University-Level CELA Fountain Scholars
Utah State University
Amy Cervantes grew up near Salt Lake City and is a senior in the landscape architecture and environmental planning program at Utah State University. She started as an engineering major, but once she learned there was a profession focused on her passions for art, the outdoors, problem-solving, and advocacy, she dove in and never looked back. After graduating, she hopes to work for an urban design firm and make a positive impact in the public sector.
West Virginia University
Udday Shankur Datta
Udday Shankur Datta wants to bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical implementation to create a robust livable community. His path towards landscape architecture stems from his passion for cities, human and ecosystem health, and a sense of urgency to preserve the environment. Born in a middle-class family in Bangladesh, he was the first to graduate in his family with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. He joined West Virginia University (WVU) as a graduate student and completed his Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) in 2020. His passion for travel and photography has taken him to different places where he got the chance to get involved with the community. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Human and Community Development at WVU. Udday plans to work on community development projects and continue to research contemporary urban challenges as a designer and educator.
University of Colorado, Denver
Isra Fakhruddin is a Pakistani-American designer and a third year dual-degree candidate at the University of Colorado, Denver pursuing a Master’s in Landscape Architecture and Urban and Regional Planning. She describes herself as an interdisciplinary creative with a background in design and a passion for social justice landscapes. Her professional pursuits are centered around empathetic spatial design to address social, cultural, and environmental inequities within developing communities. She currently works at the Colorado Center for Community Development, a clinical design center at CU Denver which provides design and planning services to cities, towns and neighborhoods across the state of Colorado. My interests including traveling, hiking, and exploring corners of the art world.
Kansas State University
Kastasya Jackson is pursuing a master’s degree at Kansas State University. She is a mentor and a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects – Student Chapter to push forward the agenda of diversifying our profession. This has also given her the opportunity to showcase leadership skills to her peers and help them can harness their abilities to overcome adverse circumstances to succeed. She plans to usher in a new wave of people of color into the world of landscape architecture to spotlight the various perspectives they influence on a daily basis. Her passion for evolution and seeking solutions radiates from her drive to protect humanity and to embody the duty of nurturing the safety, health, and welfare of neglected communities.
University of Maryland, College Park
Alondra Liriano is a third year undergraduate student in Landscape Architecture at University of Maryland, College Park. She was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. She has a love for designing sustainable places for society. Her long-term goal is to receive a B.S. in Landscape Architecture and a M.S. in Architecture or Sustainable Design. With these credentials, she will start a firm for underrepresented Black and Brown designers. As a student ambassador for University of Maryland College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, she assists incoming and current students with any questions and advice they may need about the institution.
Iowa State University
Paola Monllor Torres
Paola Monllor Torres was born and raised in Puerto Rico and moved to Iowa five years ago to start her career in the design field. As a child, shewas always encouraged by her aunt, who was her maternal figure, to acquire an education because no matter what happens, knowledge is something that no one can take away. ISU has exposed her to the beauty of the world, and simultaneously to its ugly side, so she has made it her mission to continue her education. She never thought that a girl from a small island, a humble household, and a broken family could be capable of changing someone’s life, yet she is now working towards that every day.
University of Pennsylvania
Allison Nkwocha is in her second year of studying landscape architecture and historic preservation at University of Pennsylvania’s Weitzman School of Design. Her studies center on American landscapes of Black memory. In 2013, she received her BA from Scripps College in Claremont, CA where she studied Environmental Analysis with a Design Emphasis. Allison’s first experience with design was as an architectural intern with community organizers. One decade later, her vision as a designer is defined by this initial framework of community self-determination. She is passionate about the expression of and access to memory in public space. In her work as a researcher at Monument Lab, she examines power and presence in public space and questions how community-sourced information can become useful, empowering data. Allison comes to design from a professional background in architectural salvage, historic restoration, and building.
Texas A&M University
Abimbola Olorode is an aspiring landscape architect from Lagos Nigeria, where she initially pursued a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Architecture. Now Abimbola is currently a second year Master of Landscape Architecture graduate student at Texas A&M University where she intends to graduate with a distinction and then pursue her professional licensure. For her, it simply began with a desire to bridge the gap between humans and nature, but now she sees the full potential landscape architecture could offer dilapidated and abandoned sites and communities. She seeks to fulfill the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 by to making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. As a natural creative, Abimbola chooses to view every project in life as an opportunity to tell a story and lend her voice and her skills to advocating for social equity and diversity in her environment.
Boston Architectural College
Guobin Pan is from a rural area in China. In his heart, the experience of living in the countryside has given him the best nature education and shaped me to be a warm and peaceful person. Out of his interest in nature, he began to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture. During four years of study, he spent much time practicing planting techniques and designed and planted dozens of ornamental plants in his own yard. After graduation, he started working on his first Master’s degree at Wuhan University. Now, with an extreme love of the landscape architecture profession, he has chosen to pursue a second master’s degree at the Boston Architectural College.
University of Manitoba
Michaela Peyson is a Canadian woman of colour of Caribbean descent, currently pursuing her Master’s Degree in Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba on Treaty 1 Territory — the original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. Her practicum research focuses on revealing Back narratives within Canada’s landscapes while using intersectionality to critically assess how her ethical commitments can influence inquiry and practice. As the Promotion and Outreach Assistant at the University of Manitoba’s Office of Sustainability, her work focuses on creating a comprehensive platform to address why the topic of sustainability cannot be conversed without addressing race through the various land-based initiatives she has led. Michaela is a member of the Faculty of Architecture’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee at the University of Manitoba and a student affiliate of the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects.
