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Announcing LAF's 2013 Olmsted Scholars

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is pleased to announce the two winners and six finalists for its 2013 Olmsted Scholars Program, the premier leadership recognition program for landscape architecture students. This year marks the first that LAF has offered separate recognition and awards for graduate and undergraduate students.

Leann Andrews, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar
Leann Andrews

Leann Andrews, a master's student at the University of Washington, was selected as the 2013 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 graduate prize. In June, Leann will receive a Master of Landscape Architecture with a Certificate in Global Health. She plans to use the award to return to Lima, Peru to implement her certificate capstone project: a community gardening and ecological restoration initiative designed to improve nutrition, increase mobility, reduce illness, improve mental health and well-being, and contribute to economic stability and social infrastructure in a distressed informal ‘slum’ community.

McKenzie Wilhelm, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar
McKenzie Wilhelm

McKenzie Wilhelm, an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University, was selected as the other 2013 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $15,000 undergraduate prize. McKenzie is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and expects to graduate in May 2014. 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 a $1,000 award.

2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalists

Top row: Graduate finalists; Bottom row: Undergraduate finalists

  • Headshot of Jose Alvarez, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

    Jose Alvarez
    Florida International University

  • Headshot of Tina Chee, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

    Tina Chee
    University of Southern California

  • Headshot of Graham Prentice, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

    Graham Prentice
    University of Pennsylvania

  • Headshot of Zachary Barker, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

    Zachary Barker
    SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

  • Headshot of Pamela Blackmore, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

    Pamela Blackmore
    Utah State University

  • Headshot of Eliza Rodrigs, 2013 National Olmsted Scholar Finalist

    Eliza Rodrigs
    University of Massachusetts, Amherst

The undergraduate finalists are:

An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 39 graduate and 28 undergraduate students who were nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders. These top students earned the designation of 2013 University Olmsted Scholars and join the growing community of 243 past and present Olmsted Scholars. See all past winners and finalists here.

Now in its sixth year, the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program recognizes students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits. Past National Olmsted Scholars include Andrea Gaffney from the University of California, Berkeley (2008), David Malda from the University of Virginia (2009), Emily Vogler from the University of Pennsylvania (2010), Kate Tooke from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (2011), and Jack Ohly from the University of Pennsylvania (2012).


In addition to the winner and finalists, the graduate nominees from each university are recognized as 2013 LAF Olmsted Scholars, which denotes distinguished student leadership in landscape architecture.

Danae Alessi, The City College of New York | Andrew Bernard, University of New Mexico | Lisa Biddle, University of Georgia | Evan Blondell, University of Illinois | Ella Braco, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | Ashely Brenden, Arizona State University | Glenis Canete, University of British Columbia | Elizabeth Caroll, Morgan State University | Emilie Carter, University of Maryland | Isaac Cohen, University of Virginia

Dayton Crites, Utah State University | Tracie Curry, Harvard University | Deryn Davidson, University of Arizona | Lauren Ewald, Kansas State University | Nathan Frazee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst | Bryce Frost, University of Oklahoma | Tyrel Hill, University of Idaho | Elizabeth Hixson, University of Minnesota | Yinglin Ji, North Carolina State University | Tyler Kiggins, Rhode Island School of Design 

Stephanie Kopplin, University of Texas at Austin | Taylor LaRocque, University of Manitoba | Pengzhi Li, Texas A&M University | Katherine Lloyd, Clemson University | Eric Lucas, Ball State University | Luke Murphee, University of Tennessee | Jesse Nicholson, Cornell University | Elizabeth Podowski, University of Oregon | Elissa Claire Ritchey, Auburn University | Amarilys Rosa, University of Puerto Rico

Devon Santy, Cal Poly Pomona | David Shimmel, The Ohio State University | Dustin Smith, Virginia Tech | Dylan Stewart, University of Texas at Arlington | Rebecca Sunter, University of California, Berkeley


In addition to the winner and finalists, the undergraduate nominees from each university are recognized as 2013 LAF Olmsted Scholars, which denotes distinguished student leadership in landscape architecture.

The undergraduate 2013 LAF Olmsted Scholars


Melissa Boffa, Philadelphia University | Carson Cooper, University of California, Davis | Nicholas Denney, Virginia Tech | Catherine Druken, University of Rhode Island | Linda Fortin, University of Montreal | Garrett Frank, North Carolina A&T State University | Wally Graeber, University of Wisconsin | Kristan Harrison, Texas A&M University | Forrest Hunt, Oklahoma State University | Nicholas King, Iowa State University

Colin Kreik, Boston Architectural College | Jacob Leon, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo | Cassidy Michaux, West Virginia University | Grace Miller, University of Georgia | Nicholas Mitchell, Purdue University | Jessica Pilon, Michigan State University | Lori Race, Clemson University | Gabriella Salvemini, Pennsylvania State University | Joseph Starbuck, North Dakota State University | Maria Torres, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Stephen Trigueiro, University of Washington | Andria Traux, University of Oregon | Janice Yan Tung, Cornell University |  W. Daniel Tunkle, University of Maryland


The jurors for the graduate award were:

  • Bill Main, Honorary ASLA, LAF Board President and Executive Chairman of Landscape Forms
  • Mark A. Focht, FASLA, PLA, ASLA President-Elect and First Deputy Commissioner at Philadelphia Parks + Recreation
  • Joseph J. Lalli, FASLA, Chairman and Principal at EDSA
  • Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, CEO of OLIN
  • Perry Howard, FASLA, Associate Professor and Coordinator at North Carolina A&T State University
  • Andrew Spiering, Land8 Media, LLC
  • Jack Ohly, 2012 National Olmsted Scholar and Associate at Michael Van Valkenburgh and Associates, Inc.

The jurors for the undergraduate award were:

  • Jacinta McCann, FAILA, LAF Board President-Elect and Executive Vice President at AECOM
  • Susan Hatchell, FASLA, PLA, ASLA Immediate Past President and President of Susan Hatchell Landscape Architecture, PLLC
  • Jim Laiche, Business Manager at The Toro Company
  • Elizabeth Brabec, JD, ASLA, Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst
  • George Schmok, Publisher/Producer at Landscape Communications, Inc.


LAF is grateful to the many individuals and organizations that provide financial support towards fulfilling our mission to support the preservation, improvement, and enhancement of the environment.

Much of what LAF is able to accomplish would not be possible without the thought leadership and financial investment of our major supporters, including ASLA, which provides over $125,000 of in-kind support annually.