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Spring 2024 Scholarship Winner: Mark Reid

The Micklin Law Group- Fall 2023 Scholarship Winner: Mark Reid

Mark’s winning essay:

In September of 2021 I moved to Los Angeles after graduating from Denison University in Granville, Ohio with a BA in environmental studies and international studies. I began working at a local plant nursery to gain horticultural knowledge of the region, and started to better understand some of my strengths and weaknesses. I had to adapt to a completely different climate and stay patient while learning every possible new plant and their traits, and sometimes found myself getting too lost in the details of each plant. The following Fall, I began my graduate study at the University of Southern California in their Landscape Architecture + Urbanism program, while still working at the plant nursery on the weekends. I have adapted to the new climate and new plant database in this region and now teach horticulture classes at the nursery on Saturday mornings. I realize that a weakness I could work on is my attention to detail, however. I spend a lot of time perfecting a plant potting, just as I do getting too far into the details of my landscape drawings.

After graduating, my primary professional objective is to create environmentally and socially equitable urban green spaces that are accessible to all people as well as build resilience to climate change. I want to utilize my creativity to make spaces that people can enjoy but at the same time are integrated into the landscape with climate protection and adaptation at their core. I am particularly interested in promoting congregation among cultural diversity – I believe inclusive human ecosystems are the very type of community that landscape architecture fosters, inspires, and protects. Urban areas are such ecosystems in large-scale form, as they bring people of all walks of life together and build communities inclusive of difference; I want to use landscape architecture as a means of supporting these urban connections for many generations to come. This landscape architecture degree allows me to come full circle in combining my childhood interests in architecture with my more recent interests in climate sustainability and design, and I am so grateful to have found this pathway.

As I am now three semesters into this degree, I am sure that my greatest strength is my patience and adaptability. Landscape architects work across a wide range of disciplines and groups, such as government representatives and elected officials, scientists, artists, engineers, academics, and community members. Having the ability to adapt to a variety of working styles and still make one cohesive project is critical, and I feel that my strong patience has been the key that has led me to success thus far within my own diverse cohort at USC, as well as my role at the garden center. I have also come to understand that my strong attention to detail becomes a weakness at times when I have a deadline, yet I still want to touch every part of the project in some capacity. Just like my love for plants and my attentiveness while working with them, an entire landscape architecture project has lots of moving parts, so I need to work on allowing myself to move on.

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