When Nancy entered the UVA as a first-year student in 1972, the university was only in its third year of co-ed education and had an enrollment of only 6,000. Entering not only as a female, but as a third-generation Japanese-American 'sansei', and a New York transplant to boot, she encountered a small, homogenous institution unimaginably different from the culturally rich and diverse international community it is today. In her sixth year as Hereford Principal, Nancy still enjoys engaging with students and fellows in her family's home at Vaughan and is vitally committed to bold initiatives that move the Hereford community closer toward the goals of a living-learning community.
Nancy joined the faculty in the School of Architecture in 1985 as a 'Triple Hoo' (B.S. majoring in Landscape Architecture 1976; Master Landscape Architecture 1985; and Master Architecture 1985). Currently the Department Chair, she teaches design studios and design/build courses in the graduate Landscape Architecture program. She is one of the faculty advisors to the Architecture School’s ecoMOD Studio that designs and builds affordable and sustainably housing in Charlottesville and South Boston,Virginia, and last summer, in Falmouth, Jamaica. From 1999 to 2005, she chaired the University's Arboretum and Landscape Committee, an advisory committee charged with reviewing landscape changes to the Grounds. Her long standing research interest is in the design of school grounds and vitalizing them as resources to enhance student learning. On the grounds at Hereford, Nancy has engaged Herefordians and Landscape Architecture students in several sustainable, landscape initiatives including the Minifarm vegetable garden, several furniture and design/build projects on the Hereford grounds. She is excited this year to be working with a group of students and the Office of the Architect to design and build a permanent Memorial Garden, a place on Grounds for the UVA community to gather and commemorate the life of students who die while at UVA.
As a practicing landscape architect, her design projects include the 1988 Master Plan for UVa's Blandy Experimental Farm and Canal Basin Square in Scottsville Virginia with VMDO Architects (2000). She was also a part of the design team for Hereford College with Tod Williams/Billie Tsien and VMDO Architects. Nancy enjoys traveling (over this last summer traveling with family to Turkey), hiking, reading, gardening, music (jazz and piano), running, and cooking. She invites interested Herefordians to join her in another weekly favorite pastime...NY Times crossword puzzles!