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

Areti Athanasopoulos (left), 2019 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 graduate prize, and Anjelyque Easley (right) 2019 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $15,000 undergraduate prize

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.

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 for refugee camps that can be used to revise United Nations policies and 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.

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-war 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, who each receive a $5,000 award, are:
  • Jennifer Lauer, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • Fatema Maswood, University of Washington
  • Grace Mitchell Tada, University of California, Berkeley
The undergraduate finalists, who each receive a $3,000 award, are:
  • Madelynne Clark, Ball State University
  • Adriana Hernandez Aguirre, Texas A&M University
  • 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.

Now in its twelfth year, the LAF Olmsted Scholars 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.

The 2019 Olmsted Scholars will be honored at LAF’s 34th Annual Benefit on Friday, November 15 in San Diego, held in conjunction with the ASLA 2019 Conference on Landscape Architecture.

See the entire group of 2019 Olmsted Scholars at: https://www.lafoundation.org/news/2019/05/2019-olmsted-scholars

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