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LAF Announces Winners of the 2013 Olmsted Scholar Awards

LAF Announces Winners of the 2013 Olmsted Scholar Awards

Since 2008, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) has honored student leadership through their Olmsted Scholars Program, the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students.  The 2013 class, nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders, join a growing community of 250 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

Needless to say, it’s a BIG deal to get this award.  Being nominated for the program is an incredible honor as well and a prime opportunity for Universities across the U.S. to showcase their best talent.  It is definitely worth learning more about the nomination and selection process. With the growth of the program over the past six years, this year marks the first that LAF has offered separate awards for graduate and undergraduates.  

Two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from the group of 39 graduate and 28 undergraduate nominees.  After hours of evaluating each nominee’s application package, along with two rounds of deliberation, the juries agreed upon two winners and 6 finalists of the 2013 Olmsted Scholar Award:  

Leann Andrews, a graduate student at the University of Washington, was selected as the 2013 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 award. In June, Leann will receive a Master of Landscape Architecture with a Certificate in Global Health. She plans use the award to return to Lima, Peru to implement her certificate capstone project: a community gardening and ecological restoration initiative in a distressed informal ‘slum’ community.

McKenzie Wilhelm, a BSLA candidate at the Ohio State University, is the other 2013 National Olmsted Scholar and the first to receive the new $15,000 undergraduate award. She plans to use the award to travel to Bristol Bay and the proposed Pebble Mine in Alaska to research and develop speculative designs for alternative mining practices and modular intervention to enhance and protect salmon habitat.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists, who each receive $1,000. The graduate finalists are:

Jose Alvarez, Florida International University

• Tina Chee, University of Southern California

• Graham Prentice, University of Pennsylvania

The undergraduate finalists are:

• Zachary Barker, State University of New York

• Pamela Blackmore, Utah State University

• Eliza Rodrigs, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The 2013 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s 28th Annual Benefit, Rising Tide, on Friday, November 15 in Boston, held in conjunction with the ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO.

See profiles of the entire group of 2013 Olmsted Scholars at: www.lafoundation.org/olmsted

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