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Grantors Continue to Invest in CSI

LAF recently received two grants to support its 2015 Case Study Investigation (CSI) program, which runs March - August. CSI is a unique research collaboration that matches LAF-funded student-faculty research teams with leading practitioners to document the benefits of exemplary high-performing landscape projects. The 2015 program features 6 research teams working to evaluate the performance of 18 landscape projects, ranging from the Mount Rushmore Memorial Visitor Services Redevelopment in South Dakota to the North Carolina Botanical Garden in Chapel Hill to Houston’s Bagby Street Reconstruction. The resulting case studies will be published to LAF’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series database.

driehausfoundation-207wFor the third year in a row, the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has supported the CSI program, this time granting $12,500 to support the study of three Chicago-area projects: Mary Bartelme Park, Loyola University Chicago, and Evelyn Pease Tyner Interpretive Center in Elmhurst.

artworkslogo-f3kCSI has also received a $25,000 Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). This is the fourth straight year that Art Works has supported the CSI program. The NEA received 1,731  eligible applications for this round of Art Works funding. Of those, 960 are recommended for grants totaling $25.6 million. LAF is one of only 55 groups and organizations throughout the country recommended to receive an NEA Art Works grant in the Design category.

Announcing Our 2015 National Olmsted Scholars

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is delighted to announce that Grant Fahlgren, a master’s student at the University of British Columbia, and Maria Muñoz, an undergraduate at Louisiana State University, were selected as the 2015 National Olmsted Scholars.

fahlgren-500x700Grant Fahlgren, University of British Columbia

Grant receives the $25,000 graduate prize and intends to use the award to expand his research of collaborative partnerships between indigenous communities and designers in the Cascadia Bioregion. This research will help elucidate the connections between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) and landscape architecture and provide a foundational knowledge to inform future collaborations. Grant is pursuing a Master of Landscape Architecture and expects to graduate in November 2015.

Maria receives the $15,000 undergraduate prize. Building on her heritage and experiences in Puerto Rico, Maria plans to use the award to research the island’s network of local vendors and their sources of homegrown agriculture products. Through interviews and mapping, she will document the social networks and marketing strategies of the growers, yielding knowledge that can help increase the growth potential of the homegrown food to local market system. Maria graduates with a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture in May 2015.

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists, who each receive a $1,000 award. The graduate finalists are:

muoz-500x700Maria Muñoz, Louisiana State University
  • Andrea Johnson, City College of New York
  • Teresa Pereira, Temple University
  • Harris Trobman, University of Maryland

The undergraduate finalists are:

  • Erin McDonald, Iowa State University
  • Nathaniel Oakley, University of California, Davis
  • Daniel Zhicheng Xu, Purdue University

Two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession selected the winners and finalists from a group of 43 graduate and 29 undergraduate students nominated by their faculty for their exceptional leadership potential. These top students earned the designation of 2015 University Olmsted Scholars and join the growing community of nearly 400 past and present Olmsted Scholars.

The 2015 jurors for the graduate award were: Mark Dawson, FASLA, LAF Board President and Managing Principal at Sasaki Associates; Chad Danos, FASLA, PLA, ASLA President-Elect and Director of Landscape Architecture at Duplantis Design Group; D’Arcy Deeks, President and CEO at IRONSMITH; Chris Fannin, Senior Vice President and Director of Planning at HOK; Daniel Martin, Director of Marketing at Permaloc Corporation and Partner at Land8 Media; and Sara Zewde, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar (Graduate) and MLA student at Harvard University.

Jurors for the undergraduate award were: Kona Gray, ASLA, LAF President-Elect and Principal at EDSA; Mark Focht, FASLA, PLA, ASLA Immediate Past President and First Deputy Commissioner at Philadelphia Parks & Recreation; Jim Laiche, Water Conservation Business Manager at The Toro Company; Bradford McKee, Editor-in-Chief of Landscape Architecture Magazine; Lucinda Sanders, FASLA, CEO and Partner at OLIN;  Fritz Steiner, PhD, Dean of the School of Architecture and Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Architecture, University of Texas at Austin; and Erin Percevault, 2014 National Olmsted Scholar (Undergraduate) and BLA student at Louisiana State University.

Now in its eighth year, the Olmsted Scholars Program is the premier national award and recognition program for landscape architecture students. The program honors students with exceptional leadership potential who are using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.The Olmsted Scholars Program is made possible with support from Lead Sponsor: The Toro Company; Annual Sponsors: EDSA, HOK, OLIN, Sasaki Associates, IRONSMITH, Thomas C. and Gerry D. Donnelly, and Steven G. King, FASLA; Promotion Partner: American Society of Landscape Architects.

