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Joe LaMonica ’18


Student Spotlight: Joe LaMonica

Landscape Contracting B.T., Class of ‘18

What He's Studying

The landscape contracting program at Cobleskill had appealed to me because I felt that it combined a number of my interests into one program. I had chosen Cobleskill because of the way that the program was structured. Students who are going to earn a degree in landscape contracting at Cobleskill are given the opportunity to gain knowledge in many of the various components that make up the landscape industry, allowing students to gain a basic understanding of a wide variety of topics related to the field.

What I enjoy most about the classes offered at Cobleskill is that the educational experience is not limited to the walls of a classroom. A number of the courses in the program allow the students to apply what they learn inside the classroom out in the field with hands on learning experiences and community projects. To me, this type of education is much more valuable than one that is built solely on lectures and exams.

I have an idea of a few things I may want to do right after graduation, but I don’t want to set my future plans in concrete yet.  Unexpected events occur, goals and dreams change. I don’t quite know where I’m going yet.

What the Future Holds

I think I may be interested in attending graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in landscape architecture. I am currently interested in SUNY ESF or Louisiana State, but I need to research other options. Cobleskill is helping me get where I want to go by providing a professional staff that is knowledgeable and passionate about helping the students.

Mentors Going Above and Beyond

Two of the most important people I have met here at Cobleskill are Professor Tim Marten and Professor Paul Gemmiti. Both of them have been excellent professors, mentors, and friends during the time I have spent here, and I appreciate all that they have done for me. Professor Marten has constantly guided me in improving and developing my skills, as well as helping me to find opportunities outside of the classroom such as landscape design projects for real clients or summer jobs with landscape companies such as the one I am at right now. Professor Gemmiti has provided me with valuable knowledge that he learned from his own personal experiences in regards to running a business as well as answering my never ending questions on how to make smart financial choices.

“Being a part of the landscape club team and working on these projects helped assure me that what I am learning in class is something I think I can enjoy doing for the rest of my life."


I am a member and an officer of the Cobleskill Landscape Club right now (we are seeking new members from all majors!!) Being in the landscape club allows me to gain new experiences, give back to the community and the college campus, see new places, and make connections in the landscape industry. The past two semesters I have spent a good chunk of time working on two landscape design projects. The first one was a design for the Old Quad on campus which I had completed in the fall. The second project was at Vernon Downs casino and racetrack in Vernon, NY, which I had worked on this past spring with another student in my program, Amelia Schraver. Being a part of the landscape club team and working on these projects helped assure me that what I am learning in class is something I think I can enjoy doing for the rest of my life.

Students, Take Note

The modern education system I feel has led us to believe, all too often, that true success is defined by a 4.0 GPA. A 4.0 GPA is nice to have, and it is an outstanding achievement to have one, but it’s not always necessary to be perfect in order to be successful in your academic career. It is okay to make mistakes; that’s how you learn. When you strive for 100% perfection, you lose so much time that you could have used seeking and gaining more knowledge that will help you in the future. The real final exam isn’t the one you take at the end of the semester on a piece of paper, it’s how you will apply the knowledge you have gained during your time at college into the real world.