Hollander Design Fellowship and Awards go to three first-years at CCNY's Spitzer School

The City College of New York is proud to announce the 2022 Hollander Design Fellowship winner for students of the Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) program at the Bernard and Anne Spitzer School of Architecture. Cassandra Castano won the three-year Hollander Design Fellowship. Ximena Diaz Velasco and Sonia Uthuph each won a one-time award of $4,000. All three students are in their first years, as per the eligibility requirements, as the fellowship is meant to support students for the duration of their studies.

Hollander Design Landscape Architects was founded by Edmund Hollander, FASLA, president of the firm. While Hollander has committed to a Fellowship per year since 2020, the additional one-time awards are due to the firm’s generosity, and the belief in its mission to diversify the industry. Hollander Design is one of few landscape architecture firms on Architectural Digest’s AD100 list.

“We at Spitzer are so grateful to Ed Hollander and his colleagues at the Hollander Design Landscape Architects for sponsoring the The Hollander Design Fellowship at the Spitzer School of Architecture,” said Dean Marta Gutman. “It recognizes landscape architecture students who are so impressive and alleviates their needs which are so compelling.”

Castano, an assistant landscape ecologist at the environmental planning firm NPV, receives an award of $4,000 per year for the three years of the MLA program. She grew up in Brentwood, a predominantly Hispanic community on Long Island, and now resides in East Patchogue, Long Island. This is her first CCNY award. She wants to “increase biodiversity, improve urban climate resilience, and unify the relationships between humans and nature by working in tandem with earth’s natural systems.”

Diaz Velasco hails from Pachuca, Mexico, as well as York, PA. She currently resides in Hamilton Heights, Manhattan, and was the recipient of a Spitzer Tuition Scholarship. She “seeks to craft a career designing public spaces that build and engage multispecies communities as a way to catalyze social and environmental change.”

Uthuph is also a recipient of a Spitzer Tuition Scholarship and the ASLA-NY Diversity Scholarship. She is a Malayalee Texan who grew up in Houston, and is now living in Brooklyn. Uthuph plans to study vernacular knowledge to design with community-led initiatives to create place-specific public spaces, particularly libraries and parks, that embody the post-revolution potential of a life of dignity for all beings.

Hollander Design Landscape Architects established the fellowship in 2020 to encourage and support New York City students from demographics and communities that are historically underrepresented in landscape architecture to pursue the field. Awarded the Fellowship in 2020, Matthew Brown Velasquez will be the first recipient to graduate with the assistance of the Fellowship’s full three years. Gaël Oriol received the Fellowship in 2021.

In addition to the annual Fellowship, the firm has generously added funding for one-time awardees due to the extremely strong pool of applicants.
Students who are Black/African American, Latinx, Alaskan Native or American Indian, or other historically underrepresented cultural or ethnic groups in landscape architecture are encouraged to apply.

To apply, students had to submit a resume, headshot, short biography, portfolio and essay about their goals if they won the scholarship.

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. Education research organization DegreeChoices ranks CCNY #3 nationally for social mobility. 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 15,000 students pursue undergraduate and graduate degrees in eight schools and divisions, driven by significant funded research, creativity and scholarship. This year, CCNY launched its most expansive fundraising campaign, ever. The campaign, titled “Doing Remarkable Things Together” seeks to bring the College’s Foundation to more than $1 billion in total assets in support of the College mission. CCNY is as diverse, dynamic and visionary as New York City itself. View CCNY Media Kit.

Thea Klapwald

e: tklapwald@ccny.cuny.edu