1.    Tell us a little about your career trajectory since you graduated from UT
After graduating in 2022 as part of the 5+1 degree track, I felt a calling to return to my home state of Delaware. I accepted a position as an Architectural Designer at StudioJAED where I previously was an intern for 3 years during breaks between semesters. I cherish every moment of my time in Knoxville, but six years is a long time to be away from home and family. I’m glad that I was able to return to Delaware with the vast knowledge and unique skillset that could only come from UT, CoA+D, and SoLA.

2.    Tell us a bit about your current firm and projects or type of work you are doing. 
At StudioJAED our clients are primarily focused on commercial, educational, and governmental projects serving areas in Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. As a medium-sized firm (about 40 employees with about half as part of the architectural team) I am involved with about every phase of a project which strengthens my relationships with my coworkers and clients, and helps my understanding of the industry as I pursue licensure. ​​​​​​​

3.    What drew you to landscape architecture? 
Coming into college I didn’t know landscape architecture was a thing, but the more I was exposed to it as an undergrad architecture student the more intrigued I became. I’ve heard of planting design and horticulture but nothing that covers quite like landscape architecture does. My first true interest in the profession came with a 4th year architecture studio I took with Professor Mark DeKay, where we dissected the term “biophilia” and applied the physical and mental health benefits of being connected to nature in educational settings. I noticed every undergrad studio project I designed yearned for a connection to greenery and outdoor spaces, and the biophilic studio spearheaded my passion in blending architectural spaces with curated landscapes. I decided shortly after to pursue the 5+1 degree track and that became the best decision I ever made for my career.

4.    Do you have a favorite professional project you have worked on? Why did it have such impact for you?
While my job is focused on architecture, my favorite projects have been those that have allowed me to design landscapes as well. My favorite project that I am currently working on is the Delaware Agricultural Museum in Dover, Delaware. This was a museum I visited and volunteered for in my youth as a 4-H’er. Thanks to my education along with my agricultural upbringing, I was able to redesign the wayfinding throughout their historic village, connecting each exhibit structure together and configuring views to the adjacent lake for both museum visitors and wedding rentals to enjoy. I also credit my education in Landscape Architecture with my ability to make specific architectural decisions such as interior layout and choosing finishes for the museum that mimic the local agricultural landscape. I was constantly referring back to my final landscape studio “Rural Is…” with Professor Scottie McDaniel for precedents when working on the Ag Museum, fondly remembering a class trip to the Museum of Appalachia. To have the opportunity to have such an impact on this project so early in my career has meant a lot to me and I cannot wait to see when it is complete.

5.    Any fond memories of your time at UTK that you would like to share? 
One of my fondest memories in grad school was the River Tour trip as part of the Tennessee River Studio. Coming into the landscape program there was a stark divide between the fifteen 5+1’s coming into the program and everyone else. Any class trip in my opinion allows for humility and communication amongst peers outside what a classroom or studio setting can provide, and the River Tour was no exception. A week travelling along the Tennessee River from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky broke social barriers that maybe I only put up myself, but I felt much closer with my cohort that resulted in better studio collaboration and lifelong friendships.

6.    Do you have any advice for future landscape architecture students? 
Get involved with something. Either a student organization such as ASLA or something completely outside the college. Its rewarding (such as making new friends or travelling to new places), and will let you focus on something other than classwork, which in turn will lead to less burnout. Exhaustion is real in design so it is important to break up your time as much as you can. Plus, you’ll develop skills that could not be achieved in a classroom alone. 
Back to Top