In Remembrance: Debra Mitchell, FASLA

We were shocked and saddened at the passing of Debra Mitchell, FASLA on April 5. Deb had a distinguished 40-year professsional career, the last 26 years of which was spent at SmithGroupJJR where she served as a Senior Vice President and national design leader. Deb contributed so much to the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) in so many ways for a long, long time. She served on the LAF Board of Directors in 1989, 1992, 1997-2007, and 2010-present, with a term as President in 2000–2001.

debmitchellDeb at one of the many LAF Annual Benefits she attended over the years.

Her legacy is clear as she had a deep commitment to research in the profession and helped LAF navigate and grow through several key transition periods. Under Deb’s service and leadership, LAF became an organization separate from the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), successfully completed the Second Century Campaign that raised over $2 million, and developed the following signature programs, which have been very impactful for the landscape architecture profession and LAF’s mission to preserve, improve, and enhance the environment:

  • A Case Study Method for Landscape Architecture
  • Land and Community Design Case Study books
  • Landscape Futures Initiative
  • Olmsted Scholars Program
  • Landscape Performance Series
  • Case Study Initiative (CSI)

“Deb was an incredible person and talent. I say without a doubt that LAF would not be where we are now if not for Deb and her ideas, dedication and commitment. She will be missed very much,” said LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, FASLA.

We will especially miss Deb’s keen wit and her infectious laugh. We caught both on tape during our Practice-Based Research webinar and several of our Landscape Performance videos.

To continue her commitment to advancing the landscape architecture profession through education, research and a sustainable ethos, Deb left a bequest to LAF through the JJR|Roy Fund, which supports LAF’s research initiatives.

deb-jjrroyfundThe JJR/Roy Fund was paramount in launching LAF's Landscape Performance Series.

“I want the JJR/Roy Fund to continue to be such an asset to LAF. LAF is a forward-thinking, big picture organization, and I have been a proud Board Member for many years. I have had the joy of seeing the impact that LAF is making in the profession and am confident in LAF’s ability to grow and thrive as an organization.”

Those wanting to do something in Deb’s memory can contribute to the JJR/Roy Fund (Include “Debra Mitchell” in the “In Honor/Memory of” field) or contribute to her alma mater the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign.

More about Deb’s life and legacy can be found at: SmithGroupJJR tribute

LAF's Barbara Deutsch Honored with 2015 CELA President's Award

At its annual conference last week, the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture (CELA) presented LAF Executive Director Barbara Deutsch, FASLA with the 2015 CELA President’s Award. The prestigious award recognizes Barbara’s leadership and LAF’s pioneering work in the area of landscape performance.cela-award2

“I am honored, humbled, and delighted  to receive this award!” said Barbara, expressing her surprise and gratitude. “It reflects the thought leadership and hard work of the Landscape Architecture Foundation staff and Board of Directors. We are thrilled to have CELA as such as strong partner supporting high-quality research and professional education in landscape architecture.”

The Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture is composed of virtually all the programs of higher learning in landscape architecture in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Their annual awards honor educators, researchers, administrators, and others who make exceptional contributions to the academic practice of landscape architecture through education and research.

Thank You to Our 2015 Scholarship Jurors

2015-scholarships-newsletterEach year, the Landscape Architecture Foundation offers $40,000 in awards through nine different scholarships and fellowships, established by generous sponsors. The winners are chosen through a competitive application and selection process. LAF convenes juries to decide the winners of three awards. We would like to extend a special thank you to this year’s jurors, who lent their time and insights to the selection process. We appreciate your commitment to supporting the next generation of designers!

Douglas Dockery Thomas Fellowship in Garden and Design Jury

Gale Fulton, ASLA
Associate Professor & Chair, Graduate Landscape Architecture Program
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

David R. Gal, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP
SWA Group

Virginia L. Russell, FASLA, PLA, LEED AP, GRP
Associate Professor of Architecture, Horticulture Program Director
University of Cincinnati

Steven G. King Play Environments Scholarship Jury

Susan Herrington, PLA
Professor, Architecture and Landscape Architecture
University of British Columbia

Lisa Horne, PLA, LEED AP, ASLA
Project Manager
RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture

Joy Kuebler, PLA, ASLA
Joy Kuebler Landscape Architect, PC

Landscape Forms Design for People Scholarship Jury

Brad Collett, PLA, LEED AP, ASLA
Assistant Professor, Landscape Architecture Program
University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Joe Geller, FASLA
Vice President

Monte Wilson, PLA, ASLA, LEED AP
Jacobs Engineering