I’m from Des Moines, Iowa. I attended Grinnell College and graduated in 2014 with a degree in Anthropology. I have spent the last few years in the deserts of Colorado, California, and Arizona, where I worked at a wolf sanctuary, in permaculture, and earned a certificate in Ecological Design at the Ecosa Institute. ISU has brought me back to Iowa to explore landscape architecture and the prospect of designing more resilient landscapes in the face of climate change. I will also be assisting Julie Stevens in her exciting work at the Iowa Correctional Institution for Women in Mitchellville.


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I grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa. I graduated from Simpson College with a Bachelor of Graphic Design in 2016. While at Simpson, a family friend asked me to redesign his backyard. This experience introduced me to the field of landscape architecture and inspired me to add an Environmental Science Minor to my degree. After college, I worked as a graphic designer for two years in Des Moines, Iowa and then spent a few months as a grounds keeper in Fraser, Colorado. I am excited to expand my design skills and look forward to learning how to create beautiful, ecologically and socially responsible landscapes.



Farshid joined the landscape architecture department in Fall 2017. He earned a bachelor of architecture and master of architecture degrees in Iran. He is a watercolor painter and a guitar player. He believes that all aspects of art are interconnected. Playing music, sketching and painting help him to produce creative concepts in the design process.  He has served as a teaching assistant to adjunct lecturer in the in the department of landscape architecture, Tom Neppl, in LA 302 and DSNS 102 Design Studios. He is interested in sustainable urban landscape design, affordable housing,  rammed earth techniques, and social engagement through art. His passion is teaching and producing creative concept responding to human needs and demands. 

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Anita Gyawali is an Architect from Nepal. She completed her Bachelor degree from Nepal Engineering College, Pokhara University, Nepal in the field of Architecture in 2012. She loves social work and therefore had chosen “Home for Street Children” as  thesis and research topic. She engaged with private design and construction company soon after her graduation. She was also involved in volunteer work with United Nation Development Program (UNDP) after the devastating earthquake in Nepal, where she designed community infrastructure for earthquake victims. Her professional ethics motivated her to continue to work toward the betterment of poor people, so she got involved with Save the Children International in Nepal where she had to supervise the construction of 350 houses for them. Besides her work, she loves hiking and trekking. Last but not the least, she wants to be an inspiration to her juniors and a model for her patriotic community.



I was raised in Cedar Falls, Iowa and attended the University of Northern Iowa. I majored in art with an emphasis in drawing. During my study, I increasingly became interested in making  physical, three-dimensional objects, and changed my focus to sculpture. After completing the BFA program in sculpture and while raising my two sons, taking them to parks and wooded areas, I also reconnected with the favorite places of my childhood. I became interested in creating beautiful spaces and in the ways in which  humans interact with, utilize, and impact natural environments. I enjoy examining the interrelationship between sculpture, and art in general, and landscapes, and the  immersive experiences that landscape, in particular, afford.



Jonathan has more than six years of experience in urban and rural settings, at multiple levels of government and business, working on transportation, land use, and environmental planning. He is a conscientious public servant, providing information and solutions through data, policy, and design. Jonathan adeptly uses technology throughout the planning and design process and is committed to providing the public and policy makers with sound planning and visualization products for their communities. He is pursuing a dual degree program in Landscape Architecture and Community and Regional Planning. In his free time, he enjoys gardening, cooking, traveling to national parks, and spending time with his dog Zeus.

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Peiming was born in southern part of China and has lived in several parts of the China. He graduated from Zhengzhou University of Light Industry with a Bachelor in Environmental Art and Design in 2016. After graduation, he studied in the Intensive English and Orientation Program at Iowa State University for one year. His undergraduate study and practice taught him that people’s quality of life is linked to the environment. He decided to pursue the MLA degree at Iowa State to better understand how environmental designers can better communities in a global world.

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Fan comes from Xi’an, China. In her undergraduate study at XAUAT in China, she studied Architecture, Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture. She is interested in spatial organization at the urban and regional scale. She believes that landscape design is a multi-faceted activity that addresses geography, climate, local culture, history, communities, and the spirit of place. In pursuing the MLA she hopes to acquire  advanced skills, methodologies and professional knowledge to improve her academic knowledge.



I come from Chengdu, China, a city of traditional and modern life styles, both of which I have come to appreciate. Landscape painting and travel were the starting points for my interest in landscape architecture. I have been painting since I was six years old. My travel in China and abroad exposed me to different architectural styles and places as well as to projects by famous landscape architects. This experience and the books I read prompted my interest in diverse customs and cultures and formed my design philosophy. I believe that the diverse fields of design are interlinked, and therefore I taught myself graphic design, AI design, fashion design, and interactive design in my spare time.



I come from Shanghai, China, where I studied environmental art and design. Following graduation I worked for three years in two design firms as an interior designer . During that time, I had a chance to work on two landscape design projects, which inspired me to shift from interior to landscape design. I decided to pursue a higher degree of MLA at IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY in order to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to be a successful landscape architect.



