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Landscape Architecture

Graduate Landscape Architecture Students

Bilal “Coach” Bahar
BA, Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Baltimore

Bilal 'Coach' Bahar brings a wealth of community development experience to his graduate studies. As the founder of the Baltimore-based Evolve Community Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization providing youth mentoring in business, education, arts, community and health, Coach Bilal sees landscape architecture as a tool to help bridge divides between some of Baltimore’s affluent and underserved neighborhoods, as well as a catalyst for healing trauma. His current work explores the therapeutic potential of hydroponic systems, particularly examining the power of water to enhance how people see themselves and their neighborhoods. His long-term sights are focused on doctoral work, which explore relationships between cognitive dissonance, education, and community development.

Christina Baker
BS, Nursing, Ball State University

Christina Baker moved to Baltimore as a Nurse Corps Scholarship recipient to help care for its underserved healthcare population. Now, an oncology-certified nurse at Johns Hopkins University Hospital and horticultural intern at the city's Cylburn Arboretum, Christina desires to renew her focus on community health by assessing the effects of built and natural environments on urban well-being. Collaborating with citizens in sustainability practices, urban agriculture, and wildlife restoration, Christina hopes to share the tools and knowledge she obtains to improve both local communities and health outcomes.

Brittney Baltimore
BA, History and Art History, Roanoke College

Brittney Baltimore’s interest in human-centered design springs from her public service background working at the Baltimore County Public Library and Baltimore Museum of Art, together with time spent working on urban vegetable and flower farms. Knowing the importance of listening to people and designing for accessibility, Brittney is interested in how design can be a bottom-up, rather than top-down process; one that creates safe, vibrant outdoor spaces connecting neighborhoods rather than isolating them. Currently, Brittney is a graduate researcher for Assistant Professor John Leonard and the Gunpowder Valley Conservancy on a collaborative residential rain garden project. She is also a student scholarship recipient from the Maryland Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Kaila Blevins
BS, Environmental Science, University of Maryland

Growing up along the Patapsco River in Baltimore's Brooklyn neighborhood, Kaila Blevins became acutely aware of the ecological significance of cities. Her fascination with the way organisms interact with their environment, coupled with a desire to design in ways that sustainably respond to the workings of ecosystems, inspired Kaila to pursue an advanced degree in landscape architecture. As an undergraduate at the University of Maryland, Kaila's studies in environmental science were bolstered by a wealth of service-learning experiences, which included volunteering at the university's sustainable urban farm (TerpFarm), working with Terps for Change, and serving as chapter President of Alpha Phi Omega, a service fraternity. Currently, a garden intern at the National Arboretum, this Kaila joins the Graduate Landscape Architecture Program as a graduate assistant. Kaila will focus her studies on the application of landscape restoration techniques to urban green spaces in order to address issues of hunger and food insecurity.

Abrar Boghaf
BA, Interior Design, Taibah University, Saudi Arabia

A native of Jeddah, Abrar is interested in combining landscape architecture with interior design; exploring links between interior space, exterior space, and quality of life. Collaborating on studio and commercial projects in Saudi Arabia with colleagues from Taibah University, she recognized the power of a simple building façade to either enhance or restrict one's experience with nature. Building upon these interests, coupled with an appreciation for evolving urban landscapes, Abrar plans to focus her studies on understanding how design might facilitate deeper connections between people and place.

Curtis Cherry
BA, Fine Art, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

During his years as a fine art undergraduate student at Morgan State, graphic designer Curtis Cherry enjoyed creating within a computer –– working slowly and carefully in digital space with great precision and detail. As a graduate student in landscape architecture, Curtis hopes to apply these same sensibilities towards the creation of appropriate and artful designs, now in geographical space. He is particularly interested in the anatomy of structures in landscape and imagining possibilities for seemingly unlikely building frameworks. 

Ellie Chetelat
BS, Environmental Studies and Public Policy, St. Mary’s College of Maryland

Ellie Chetelat discovered landscape architecture through an interest in ecologically inspired design, coupled with a diverse set of work experiences, which included the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, a native plant nursery and an organization advocating oyster recovery in the Chesapeake Bay. Currently, she works for design-build firm on ecological restoration projects and volunteers with the Baltimore City Master Gardener program. A passionate advocate for native plants, Ellie's studies presently focus on understanding how permaculture and other sustainable design strategies can be harnessed in urban environments, working across policy, planning, and landscape architectural design.

Kwasi Cook
BS, Architecture and Environmental Design, Morgan State University, Baltimore, Maryland

Kwasi Cook sees a mission in resolving issues of landscape inequity, particularly those that emerge in cities through competing public, private, and neighborhood interests. A passionate surveyor of memorials and historic sites, Kwasi’s proposal for a commemorative to the African diaspora cemented his interest in landscapes of remembrance, and belief in their importance as evolving spaces within cities. Kwasi's graduate studies will focus on the evolution of urban parks and their relationship to under-represented communities.

