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McCown appointed chair of ISU landscape architecture department

August 22, 2014



AMES, Iowa — Following a national search, Kenneth McCown, Associate AIA, ASLA, a Lincy University Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and director of its Downtown Design Center, will become the new chair of the Iowa State University Department of Landscape Architecture.

"As the president of CELA (Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture), Professor McCown is in a privileged position to understand and bridge the gap between academia and communities," said College of Design Dean Luis Rico-Gutierrez. "I'm amazed at his capacity to nurture students' talents to advance important social, economic and environmental initiatives in the U.S. and around the world."

McCown's appointment will begin in December. In the interim, Mark Chidister, the college's associate dean for academic programs, will assist with the department's administration. 

Since July 2012, McCown has served in his position at UNLV. He is president of CELA for 2014-2015 and has several years of service on its executive board.

McCown previously had been an associate professor in the College of Architecture and Design and chair of the landscape architecture graduate program at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville; associate professor in the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Arizona State University, Tempe; and assistant professor at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona.

From 2002 to 2007, McCown was director of the Richard and Dion Neutra VDL Research House II, Los Angeles. In recent years he has served as a project manager and design consultant for a range of national and international urban design projects, including master planning in Panama for UNESCO and the Oficina del Casco Antiguo, and collaborated on a net-zero, sustainable residential development in China. Projects in progress this year include a next-generation corridor study for Interstate 11 between Phoenix and Las Vegas, an advanced urban manufacturing facility and district in downtown Las Vegas and a "sustainability atlas" for Las Vegas.

McCown earned a bachelor of landscape architecture in 1992 and a master of architecture in 1997, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As part of a collaborative team, he received a Merit Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for Taj Mahal National Park in 2002. He received the CELA Award of Excellence in Design Studio Teaching in 2010, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Nevada Associate Service Award in 2013 and two AIA Las Vegas Unbuilt Architecture Awards in 2014. His collaborative works have been exhibited in venues including the White House, the Boston Architectural Center and the Chicago Botanic Garden. 

Luis Rico-Gutierrez, Design Administration, (515) 294-7428,
Mark Chidister, Design Administration, (515) 294-7428,
Heather Sauer, Design Communications, (515) 294-9289,