Back to top

Marco Rangel

Marco Rangel

Marco Rangel

Program and Degree

Master of Landscape Architecture

Expected Grad Date

December 2020


McAllen, TX

Fun Fact

I can play the oboe

What were you doing prior to your degree program?

I worked for several years as an interpretive naturalist providing environmental education for K-12 school groups and the community of the Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

What were the biggest obstacles you had to overcome in order to participate in the program?

In recent years, I have been very dedicated to giving back to the area I'm from so it was difficult to put that on hold by moving over 2,000 miles away to upstate New York. Despite that, I still believe that my decision to come here will strengthen my goals by building upon valuable knowledge and experience that I can share with my community in the future.

Why did you choose to pursue the MLA degree?

As an environmental educator, I felt as though I wanted to extend my influence on the issues I would often convey by having a more direct role in designing the world around us.

What are your post-MLA plans?

Work! Work! Work! I'm eager to enter professional practice after what feels like many years worth of education and training, both academically and in life experience. 

What are the strengths of the MLA program, in your opinion?

Having a small, highly accessible faculty with diverse backgrounds and skills.

What words would you use to describe the MLA degree program?

Rewarding; Rigorous

What have been some of your most rewarding moments while in your program?

Being able to learn and establish skills and a knowledge base that I dreamed of having for a long time.

What are your short term and long term career goals?

My short-term career goal is to find a landscape design opportunity that pushes me toward my long-term goal, which is to build a design practice in the southwest!

What courses stand out as most helpful for your specific career goals?

All of them. Landscape architecture is a greatly diverse and integrative profession so being exposed to a wide array of subjects is proving to be very helpful.

What advice would you give to your younger self embarking on the journey of graduate school?

Start your portfolio early and enjoy the general freedom while you can!

How has your MLA experience changed you, both personally and professionally?

It has given me confidence, both as a young designer and with the notion that I'm on the right track toward doing something truly amazing with my career.

What's your favorite thing about living in Ithaca?


What advice would you give an undergraduate student who is preparing to jump right into the MLA program?

Relax. Listen. Don't be shy.

What student organizations are you involved in?

I serve on the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Student Chapter Committee as Alumni Coordinator.

What do you like about being involved in student organizations?

I enjoy contributing to the studio culture and experience of our program.

How have the faculty supported your educational goals?

The landscape architecture faculty have been wholeheartedly supportive and influential throughout my time in the program, whether that be through fostering space for one-on-one conversation or providing insight and recommendations for professional practice.

Any other thoughts or comments?

I'm still constantly reminded how remarkable landscape architecture is as a profession and I am so humbled and grateful that I get to evolve into it within Cornell University.