Third-year undergraduate student Maria Munoz of the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture is one of three recipients of a $4,000 American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Council of Fellows Scholarship for 2014.
Originally from Puerto Rico, Munoz has noted that she was exposed to and rooted in a culture with a history that is intertwined with its landscape ecology. “Moving to the United States, I realized that we are each a reflection of our community. My interest in the relationship of humans and their environment has inspired me to work as an activist of cultural individualities and recreational needs of communities,” said Munoz. In addition to her participation in the student chapter of ASLA, Munoz is active in LSU’s Hispanic Student Cultural Society and the African American Cultural Center and is involved in the Baton Rouge community with local beautification and recreation efforts.
“Ms. Munoz possesses a diligence and curiosity that have helped her to excel in a range of classes. She is a great leader and communicator, which make her an asset for both our university and the profession,” said Peter Summerlin, professional-in-residence at RRSLA, who has taught Munoz in two classes this year.
This summer Munoz will continue her work with LSU alumnus Robert Seemann at Baton Rouge Green. They aim to preserve, promote, and grow a productive urban forest in Baton Rouge. Seemann, a 2011 graduate of the Master of Landscape Architecture program and current program director for Baton Rouge Green, expressed that “It is great working with Ms. Munoz. We forget that she is still an undergraduate. Baton Rouge Green is a non-profit, so we tend to get a lot of mileage out of our interns. In this past year, Munoz has contributed to our publications; she has assisted with site assessment, layout, illustrative drawings, plantings, and a little design work, too. If it is happening under our roof, she is working on it and contributing.”
The ASLA Council of Fellows established this scholarship fund in 2004 to aid outstanding students in financial need, increase the participation in landscape architecture of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented populations, and enrich the profession through increased diversity. In addition to the scholarships, all three recipients will also receive a one-year student ASLA membership, general registration fees for the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO, and a travel stipend to attend the meeting. The Landscape Architecture Foundation administers the scholarship on behalf of the ASLA Council of Fellows.
Understanding that education is a powerful tool, Munoz plans on pursuing graduate studies. “I am honored to receive this scholarship because it will allow me to continue pursuing my degrees in landscape architecture and human geography. This opportunity will aid my inquisitive interest in landscape and environmental design, urban development, and disaster resilience,” said Munoz.
Visit asla.org for more information.
About LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has established an international reputation as one of America’s leading and consistently top-ranked programs. Part of the LSU College of Art + Design, the school offers Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs. For over 60 years, the program has produced landscape architects who practice all over the world and participate in the full spectrum of the discipline. For more information, visit landscape.lsu.edu.