CTASLA offers scholarships to students to encourage awareness and education in the field of landscape architecture. Scholarship applicants must be legal residents of the State of Connecticut. Applications for 2023 are closed.
CTASLA offers two scholarship programs:
1. The Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship is awarded to students currently enrolled in an accredited landscape architecture program at the college or university level. Download the 2023 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship Application Form.
2. The Landscape Architecture Environmental Stewardship Scholarship for High School Seniors is awarded to high school students who are applying to study landscape architecture at the college or university level. Download the 2023 Landscape Architecture Environmental Stewardship Scholarship for High School Seniors Application Form.
We encourage you to alert qualified students to the availability of this financial aid. Thank you for helping to spread the word about the CTASLA Student Scholarships.
Karen Ann Shopis-Fox, who passed away in August 2011, was a long-standing member of ASLA, a talented designer, and a dedicated advocate for the profession of landscape architecture. She served as member-at-large and vice president on the executive committee of CTASLA in the 1990s and was a founding member of the golf outing committee and a driving force in the formation of our scholarship. Karen practiced in Fairfield County with her own firm, Karen A. Shopis Landscape Architects. She won the chapter’s prestigious George A. Yarwood Award in 2002, given in recognition of members who have given unselfishly of their time and talent to further the profession of landscape architecture within the state and the nation.
Donations to the CTASLA's Student Scholarships, benefiting the next generation of landscape architects, may be made at any time, in any amount, using the Donation button below or by mailing a check (to "Connecticut Chapter of ASLA" — please write "Scholarship" on the memo line) to:
CTASLA Scholarship Fund
P.O. Box 209197
New Haven, CT 06520
The Connecticut Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects is a 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization incorporated in Connecticut. Contributions to section 501(c)(6) organizations are not deductible as charitable contributions on the donor’s federal income tax return. They may be deductible as trade or business expenses if ordinary and necessary in the conduct of the taxpayer’s business.
In 2022, the chapter conferred $12,500 in scholarships to nine outstanding recipients. This was the largest award given both in the number of recipients as well as in the total value of scholarships offered, increasing from a total of $10,500 conferred to six recipients in 2021.
Michael Amato of Middletown, Connecticut, studies landscape architecture at UMass Amherst. The Covid-19 pandemic served as a paradigm shift for him, motivating a step away from a career in fine art photography and towards a new professional practice. Michael is interested in regenerative systems utilizing tree crops, public food forests, and foraging experiences as a tool to combat food deserts, and reevaluating the role of the commons in modern society. As a 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipient, he will be able to continue his research mapping community orchards across the Northeast.
Michael wants to design spaces that reimagine the role of the public park. Considering our rapidly changing climate, and recent stresses on the global supply chain, Michael believes now is the time to invest in our local communities. Mowed lawns and town greens can be transformed into ecological oases - resilient landscapes that require less fossil fuel inputs and produce a greater variety of yields to feed people who experience food insecurity. Many of these designed spaces are evident throughout western Massachusetts. Michael intends to learn from these well-established resilient landscapes, and introduce these concepts to his local community in central Connecticut.
Victor Cizik is currently the president of the ASLA chapter at UConn and part of the BlackLAN student council. He likes to be part of these organizations in order to spread awareness of different issues like gentrification and how many underrepresented groups do not have access to local parks. Victor is interested in all aspects of urban design and designing cities that are centered around pedestrians rather than cars. He believes that everyone has a right to be able to access all parts of their cities and, more importantly, have access to well-designed green spaces that are able to support them. Underrepresented parts of large cities get neglected when it comes to designing safe and walkable neighborhoods. In the future he would love to be able to hold a position where he is able to tackle this issue and design accessible green spaces for everyone.
As a 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipient, he will be continuing his studies at the University of Connecticut as a senior in the landscape architecture program.
Keon Coleman was born in Melbourne, Australia, to parents of African American and Mauritian ethnic backgrounds. While a senior at Westhill High School in Stamford, Connecticut, he was a member of the Stamford Regional Agriscience program. Within the program, in addition to being an animal laboratory manager, Keon was promoted to aqua laboratory assistant as well as doggy day care manager. This opportunity arose out of his interest in and love of animals.
