Professional Development and Career Resources

  • Eric Kramer

  • Daniel Navarro-Gomez and Stacy Ester

  • Wen Li and Brittany Duguay

Steps and Strides Career Lecture Series

Wednesday, February 23, 2022Wednesday, April 27, 2022
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Meyerson Hall, 210 South 34th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

The Steps and Strides series provides students (in small group meetings) access to significant practitioners so they can learn about career pathways and professional practice. It will give them the opportunity to seek guidance on developing their own career strategies. These sessions will be a combination of informal presentation and group conversation.

  • February 23, 1:30pm – 2:30pm EST, Conference Room 3N, Meyerson Hall, Eric Kramer, Partner and Principal, Reed Hilderbrand. Eric has designed numerous landscapes associated with the renewal and enrichment of campuses, cities, and institutions. Eric is committed to communicating design knowledge broadly, rooting practice equally in rigorous scientific field research and the open engagement of people and communities. His works include an Urban Forest Master Plan for the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts, the Alamo Plaza Interpretive Plan in San Antonio, Texas, Pier 4 Waterfront Park and Plaza in Boston, Massachusetts, and the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. He’s also a native Philadelphian and is happy to be working currently at Longwood Gardens and the Morris Arboretum. Eric edited Visible|Invisible, the firm’s award-winning monograph and is an adjunct professor in the Rhode Island School of Design’s landscape architecture program. Snacks will be provided (first come, first served). Eric will be joined by Geoff Fritz, a Senior Associate with the firm. Geoff contributes to the design leadership of several of the firm’s prominent commissions and all aspects of project work. He is committed to curating and expanding the firm’s graphic representation and to the mentorship of Reed Hilderbrand’s junior design staff. Geoff is currently project manager for the Morris Arboretum Site Development Master Plan and The Contemporary Austin’s Betty and Edward Marcus Sculpture Park at Laguna Gloria in Austin, Texas. He also serves as project manager and lead designer for projects at the University of Delaware, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Tanglewood Music Center, and a 90-acre farm and summer retreat on Mount Desert Island, ME. In addition to professional pursuits, Geoff serves as a guest critic at Penn State and Louisiana State Universities. He earned a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Penn State University, where he was awarded an ASLA Certificate of Honor.
  • POSTPONED: March 29, 12pm – 1pm EST, Upper Gallery, Mark Thomann (MLA'99), Director, WHY Landscape. Since 2014, Mark has played an important role in shaping WHY’s approach to context-driven design, expanding the role of the Landscape Workshop to address wider questions of ecology, artistry, and placemaking. Mark studied politics and conflict studies before receiving his MLA from the University of Pennsylvania, and his approach to landscape design is guided by a commitment to social and environmental activism. Before joining WHY, Mark was a partner and Design Director with Balmori Associates where he led numerous international award-winning projects, including the Campa de los Ingleses Park at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the vision and masterplan for the city of Sejong in Korea. Mark has taught on the landscape architecture faculty at University of Pennsylvania School of Design, and his work has been featured in numerous books and publications. Snacks will be provided (first come, first served).
  • April 13, 12pm - 1pm, Virtual, Daniel Navarro-Gomez and Stacy Ester, Project Managers and Lead Designers, Design Workshop. Daniel brings more than 6 years of experience in urban design, landscape architecture and project management. He has worked on projects in the private and public sector, spanning transportation, master and campus planning, and site design. Prior to joining Design Workshop Daniel worked on the 16th Street Mall Redesign, and Community Planning Projects at Stantec/ RNL in Denver Colorado. His undergraduate degree in Architecture and time spent working in Portland, Oregon have continued to influence and inspire his work today. He brings a balance of technical expertise and visioning to be able to clearly communicate complex ideas to meet the needs of local stakeholders, clients, and communities. Stacy is with Design Workshop in Austin, TX. Her experience spans across multiple disciplines and includes training in studio art, landscape architecture and spatial analysis. Her strengths in technical and creative design allow her to develop, test and support concepts in all phases of design and planning. Her experience in project management includes work within private and public sectors across the country. Stacy is passionate about promoting wellness, security, and identities across all communities. She believes in the power of design and the collaborative process to shape outdoor spaces that are as meaningful and engaging as they are responsible and enduring.
  • April 27, 1pm - 2pm EST, Conference Room 3N, Meyerson Hall, Wen Li (MLA'13), Project Lead and Senior Landscape Architect, and Brittany Duguay, Prohect Lead, West 8. Wen, based in the West 8 North America office, is licensed in the State of California. Trained as an architect in Asia, broadened with an urban and landscape vision at Penn, Wen has been practicing as a landscape architect in both California and New York, bringing 9 years of professional experience from masterplan to execution. Before Wen joined West 8, she worked in Los Angeles for two design firms – Fluidity Design Consultants, where she obtained a sharp insight about water feature craftsmanship in the design of prestigious projects worldwide, and SWA Group, where she practiced as a design lead and project manager with experience on planning and design for a variety of projects locally and internationally. Wen practices with sensitivities on sustainability. She is a LEED Accredited Professional in Building Design and Construction. Prior to settling in the east coast, Wen has lived and worked in Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, and Rotterdam. With a multi-cultural background and a cross-disciplinary lens, Wen is most interested in shaping profound spaces that celebrate diversity and inclusivity, present moments, and timelessness, through a creative synergy of site-specific tailored landscape and architectural components. Wen is joined by Brittany Duguay. She is based in the West 8 North American office, is a project lead with expertise in campus masterplans and cultural landscapes. Brittany brings her rich academic experience into the design of gardenesque spaces that facilitate community engagement, cultural awareness, and environmental activism,  as well as resiliency, material reuse, and sustainability.  Her professional experience includes a wide array of scales - from 400 acre masterplans in the Hudson Valley to the recently-executed 132 acre Houston Botanic Garden Phase 1 to urban furniture at Duke University Sculpture Garden - and has worked through all phases of project implementation. Brittany's technical sensibility allows her to document a project into execution. As the on-site construction administrator of the project, she undertook an eight month stay in Texas to oversee the development and execution of the Houston Botanic Garden Phase 1. Brittany has been with West 8 for five years, practicing internationally in both the North American office and the Netherlands headquarters office. Prior to joining the West 8 team, Brittany conducted extensive research on complex urban river systems in India and France at the University of Virginia. Additionally, through an independent endowed travel fellowship, she analyzed the evolution of urban waterfronts relative to history, infrastructure, public realm, and ecology across many French cities. Brittany holds a BS Architecture from the University of Virginia, where she graduated summa cum laude and received the prestigious Edgar F. Shannon Award.

Please email Kali Meeks (kmeeks@design.upenn.edu) for registration links.

 

If you require any accessibility accommodation, such as live captioning, audio description, or a sign language interpreter, please email news@design.upenn.edu to let us know what you need. Please note, we require at least 48 hours’ notice. If you register within 48 hours of this event, we won’t be able to secure the appropriate accommodations.