Utah State University's Karen C. Hanna Named Dean of College of Environmental Design


Utah State University's Karen C. Hanna Named Dean of College of Environmental Design
Karen Hanna

Karen C. Hanna has been chosen Cal Poly Pomona?s new dean of the College of Environmental Design. Hanna is currently professor and department head of landscape architecture and environmental planning at Utah State University.

“Karen brings a wealth of experience to our College of Environmental Design,” says Tomás Morales, vice president for academic and student affairs. “All of us at Cal Poly Pomona look forward to the leadership she will bring as our new dean.”

In taking over the permanent position on Aug. 1, Hanna will become the principal administrator of the College of Environmental Design, which serves approximately 1,700 undergraduate and graduate majors in ten degree programs offered by four academic departments: Architecture, Art, Landscape Architecture, and Urban and Regional Planning.

She replaces Linda Sanders, who stepped down as dean last summer to return to teaching. Since then, Richard Willson, professor of urban & regional planning, has served as interim dean.

Hanna says she looks forward to joining the university.

“I have always admired the programs at Cal Poly Pomona, and was thrilled to be nominated for this position,” Hanna says. “I like the learn by doing philosophy of the university. I look forward to getting to know the people in the College of Environmental Design, and learning of their dreams and aspirations.”

One of Hanna?s first priorities is to help raise funds for a new facility.

“It is apparent that the college needs a new building in order to bring all the programs together. It is essential for faculty, staff and students to be in closer proximity so they may interact and collaborate,” she says.

Hanna is in the process of earning a doctorate in landscape architecture from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. She earned a master of arts in geography from the University of Arkansas (1993) and spent time in graduate studies in landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley (1974). Her bachelor?s degree in landscape architecture is from the University of Michigan (1971).

Among numerous other accomplishments, Hanna is vice president for education at the American Society of Landscape Architects and immediate past president of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture. Her research interests are in GIS applications in design studios and digital technologies in design studios. She has helped author two books on the topic, ?GIS in Site Design? with R. Brian Culpepper (John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY: 1998) and ?GIS for Landscape Architects? (ESRI Press, Redlands, CA: 1999).