Keon was awarded the 2022 Landscape Architecture Environmental Stewardship Scholarship for High School Seniors and has since graduated and begun attending Roger Williams University in Rhode Island as an architecture student. His goal is to improve the housing and environmental conditions of his community.
Marco Da Cruz grew up on a farm in Cape Verde, and moved to Bridgeport, Connecticut, at the age of eight. In Cape Verde, school field trips included hiking in the mountains and enjoying nature. His teachers and family instilled in him a love of nature and a desire to protect it.
As a child who was raised in nature, and later moved to an urban environment, Marco has come to appreciate both ways of life. As a 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipient, he will be continuing his studies in the UConn Landscape Architecture Class of 2023. In his studies, Marco would like to find a way to merge nature and urban planning through design, giving urban children a way to connect to nature and have new experiences. Concerned about the current state of the environment, Marco desires to incorporate sustainable materials into his designs. His goal is to focus on how his choice of plants and materials will effect the environment.
Caroline Kumac is going into her sophomore year at the University of Vermont, where she is studying Forestry and Environmental Sciences and is working towards a concentration in landscape design. She is one of the 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipients. Through her chosen path of study, she is learning how to integrate agroecological principles into the design of multifunctional landscapes. She hopes to be able to design neighborhoods centered around parks and community gardens, in order to benefit all residents.
Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, Caroline often found time to get away from the city and into nature through hikes in the woods, camping with her family and friends, and most influential of all, volunteering at a nature center and community garden. It was through these experiences that she found out how important it is to consider natural ecology when design landscapes. This past summer, Caroline worked at Horsford's Nursey and Garden Center, where she gained experience in areas such as permaculture and plant care.
Dan Meyer grew up in Wilton, Connecticut, and graduated from Williams College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French literature. He worked as a book editor in New York before pursuing his master's degree in landscape architecture at Cornell and becoming a 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipient.
Dan has served as a teaching assistant for planting and site engineering courses at Cornell, and he interned at Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. As a recipient of the 2021 Frederick Dreer Award, he performed independent research on urban forestry practices in Sweden and France. In his final year at Cornell, Dan will continue investigating innovative methods for how plant materials shape the spatial experience of a landscape and how dynamic management strategies can extend the design process in time.
Amanda Nackowski is an avid plant lover from Middletown, Connecticut. She attends SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and will graduate Class of 2025 from the Department of Landscape Architecture. Amanda has honed her skills in gardening for years and is always seeking out new knowledge. In preparation for her design classes, she has spent her time developing new skills in art, experimenting with different mediums, and learning about current environmental issues. She hopes that her experience will help her create innovative designs, with an emphasis on eco-friendliness and accessibility. Amanda was awarded the 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship.
Abigail Varga is a Class of 2024 UConn landscape architecture student from Newtown, Connecticut. She chose to study landscape architecture because it includes design and horticulture, two things she is very passionate about. Abigail has loved horticulture since studying the subject in high school for four years, and wants to make plants a large part of her future design work.
Her current interests within landscape architecture include creating unique and modern designs, interactive gardens, and the use of native plant species to benefit pollinators. Abigail's future career goal is to work in residential landscape architecture, as she wants to create one-of-a-kind spaces that fit the needs of the client but also provide a peaceful setting that people can enjoy. Abigail is a 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipient.
Oliver Zych is a fourth-year student at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. After visiting design-build construction sites and conversing with those professionals, Oliver feels that design-build is the work environment that would best suit him, and being a 2022 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship recipient will help him reach that goal.
Oliver is passionate about sustainable design and construction, which is why his main goal as a practicing landscape architect after graduation is to ensure that designed landscapes are sustainably constructed. He feels strongly that when the designer is also the builder, they have a far better understanding of how the landscape is supposed to function and take pride in constructing it properly. In the future, he hopes to enhance the health, safety, and wellbeing of the public through sustainable design-build strategies.