Student Spotlight: Aaron Ragsdale
Master of Landscape Architecture student Aaron Ragsdale is currently finishing his term as president of Auburn’s student chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). A native of Homewood, Alabama, Ragsdale has enjoyed combining his love of nature with his academic studies. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Birmingham-Southern College and plans to graduate from Auburn’s School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture (APLA) this coming May.
As president of ASLA, Ragsdale says that his primary duties have been communicating with ASLA’s national headquarters and working with other Auburn student groups on large scale events like the College of Architecture, Design and Construction’s annual Pumpkin Carve. Other chapter activities include Parking Day, where group members occupy parking spots and then transform them into small public parks, as well as their recent forays into selling cut flowers and dried botanicals in pop-up events. ASLA members have also worked to offer expertise and planning to groups with similar interests like horticulture and urban gardening groups. Ragsdale is expecting ASLA’s membership and activities to continue to grow since APLA recently launched a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program in the fall of 2021. “We are hoping to expand the number of events we do annually and hope to include the new undergraduate students more in the process,” he said. “They’re the future of the program after all!”
When Ragsdale graduates this May, he hopes to stay in the Auburn area working in a landscape designer role. “I come from a family of Alabama fans, so culturally I was very impressed with Auburn as a place to live,” Ragsdale explained. “Everything here feels like it is precision crafted to create the ideal college experience, so being able to wade through it all is awe inspiring.”
An avid hiker who loves the outdoors, Ragsdale has found the Master of Landscape Architecture program to prepare him for a career he knows will be fulfilling. “If you had told me three years ago while I was working at a call center that I’d be able to explore this state’s natural wonders for work, I would’ve said it’s too good to be true,” he stated. “The instructors at Auburn are passionate about taking time to appreciative the slower and less obvious splendor around us, and that alone has been a huge boon to my thinking.”