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Ellen Sedlacek Named 2024 Olmsted Scholar Finalist

Ellen Sedlacek

Ellen Sedlacek, BLA candidate in the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, was named a 2024 Olmsted Scholar Finalist, one of three undergraduate students selected nationally by the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF).

Named for Frederick Law Olmsted, the LAF Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier leadership recognition program for landscape architecture students. Now in its 17th year, the program honors students who advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits through ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership.

“Learning that I was selected as an Olmsted Finalist was an incredible moment,” Sedlacek said. “I felt incredibly grateful to the faculty at LSU who nominated me and honored to be recognized for my passion for landscape architecture. Throughout my academic career, the faculty at LSU has been critical in my formation as a thoughtful designer, and I will forever be grateful for their guidance, expertise, and support.”

LSU and the faculty at the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture (RRSLA) have played a pivotal role in shaping her journey as a landscape architect, Sedlacek said. “The program’s emphasis on natural systems and sustainable design has fostered a passion within me for creating landscapes that are socially meaningful and ecologically sensitive,” she said. “Being selected as an Olmsted Finalist feels like the culmination of this journey, and I’m so grateful for this opportunity that will allow me to continue exploring innovative ways to integrate ecological principles into the built environment.”

“At LSU, what I cherish most about the landscape architecture program is its focus on ecology and the natural environment,” she said. “The curriculum incorporates ecology classes, emphasizes the study of native plants, and encourages us to design landscapes that enhance local ecosystems. This focus on ecological integration resonates deeply with me, and it’s something I’ve actively incorporated into all my work throughout my studies.”

Her favorite project she has worked on at LSU is her capstone project. “I chose to focus on research and explore the intersection of mycology and landscape architecture. It’s been an amazing experience to delve into the world of fungi and its diverse applications in landscape design and ecological restoration.”

“I’m incredibly grateful to LSU for providing the opportunity and space to explore this convergence of science and design. Throughout the development of my capstone, I was able to reconnect with my creativity, foster a passion for discovery, and grow significantly as a designer.”

Previous recent LSU Olmsted Scholar Nominees include Avery Haynes (2023) and Philip Fernberg (2018).

Learn more about the LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.