Congratulations to our 2019 Distinguished Alumni - Published on August 13, 2019
2019 Distinguished Alumni
Robert M. MacLeod
Educated at the University of Florida and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Robert M. MacLeod was a faculty member in the UF School of Architecture from 1987 to 2009. He taught at the UF SoA Vicenza Institute of Architecture and the Boston Architectural Center and has served as a guest critic at numerous institutions including the University of Texas, Florida A&M University, the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Technical Institute of Prague, the University of Arizona and the University of Idaho.
MacLeod is a licensed architect and member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). He has worked with award-winning architectural offices in Boston and Orlando on a wide range of buildings, including residential, commercial, public works, office, educational and medical projects. His work has received AIA Design Excellence Awards.
MacLeod’s academic research focuses on urban design and community planning issues within the “unfinished project” of the contemporary city. Issues of public space infrastructure, conditions of suburban sprawl and redevelopment strategies for abandoned commercial centers and edges inform his work.
MacLeod has served as director of the University of South Florida’s School of Architecture & Community Design (SACD) since 2009. During his time, he has led two successful NAAB accreditation visits, developed a new urban design degree program, led numerous curricular revisions, launched the Urban Design Lab in the city of St. Petersburg, developed the SACD Workshop, an in-house design studio addressing design and planning needs for the University of South Florida and led a retooling of the school’s research arm, the Florida Center for Community Design and Research.
Matt Webster serves as Executive Vice President and Principal for Charles Perry Partners, Inc. (CPPI). He started his career in the U.S. Army before joining CPPI in 1999 as a project engineer. Webster’s career is based on teamwork and stewardship, two of CPPI’s main core values.
Over the years, Webster has been involved with many organizations, including the Builders Association of North Central Florida, Rebuild Together North Central Florida, Habitat for Humanity and Santa Fe College Apprenticeship Program. He graduated from Leadership Gainesville Class 35 and returned as a mentor for Leadership Gainesville Class 43.
He serves on various community boards, including the Audit Committee for Campus USA Credit Union, Leadership Development for BANCF and Community Foundation of North Central Florida. He is currently involved with workforce development through the UF Rinker School of Construction Management Executive Advisory Committee, Santa Fe College Construction School Industry Advisory Board and American Council for Construction Education accreditation teams.
In addition to his community service, Webster has contributed to the Gator Nation, and specifically, the Rinker School of Construction Management. He is in his 10th year as a mentor in the Mentor-Protégé Program at the University of Florida’s Small Business and Vender Diversity Relations.
Also, he frequently guest lectures at the Rinker School of Construction Management, serves on the Rinker School of Construction Management Executive Advisory Committee and participates in course reviews.
Sarah Cain is a licensed Interior Designer in the State of Florida and is currently the practicing Principal of Sarah Cain Design. Her Gainesville based boutique, full-service interior design firm specializes in both mid to high-end residential and small commercial projects. Sarah Cain Design is honored to be the first interior design firm to receive the prestigious Gator 100 award (# 49) recognizing the fastest growing Gator owned companies in the world!
Cain graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University and received her Master’s in Interior Design from the nationally acclaimed Interior Design program at the University of Florida. As part of her graduate program, Sarah studied design at the Vicenza Institute of Architecture located in Vicenza, Italy.
A former Adjunct Professor in the Interior Design department at the University of Florida, Cain is also a past President of the American Society of Interior Designers Florida North Chapter and has served as a site visitor for the Council on Interior Design Accreditation. Sarah currently serves on the University of Florida Department of Interior Design Advocacy Board.
In addition to Sarah Cain Design and her University work, Cain is involved with many local charitable organizations and feels strongly about giving back to her community. She is a natural coach and mentor with a passion for helping young designers and provides a platform for educational and career advancement through the Sarah Cain Design internship program.
Chris Hite didn’t set out in her younger years to become a top recognized CEO. Rather, she was a designer, adventurer and environmentalist who applied her artistic talents to become a world-class landscape architect. It was her love of design and belief in its transformative power that eventually led her to a position of leadership.
As President of Dix.Hite + Partners, Chris provides visionary leadership to an established and growing practice and the firm is a model of diversity and empowerment. The firm’s work celebrates the unique characteristics of a place’s social and geographical context.
Chris leads by example: through impactful holistic design, practice leadership that showcases empowerment and diversity; academic leadership that elevates landscape architecture and by community service that places the landscape architect in a leadership role.
In addition, she continues to support the mission of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Florida, where she has taught as an adjunct professor, is active in select studios and serves on the Advisory Council.
Urban and Regional Planning
BA ’90, MAURP ’92
Cheri Ehrhardt is a native Floridian. She attended the University of Florida, where she received a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science/Studies and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning. She is a planner certified by the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Ehrhardt has been involved in planning since the late 1980s. Her previous experience includes county planner, city planner, a grassroots environmental coalition board member, city advisory board member, GIS researcher, planning researcher and a university teaching assistant. She has worked for a university, a public/private research company, a city of less than 10,000, a county of one million and the National Wildlife Refuge System.
Ehrhardt joined the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1999 as a Natural Resource Planner for the National Wildlife Refuge System in the Southeast Region. She has been an instructor at the National Conservation Training Center for various courses, including National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Refuge Comprehensive Conservation Planning and Visitor Services Planning.
She currently serves on the Service’s Southeast Region’s Waterfowl Working Group NEPA Team and she currently serves on the University of Florida’s Professional Advisory Council for the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.
Ehrhardt has earned several awards over the years, notably the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Partners in Conservation Award in 2012 for the Everglades Headwaters NWR and Conservation Area partnership project that included key engagement by several federal and state agencies, Native American tribes, non-governmental organizations, sportsmen’s groups and cattle ranchers.