University of Arizona
Irene Pineda is a first-generation master student, born and raised in Southern California. She is a second year at the University of Arizona in the Landscape Architecture program. Before becoming a full-time student, I initiated my career path at San Francisco State University in Communication Disorders. Following a five-year journey as a substitute teacher with the Los Angeles Unified School District and a range of different avenues, one priority remains, and it is to fill in what is absent and disconnected. To accomplish my goal, I plan to establish myself with a non-profit organization that focuses on connecting inhabitants to their community. After years of living in an urban city, where concrete dominates our landscape, I acknowledge the effects of absent green spaces on our physical and mental health. As a future landscape architect, I am eager to educate the world about eliminating our carbon footprints.
City College of New York
Miguelina Portorreal is currently a Master of Landscape Architecture candidate in her third year of study. She is attending the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture at the City College of the City University of New York. In October 2020, she was named one of the school’s very first Hollander Design Fellows. As an undergrad, Miguelina earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Affairs and a minor in law and policy from Baruch College. In the long-term, she aspires to promote economic development and community revitalization in underserved neighborhoods while also working to address unjust socioenvironmental conditions.
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Growing up in Washington DC and spending summers with his father in New York, Anthony Rosa found his love for the landscape as he spent time in those cities. In DC, he fell in love with a neighborhood park near his grandparents’ house which he visited almost every day. During a Brooklyn summer in 2003, a city-wide blackout saw Anthony in awe at how people reclaimed streets, bringing their social lives into spaces once packed with cars. These early memories with people and space would lead Anthony to find his love for landscape architecture. Anthony is currently a 5th Year student at Virginia Tech where upon graduating he will receive a BLA in Landscape Architecture. Anthony has previously worked at the Community Design Assistance Center at Virginia Tech and interned at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc. His hobbies include photography, sketching and he has interests in politics, and art history.
The University of Texas at Arlington
Jodwin Surio is a father, a husband, an explorer, a creator, a minimalist, and most importantly, a devout Christian. He was born in the Philippines, where his love for plants and nature were nurtured through taking care of the home garden his grandparents created. After receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies, he moved to the United States to help provide for his siblings. He became an Emergency Medical Technician, then an Operations Assistant, and after a Database Administrator while being the owner and designer of his own landscaping business. He moved to Texas as a missionary and is now a graduate student in University of Texas at Arlington’s Landscape Architecture Program. He envisions creating grand landscapes that are inclusive, sustainable, and magical! During the pandemic, he finds creative ways to take his family on adventures and plans to visit all state parks of the US.
California Polytechnic State University
Maya Tuiasosopo grew up appreciating her unique culture and the beauty of her surroundings, both natural and created. My father, born in American Samoa and a football coach, moved our family around the country for his career. It was a great adventure. My mother, an art teacher of Scandinavian descent, encouraged my creativity. Along with my three siblings, I was raised to embrace my artistic spirit, discover the unexpected, and pursue my dreams. I followed my passions to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo where I am finishing my undergraduate degree in Landscape Architecture with a minor in Sustainable Environments. After graduation, I will begin my career in Landscape Architecture and seek a master’s degree in Interior Architecture/Design. In my free time I enjoy cooking, photography, caring for my houseplants, practicing makeup artistry, listening to music, antiquing, and exploring the beautiful central coast of California with my friends.
Florida International University
Born on the Caribbean Island of Curaçao, Christopher Vierbergen moved to the United States in 2015 to pursue an education in Landscape Architecture + Environmental and Urban Design at Florida International University in Miami. As a current graduate student, he has learned to become more aware of the classism, racism, and discrimination that exists in the built environment, and that he has the opportunity and, increasingly, the tools that will allow him to bring about change in these areas. His goal in life is to generate a tangible difference in his country that can serve as an example for other Caribbean nations and to places where Dr. Charles Fountain’s relentless commitment to diversity, advocacy, mentorship, and representation will go a long way in bringing about environmental and social justice where these have been most neglected.
University of Washington
Andrew Walker is a third year Master of Landscape Architecture graduate candidate at the University of Washington. Prior to studying landscape architecture, he received a Bachelor of Arts and Music from the University of North Texas, where he focused on music composition, music theory, cello, and piano. I have always been interested in the way in which people experience, perceive, grieve, and heal with sound and music. While studying landscape architecture, he has had opportunities to explore multi-sensory design and the choreography of transformative experiences incorporating soundscape, sculpture, texture, and light as a way of addressing social and environmental grievances. The use of inclusive form and biophilic principles to bring people together have been inspirational sources to foster well-being for both human and non-human entities. Post-graduation, his goal is to work as a landscape designer where his values of serving BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities are recognized.
Pilar Zuluaga is an Architect and soon to be Landscape Architect. Currently a second year MLA student at Auburn University, she is passionate about using architecture as a tool to transform our political and social context. She believes that education and social justice should be at the core of any project that aims at transforming our cities. She also believes in the importance of developing strong social relationships. She can be found enjoying a good book, and a good coffee, or hiking in the middle of the mountains where the climb takes her up to a breathtaking view.