Kristi Korngold, landscape architecture major at UGA’s College of Environment and Design, sees service as a means to improve herself and the planet. She has been a part of many projects in the Athens area focused on sustainable gardens, and applies her interest in sustainable development to all of her endeavors.

What is your major/minor?
I major in landscape architecture in the College of Environment and Design.

Hometown?
I am from Alpharetta, Georgia.

What does service mean to you?
To me, service is lending a helping hand through determination, commitment and knowledge.

Why do you serve?
I serve to better my community, my planet and even myself.

What made you want to get involved in service at UGA?
I wanted to expand my knowledge of how to make an impact in my community and service offered me the opportunity to contribute to the community first-hand.

What service and leadership opportunities are you involved with at UGA?
Through my major I have been fortunate enough to help out with many projects around Athens. I helped design and construct a coastal garden at Fowler Drive Elementary School, worked at the UGArden and recently volunteered at a local Habitat for Humanity site.

What do you feel has been the greatest benefit of your service at UGA, within the community and in your personal life?
The greatest contribution I made while being at UGA has to be the implementation of a coastal garden at Fowler Drive Elementary School. The garden was created as a teaching tool for students to explore coastal regions, such as Jekyll Island. This project taught me the importance of being a leader and how good communication is vital to every step of a project.

Why do you feel it is important for students to participate in public service and outreach? How do you benefit from it?
Public service and outreach provide an opportunity for students to give back to the community they are studying in. As a student at UGA, my public service has given me the chance to learn about the people and spaces of Clarke County. I have been able to share what I have learned in the classroom and implement it in designs such as with Fowler Drive Elementary School.

What are your plans after graduation?
I would like to be involved in the urban design aspect of sustainable development such as rooftop gardens. I am also interested in spatial manipulation of an area and the effect that can create on one’s emotions/feelings.

What are your interests and hobbies outside school?
Outside of school I enjoy scoping out new fashion trends, music, art and outdoor spaces. I recently participated in ballet and Cross Fit classes and am looking for my next adventure. Of course, I love spending time with my family and friends.

Please list any outside-UGA community service you are involved in.
I used to intern for Athens Land Trust, where I would help educate the community on sustainable gardens and the importance of compost. This internship showed me the importance of community involvement. It goes along with the saying, “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Education is a key tool in every project.

What is your favorite spot in Athens, at UGA or in Georgia? Why?
My favorite spot in Athens is definitely the Founders Garden on North Campus at UGA. It’s a great place to catch some sun rays and have a moment of self reflection between classes. The garden is peaceful and well designed, and an inspiration to me.

What motivates or inspires you in life?
My family is my biggest inspiration and motivation. Being the youngest in the family, I have grown up watching the success of my siblings and parents. I learned from their mistakes and accomplishments and am constantly striving to be people as good as they are. Without them I would be nothing.

What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?
My sister always tells me “you are you, just you and I like you.” While this is not exactly advice it reminds me to stay true to myself and to never stray from my core beliefs. So the best advice out there is to always be yourself.