Brian Katen, associate professor of landscape architecture in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, has been conferred the title of associate professor emeritus by the Virginia Tech Board of Visitors.

The emeritus title may be conferred on retired professors, associate professors, and administrative officers who are specially recommended to the board by Virginia Tech President Tim Sands in recognition of exemplary service to the university. Nominated individuals who are approved by the board receive a copy of the resolution and a certificate of appreciation.

A member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1997, Katen’s scholarship has included work on the documentation of Virginia’s African American landscapes and landscapes of memory shaped by segregation and Jim Crow-era policies, laws, and social conventions. He also initiated a foundational study dedicated to documenting and understanding the agricultural land use and early settlement economy of Virginia’s Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

In addition, Katen initiated national and regionally recognized foundational studies dedicated to documenting and understanding Virginia’s mineral springs and speedways as significant physical and social landscapes neglected in contemporary scholarship. He has provided significant expertise in expanding the Cultural Landscape Foundation’s What’s Out There Virginia database of historic sites, vernacular landscapes, and designed urban and rural spaces.

At Virginia Tech, Katen served as chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture from 2007-15, leading the transition from department to program when it joined the School of Art + Design. Under his leadership as program chair, the undergraduate landscape architecture program attained No. 1 status and the graduate program No. 2 status in the Design Intelligence Rankings.

Katen is recognized by faculty peers and students for excellence in teaching. He taught a wide range of design studios and lecture courses at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, and was an advocate for interdisciplinary and experiential learning.

Katen received his bachelor’s degree from The George Washington University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia.

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