Johns, who has taught at MSU since 1992, was one of five architecture professors from 250 universities in the U.S. and Canada selected for the award. Winners were selected for sustained creative achievement in the advancement of architectural education through teaching, design, scholarship, research, or service. Johns received the award at ceremonies held this spring in Philadelphia. The ACSA is the largest association of accredited schools of architecture in the U.S. and Canada.
Johns is the first MSU architecture professor to receive the ACSA Distinguished Professor award.
"(Ferd Johns) often works alongside his students, inspiring them as much by example as by instruction, and helping each of them discover their own path to creative action without abandoning rigor or discipline," wrote Clark Llewellyn, director of MSU's School of Architecture in nominating Johns for the award. "He tries to discover the spark of creativity in each of his students, and then shows them how to fan that spark into a flame."
Johns is a practicing architect as well as a gifted professor of planning design who has won several campus awards for his teaching.
In 2006 the American Institute of Architects awarded Johns an Institute Honor Award for Regional and Urban Design, one its highest national awards, for his master plan for the Chippewa/Cree Reservation southwest of Havre. Johns prepared the winning plan for the 130,000-acre Rocky Boy's Reservation as an extension of a project he directed for the Community Design Center in MSU's School of Architecture. The center helps cities, towns and non-profit organizations throughout the region, offering professional architectural planning with the assistance of MSU students. The tribe's planning committee voted to use Johns and Orr's master plan as a basis for a zoning plan for the reservation.
Johns and Mike Everts, also a professor in the School of Architecture, are currently leading the design and production team for the MSU Tomorrow master plan.
"Receiving the Distinguished Professor award is both extremely humbling and hugely appreciated," Johns said. "As I reflect on the past 30 years of teaching, no honor or award has meant as much to me. I can only thank my generous students and colleagues."
Ferd Johns (406) 994-4670, firstname.lastname@example.org