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GCA Scholar Thaisa Way


July 08, 2021

Designing for Diversity and Paying it Forward

In 2015, Dr. Thaisa Way received The Garden Club of America’s (GCA) prestigious Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture for her project entitled, “Drawing Histories of Landscape Architecture.”She is now paying it forward as the Resident Program Director for Garden and Landscape Studies (GLS) at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC, where her responsibilities include leading the residential fellowship program. Part of the program involves leading a Mellon Urban Humanities Initiative titled "Democracy and the Urban Landscape: Race, Identity, and Difference," which brings young scholars from multiple disciplines together to explore how urban environments have emerged as we know them today, how we might reimagine them in the future, and what role landscape design might play.

Dr. Way is also paying it forward by teaching and researching history, theory, and design in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Washington, Seattle. In the summer of 2020, she organized a virtual symposium titled "Segregation and Resistance in America's Urban Landscapes,” that explored subjects such as the effects of burgeoning urbanization, and creating inclusive pubic landscapes that reflect the local history and cultural perceptions of the community that will be using the space.

In 2020, the GCA awarded $306,000 to 64 scholars to support a variety of academic endeavors ranging from summer environmental study and field work, to graduate level research. In addition to these scholarships, the GCA collaborates with the American Academy on Rome which annually awards the GCA Rome Prize Fellowship in Landscape Architecture using funds endowed by the GCA. Learn more about scholarship opportunities at


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