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Announcing LAF's 2013 National Olmsted Scholars

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is pleased to announce that Leann Andrews, a graduate student at the University of Washington, and McKenzie Wilhelm, an undergraduate at the Ohio State University, were selected as the 2013 National Olmsted Scholars. Leann receives the $25,000 prize, and McKenzie is the first recipient of the new $15,000 award for undergraduates. This year marks the first that LAF has offered separate recognition and awards for graduate and undergraduate students.

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 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. 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

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.

The 2013 jury members 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.

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.

Now in its sixth year, the Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. 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).

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.

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