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Announcing Our 2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is delighted to announce the two winners and six finalists for its 2019 Olmsted Scholars Program, the premier leadership recognition program for landscape architecture students.

Headshot of Areti Athanasopoulos, 2019 LAF National Olmsted Scholar
Areti Athanasopoulos, University of Colorado Denver

Areti Athanasopoulos, a master’s student at the University of Colorado Denver, was selected as the 2019 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 graduate prize. Building from time she spent volunteering at the Ritsona refugee camp in Greece, Areti will use the award to continue her investigation and development of a spatial framework that can be used to revise United Nations policies and refugee camp planning standards. Her policy will clearly define human landscape needs and outline parameters for the inclusion of gardens as necessary camp infrastructure. She also plans to pilot a “Sister Gardens” program in which non-profit organizations provide guidance, resources, materials, and technical support and collaborate on the design-build of a garden in a refugee camp.

Headshot of Anjelyque Easley, 2019 LAF National Olmsted Scholar
Anjelyque Easley, The Pennsylvania State University

Anjelyque Easley, an undergraduate at The Pennsylvania State University, is the other 2019 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $15,000 undergraduate prize. Her research focuses on the erasure of the African American influence on the American landscape and the inadequacy of documentation of residents, places, and traditions. She has observed parallels between post-World War II Jewish landscapes and post-slavery African American landscapes and plans to visit some of these sites in order to develop a set of case studies and establish guidelines for site analysis and documentation. She will focus on cemeteries or burial places, areas of residence, and places where people were taken, such as camps and plantations.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists. The graduate finalists each receive a $5,000 award, and the undergraduates each receive a $3,000 award.

2019 National Olmsted Scholar Finalists

Top row: Graduate finalists; Bottom row: Undergraduate finalists

  • Headshot of Jennifer Lauer, 2019 National Olmsted Scholars Finalist

    Jennifer Lauer
    SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry

  • Headshot of Fatema Maswood, 2019 National Olmsted Scholars Finalist

    Fatema Maswood
    University of Washington

  •  Headshot of Grace Mitchell Tada, 2019 National Olmsted Scholars Finalist

    Grace Mitchell Tada
    University of California, Berkeley

  • Headshot of Madelynne Clark, 2019 National Olmsted Scholars Finalist

    Madelynne Clark
    Ball State University

  • Headshot of Adriana Hernandez Aguirre, 2019 National Olmsted Scholars Finalist

    Adriana Hernandez Aguirre
    Texas A&M University

  • Headshot of Christian Moore, 2019 National Olmsted Scholars Finalist

    Christian Moore
    The Ohio State University

Two independent juries selected the winners and finalists from a group of 49 graduate and 37 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2019 LAF Olmsted Scholar and join the community of 720 LAF Olmsted Scholars named since the program’s inception in 2008. See all past winners and finalists here.

Now in its twelfth year, the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits. The program is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: Deeproot, HOK, IRONSMITH, LandDesign, OLIN, Sasaki, Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly, Steven G. King, FASLA, and Bill Main, Hon. ASLA; Promotion Partner: American Society of Landscape Architects.

2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars (Graduate)

In addition to the winner and finalists, the graduate nominees from each university are recognized as 2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars, which denotes distinguished student leadership in landscape architecture.

Grid with headshots of the 45 graduate 2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars


First Row: Mahsa Adib, Iowa State University | Roberto Astudillo, University of Michigan | Justin Bhatia, University of Calgary | Alexandra Boese, University of Minnesota | Olivia Bussey, Florida International University | Suehyun Choi, University of Tennessee | Jon Choi, University of Arizona | Valerie Clarke, Illinois Institute of Technology | Anna Darling, University of Pennsylvania | Alex Darr, Virginia Tech

Second Row: Evan Davenport, Rhode Island School of Design | Adam DeHeer, University of Oregon | Sarah Diamond, Harvard University | Yizhen Ding, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Lendell Ervin II, Ball State University | Katherine Ferguson, University of Maryland | Anna Grace FitzGerald, North Carolina State University | Hana Georg, City College of New York | Aaron Hernandez, University of Toronto | Adriana Hidalgo, Cornell University

