October 22, 2021

Sabrina Hooker

The senior and student ambassador talks about finding the perfect combination of art, design, and environmental science in landscape architecture.

Name: Sabrina Hooker
Program: Landscape Architecture
Year: Senior

Why did you choose to attend Ohio State?

I chose Ohio State because, as a large university, it can provide many opportunities. Additionally, it is in the top five in the country for my program—landscape architecture. Due to the large and well-funded nature of the school, Knowlton is equipped with nearly any resource you could want. Everything is contained in one building, so it truly does feel like a mini-school within a large university system.

Why factors led you to choose landscape architecture as a career path?

I chose landscape architecture because it combined my love of research and science with my natural creative and design abilities. STEM classes were never my forte in high school, despite attending a STEM school, but I was always drawn to the discovery and research element of my science classes. My favorite project in school was designing a zoo habitat for a chosen animal, so after doing some research about what career would allow me to be creative and also included some science, specifically sustainability and environmental science, I discovered landscape architecture and felt that it just fit.

Can you tell us a little about your two minors?

I am pursuing minors in environmental science and studio art. Art has always been a big part of my life — I grew up painting, drawing, and sculpting. It is an amazing outlet for me, and I wanted to continue improving my skills in college. Environmental science has interested me for a long time, and I think it can bring some useful data-based knowledge to my major.

Can you describe work that you have done at Knowlton that illustrates your interest in the field?

My favorite project thus far epitomizes why I chose and love this major so much. The project was to research flora and fauna species and complete an informational poster about them with accompanying diagrams and text. It combined my love of art and design with my desire to research and learn, which is why I enjoyed it so much. We then collaborated with a fellow classmate to re-design a golf course into a wildlife park that would support three flora and three fauna of our choosing.

What advice would you give high school students who are interested in your particular program?

The advice I would give to incoming freshmen is to be patient with yourself. A college career in design is truly unlike any other college experience, and it can be hard to adjust to a new way of learning. If you were really good at studying, memorizing, and taking tests in high school like I was, those skills really don't have much use in a studio setting. Of course, they are incredibly useful tools, but design requires other important skills. You will find yourself spending hours perfecting an idea, only to have it be completely changed or critiqued the next day, which is totally fine and is all just a part of the design process.

What is the best advice for a new Knowlton student?

The best advice I can think of for an incoming Knowlton student is to simply get to know everyone, from students to TAs to professors; people are the most useful tool when it comes to navigating Knowlton. You will be spending a lot of time in your cohort, and you will all be working on the same project, so it is always nice to have a helping hand with that. Additionally, these fields are quite tightly connected, so making friends in college will definitely help your future career.

What do you enjoy most about being a Knowlton student?

I enjoy the studio class cohort element of Knowlton the most. It allows you to make friends with similar interests and opinions very quickly, which helps make you feel like you are a part of something and that you belong. Knowlton offers a support system for studio life, which can be extremely emotionally and mentally challenging. Sometimes it is just nice to know that you are not alone, and there are other people going through the same thing as you. I honestly don't think I could have made it this far in this major without knowing the people I met through studio cohorts.