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Longtime landscape architecture educator dead at 61

image image Jean Stephans Kavanagh, an associate professor in Texas Tech University’s Department of Landscape Architecture, died Jan. 25 after a brief battle with cancer. She was 61.

Born in Pittsburgh, Kavanagh studied architecture at Carnegie Mellon University from 1964 to 1969. She received a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture in 1976, and her master’s degree in landscape architecture in 1982, from Cornell University.

Pioneer. Kavanagh joined Tech’s Department of Landscape Architecture in 1990 after teaching landscape architecture at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Active in community and professional programs, she served as an officer in the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Horticultural Therapy Association, Sigma Lambda Alpha National Landscape Architecture Honor Society, and Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA).

Kavanagh pioneered the study of the design of therapeutic landscapes in the United States. In 1995, she was recognized as one of the top women in landscape architecture. During the Centennial American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) meeting in Boston in 1999, she was inducted into the College of Fellows of the ASLA in recognition of her efforts in this area of research.

Awards. Her teaching awards include the Tau Sigma Delta Outstanding Faculty of the Year in 1996, and CELA’s Award of Distinction in Teaching, Research and Public Service in 1995, and a shared CELA Special Award for Design Methods in 1982. In 2001, she chaired the national faculty awards programs for both Sigma Lambda Alpha and CELA.

Kavanagh, the daughter of the late Rita (Nehrig) and John Stephans, was mother of Douglas Camann, and sister of Donna Dowd, Carol Appleby, John Stephans, Rita Behr, Greg Stephans, Mark Stephans, Dan Stephans, Chris Miles and Noreen Roy. She is also survived by 23 nieces and nephews, and seven grand-nieces and nephews.

Services. Friends are welcome Jan. 30 from 7 – 9 p.m. and Jan. 31 from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. at the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home at 700 Linden Ave. in East Pittsburgh, Penn. Mass of Christian Burial will be at the St. Maurice Church in Forest Hills, Penn., on Feb. 1 at 10 a.m. Memorial donations can be made to the Texas Tech Foundation (Jean Stephans Kavanagh Endowment) at P.O. Box 42123 in Lubbock TX 79409 or, Maryknoll Missionaries in care of Robert V. Nehrig  at P.O. Box 304 in Maryknoll, NY 10545.

Written by Norman Martin


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