security Design: Strategy, Integration and Liability, the first training manual that detailed crime prevention measures that landscape architects can incorporate into their designs.

His work has assisted trail development in Washington, Montana, Idaho and Colorado, and he serves as a park and open space consultant to numerous municipalities, states and federal agencies.


Associate Professor Lavoie was honored with the 2019 CELA Faculty Award of Excellence in Design Studio Teaching at the Senior Level.

The award recognizes a nominee’s ability to direct design studio projects that demonstrate outstanding quality and/or emphasize the critical thinking and creative process. Lavoie’s students have been honored in recent years by the American Planning Association’s Utah Chapter and the American Society of Landscape Architects for projects that partnered them with municipalities and land preservation organizations. In 2018, Lavoie’s students were honored for work with the City of Pocatello, Idaho, to re-envision and design the city’s public spaces while considering multiple factors, including environmental impacts, economic growth, transportation, politics, and funding capabilities. Learn more about the project at