Third Row: Cynthia Hron, Pennsylvania State University | Taylor Inzetta, Clemson University | Kevin Jeffery, University of Texas at Austin | Isabel Jimenez, University of Southern California | Crystal Kazakos, University of Texas at Arlington | Katie Kelly, University of Virginia | Chien-Yu Lin, Boston Architectural College | Sanja Martic, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Ashley Millar, University of Guelph | Jessica Nielsen, Auburn University

Fourth Row: Haley Powell, University of Oklahoma | Benjamin Proulx, University of Georgia | Erin Ramsden, Temple University | Breanna Ross, University of Florida | William Schoenster, Morgan State University | Brittany Shalagan, University of British Columbia | Priyasha Shrestha, Kansas State University | Josiah Simpson, University of Massachusetts Amherst | Rachel Smith, The Ohio State University | Matthew Starley, Utah State University

Fifth Row: Lama Tawk, Kent State University | Rory Thibault, Washington University in St. Louis | Katherine Woodhouse, University of Idaho | Andrew Wright, Louisiana State University | Weiyi Zhou, Texas A&M University


    2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars (UnderGraduate)

    In addition to the winner and finalists, the undergraduate nominees from each university are recognized as 2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars, which denotes distinguished student leadership in landscape architecture.

    Grid with headshots of the 33 undergraduate 2019 LAF Olmsted Scholars


    First Row: Breanne Alton, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo | Jacob Bauer, West Virginia University | Cameron Blakely, Utah State University | Zochil Castro, Washington State University | Jacob Costello, University of Arkansas | Anna Erickson, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey | Benjamin Gladstone, University of Georgia | Emma Hershey, University of Oregon | Grant Huber, Texas Tech University | SooMin Hur, University of California, Davis

    Second Row: Raul Irizarry Jr, University of Connecticut | Griffin Johnson, University of Kentucky | Jacob Krafft, Oklahoma State University | Jeryn Mackey, University of Guelph | Grace Manning, Temple University | Zoey Mauck, Iowa State University | Chris McCormick, University of Rhode Island | Rachel Meier, Thomas Jefferson University | Lois Nguyen, Cornell University | Chandler Nohr, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

    Third Row: Jacqueline Pinner, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry | Emily Pixberg, Louisiana State University | Simon Pokorny, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign | Michael Pullano, University of Maryland | Tucker Rose, Purdue University | Gabriella Rowe, University of Florida | Adam Scott, University of Wisconsin-Madison | Katryn Squyres, Arizona State University | Amanda Wakefield, Michigan State University | Holly Waterman, Virginia Tech |

    Fourth Row: Rachel Wells, Cal Poly Pomona | Alexander Williams, Clemson University | Nicholas Zurlini, University of Washington


    Thank you to our 2019 Juries

    The jurors for the graduate award were: 

    • Stephanie A. Rolley, Professor and Head, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional & Community Planning, Kansas State University
    • Wendy Miller, President Elect, American Society of Landscape Architects / Wendy Miller Landscape Architecture, PLLC
    • Jonathan Hilburg, Assistant Editor, The Architect’s Newspaper
    • Brian Jencek, Senior Principal / Firmwide Director of Planning, HOK
    • Richard Roark, Partner, OLIN
    • Alan Tate, Professor + Head of Landscape Architecture, University of Manitoba
    • Liz Camuti, Landscape Designer, SCAPE / 2018 LAF National Olmsted Scholar (Graduate)

    The jurors for the undergraduate award were: 

    • Lisa Tziona Switkin, Senior Principal, James Corner Field Operations

    • Gregory Miller, Immediate Past President, American Society of Landscape Architects / Principal Landscape Architect, MRWM Landscape Architects

    • Shawn Freedberg, Business Development Manager, Deeproot Green Infrastructure

    • Jim Laiche, Water Conservation Business Manager, The Toro Company

    • Eric Pohlmann, Principal, LandDesign

    • Kate Tooke, Senior Associate, Sasaki

    • Lucy Wang, Freelance design writer / Contributing Writer, Dwell

    • Karina Ramos, Landscape Designer, Pellettieri Associates / 2018 LAF National Olmsted Scholar (Undergraduate )


    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.