And though she be but little, she is fierce. – A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

Growing up in a number of small towns in central Iowa, Taylor had always known she wanted to be a part of the Iowa State University College of Design. After earning a Bachelor of Professional Architecture with a minor in Psychology, she decided to continue her higher education by returning to the College of Design as a member of the MLA program. She has always been fascinated by the interplay between the humanities and the social sciences, especially the study of human behavior in reaction to the built environment. Taylor has worked as a an architectural designer for multiple firms, and when not in class she is a research and teaching assistant for professor Bambi Yost and a professional photographer. She hopes to one day use her education and passion for photography to travel the world working as a leader in the environmental justice movement and documenting her experiences. Outside of the world of design, Taylor’s many interests include dancing, coffee, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.



I grew up in Massachusetts and graduated with a BA in Sociology and minors in Spanish and Renewable Energy Studies in 2012 from Eastern Connecticut State University. After graduating, I worked as a residential counselor for mentally ill young adults before serving two years in AmeriCorps in Iowa and on Cape Cod. I became interested in the prospect of a career in landscape architecture during these programs as I gained a great deal of hands on experience in land management and natural resource conservation, learning to reduce fire risks through cut and pile burns, building trails, and removing invasive species.



I was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. She graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree in 2016. After completing two design-build studio projects for Iowa State Recreation Services in 2015 and 2016, I decided to continue her education in Landscape Architecture. Following graduation, I would like to create unique and versatile environments for people and use local and reusable materials. I also hope to teach rural residents to value and build sustainable environments on their own.



I come from a small city in north China. In 2014 I arrived to the USA to pursue a Master degree of science in horticulture at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. At that time, I thought I would become a scientist. Drawing was just my hobby for my spare time, and design career was a faraway ideal for me. After one year I made the decision to complete my horticulture degree and continue to study landscape architecture. Now at the MLA program at ISU I am looking forward to a new career path as a landscape architect.



I come from a small town in Henan province, China. A river divides the town into two parts – the old town in the south, with its Hutongs and historical buildings, and the new town, built in the last 50 years with modern buildings in the north. My desire to become a landscape architect can be traced in part to the negative urban and industrial developments in my home town over the last 20 years, as I watched it becoming increasingly polluted and its historical heritage affected. I would like to use my art to produce a more sustainable human environment. I directed my artistic skills – painting and drawing – and collection hobbies toward an undergraduate degree in Environmental art and design, at the college of art. My future plan, is to continue my study, pursue a PHD degree in landscape architecture or a related major and become a designer or educator in landscape field.



Nuo Man came from Inner Mongolia, China. She got her bachelor degree of Urban Landscape Design at Nanjing Forestry University in China. She is currently in her third year of the graduate program in landscape architecture and simultaneously pursuing a concurrent degree of Master of Design in Sustainable Environment.  Nuo Man is a Research Assistant working with professor Mimi Wagner on green technology  related to water quality (see research stories in this website). Among the project is Lake LAVerne Floating Island on the campus of Iowa State University. For more information on the project see:

Nuo Man’s hobbies are travel, especially in Japan or the coastal area. She likes exploring local customs.



Austin is a first-year graduate student pursuing the dual master degrees in Landscape Architecture and Community & Regional Planning. He holds a BA in Geography & International Studies from the University of Iowa. Before coming to ISU, Austin conducted research in Malawi, which was funded by the National Geographic Young Explorer’s Grant. he also served an AmeriCorps term with the City of Brookings, Oregon where he worked on park and trail design projects. As a Research Assistant with ISU Extension and Outreach for Community and Economic Development, Austin uses GIS to model non-motorized transportation networks and connectivity. Austin is passionate about parks, trails, and harmonicas.



Eric V. Lawrence is a native of Pennsylvania, US, where he grew up playing in the forest and corn fields by day and experiencing the local art and culture in downtown by night. This range of experiences inspired his passion for Landscape Architecture. Eric received his Bachelor in Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design, with an emphasis on sustainable integrated systems, from Delaware Valley University (Delval). For his continued exploration of solutions to current and future environmental issues, he found the interdisciplinary approach of the landscape architecture department at ISU to be a fitting setting to pursue an MLA degree. Eric believes that by working locally one can make an impact globally. His entrepreneurial aspirations consist of leading a firm that transforms blighted areas by using economical, ecological, and sustainable design. #MakeADifference

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Huaxuan Wu grew up in southwest China. Her bachelor degree is in horticulture. She choose to pursue a Master in Landscape Architecture because she wanted to expand her knowledge of design and landscapes. She hopes she can help create a more livable and beautiful living environment. She enjoys playing tennis, hiking, and traveling. Huaxuan believes that the MLA program at ISU is a great place to study and build a professional landscape architecture career.



