100 Women Campaign Gains Momentum and Continues Past Goal

The 100 Women Campaign has soared past the finish line and shattered our original goal toward the endowment initiative that began when Cornelia Hahn Oberlander was announced as the namesake of TCLF’s new international prize in landscape architecture. Susannah Drake and Elmina (Mina) Hilsenrath (honoris causa courtesy Sunny Scully Alsup) are the most recent additions to the campaign. Learn more about these two distinguished individuals.

Susannah C. Drake FASLA, FAIA is a recognized design leader in the practice and education of architecture and landscape architecture. She is currently Associate Professor in the ENVD program at The University of Colorado Boulder. Drake founded DLANDstudio Architecture + Landscape Architecture in 2005 to explore her vision for integrating art, science, and ecology into marginalized urban communities. Drake lectures globally about resilient urban infrastructure, and her work and writings are cited frequently in academic publications. She was awarded the AIA Young Architects Award and was also recognized as a New York Architectural League Emerging Voice.

Her firm has received numerous city, state, and national AIA and ASLA awards for complex projects that require a synthesized, analytical, and research-based design approach. Many of her most catalytic projects were funded by grants that Susannah wrote in partnership with local community and environmental groups.  Susannah’s large-scale planning work engages many disciplines and systems to create ecologically and socially progressive projects that are strategically conceived, well-crafted, and beautiful. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, and the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. In 2020 she received the inaugural Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Award for Climate Action.

Susannah’s writings include chapters for Nature and Cities, (2016) published by the Lincoln Land Institute and a recent publication on Coastal Urbanism,  co-authored with Rafi Segal in A Blueprint for Coastal Adaptation, (2021) published by Island Press.

Susannah has led design studios at Harvard University, Washington University in St. Louis, Syracuse University, Cooper Union, and City College of New York. Susannah held the Morgenstern Chair at the Illinois Institute of Technology and was Cejas Fellow at FIU. She served as President and Trustee of the New York ASLA and as a Trustee of the Van Alen Institute. She is currently on the boards of the Regional Plan Association and the Clyfford Still Museum. She received a BA in Art History and Fine Arts from Dartmouth College and MArch and MLA degrees from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Susannah Drake [left] and Elmina J. Hilsenrath (honoris causa) [right]
Susannah Drake [left] and Elmina J. Hilsenrath (honoris causa) [right] -

Elmina (Mina) Hilsenrath enjoyed a career that spanned public, private, and academic spheres of the profession, allowing her to works at scales from small site design to county-wide planning. She graduated of the University of Massachusetts with an undergraduate degree in environmental design and a master of landscape architecture. She began and ended her career in public sector, first involved in open space planning and park design with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, and later with the Howard County Department of Planning and Zoning as Chief of Land Development, Community Planning, and Resource Conservation Divisions. Mina taught landscape architecture at both the University of Maryland and Morgan State University. In private practice she was a partner in her own landscape architecture firm and at the Columbia Design Collective.

Professional service was always an important way to give back. An ASLA member, Mina was President and Trustee of the Maryland Chapter. As a member of the Landscape Architecture Foundation Board of Directors, she participated in the LAF’s first cultural exchange with the People’s Republic of China in 1981. She was also a member of the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board, the Maryland Board of Examiners of Landscape Architecture, and the Maryland Department of General Services Architectural Review Board.

Since retiring in 2010, Mina has served on the Board of Trustees of the Howard County Conservancy, a local land trust and environmental education center. As a master naturalist at the Conservancy she leads field trips for school children of all ages. Mina also volunteers with Grassroots, Inc., a Howard County service center for the homeless.

The 100 Women Campaign is just one of many ways to support the Oberlander Prize, the first and only international landscape architecture prize that includes a US$100,000 award, along with two years of public engagement activities. The Oberlander Prize will be awarded every other year, beginning this Fall.