Program Updates

In the fall of 2014, the MSU LAAAB and LA program worked in collaboration with the Belle Isle Conservancy and the MDNR to host two events celebrating Belle Isle and the work of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Photo of the top of the Aquarium building at Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan
Belle Isle, Detroit, Michigan.

In the fall of 2014, the MSU Landscape Architecture Alumni and Advisory Board (LAAAB) and LA program worked in collaboration with the Belle Isle Conservancy and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (Dan Lord, MSU LA alumnus) to host two events celebrating Belle Isle and the work of Frederick Law Olmsted.

Dr. Ethan Carr, FASLA, a renowned Olmsted scholar from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, presented lectures in East Lansing and at the historic boathouse on Belle Isle. MSU LA students and alumni also participated in a discussion about the Belle Isle Master Plan, generously given by Angela Hicks (MSU LA alumna) of Hamilton Anderson, and a tour of Palmer Park. Thanks to John Campbell for all of his hard work and persistence in pulling off this event.

Over a dozen firms attended the 2015 Career Fair held in February. Thanks to all of those who attended and provided the students with career insight and advice: Antonelli Landscape, Bauer-Ford Reclamation, Beckett & Raeder, Inc., PM Blough, Conservation Design Forum, Michael Dul & Associates, English Gardens, EDSA, City of East Lansing, Hitchcock Design Group, Hughes, Good, O’Leary and Ryan, Albert Kahn Collaborative,
Mariani Landscape, Murphy and Associates, Premiere Services, SmithGroup JJR, TBG, and Three C’s Landscaping.

We will hold the same open house format in February 2016. Please contact Trish Machemer if you or your firm would like to participate.

On February 12, Craig Johnson (’64) was on campus to accept the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Award and to discuss the planning and design of landscapes for wildlife as part of the ongoing Distinguished Speaker Series. For over four decades, Craig has enriched the educational experiences of students and professionals in wildlife planning, design, and restoration.

His numerous awards in teaching and practice are a testament to his dedication and passion in landscape design, both locally and nationally. Craig generously met with LA and planning students in a seminar format to share his insight and provide a valuable learning experience.

Congratulations to the spring scholarship recipients. Ben Friman and Abigail Reimel (current second years), Arianna Zannetti (current third year), and Ellen Daniels, Travis Frangie, and Emily Prieskorn (current fifth years) all received LA Endowment awards. Jacob Weiss (current third year) was award the Polakowski Scholarship. Maleah Beatty received the Moore Scholarship for 2015-16. Fifth year student Katie Ling received the Hamilton Anderson award. And Nick Block was awarded the Knostman Scholarship.

The MSU LA program is very fortunate to have such endowments. They are immensely valuable to the students, permitting them to be the best students and citizen landscape architects that they can be. The John Campbell Scholarship is funding Ph.D student Barb Firman along with master’s students Maleah Beatty, Katie Ling, Emily Prieskorn, Ian Dippo, and Ellen Daniels.

On January 2, 2015, a rising LA star was lost. Maura Brandi was a sophomore in the LA program when she died in a fatal car accident. Maura loved to learn and LA at MSU was the perfect fit. She thrived on the interdisciplinary emphasis, combining her creative talents, intellectuality, and problem solving abilities. She excelled academically and generously assisted her classmates. LA would empower her to achieve her dream to preserve water systems and make the world a more beautiful place.

In summer of 2014, Maura interned with Site Planning Development, Inc., in Charlevoix, MI. John Campbell of Site Planning has set up a memorial scholarship fund to continue Maura’s exceptional legacy. For information on how to contribute to the fund, contact John Campbell or the Charlevoix County Community Foundation.

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