A vibrant community of volunteers are the heart of ASLA’s culture of collaboration: the Society is “devoted to the encouragement of volunteerism and benefiting from the expertise and creativity of members who give their time and energies to advance the Society and the profession.” The ASLA Outstanding Service Award program recognizes ASLA member volunteers who are making notable contributions to or on behalf of the Society at the national level.
Each year, ASLA celebrates volunteers whose dedication goes above and beyond the call of duty at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture, when the awards are presented by ASLA’s president.
ASLA trustees, committee and Professional Practice Network (PPN) chairs and members, ASLA representatives, and other volunteers involved in the work of the Society at the national level are eligible for the award. Below, we highlight recent recipients. In case you feel inspired to get involved after reading this, the call for volunteer service is open through July 31 and ASLA members may sign up to join their Professional Practice Network’s leadership team at any time.
Kristina Snyder, ASLA (2022)
For more than a decade, Kristina Snyder has been an active presence on the Women in Landscape Architecture Professional Practice Network leadership team—it is rare for a PPN leader to stay involved for that length of time, and with such consistent engagement. The WILA PPN is especially engaged in the realm of mentorship and helping emerging professionals navigate their early career paths, and Kristina has always been happy to share and take part in welcoming new members and new PPN leaders.
Amy Wagenfeld, Affiliate ASLA (2022)
After serving as an officer for the Children’s Outdoor Environments Professional Practice Network, Amy stepped up as PPN co-chair in 2015. After her two-year term, she has continued to stay involved as a PPN officer. As an occupational therapist, Amy brings an important perspective to the topic of Children’s Outdoor Environments and has also served as a liaison with the Healthcare & Therapeutic PPN and other PPNs on several joint initiatives. Amy is an exemplary leader in interdisciplinary and inter-PPN collaboration.
Madeline Kirschner, Associate ASLA (2022)
Madeline has served in multiple roles of ASLA volunteer leadership, including Chair of the Student Advisory Committee, Student Representative to the ASLA Board of Trustees, and member of the Climate Action Committee. Madeline heroically led efforts to organize LABash 2022, the student-organized conference for landscape architecture students, at her alma mater, Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Another testament to her steadfast commitment, Madeline also supported the students of Kansas State for LABash 2023.
Alexa Vaughn, ASLA (2022)
Alexa has done exceptional volunteer work for ASLA, especially as a member of the Professional Practice Committee and subject matter expert for the Policy Committee. Alexa is a Deaf landscape designer and accessibility specialist at MIG. She eagerly shares her expertise in accessible and universal design with her peers via ASLA volunteer work. She expanded on this work as a Rome Prize Fellow.
Pamela Conrad, ASLA (2021)
Pamela is a climate action leader on the frontlines of the climate crisis, serving as Chair of ASLA’s Climate Action Plan Task Force and leading the development of the Climate Action Plan. She is a true champion of the profession, attracting global attention to the profession through her creation of Climate Positive Design and the associated Pathfinder tool, which she shares openly to lead the profession towards climate positive design.
Adriana Hernandez Aguirre, Associate ASLA (2021)
As the Student Representative to the ASLA Board of Trustees and the Chair of the Student Advisory Committee, Adrianna represented and advocated for over 4,000 student ASLA members. Adrianna ensured student members and student chapter presidents are connected to ASLA with warmth, respect, and optimism during another challenging year of the pandemic.
Charles Kene Okigbo, ASLA (2020)
Kene served on the Government Affairs Advisory Committee (GAAC) and has championed encouraging students and emerging professionals to become more involved in our advocacy efforts and ASLA committees and events. Kene has been part of a small group within the GAAC working on better educating ASLA members on government and what it can do for you. While serving as the Associate Representative to the Board of Trustees, he volunteered to help lead the Climate Action Committee’s first student forum at the ASLA Conference on Landscape Architecture in San Diego, California.
Maggie Aravena, ASLA (2020)
Maggie has served the profession actively on both a national and local level, previously as president of the ASLA Illinois Chapter. To honor her work on behalf of National ASLA as part of the CEO search committee, she received a 2020 Outstanding Service Award.
Glenn LaRue Smith, FASLA (2020)
In 2012, Glenn established the Black Landscape Architect’s Network (BlackLAN) to help the small community of Black landscape architecture students and professionals network around common issues. Since 2018 BlackLAN has been collaborating with ASLA and other allied professional groups and is now incorporated as a nonprofit service organization. This work earned him the 2020 ASLA Outstanding Service Award.
Galen S. Drake, FASLA (2020)
Deeply committed to defending the licensure of the profession, Galen served for five years on the National ASLA Licensure and State Government Affairs Committee, including two terms as chair. When state legislators were poised to eliminate the licensure requirement for landscape architects, Galen formed an advocacy network and developed an approach to education and lobbying that was ultimately successful. His process became a national template for proactively defeating legislative threats to landscape architecture licensure. In 2020, Galen was recognized with the ASLA Award for Outstanding Service to the Society for his leadership, perseverance, and giving spirit to promoting and defending licensure.
The 2023 call for nominations for the ASLA Outstanding Service Award is open now through August 25. Nominations may be made by members of ASLA’s Executive Committee, committee chairs, PPN chairs, and ASLA national staff. Please contact email@example.com if interested in submitting a nomination.
Thank you to all the volunteers who help make ASLA the creative, constructive, effective force we are in every corner of the country!