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In Profile: Landscape architecture’s DeMera Ollinger bound for botanic Brazil

DeMera Ollinger started her college career at West Texas A&M University digging into English literature. But it wasn’t until she started working at an Amarillo greenhouse that an opportunity to combine her creative passion with a newfound interest in plants took root. That change in vocation direction led her to the Hub City and a new major in Texas Tech’s Department of Landscape Architecture.

Today, the Dumas native is starting her third year in Lubbock and plans to extend her love for landscapes and design to an even more exotic location than the South Plains starting next spring. Ollinger will be spending six months studying abroad at the University of Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

“I’m in for an experience of a lifetime,” Ollinger said. “Brazil is the home of the famous landscape architect, Roberto Burle Marx. His work is truly inspiring and he serves as the symbol of 20th century landscape architecture.”

Currently, Ollinger is taking beginning Portuguese language courses to prepare for her time in Brazil. And on arrival, she’ll be enrolled in an intensive, three-week learning course to become even more fluent in the native language.

One of Ollinger’s primary goals is to take full advantage of her study abroad opportunity by broadening her horizons and her to diversify her skills for future employment. Ollinger is one of many CASNR students who take advantage of study abroad programs available each year across Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

Among CASNR’s recent study abroad events was an extensive 15-day program that focuses on agriculture and its development in China, and a sustainable agriculture and development course in Costa Rica, along with a community-based ecotourism course in the Yucatán Peninsula and an extended tour of some the premier gardens of Europe.

Written by Kelsey Fletcher

CONTACT: Alon Kvashny, Chair, Department of Landscape Architecture, Texas Tech University at (806)742-2858 or

1130NM11 / Photo: N Martin


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