Interim Dean Donald Linebaugh has announced the appointment of Associate Professor of Historic Preservation Dr. Jeremy Wells as interim director of the School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation’s Historic Preservation Program. Wells will take the reins from Dr. Dennis Pogue, who has served as director for the past three years, on July 1, 2021.
“I am delighted to have Jeremy take on this new role and am confident he will continue to forward the activities and programming that thrived under Dennis’ leadership,” said Interim Dean Donald Linebaugh.
Wells joined UMD’s Historic Preservation Program in 2017. With experience in city preservation planning, materials conservation and cultural heritage planning and policy, his teaching and research promote historic environments as a vehicle for social justice, connection and sustainability. Specifically, Wells explores the concept of “place conservation” to develop methods for creating a more equitable, just and resilient preservation framework that recognizes the heritage and places of marginalized and underrepresented groups. Wells has led a number of community-based projects at MAPP that center on place conservation and cultural preservation, including the documentation of LGBTQ history in Baltimore in 2018. His current research intersects with the fields of environmental psychology and neuroscience to study the emotional responses of decay and patina in the built environment.
Over the past six months, Wells has been instrumental in creating new guidelines to shape the program’s curriculum, that increase visibility, study and work surrounding communities of color and other underrepresented communities in the practice. These efforts also extend to the recruitment of faculty and potential students of color. This toolkit for the pedagogy hopes to shape a national standard for historic preservation education, research and practice.
“I am honored and privileged to be given the opportunity to direct the Historic Preservation Program, following in the excellent footsteps of Dr. Pogue,” said Wells. “I intend to honor the program’s past while continuing to grow its focus on equity, inclusion and social justice with help from my colleagues, alumni and industry partners.”
Wells holds a Ph.D. in environmental design and planning from Clemson University and a Master of Science in Historic Preservation from the University of Pennsylvania. He is the founder of the Historic Environment Knowledge Network at the Environmental Design Research Association and runs the website, heritagestudies.org.
Read more about Wells and his research on his biography page.