Mengtian Huang grew up in Tianjin, in eastern China. She received a Bachelor in Transportation Engineering from Yangzhou University. While at Yangzhou University, she was acquainted with the beautiful private gardens of Yangzhou, the most famous and historical garden city in China, and became interested in the landscape architecture field. Mengtian enjoys the American teaching methods, such as class discussions and field trips, that are very different from those in China. She also likes spending time in the reading room, where she can find many professional books and get immersed in various landscape architecture topics. Her hobbies include traveling, watching cartoon, and skiing, but her favorite has always been drawing. She often sketches and paints while traveling or sightseeing.



Peter Reyland grew up in Quincy, IL, before moving to Cedar Rapids, IA. He holds a BA in International Studies/Japanese from University of Iowa. He also served a year in Air Force, ROTC. After visiting Japan in his senior  year at Kennedy high school he became interested in landscape architecture, but his passion for design had to wait till his return to school to pursue a masters degree. He has been working on a landscape project at his parent’s home since 2013 (see garden in the picture background ). He plans to work in as a professional in a significant firm, such as OPN Architects, and hopes to contribute to the design of rooftop landscapes by combining elements of Japanese and western style landscaping. Peter maintains a You-tube page called “Enigma Seeker,” where he investigates strange phenomena, like megalithic landscapes and UFOs. He is planning to create a garden entitled “Unidentified Fairy Garden.”



Zhi Chen grew up in Taihu, a small town in the central part of China. He majored in Landscape Architecture in Tongji University. He chooses Landscape Architecture probably because of the strong relationship between the field and his family–his grandfather was a grand master Feng-Shui. He became interested in design when he was a young child. Zhi wants to create spaces that people will like. After graduation, he plans to work in a studio, where he can contribute to a more humane highrise residential building projects. He loves reading classic books and eating delicious food. He thinks that our MLA department is well-equipped, and the professors are specialized and kind.



Yun Qin is from China. She graduated from Nanjing Forestry University with a Landscape Architecture Bachelor degree. Her parents work in similar fields, and they share their experiences with her.



Lingyi Yang grew up in Beijing, China. Her studied Urban Planning in north China. She is interested in plants, and water systems. She enjoys her study in the MLA department at ISU, and hopes to excel as a professional landscape architect. In her leisure time she likes to hike and watch movies.



Xiao Cui comes from Anhui Province, China. She got her Bachelor degree and her first Graduate degree in Environmental Design in Chongqing University in 2014. Now she continues her study in Iowa State University. During the undergraduate years, when she was studying Architecture and Planning, she believes that Landscape Architecture will be the strong connection between those works and that is also the reason why she applied for this major. In MLA department of ISU, she has already obtained a lot of practical and theoretical knowledge.  For future plan, she is planning to be a faculty member from now!



Zhongzhe Shen was born in Suzhou, China. He got his Bachelor Degree in Landscape Architecture, from Nanjing Forestry University. With this background, and since there are several famous and elegant gardens in Suzhou, which has ignited his interest in Landscape Architecture and encouraged him to achieve higher study in this major.

His hobbies are eating, sleeping and photography. He strongly hopes that all of his goals would be achieved in the coming years.



Xiaoyu Mo comes from Guizhou province, China. She got her Bachelor degree in Agriculture and her major is Landscape Architecture. At the first beginning, she was admitted by the program in her undergraduate university randomly. After four years of studying, she was attracted by the amazing things in this major: space, light, texture, plants, season and sounds and so on. And she really wants to explore into the world of landscape architecture for her whole life. She has learned a lot from the courses and professors in MLA department, whatever knowledge or spirits. More important, she is really in love with the peaceful and wonderful time, which is her dream life, in Iowa State University, Ames.

After graduation, she wants to go back to China and to be a faculty member in some university at this point because she believes that nothing is impossible and she does not want to set any limitation on herself. Xiaoyo’s hobbies are Reading, Jogging, Walking, Digital Drawing and Cooking.



Ngoc Ho comes from Vietnam and her background is Architecture and Urban Planning. After graduation, she challenged herself in different working environments for a year and gained a greater understanding of Landscape Architecture, with its limitations in local practice.  Her decision to pursue a higher degree in Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University is rooted in a desire to more specifically define the urban environment primarily in terms of sustainability but also with further additions from distinct local culture, technological innovation, and local/global engagement and activism.

In this semester, she is assisting Professor Mira Engler in developing MLA website and preparing the Colloquium course for 2016 spring semester.  Her hobbies are reading, drawing and travelling.


CAROL J USTINE – “Man has to realize that nature is much more powerful than anything man-made

Carol J Ustine is from Chennai, India. She graduated from Anna University, Chennai with a Bachelor of Architecture degree in 2015. She worked on a lot of residential projects and also a few commercial projects as well, during her internship in Rajendran Associates, an Architectural firm in India.  After graduation, her love towards plants made her interest turn towards Landscape Architecture. She found softscape to be close to her preferences than hardscape. She is now doing what she truly loves and believes in, Master of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State University. She is also working with Dr. Ben Shirtcliff on the development of course material for a course to be offered in the spring of 2016, “City Play”. The research is mainly to analyze how play affects the economic development and sustainability of cities around the world and how the design of cities should have adequate amount of space for play for people of all ages.