School of Landscape Architecture & Planning Student Profiles

Our students come from a rich diversity of backgrounds and experiences.

View profiles of a few of our undergraduate and graduate students in the University of Arizona School of Landscape Architecture and Planning:

Shamara Smith

Sustainable Influence: Shamara Smith '22 BS SBE

BS in Sustainable Built Environments student Shamara Smith came to UArizona from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this video profile, she discusses how she became interested in sustainability, her passions for leaving the world better than she found it, why community engagement is important and the value of networking in building a new career.

Urban Planning Student Christina Scarpitti

Planning for a Changing Climate: Christina Scarpitti '22 MS Urban Planning

MS Urban Planning student Christina Scarpitti made her way to Tucson in the midst of the pandemic. Although her time here came with a few trials, she looks back and reflects on the positive experience CAPLA and the School of Landscape Architecture and Planning have provided her as she enters the job field.

Christine Ufondu

Immersed in Architecture: Christine Ufondu '25 B Arch

B Arch student Christine Ufondu, who is also pursuing in a Minor in Real Estate Development, will graduate in 2025. She was born in Houston, Texas, but mostly grew up in Rivers State, Nigeria. Though she chose to come to CAPLA site unseen, it was the right decision: she loves the community of faculty, students and immersive design.

Daniel Vega

Protecting and Celebrating: Daniel Vega '21 BS SBE, '24 M Arch

Yaqui tribe member Daniel Vega, who is from Tucson, graduated from the BS in Sustainable Built Environments program in December 2021. Continuing his passion for sustainable design, he is taking advantage of the CAPLA Master of Architecture accelerated master’s program (AMP), which he will complete in 2024.

Irene Pineda in the Underwood Sonoran Garden

Accessibility for All: Irene Pineda ’22 MLA

Master of Landscape Architecture student Irene Pineda is from La Puente, California, located 20 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. She earned her BA in Communicative Disorders from San Francisco State University and served as a public school teacher before falling in love with the Sonoran Desert and joining the MLA program.

Ash Avila

Meet Ash Avila ’23 BS SBE, 2022 Transportation Research Board Minority Student Fellow

Ash Avila, a Bachelor of Science in Sustainable Built Environments student from Nogales, Arizona, who will graduate in 2023, has been awarded an acclaimed Transportation Research Board (TRB) Minority Student Fellowship for 2022. Avila is one of 24 students selected by TRB.

Christian Aguilar Murrieta at Park(ing) Day 2020

A Passion for Sustainable Gardening: Christian Aguilar Murrieta ’23 MLA

Master of Landscape Architecture student Christian Aguilar Murrieta is from Ciudad Constitucion, Baja California Sur, Mexico, a small city surrounded by agricultural fields and chirinolas. She moved to Tucson in 2013 after earning her undergraduate degree in sustainable tourism at the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California Sur.

Emma Nakpairat

A Balanced Mindset: Emma Nakpairat '23 BLA

Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Emma Nakpairat came to CAPLA and the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program in Tucson to be inspired by the Sonoran Desert—and to combine her love of the outdoors with her thirst to improve the environment in which we live.

Carla A. Campos

Designing a Resilient Future: Carla A. Campos '22 BS SBE UArizona, B Arch UPC Lima

Carla A. Campos is a fourth-year architecture undergraduate student at UPC Lima in Peru. Through CAPLA’s innovative microcampus program, she’s also pursuing her BS in Sustainable Built Environments program at the University of Arizona.

Isabelle Loh

Future Placemaker: Isabelle Loh '21 BS SBE

Isabelle Loh entered CAPLA's BS in SBE (Sustainable Communities Emphasis) after moving from Penang, Malaysia. “It’s a small island in the northern region of the country,” she says. “Fun fact: the island is only half the size of Tucson with almost double the population!”

Paola Ortez

A Journey of Resilience: Paola Ortez '21 BS SBE

Paola Ortez, who is from Tucson, entered CAPLA's BS in Sustainable Built Environments program (Sustainable Building Emphasis) following a series of unexpected physical and mental challenges, testing her but demonstrating her resilience and commitment to sustainability.

Hong Kong

From Hong Kong to Tucson: Cordell Lee '24 BS SBE

Cordell Lee, who is originally from Hong Kong, entered CAPLA's BS in Sustainable Built Environments program after completing his high school career in the United Kingdom.