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Learning the IDEALs of landscape architecture; grad student lends a hand

Learning the IDEALs of landscape architecture; grad student lends a hand

Meeting the future leaders of the agriculture industry is as easy as reaching out and shaking hands with them. So says Will Hellman, a graduate student in Texas Tech’s Department of Landscape Architecture. The Lubbock native created curriculum for a summer camp this month aimed at introducing young students to landscape architecture.

“I created hands-on learning exercises that teach the principles of landscape architecture by allowing students to experiment and see the results first hand,” Hellman said. “I focused the exercises on important issues in the region, including water conservation and sustainability.”

The camp, called ‘Shake Hands with Your Future,’ was hosted by Texas Tech’s Institute for the Development and Enrichment of Advanced Learners. According to program officials, it provided distinctive outreach programs promoting academic excellence and diversity. In addition, the program focused on introducing underrepresented students to a collegiate experience and, hopefully, dispelling any myths and fears about higher education.

During the first week of camp, Hellman worked with students from the local region currently enrolled in fourth through seventh grade. The next week centered on interactions with high school students from Brazil.

Working with the students improved his interaction and communication skills, Hellman said. “It was challenging to determine the best way to present the information and materials so that all of the students would understand the concepts,” he said. Hellman’s career goals include becoming an environmental planner with an emphasis on creating modern design solutions for expanding cities and a growing population.

Written by Faith Jurek

CONTACT: Alon Kvashny, professor, Department of Landscape Architecture, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2011or



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