City College announces first Hollander Design Fellowship recipients

City College and the Bernard & Anne Spitzer School of Architecture are proud to announce the 2020/2021 recipients of the Hollander Design Fellowship. The three-year fellowship was established this summer by HOLLANDERdesign| Landscape Architects to encourage and support New York City students from demographics and communities that are historically underrepresented to pursue education in the field of landscape architecture.

The fellowship is given to selected recipients enrolled in the Spitzer School who are pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture. The grant’s mission is to encourage and support Black/African American, Latinx, Alaskan Native, American Indian students, and those from other underrepresented cultural or ethnic groups. 

“In times that are full of not-so-wonderful news, nothing gives me greater joy than learning about and supporting these students,” said Edmund Hollander, FASLA, president of the firm. “Their focus, passion and commitment are so important to the future of our city, our profession, our world.”

Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, professor and director of the graduate landscape architecture program, chaired a five-person selection committee comprised of City College alumni. “Our committee was hugely impressed by the sincerity of the applicants, the value each placed on their public education, and the confidence expressed in their potential to transform their communities as landscape architects.”

The Hollander Design Fellows receive $4,000 in 2020 and in each subsequent year of their enrollment in the MLA program. In its inaugural year, the first recipients of the fellowship are:

•    Miguelina Portorreal, MLA Class of 2021, is a third-year MLA student at CCNY. A lifelong resident of the Bronx, she received a BS in Public Affairs from Baruch College. Miguelina seeks to promote economic development and community revitalization in marginalized neighborhoods while working to address unjust socioenvironmental conditions. “I aspire to rewrite the historical disinvestment narrative with the creation of vital spaces for underserved communities.”
•    Jeana Fletcher, MLA Class of 2022, a second-year MLA student, graduated with a Bachelor of Visual Arts in Architectural Design from Fordham University in 2009. She is currently the treasurer of the American Society of Landscape Architects student chapter at City College. "I seek to create accessible and evocative spaces, with a goal of serving the needs of residents while supporting ecological systems.​"
•    Mathew Brown Velasquez, MLA Class of 2023, is a first-year MLA student from Colombia and a resident of the Bronx. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art with a concentration in photography from CCNY in 2018. In the summer of 2019, he was an intern at the Earthship Biotecture Academy in Taos, New Mexico. He is currently completing an arboriculture certificate from the New York Botanical Garden. “I hope to pursue a career in forest management and support inclusive community engagement.”

In addition to the three Hollander Design Fellowships, HOLLANDERdesign| Landscape Architects has also provided three Hollander Design Awards this year, each a one-time scholarship of $4,000. The recipients are:

•    Jessica Goldberg, MLA Class of 2021, a third-year MLA student, received a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Binghamton University in 2014. She is especially interested in public landscapes, an interest recently fueled by her fascination with birding, mycology, and observing the many individual ways people engage in the landscape. 
•    Josué Amadís, MLA Class of 2022, a second-year MA student, is from the Dominican Republic, where he received a Bachelor of Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra in 2016. Josué is interested in exploring how landscape architects can help remediate environmental challenges by creating beautiful, accessible spaces.
•    Michael Shepard, MLA Class of 2023, is a first-year MLA student. He graduated with a BS in Ecology from SUNY Plattsburgh, and then worked with the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps. He has interned at Grand Teton National Park, Gateway National Recreation Area, and most recently was a member of the Historical Preservation Corps in the greater Boston metropolitan area. 

About HOLLANDERdesign|Landscape Architects

Hollander Design is one of few landscape architecture firms on Architectural Digest’s AD100 list. The firm’s portfolio features award-winning residential estates and gardens, urban rooftops and public plazas, and cultural and educational institutions. The firm designs gardens and landscapes around the world from three offices in New York City, Chicago, and Sag Harbor, NY. More information on the firm is at

About the City College of New York

Since 1847, The City College of New York has provided a high-quality and affordable education to generations of New Yorkers in a wide variety of disciplines. CCNY embraces its position at the forefront of social change. It is ranked #1 by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights out of 369 selective public colleges in the United States on the overall mobility index. This measure reflects both access and outcomes, representing the likelihood that a student at CCNY can move up two or more income quintiles. In addition, the Center for World University Rankings places CCNY in the top 1.8% of universities worldwide in terms of academic excellence. Labor analytics firm Emsi puts at $1.9 billion CCNY’s annual economic impact on the regional economy (5 boroughs and 5 adjacent counties) and quantifies the “for dollar” return on investment to students, taxpayers and society. At City College, more than 16,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Susan Konig
p: (212) 650-8437