Adele Ashkar says she began teaching landscape design at GW one night a week in 1987. Since that time, she has held numerous roles at the university and become an essential part of the CPS leadership team. She has worked for CPS since 2003, most recently as the associate dean of academic excellence and associate professor of landscape design. She retired from GW on August 31.
Her dedication to sustainability and love of landscaping were key to her development of the landscape design program and many of her contributions to the University. She was inducted into the Society of the Emeriti this academic year, a society established to maintain close ties between retired faculty members and the university.
As associate dean for academic excellence, Ashkar was responsible for the academic standards at CPS.
“We say goodbye to two of the most supportive, talented, and respected leaders CPS has ever had - CPS Interim Dean Chris Deering and Associate Dean and Landscape Design Program Director Adele Ashkar,” wrote Acting Dean Melissa Feuer to CPS staff and faculty in late August. “
“Their professional accomplishments are vast and luminous. I want to say thank you on behalf of the college and myself for the tremendous contribution each of them has made. Their compassion, humor, dedication, and leadership have been key in making CPS a special place both to learn and to work. I will miss them greatly, as I know we all will.”
Ashkar, who holds the industry-specific distinction of Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (FASLA), has been a dedicated advocate for the principles and practice of conservation landscaping through her many years directing the Landscape Design and Sustainable Landscape programs at GW. Ashkar taught design courses at GW and served as an adviser to faculty and students.
Ashkar was also actively involved in GW’s interdisciplinary campus sustainability efforts and she helped lead the award-winning Team Capitol DC’s project in the 2013 Solar Decathlon. She also won the Marcy Damon Conservation Landscaping Award in 2017, awarded by the Chesapeake Conservation Landscaping Council, for her long-time devotion to sustainable landscaping and excellence in education.
She holds a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and a Master of Landscape Architecture from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design.