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College of Environment and Design

Trees Atlanta Annual Alumni Social - MLA Student Perspective


speaker and attendees

On Wednesday, March 28, UGA’s CED alumni, faculty, and students gathered at Trees Atlanta for our annual Alumni Social. The event was well attended, bringing together an eclectic group of graduates, current students, professors and practicing professionals, including guest speaker Kevin Burke and our incoming dean Dr. Sonia Hirt. Kevin Burke, the principal landscape architect for Atlanta BeltLine Inc., spoke on current progress of this significant urban redevelopment. The BeltLine is the most comprehensive transportation and economic development project ever undertaken by the City of Atlanta. Plans include connecting 45 neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, streetcar line and parks based on former railroad corridors encircling Atlanta.


Saadia Rais, a first year MLA, said, “It was great to meet CED alumni that currently live in the area. I’m always interested in hearing how different firms and/or people approach practice. We got to hear about the BeltLine project from other landscape architects, which was enlightening.”

Nick Moss, another first year MLA, commented, “The event afforded students an excellent opportunity to make connections with alumni in the Atlanta area. Kevin Burke provided valuable insight on the operations within the BeltLine Project and the challenges that they and other groups faced.”

Dean Dan
In addition to Kevin Burke speaking, Dean Dan Nadenicek and the CED’s future Dean Sonia Hirt addressed the gathering. Liz Solomon, a first year MLA, said after hearing Sonia Hirt speak, “I’m excited for the energy Sonia brings to UGA. Her resume stands for itself, but I think beyond her demonstrated excellence in scholarship she brings the whole picture with her approachable nature, humor and wit, humble attitude, and encouragement of interdisciplinary collaboration. I anticipate that her leadership will enhance the collaboration between MLA and MEPD programs and energize the CED with a fresh approach.”

Incoming Dean Hirt
MLA first year, Matthew Quirey summed up the evening nice, stating “The event at Trees Atlanta was a lot of fun! I appreciate the opportunity to connect with CED Alumni and the time to network with leaders in the region. Getting to hear more about the Atlanta BeltLine directly from Kevin Burke was icing on the cake. Thank you!”