Allison Lassiter, James Billingsley, and Natalie Kuenzi have been honored with G. Holmes Perkins Distinguished Teaching Awards for Academic Year 2022-2023.
The Award is presented annually to three members of the Weitzman faculty, based on nominations by Weitzman students, to recognize distinguished teaching and innovation in the classroom, seminar, or studio. This year’s honorees were widely praised by students for deepening their understanding of their profession and practice, and for creating a welcoming and encouraging culture in which students thrived.
Allison Lassiter is an assistant professor in the Department of City & Regional Planning who teaches courses on sustainable cities, smart cities, and water policy. According to one student who nominated her, “she is not only deeply knowledgeable and passionate about the subject matter she teaches (smart cities, water policy) but also teaches with a very clear thesis each class period and ties it to compelling real-world examples.”
Lassiter examines opportunities to use landscape infrastructure and emerging technologies to build resilience and increase adaptive capacity in cities. Her research focuses on urban water management, and she is currently working on evidence-based green infrastructure policy; adapting municipal water to rising seas; and smart water.
James Billingsley (MArch’20/MLA’20) is a lecturer in the Department of Landscape Architecture who taught Topics in Digital Media Landscape Existentialism, co-taught a third-year option studio, and assisted in teaching Theory II. Students nominating Billingsley commented on his deep intellect and thoughtfulness. One of the students who nominated him said, “The studio has expanded my understanding of the potential of landscape architecture, and I will carry the experience with me for the rest of my career.”
Billingsley is the co-founder and editor of Cline, an independent journal for emerging writers in landscape architecture and allied disciplines.
Kuenzi is a lecturer in the Department of Fine Arts who taught the Introduction to Clay course this year. Among the nominations for her, one student wrote, “She has been a big advocate for everyone in the classroom and has created a welcoming environment for all students, regardless of their skill level.”
Kuenzi is an interdisciplinary artist and educator whose work explores traditions of craft and art making that celebrate the artist and viewer as agents of change. She is interested in transforming how we make and consume through reclamation, material innovation, and the liberating power of the imagination. Her work has been exhibited nationally and she is a member of Vox Populi, an artist-run space in Philadelphia.
The G. Holmes Perkins Distinguished Teaching Award is named in honor of the late G. Holmes Perkins, who served as dean of the Graduate School of Fine Arts, as the Weitzman School was then known, from 1951–1971.
Lassiter, Billingsley, and Kuenzi will be formally honored at the Weitzman Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 13, 2023.