Crisp fall evenings at football games, late nights in the studio, endless debates over the meaning of life—it’s no exaggeration to say that most of us can, at times, be a little nostalgic about “the good old days” at the University. However, there is much more
to our college experience than just pleasant memories and a diploma from our alma mater—it is where we plan our future. As a firm, RVi recognizes the importance of maintaining good relationships with the Landscape Architecture programs that take on the responsibility of educating our future designers and planners and helping them plan their future. It is vital to the continued growth of these institutions, to their future graduates, and to our profession that we give back as professionals.
We are very fortunate to have employees that are committed to maintaining relationships with their alma maters and participating in programs that leverage the resulting faculty-professional fusion into valuable real-world lessons for students. Some of the many ways that RVi routinely gives back include:
Teaching is a natural extension of professional practice. As an Adjunct Professor at The University of Texas, RVi Project Director Chris Lalich has been teaching Technology Workshop I, a class in which he introduces graduate students to the systems of grading, earthwork, site circulation, and site drainage. RVi also sponsors the annual UT/ASLA student portfolio workshop during which local professionals volunteer to review student portfolios and provide guidance on perfecting this important document.
RVi has been participating in Aggie Workshop at Texas A&M University for many years. Project Manager Paul Cozzolino recently led a Design Charrette at the Texas A&M University Aggie Workshop during which students were tasked with designing a model home park for one of RVi’s master planned community clients…in just 3 hours. Needless to say, this was a challenging yet rewarding exercise for the students.
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE LECTURES
Since 2005, Mark Smith has been visiting Louisiana State University for regular lectures on project management in the on-going “Professional Practice” lecture series and to participate in fourth- and fifth-year final project critiques.
In an effort to prepare graduating seniors for “real world” interviews, Kansas State University hosts its annual Mock Interviews. Gene Lukow recently participated in this event to “interview” students and to provide sage advice on finetuning their interviewing and presentation skills.
STUDENT INTERNSHIP PROGRAM
Since its inception, RVi has maintained a Student Internship Program. This year, we increased our commitment with the employment of three full-time student interns. Working closely with our Intern Coordinator, students interns participate in a full range of professional activities over a seven-month extended internship. When it’s all said and done, everyone benefits from professional involvement at the University level. Students get the opportunity to network with practicing designers and recruiters, hear lessons-learned from years of professional practice, and see first-hand what their chosen profession actually looks like. For professionals, networking with students not only helps them to stay in touch with what design and planning programs are teaching these days, it provides an opportunity to see and evaluate students in action within the context of their own programs—something that simply cannot be achieved in the course of a thirty-minute interview.