The Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) has announced the two winners for the 2014 Olmsted Scholars Program, the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. Erin Percevault, an undergraduate student at the LSU, and Sara Zewde, a master’s student at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, were selected as the 2014 National Olmsted Scholars.
“I am very honored to have been chosen to be this year’s undergraduate National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, and I am truly grateful for their support and the support of our faculty at LSU,” said Percevault, an LSU Honors College student pursuing a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture in the College of Art & Design.
An independent jury of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 45 graduate and 30 undergraduate students who were nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders. Associate Professor Kevin Risk was the RRSLA faculty member who nominated Percevault for this honor.
“Erin has a real talent for research, conceptual development, and the presentation of complex ideas to clients, faculty, and visiting critics. She is one of the most intellectually curious, engaged, and meticulous student in her class, and is certainly among the most academically gifted and committed of any undergraduate I have taught while at LSU. She clearly has a passion for environmental issues and many of her projects reflect an overriding concern for environmental sustainability, ecological wholeness, and environmental justice,” said Risk.
In recognition of her accomplishments, among other perks, Percevault will receive the following:
- Lifetime designation as a 2014 National Olmsted Scholar
- Two complimentary tickets to the LAF Annual Benefit on November 21 in Denver, Colorado (held in conjunction with the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Annual Meeting
- $15,000 award presented at the LAF Annual Benefit
- Feature story on the LAF website highlighting her research, work, and/or other projects
With the Olmsted Scholars support, Percevault will be investigating how new nuclear technology and government legislation may create and alter industrial landscapes surrounding the Lemhi Pass, a National Historic Landmark along the wildlife corridor between Yellowstone National Park and the wilderness regions of central Idaho.
“We are proud to have Erin’s leadership recognized by the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Her work at the school has been phenomenal and the funding she will receive from the Olmsted scholarship will propel her research on wildlife corridors in exciting new ways,” said Bradley Cantrell, associate professor and director of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture.
In addition to her place in LSU Honors College, Percevault is part of the Chancellor’s Future Leaders in Research Program and the Distinguished Communicators Program. She has been an active member of the RRSLA student body since her first year of study, when she joined the LSU student chapter of ASLA. Her involvement with ASLA has included organizing a swamp restoration in Baton Rouge; attending National ASLA Advocacy Day to lobby Washington, D.C.; and participating in several community projects, such as Better Blocks BR last spring. Percevault is part of Volunteer LSU on campus and has coordinated student volunteer groups for three and a half years, emphasizing environmental and disaster response.
“The Landscape Architecture Foundation is delighted to recognize and support these exceptional young leaders who will be the next generation of designers, spokespeople, and change agents to lead and advance the landscape architecture profession,” said LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch. “They join a growing community of 318 past and present Olmsted Scholars.”
Now in its seventh year, the Olmsted Scholars Program recognizes and supports students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable planning and design and foster human and societal benefits. The program is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: EDSA, HOK, OLIN, Sasaki Associates, and Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly; and Promotion Partner: American Society of Landscape Architects.
About the Landscape Architecture Foundation
The Landscape Architecture Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. Established in 1966, the foundation invests in research and scholarship to increase our collective capacity to achieve sustainability through landscape solutions. For more information, visit lafoundation.org/olmsted.
About LSU Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture
The Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture has established an international reputation as one of America’s leading and consistently top-ranked programs. Part of the LSU College of Art + Design, the school offers Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and Master of Landscape Architecture programs. For over 60 years, the program has produced landscape architects who practice all over the world and participate in the full spectrum of the discipline. For more information, visit landscape.lsu.edu.
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