Janice A. Cervelli Schach
Pendleton, South Carolina | Distinguished Ag Alumni: 2003
From singing in a rock band while at Purdue to taking voice lessons today—and woodcarving in between—Janice Cervelli Schach counts on creative expression for sustenance. It’s a natural extension of her profession, which includes 20 years as a landscape architect educator and her post now as dean of Clemson’s College of Architecture, Arts and Humanities.
Music has long been her passion, and it was almost her major at Indiana University—until she discovered landscape architecture and chose Purdue the summer before her freshman year. That fall, she attended a meeting of the Independent Musicians and Songwriters Club, where, she says, “I got to know some great musicians and songwriters. I still communicate with some of them.” She was a lead singer and played some guitar for the Wooden Ships and Green Mountain Flyer during her Purdue days, with gigs at the Stabilizer and other venues. She performed and recorded in Canada, too, while at graduate school.
Now, she’s interested in jazz, especially liking Diana Krall. “If the students will have me, I would absolutely love to perform here. They’ll have to put me in a soundproof room to see if I’m safe for the public.”
She’s also drawn to opera these days. “I’ve come full circle.”
Woodcarving, too, began at Purdue, with a three-dimension design principles class. That prompted her to try her hand at duck decoys and, more recently, private study with a Native American in Seattle, learning to carve totem poles and masks.
“My mother was a professional dancer when she was young, and my father was an engineer who loved the outdoors and traveling,” Schach says. “I’ve combined the engineering side of the world and the artistic side.”
1979 B.S., Landscape Architecture, Purdue University
1981 Master’s in Landscape Architecture, University of Guelph, Ontario
1981-1986 Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture, University of Kentucky
1986-1993 Associate Professor, University of Kentucky
1992 Excellence in Undergraduate Education Award, University of Kentucky
1993 Excellence in College and University Teaching in the Food and Agricultural Sciences Award, U.S. Department of Agriculture
1993-1997 Professor, University of Kentucky
1996 Fellow, American Society of Landscape Architects
1996-1997 President, University Senate, University of Kentucky
1998-1999 Fellow, American Council on Education, Ohio State University and Ohio University
Distinguished Alumnus Award, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University
1999-2000 Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies; Director, Teaching and Learning Center; and Director, University Accreditation Self-Study, University of Kentucky
President, American Society of Landscape Architects
2000-present Dean, College of architecture, Arts and Humanities, Clemson University
2002 Award of Recognition for Excellence in Academic Administration, Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture
“At Purdue and living on my own, I learned to determine my own goals. It was a time of stretching myself and seeing what I’m made of, of challenging myself and seeing what I could do.”