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LAF Announces 2017 Olmsted Scholars
David de la Cruz, University of Washington, and Lauren Delbridge, Virginia Tech


Congratulations to David de la Cruz and Lauren Delbridge, the winners of the graduate and undergraduate 2017 Olmsted Scholars Program prizes, respectively. Both will be graduating with landscape architecture degrees at the end of the 2017 spring semester.

The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) is delighted to announce the two winners and six finalists for the 2017 Olmsted Scholars Program, the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students.

David de la Cruz, a master's student at the University of Washington, was selected as the 2017 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $25,000 graduate prize. He will use the award to work on environmental justice issues in his home community in South Central Los Angeles. Working in partnership with educators, school administrators, and students at under-resourced high schools, David aims to collaboratively identify and implement a landscape invention project that will cultivate self-expression and environmental remediation. David graduates with a Master of Landscape Architecture in June 2017.

Lauren Delbridge, an undergraduate at Virginia Tech, is the other 2017 National Olmsted Scholar and recipient of the $15,000 undergraduate prize. She will use the award to further her research on rethinking the design of highly disturbed sites to increase public awareness and environmental literacy. She plans to travel to notable sites where disturbed lands have been successfully reclaimed or remediated, using her observations to create a collection of case studies that can be used as an educational tool, a public resource, and a foundation for further design research. Lauren graduates with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in May 2017.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists, who each receive a $1,000 award. The graduate finalists are:
• Catharine McCord, University of Colorado, Denver
• Ruth Nervig, City College of New York
• Ylan Vo, Washington University in St. Louis

The undergraduate finalists are:
• Kristi Lin, University of California, Davis
• Nathania Martinez, University of Florida
• Stephen Zimmerer, The Pennsylvania State University

Two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 50 graduate and 31 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2017 University Olmsted Scholars and join the growing community of 549 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

"These students demonstrate an exciting intellect, boldness, and sincerity of thought that promises to bolster the future of landscape architecture," said LAF President and Graduate Jury Chair Jennifer Guthrie. "Their inventiveness and the breadth of their ideas are genuinely inspiring."

Now in its tenth year, the Olmsted Scholars Program is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: EDSA, HOK, OLIN, Sasaki Associates, IRONSMITH, LandDesign, Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly, Steven G. King, FASLA, and Bill Main, Hon. ASLA; Promotion Partner: American Society of Landscape Architects.

See profiles of the entire group of 2017 Olmsted Scholars at:

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. Established in 1966, LAF invests in research, scholarships, and leadership initiatives to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability and cultivate the next generation of design leaders.

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August 21, 2019, 4:31 pm PDT

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