Serena DeNicola

About Serena:

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Degree Program: Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture '24

What kind of questions or curiosities did you have when you decided to pursue a degree in landscape architecture?

How can I take my love of art and the environment and find ways to physically change the world for the better? How can I be a part of the climate solution while doing something I love?

How would you characterize your design ethos or process?

Personally, the idea of fully understanding a space before even considering a design intervention has become increasingly important to me. Regardless of the intervention, any space has immense history, cultural connections, functional uses, and environmental qualities that are vital to consider before, during, and after the design process.

Being at Cornell, has to live in the Finger Lakes region informed your view on the field, or even broader, the environment?

I cannot stress enough how much I have learned about the environment by moving from Florida to the Finger Lakes Region. Growing up, I never experienced seasonal change of any kind and had only been exposed to native tropical plants. When I moved here, I finally experienced the magnificence of the seasons and the incredible variety of plantings that come with a temperate environment.


What kind of organizations or activities have you become involved in within Ithaca?

I’m currently a Traditions fellow and we work closely with the Cornell botanic gardens as well as other organizations like Ithaca Reuse. I’m also heavily involved with Cornell Outdoor Education as I currently teach an Intermediate Rock climbing class, I’m an Outdoor Odyssey guide for incoming freshmen, and I set routes for the climbing community. COE has given me the opportunity to meet so many amazing people, introduce freshmen to Cornell, and share my love of both climbing and the outdoors!


What kinds of professional and personal trajectories are you setting for yourself at the moment?

Currently I plan to graduate with my BSLA in 2024 and work for a design firm that specializes in environmental work, organic farm design, and community garden design. Throughout my career, I’d like to continue to advocate for climate change policy and stay active in organizations that work towards climate change solutions.