Azade Diykan-Hubbell
BS, Geography; MS, Education, Istanbul University, Turkey

As a high school geography teacher in her native Turkey, Azade Diykan-Hubbell developed a deep understanding of the interplays between land, people, and time, and particularly their sometimes harmful consequences, such as climate change and deforestation. Yet it was trekking, traveling, and exploring – within national parks and urban museums –– that enriched Azade's love of nature and art, and confirmed her desire to study landscape architecture. As a graduate student, Azade will focus on the interrelationships between land use and food chains, both vernacular and industrial.

Anthony Dye
BS, Environmental Science and Studies, Towson University

Anthony Dye discovered his path to landscape architecture through a passion for organic farming, a practice which taught him to view the world through the lens of natural systems. Currently, he manages an urban farm in Southwest Baltimore, which supplies produce for a local restaurant chain. As a graduate student, Anthony is interested in investigate issues of public space access, environmental restoration, while continuing to explore growing food in a peaceful way.

Allison George
BA, Environmental Policy and Planning, Virginia Tech

Growing up in between urban New York and rural Virginia, Allison George became curious of how design and planning can enhance the social and environmental health of places. As an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, these interests focused on decision-making at the watershed and regional scale. Currently, pursuing both a graduate degree in Landscape Architecture and a graduate certificate in Sustainable Urban Communities, Allison's research will explore ways to improve traditional urban stormwater and waste management infrastructure. During the 2021/2022 academic year, Allison will volunteer her time and talent through AmeriCorps as an Equity Program Analyst with the Baltimore City Department of Public Works Office of Equity and the Environment.

Shahrouz Ghani Ghaishghourshagh
BA, Urban Design and Planning, Azad University of Tabriz, Iran

Studying urban design and planning in Iran sparked Shahrouz Ghani Ghaishghourshagh’s curiosity about the evolution of world cities and, at a different scale, the dynamics of spaces between buildings. As a student at the Center for Built Environment and Infrastructure Studies, Shahrouz is interested in exploring how landscape architecture can serve as the connecting discipline between architecture and civil engineering, through the lens of storm water management and other sustainable urban design strategies. An avid photographer, Shahrouz compliments her academic work at Morgan State with field experience at a Washington, D.C.-based civil engineering firm.

Kayla Goldstein
BFA Illustration, Maryland Institute College of Art
AAS Sustainable Horticulture, Community College of Baltimore County
Certificate in Landscape Design, Community College of Baltimore County

Musician, animator, and illustrator Kayla Goldstein's artistic practice engages stages and studios as well as bakeries and gardens. A former cake designer and current horticultural intern at Stoneleigh Garden in Villanova, Pennsylvania, Kayla's interests focus on the use of native and naturalized plants to improve the ecological health of damaged landscapes. Kayla's graduate studies will explore sustainable approaches to the management and design of larger-scale, public landscapes.

Varun Gupta
BS, Biology and Environmental ScienceWilliam & Mary

Former industrial hygiene inspector and non-profit director, Varun Gupta come to landscape architecture with a background in environmental studies and advocacy. For him, protecting natural landscapes, improving green infrastructure, and mitigating the effects of urbanization on stream corridors, wetlands, and seashores perfectly synthesizes his interests in the ecology, habitats, and design. Currently, Varun is complementing his thesis work, which examines the intersection of design and mitigation for climate change and sea level rise, with field experience working for a Maryland-based landscape architecture firm.

Abbey Hallock
BS, Architecture and Environmental Design, Morgan State
Advanced Certificate in Fabrication - Welding, Lancaster County Career and Technology Center

Former maritime welder Abbey Hallock has always been interested in how things are made, the materials used to make them, and how one might go about repairing them should they break. After several years working for Baltimore-based boat building company, Abbey began searching for a career that more closely aligned her passion for design and construction with her concerns for urban environmental health. Abbey's decision to pursue Morgan State’s 3+2 program has enabled her to apply her undergraduate coursework environmental design towards a professional masters degree in landscape architecture, which will focus on ways of reconnecting urban residents with nature.

Nicholas Huff
BA, Fine Arts, Morgan State University

A champion figure skater, Nick Huff’s interest in the built environment was sparked at a young age helping his mother design and build award-winning gardens in their Prince George’s County community. As a Fine Arts student at Morgan State, Nick directed his interest and skills in photography, painting, and drawing towards the documentation of public life, parks, and scenes. As a graduate student in landscape architecture, Nick intends to further explore the role and use of visual media in the representation of urban life and the design of landscapes. 

Britney Jackson
BS, Architecture and Environmental Design, Morgan State University

A Baltimore native, Britney Jackson discovered landscape architecture as an undergraduate architecture student at Morgan, studying interior and exterior spaces on campus. Her interests in landscape space expanded to include issues of transit and circulation while an intern with the Maryland State Highway Administration's Transportation Alternatives Program. This opportunity organized with the help of Morgan State’s National Transportation Center, included office and fieldwork experiences designing shared use trails, as well as communicating with professional colleagues and the public. Britney's decision to pursue Morgan State’s 3+2 program, has enabled her to apply her undergraduate coursework environmental design towards a masters degree in landscape architecture. In her thesis research, Britney is exploring the potential of transitional landscapes, such as parking lots and garages, to be reimagined as social infrastructure within neighborhoods and communities experiencing homelessness.

