College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities

The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture honors professor Hala Nassar for accomplishments in teaching and practice


Photo of woman standing in a hallway with windows
Hala Nassar, professor of landscape architecture

Hala Nassar, a professor of landscape architecture at Clemson University, is one of four professionals from across the country to be named a 2020 Fellow by the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA). Nominated by the CELA Academy of Fellows and Board of Directors, Fellows are recognized for their lifetime accomplishments in teaching, scholarship and service.

“It is truly humbling to be nominated and elected by landscape architecture educators nationwide for the highest level of recognition by the Academy,” said Nassar. “I feel deeply honored to be inducted into the class of 2020 Academy of Fellows, joining many educators I have such a deep respect for.”

Nassar’s professional achievements span her career and the globe. One of her most notable projects took place in Luxor, Egypt. Working alongside Clemson students in partnership with Ain Shams University, they developed a master plan to restore and rejuvenate the Karnak and Luxor temple complexes, as well as the Avenue of the Sphinxes and surrounding city.

The success of this work led to additional opportunities, and as a result she spearheaded a formal agreement between Clemson, Ain Shams University of Egypt and the Huazhong Agricultural University of China to form the World Design Studio in 2019. Through the program, professors and students from each institution tackle some of today’s most pressing environmental and cultural issues through design.

“Her accomplishments are truly remarkable, and she continues to hold great promise for the enrichment of knowledge in landscape architecture,” said Charlene LeBleu, associate professor of landscape architecture at Auburn University who nominated Nassar for the award. “Hala teaches various courses including design studio, research design and history seminars. She has taught over 4,700 undergraduates, masters and doctoral students in more than 30 separate courses, including study abroad programs to Italy and Morocco.”

Nassar’s exemplary research record has been achieved through 30 years of academic engagement. To date, she has been published in 35 peer-reviewed publications, earned 25 national and international awards and recognitions, and has more than 120 citations, media interviews, and reviews of her work by others, including in national and international publications and governmental reports. She has received over one million dollars in research funds, including her most recent grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop drone-deterring solutions in partnership with Duke University.

Prior to joining Clemson in 2006, Nassar’s career began at Ain Shams University where she earned a bachelor’s and master’s in architecture and Ph.D. in landscape architecture. After coming to the United States in 1996, she earned another master’s in landscape design from Pennsylvania State University.

Nassar served as Honorary Professor at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, China from 2016-2019. In collaboration with the World Design Studio, she is currently working on a studio concept that focuses on a new city design in Wuhan. The project is titled New Yangtze Eco-Agricultural Healthy City.

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