Rodney Swink, FASLA, PLA and Juanita Shearer-Swink, FASLA, PLA
“Rodney Swink received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from NC State University in 1973, followed by a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 1977. He thanks Dick Wilkinson, then LAR program chair, for giving him the opportunity to enter the LAR program; Joe Porter (who with partner Don Ensign founded Design Workshop) for helping him to see a potential role in the profession; and Randy Hester for introducing him to the importance of public engagement. Rodney’s career was in state government where he worked with communities state-wide, first in urban forestry, later and for 24 years as director of the NC Main Street Program. Since 2009 he has consulted nationally and internationally with communities, firms and non-profits on downtown development, historic preservation, and heritage conservation.
Rodney has been active in both his professional association, the American Society Landscape Architects (ASLA), and civic and university life. He has served in many leadership roles in ASLA including President, Vice President for Government Affairs, Chair of the Council of Fellows, and as a member of the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board (LAAB). In Raleigh he has been Chair of the Appearance Commission and Vice-chair of the Planning Commission. He has also served as Chair of the Board for Preservation North Carolina and the JC Raulston Arboretum Board of Advisors, and as a founding member of the NCSU Caldwell Fellows Advisory Board and the College of Design Leaders Council.
Juanita Shearer-Swink received her Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Florida where she studied under Herrick Smith, FASLA and Dan Donelin, FASLA. She spent the first 5 years of her career working in Miami, in small private practice firms, including Jonathan Seymour, FASLA. Her public practice career started in 1978 at the City of Miami Parks and Recreation Department where she worked on regional, neighborhood and community parks developed through an extensive public engagement process, and went on, as a capital projects manager, to work on the design of public/private partnership projects through the City Manager’s Office and the Development Department.
During her 25+ years at GoTriangle, a regional public transit agency, Juanita has been involved in community engagement, public policy and the planning, design and implementation of rail transit projects including the Durham-Orange Light Rail Transit Project. She served for two years on the Raleigh Historic Districts Commission and eight years as a gubernatorial appointment to the North Carolina Board of Transportation. She is on the Roster of Landscape Architecture Accreditation Practitioners and has participated as a mentor and lecturer in the NCSU College of Design Landscape Architecture program.
Juanita has also been active in ASLA, first in Florida where she served as Florida Chapter President and subsequently on a variety of national ASLA committees including Membership and Public Practice, as well as the Design Awards and Fellow’s Juries. Her most important role to date has been as the facilitator for the first five years of the ASLA Diversity Summit. Juanita received the ASLA Community Service Award in 2015 for her many years of volunteer engagement.”
Juanita and Rodney established their scholarship in appreciation for the College of Design’s recognition of the value of diversity and advocacy and to attract and support underrepresented groups into their profession, something they see as vital to not only the profession but also to the communities it serves.