Max Frank, Candidate for CELA Student Director
Max grew up in rural Montana, a convenient place to fall in love with the land. After pursuing a degree in Environmental Science in Montana for two years, Max transferred to the University of Arkansas, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree and graduating in 2021. Max brings several years of interdisciplinary undergraduate experience to the table and has furthered his studies with special topics coursework and international experiences. Max has traveled internationally to complement his studies, first in France as a fabrication assistant for a winning project at the Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire’s International Garden Festival, and second as part of a service-learning program in Mozambique. Supported by a scholarship from the Benjamin A. Gilman foundation, Max worked with an architecture student and a local developer to strategize two housing developments in Nampula, a rapidly developing city near the coast. Max will be travelling to Rome during the summer in 2020 to complete an urban design studio at the University of Arkansas Rome Center. Max has been employed in several positions within the Fay Jones School, as a teaching assistant, fabrication assistant, and mentor for incoming students. He is active in his community and can regularly be found volunteering in a community garden or at NPR in Fayetteville. Max’s interests focus towards urban space and its ability to foster culture, participation, and inclusivity.
Max has been a featured contributor to A+, the University of Arkansas Honors College magazine, published in 2019. He serves as an ambassador for the Honors College and the Fay Jones School and has served on both the Honors College Associate Dean’s Advisory Council and the Advisory Council on community service. In this role, Max organized a series of volunteer events, and worked with the Honors College to develop an effective communications strategy for them. Max has been recognized on the Dean’s List four times, and further recognized on the Chancellor’s List three times. Selected Scholarships include: Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Pryor Award for Leadership in Architecture and Design Honors College Academy Scholarship Honors College Study Abroad Grant (Received Twice).
My interdisciplinary undergraduate experience and community engagement have honed my ability to work as a collaborator, a communicator, and a coordinator, addressing issues in my studies, my school, and community. Throughout administrative roles, responsibilities, and personal projects, I developed these skills through a dedicated record of service and action. These skills lend themselves to the Student Director position, allowing me to leverage my abilities to benefit the landscape architecture community in which I have found a welcoming place. As a collaborator, I fostered a culture of service and engagement within the Honors College here at the University of Arkansas. As part of the Advisory Council on Community Service, I worked with three undergraduates and one graduate adviser to organize a series of volunteer events in our community. We met biweekly to plan these events, update each other on respective progress, and develop our outreach strategy. As a small team, we worked quickly and efficiently to delegate tasks and work with our community partners. We paired each member with a host organization and worked with them to understand their individual needs and how we could connect students to them. As a communicator, I have worked within my own department as a liaison between departmental administration, faculty, and students. As a Communications Consultant, I strategized with departmental leadership on how best to reach and impact students and provided a student perspective when needed. This led, along with other efforts, to a Landscape Architecture Professional Speaker Series being introduced as a resource for students trying to connect to the professional world. I worked with the student ASLA organization to promote and plan these events, which continue to be robust and successful after three semesters. As a coordinator, I worked with faculty across campus, a fellow student, and Mozambican stakeholders to plan and implement a design centered service-learning project. Working tangentially to an existing program, I was able to leverage the resources of the existing efforts in Mozambique to support and enable our project. Establishing the project mandated six months of intense dialogue between program administrators, departmental faculty, and our incountry partner. After arriving on site, I met daily with our in-country partner, a local developer, to understand the needs and trajectories of the projects, and how I could best be of service. While working in country, I also worked with a fellow student to lay groundwork for a second service-learning project the following year, which I recruited for upon returning home. Ultimately, these skills have allowed me to further my education through a series of experiences which required dedication, perseverance, and action. Through these experiences I have built and developed skills in collaboration, communication, and coordination which I would be excited to apply in the role of Student Director at CELA and enter into a network of peers and potential future peers.