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LAF Announces Winners of the $25,000 and $15,000 Olmsted Scholar Awards

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) has announced the two winners and six finalists for its 2018 Olmsted Scholars Program, a leading national leadership award program for landscape architecture students.

Elizabeth Camuti
Elizabeth Camuti  

Elizabeth Camuti, a master’s student at the University of Virginia, was selected as the 2018 National Olmsted Scholar, receiving the $25,000 graduate prize. She plans to leverage the award to continue her ongoing research about new forms of socio-ecological infrastructure for isolated populations threatened by climate change and extreme weather, specifically the U.S. territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Carmuti will use the award to support travel, tools, and surveillance technologies to better understand how infrastructural improvements implemented in the wake of recent storms might interface with new forms of human occupation. Carmuti graduated with a Master of Landscape Architecture in May.

Karina Ramos, Student ASLA
Karina Ramos, Student ASLA  

Karina Ramos, Student ASLA, an undergraduate at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is the other 2018 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $15,000 undergraduate prize. She will use the award to design a physical plan for Puente Piedra, an emerging town 55 km. away from Lima, Peru. Inspired by David Gouverneur’s “informal armatures” approach, Ramos will first conduct case-study research in her hometown of Los Olivos, an adjacent district that evolved through the planned growth and development of an existing informal settlement. Ramos graduated this spring with a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists. Thanks to the generous support of LAF’s 50 & Forward Campaign donors, the Olmsted Scholar finalist awards increased from $1,000 to $5,000 for graduate students and $3,000 for undergraduates, starting this year.

The graduate finalists are:
Rachel Ison, University of Southern California
Nicholas Jabs, University of Pennsylvania
Steven Nuñez, University of Texas at Arlington

The undergraduate finalists are:
Toni Candanedo, Arizona State University
Bryce Donner, University of Florida
Karen Lomas-Gutierrez, Student ASLA, University of California, Davis

Two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 50 graduate and 35 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2018 University Olmsted Scholars and join the growing community of 634 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

Now in its eleventh year, the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program  is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: HOK, IRONSMITH, Kimley-Horn, 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.

The 2018 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s 33rd Annual Benefit on Friday, October 19, in Philadelphia, held in conjunction with the ASLA Annual Meeting and EXPO.

See profiles of the entire group of 2018 Olmsted Scholars at

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