Landscape Architecture Student Awarded Critical Language Scholarship

 

Late last year, Ohio State received nearly $10 million in US Department of State grant support to implement and administer for three years the Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program in East Asia, which offers intensive summer language institutes in thirteen critical foreign languages. KSA Landscape Architecture student Blythe Worstell has become one of the first recipients of a CLS scholarship.  As a scholarship recipient, Worstell will receive an all-expense paid trip to China. She will live in an apartment in either Chengdu, Suzhou, or Xiamen for two months. While in China, Worstell will participate in about 20 hours of Chinese classes each week while also going on occasional travel excursions and participating in the local community.

Worstell has always had an interest in Chinese culture. However, it was her classroom and study abroad experiences at the KSA that led her to pursue a Chinese language minor. In Lecturer Aimee Moore's Outlines of the Built Environment course, Worstell was exposed to architecture and landscape architecture projects from around the world, discovering that she was very interested in Classical Chinese gardens and landscape architecture. As a participant in a KSA Honors and Scholars freshmen study abroad trip to The Netherlands run by Moore and Professor Jason Kentner, Worstell became convinced of the importance of travel. The experience inspired her to take a class in Chinese the next semester. The next year, in a Landscape Architecture history course led by Associate Professor Deborah Georg, Worstell was required to write a paper about a landscape architecture project that focused on productive systems. For her project, Worstell examined the Shenyang Architectural University Campus (Turenscape). She fell in love with Turenscape's work and started doing more research on Chinese landscape architecture.

Worstell chose to pursue this scholarship in order to improve her Chinese language abilities and have the opportunity to live in another country for an extended period of time. Many United States-based landscape architecture firms regularly work on projects in China, and Worstell would like to use her language skills to pursue such a career. She also believes that living abroad and experiencing a different culture will provide her new perspectives that could help improve her design work.