David Joffe
BA, Geography, University of Vermont

A native of Rockville, Maryland, urban geographer David Joffe brings a wealth of technical and community-centered experience to his studies in landscape architecture. Formerly a GIS intern with the Chesapeake Bay Program, David also worked with Nourish Now, a Rockville-based food recovery non-profit which addresses food waste and hunger through donations from grocers, caterers, restaurants, and bakeries for the benefit of children, families, the elderly, as well as food pantries and shelters. At Morgan, David plans to focus his interests in resource recovery towards sustainable landscape architectural practices and materials.

Mia Quinto
BS, Geography and Environmental Planning, Towson University

Growing up surrounded by farmland in Carroll County, Maryland, Mia Quinto moved to Baltimore to pursue undergraduate studies, and became fascinated with the density and diversity of urban landscapes. Her background in Geography and Environmental Planning encourages Mia towards understandings of how humans interact with the built environment. Her plan is to direct interests to a study of nature deficit disorder, and ways to re-introduce nature to urban landscapes. In addition to her studies, Mia is an intern at Baltimore's Cylburn Arboretum, and serves as President of Morgan State University’s ASLA Student Chapter.

Julia Rocha
BA, Graphic Illustration, University of Maryland Eastern Shore

Julia Rocha’s path to landscape architecture came by way of studies in architecture, which gradually evolved into a captivation with the structure of plants and their role in the creation of outdoor space. Rocha’s background in illustration further informs her curiosity and interest in representations of landscape as both object and process.

Maura Roth-Gormley
BA, History, Goucher College

Maura Roth-Gormley has always been interested in the stories that landscapes tell about a place. Previously the director of a Holocaust Oral History project, Maura brings a strong understanding of how narrative can shape the design process. Her interest in Landscape Architecture was sparked by her work as an intern in the Baltimore City Master Gardener program and as a water quality monitor with the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. Both experiences led her to examine issues of sustainability in Baltimore’s watersheds. Her research will investigate the intersection of ecology and climate change in urban landscapes, asking the question: how can design replicate or challenge historic racial, economic and environmental injustices. Maura currently works as a Graduate Assistant in the Landscape Architecture program and teaches yoga.

Deepa Sapkota
BA, Architecture, Himalaya College of Engineering, Kathmandu, Nepal

Deepa Sapkota brings a professional architectural background to her graduate studies in landscape architecture. Intrigued by differences in both landscape scale and density between her Nepalese homeland and the United States, Deepa's interests focus on enhancing the visibility and sustainability of overlooked urban areas. In her free time, Deepa volunteers with the Baltimore Association of Nepalese in America, where she teaches traditional Nepali dance to youth groups.

Brandon Shaffer
BS, Music Performance, Frostburg State University

For multi-instrumentalist Brandon Shaffer, stewardship comes naturally. Raised on a 365-acre farm in Central Pennsylvania, Brandon's approach to working with land means understanding its evolution, caring for its components, and honoring its legacy. Currently, one of a team of caretakers for the grounds of the Morgan State campus, Brandon looks forward to deepening his knowledge and skills as a graduate student in the areas of landscape observation, drawing, design, and management.

James Totton
BS, Landscape Architecture, North Carolina A&T State University

Combining lifelong interests in environmental science, horticulture and art, James Totton found his calling in landscape architecture early in his undergraduate career. Since then, he has deepened these interests and skills through the design of sustainable storm water systems in and around his home region of York, Pennsylvania. As a graduate student, James plans to focus his thesis research on suburban parking lots; exploring the potential of these 'middle landscapes' for adaptable reuse. A Pennsylvania master gardener, James also volunteers at a community garden, which works to address urban food scarcity.

Elise Victoria
BS, Corporate Communications, University of Baltimore

As the founder of a non-profit art organization, owner of a design-build company, and specialist in the field of public greening initiatives in Baltimore, Elise Victoria brings a wealth of experience collaborating with communities and caring for city parks to their studies in landscape architecture. Driven by a desire to increase public access to urban nature, Elise hopes to weave together research interests in environmental education with meditative and therapeutic landscape traditions.

Kimberly Young
BA, Communications and Fashion Merchandising, Indiana University

Growing up in Brooklyn's storied Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood, Kimberly Young witnessed first-hand the impacts of gentrification on communities, while discovering too that seemingly neglected land can possess profound social meaning. Her transition to graduate studies –– motivated by a commitment to urban communities and landscapes –– follow a twenty-year career in pharmaceutical sales. A skilled community gardener, Kimberly's work examines issues of housing equity and the agency of design in reviving urban neighborhoods.