Meet the Judges

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SUSAN RADEMACHER, HON. ASLA

LANDSCAPE LECTURER, WRITER, CURATOR, CONSULTANT & DESIGNER

A nationally known figure in the fields of Landscape Architecture and Public Art, Susan Rademacher is currently the Parks Curator for the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; and previously directed the Louisville Olmsted Parks Conservancy as its president. In those roles, for over 25 years she has preserved, enhanced, and promoted the cultural significance and relevance of public parks through thoughtful master planning and design.

A graduate of Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, (1975) who later in her career (1986-87) was selected as a Loeb Resident Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Design; a unique opportunity to join a diverse group of accomplished practitioners who had been influential in shaping the built and natural environment and whose works had advanced positive social outcomes.

She was co-founder and editor-in-chief of Garden Design Magazine; Managing Editor and then Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Architecture Magazine (of the American Society of Landscape Architects); author of numerous articles for major professional and popular consumer publications; and author of 10 published books.

The book titles include: the award-winning Mellon Square: Discovering a Modern Masterpiece (Princeton Architectural Press); Bold Romantic Gardens (Acropolis Books); Outdoor Living Spaces (Rodale Press); and Garden Design: History, Principles, Elements, Practice (Simon & Shuster).

Susan Rademacher has lectured as Adjunct or Guest, at many academic institutions including: University of Pittsburgh, Chatham University, Harvard University, Ohio State University, University of Illinois, University of Kentucky, University of Pennsylvania, Wellesley College, and others.

Her speaking engagements include the American Institute of Architects, American Planning Association, American Society of Landscape Architects, City Parks Alliance, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Project for Public Spaces, Smithsonian Institution, Urban Land Institute, and many others

She has served on many nonprofit boards including The Competitions Project, and has been a juror on a number of design competitions including the Massachusetts Governor’s Design Awards; Perryville Battlefield Memorial; ASLA National Awards; and the Garden Writers of America Awards.

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YUNG NGUYEN

IMMIGRANT, ENTREPRENEUR & FOUNDER OF THE TRI ÂN FOUNDATION

As a young man, in 1980 Yung Nguyen left his simple home and family in his native Saigon to attempt a dangerous escape from the oppressive Communist regime. After an arduous journey through the jungles of Cambodia, Yung made it to safety in Thailand. After almost two years in various refugee camps in Southeast Asia, he arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, Thanksgiving Day 1981.

Yung worked hard to support himself as he pursued higher education. After earning his first college degree, Yung went to work as a software designer for a local engineering firm, where he met Michael Davis. They became good friends and shared the same desire to start their own business.

In late 1993, a tragedy happened in Louisville. A young girl, Mary Byron, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, who had been in jail for raping and beating her. Unbeknownst to Mary and her family, the violent offender had posted bail and been released. This tragic event led Yung and Mike to found Appriss to provide automated telephone victim notification service nationwide. Today, this service is being used by almost every correctional facility in the United States.

In 2002, Yung started IVS to market his patented accessible vote-by-phone system. Since 2006, the system has been used on a statewide basis in several states in America.

Being a part of the local Vietnamese-American community, Yung met many of his countrymen who had served during the Vietnam War. They gave their all to defend South Vietnam and suffered terribly at the hands of the Communist regime after the war. Their bravery and strong sense of duty and sacrifice was an inspiration to him.

He also met many Americans who went to Vietnam during the prime years of their lives. They fought and genuinely tried to defend South Vietnam and defeat the enemy, but they also made incredible efforts to provide humanitarian help in many ways to improve the lives of the Vietnamese people. He was impressed with their kindness and sacrifice.

In this spirit of gratitude, Yung later founded, with the help of many friends and supporters, the Tri Ân Foundation, in the hope that the many inspiring stories of these American and South Vietnamese heroes would become better known to everyone of this and future generations.

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P.Q. PHAN

COMPOSER & EDUCATOR

A renowned Vietnamese-American composer of contemporary classical music that evokes the traditional melodies of Viet Nam, Dr. Phan is a professor of music composition at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington. He previously taught at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champagne as well as at Cleveland State University.

Dr. Phan was born in 1962 in Đà Nẵng, Vietnam. As a young man, he formally pursued the study of architecture; while at the same time informally teaching himself to play the piano and to compose music. In 1982 he left Viet Nam just before finishing his university degree in architecture. He was accepted as a music student at the University of Southern California one year later, graduated in 1987; and went on to earn two Masters degrees and a Doctoral degree in 1995 from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Phan’s music has been performed all over the globe and by such prestigious groups as the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Radio France, Cincinnati Orchestra, St. Louis Orchestra-Chamber Group, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Modern, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, and the Society for New Music.

A prolific composer, Dr. Phan has created over 100 works; he has been guest composer at several music festivals around the world; he has received numerous commissions; and he has won many awards, including the 1998 Rome Prize.

His recent premiere of A Vietnamese Requiem is a large scale work for vocalists and chamber orchestra merging Vietnamese Buddhist texts with music bridging both western and Vietnamese traditions. This work is dedicated to the approximately 10 million Vietnamese victims of 20th century wars.

He is the founder and President of the Vietnamese American Society for Creative Arts and Music (VASCAM), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to cultivating, nurturing, and promoting creative works by Vietnamese Americans.

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DAVID M. BIAGI

ARCHITECT, DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE

A noted designer and educator, Mr. Biagi’s work has appeared worldwide in publications like The New York Times and Architectural Record. He spent several years practicing architecture in New York City at Eisenman Architects and Gwathmey Siegel Architects; working on projects like the J. W. Goethe University Biology Center (Frankfurt, Germany) and Duke University’s Center for Jewish Life. In his practice in Kentucky, designs include the acclaimed Todds Point House and the Pax Christi Catholic Church.

In 2003, the University of Kentucky appointed Mr. Biagi to the inaugural position of ‘Director of the School of Architecture’ in the College of Design, where he continues to serve in that leadership position.

Mr. Biagi earned a BA in Architecture and received the Dean’s Award from the University of Kentucky (1982), and earned an MA in Architecture and the AIA medal from Ohio State University (1987). He has received an Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture ‘Collaborative Practice Award’ (2005), a Commonwealth Collaborative Award (2010), and a National Association of Development Organizations ‘Innovation Award’ (2012).

Each year, Ohio State University College of Engineering honors alumni for extraordinary personal achievements and outstanding contributions to the fields of engineering and architecture. In 2014, David Biagi received one of 11 of the Distinguished Alumni Awards.

Mr. Biagi has served on the Kentucky Arts Council, the University of Kentucky Museum Advisory Board, and the Lexington Kentucky Master Plan Steering Committee.

He has served as a juror on many occasions including for the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Award and numerous American Institute of Architects state award juries including Utah, North Carolina, Iowa and Washington, D.C.