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GCA Scholarships Recipients: The Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden History and Design


2017 Kevin Jeffery

Kevin Jeffery is a master’s student in landscape architecture at the University of Texas at Austin. His objective is to develop a “blue
index” project in the City of Austin, which will rank and categorize water areas of all types for the amount of relaxation they induce as well as their perceived human value. He will install 25 photo stations throughout the city for participants to rank an area for how much it contributes to their level of calmness as well as submit a photograph capturing the water scene with their smart device.

2016 Maggie Kraus

Maggie Kraus is a master's student in Landscape Architecture at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her research aims to document and celebrate the stories and experiences embedded within community gardens throughout New England. She will use oral history as a way to personify these spaces, challenging the predominant understanding of what qualifies as a garden and who qualifies as a gardener. Her findings will be compiled online as the New England Community Garden Oral History Project, helping to connect current and prospective community gardeners everywhere.

2016 Elyzabeth Engle

Elyzabeth Engle is a PhD candidate in Rural Sociology and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment at Penn State University. Her dissertation research is titled, “Cultivating Community Capacities for What? And for Whom?: An Examination of Community Garden Programs in Rural Appalachia.” She will focus on the community development and social justice implications of community gardens in regions historically reliant on natural resource extraction. Elyzabeth grew up in rural Pennsylvania, which fostered a passion for understanding and enhancing environmental sustainability and community resilience through engaged scholarship projects. She has supplemented her academic pursuits through work at Penn State’s Sustainability Institute and practice in local agrifood projects.

2015 Emily Detrick

Emily Detrick is pursuing a Master’s degree in Horticulture at Cornell University. Her research will focus on the preparation of a best practices approach to gathering, documenting and curating historic garden collections. She will develop resources to guide the collection documentation process, including a video documentary. This will help institutions maximize not only internal efficacy but also their capacity to contribute to larger scale conservation efforts.

2014 Jessica Herlich

Jessica Herlich is a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology at th College of William and Mary. Her project, "Algonquain Gardens in Tidewater Virginia," will seek to understand the pre-colonial Chesapeake landscape through scientific study of the "complex floral and faunal design suited to diverse seasonal needs, . . . tracing similarities and differences in landscape and garden design throughout approximately 1600 years of time in coastal Virginia."

2013 Molly Briggs

School: University of Illinois
Molly Briggs, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will investigate Chicago’s west side parks and how popular imagery has influenced public perception and use of the parks, impacting their development to the present day. Her project links history, garden design and perception, giving it both long-term and immediate value.

2012 Fiona McAnally

School: University of Tennessee
A Master of Plant Science candidate at the University of Tennessee, will document the historical, cultural and botanical significance of vegetables of primarily European origin being grown in home gardens in Southern Appalachia. The database of information created will be a useful resource for historic home museums and farms, professional gardeners, home gardeners, ethno-botanists and chefs.

2011 Sara Safransky

School: University North Carolina Ph.D
Her objective is to understand the major processes shaping agrarian redevelopment in Detroit and the socio-ecological effects of the increasing number of farms and gardens in Americas urban landscapes.

2010 Jennifer Gorospe

School: University of California Santa Cruz - B.A. Biology & Environmental Studies San Jose State University - M.A.
"Her research will determine relationships between concentrations of heavy metals in garden soils and ethnicity, income level, and garden locations within San Francisco."
Project location: "San Francisco, CA"

2009 James Schissel

School: "University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign Ph.D. Candidate Louisiana State University M.L.A. University of Southern Mississippi M.A. Millsaps College B.A."
"Landscape Architecture Will research the noted 19th century horticulturist Thomas Affleck, specifically focusing on Affleck's place in the development of the southern landscape."



Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The GCA offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships, awarding more than $330,000 to 86 scholars in 2017.

For example, the GCA Fellowship in Ecological Restoration offers an $8,000 annual grant for graduate study and research at a leading accredited university in the United States. Fields of study of past recipients have ranged from forestry to applied plant sciences to ecology and evolutionary biology.

Read more about the four 2017 recipients.