CT Society of Landscape Architects 

The Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship
The Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship is awarded to encourage awareness and education in the field of landscape architecture.

Scholarship applicants must be legal residents of the State of Connecticut and enrolled in an accredited landscape architecture program at the college or university level. Application forms must be postmarked between January 1 and March 15 of the year of the scholarship.

We encourage you to alert qualified students to the availability of this financial aid. Thank you for helping to spread the word about The Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship!

Download/view the 2018 Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship Application Form.

Our 2017 scholarship recipients are Lia Rodriguez, of Bethel, CT and Alexandra DiStefano of Greenwich, CT.

Lia Rodriguez

  Lia Rodriguez is studying landscape architecture at Pennsylvania State University. She first discovered the field of landscape architecture watching a video about the "Gardens by the Bay" project in Singapore, designed by Grant Associates. "I was utterly amazed, not knowing that something like that could ever be created in the first place, especially with the purpose of sustainability." While landscape architecture doesn't always entail such grand, extravagant projects, the end goal is hopefully always the same, she says: achieving a balance between the built and natural environments through means of sustainability. Lia has gained inspiration from her birth country, Honduras, where landscape architecture is not necessarily well known. "There are many places within my country created by landscape architects that are absolutely stunning, but not necessarily accessible to all members of the community, especially those afflicted by poverty. I would like to devote much of my practice to making sure that all members of a community are able to enjoy these spaces, so that there is no exclusion," says Lia. Michelle DeBenedetto, School Counselor at Bethel High School, describes Lia as a young woman who radiates enthusiasm for life and learning. "She has a sincere warmth and compassion for humanity that is evident through her tireless support of the community." Says Lia, "I am excited about how diverse the practice of landscape architecture is. There are so many things that fall under the umbrella of landscape architecture - the possibilities are endless."

Alexandra DiStefano

   Alexandra DiStefano is pursuing a master's degree in landscape architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design. During her undergrad career at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, she studied architecture and political science, and gained a strong foundation in design and visual communication. It was not until her senior year that the intersection of her two disciplines solidified. In a Fall 2015 independent study, Alexandra used a rigorous design process to analyze a local grassroots movement. "I hoped that by diagramming the geographical and cultural landscape of the protesters I could tell a story that was more politically legible than arrest numbers," she says. "My goal was to push a positive environmental agenda forward rather than reacting to negative environmental policies." Alexandra hopes to continue this type of cross-disciplinary research in her graduate studies at Harvard. "I believe that landscape architecture encourages a unique approach which creates opportunities for design solutions that cut across disciplinary boundaries," she says. Kirin Makker, Associate Professor of Architectural Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, says Alexandra is a motivated, intellectually engaged, articulate, and thoughtful student. "She is game for every challenge thrown at her, and is often her own toughest critic. Alexandra invests a myriad of capacities in her work, and knows how to make thoughtful arguments with design."

Congratulations to our worthy scholarship recipients!

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CTASLA  370 James Street, 4th Fl., New Haven, CT 06513  (800) 878-1474   Copyright 2018

The Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship

Karen Ann Shopis-Fox, who passed away in August 2011, was a long-standing member of ASLA, a talented designer, and a dedicated advocate for the profession of landscape architecture. She served as member-at-large and vice president on the executive committee of CTASLA in the 1990s and was a founding member of the golf outing committee and a driving force in the formation of our scholarship. Karen practiced in Fairfield County with her own firm, Karen A. Shopis Landscape Architects. She won the chapter’s prestigious George A. Yarwood Award in 2002, given in recognition of members who have given unselfishly of their time and talent to further the profession of landscape architecture within the state and the nation.

Donations to the Karen Ann Shopis-Fox Memorial Scholarship Fund, benefitting the next generation of landscape architects, may be made at any time, in any amount, using the Donation button below. We appreciate your support.