Last month, the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) announced 94 exceptional student leaders honored as LAF Olmsted Scholars, including the two National Olmsted Scholar winners and six finalists. 

The winners and finalists were selected by two independent juries of leaders in the landscape architecture profession. The winners included 52 graduate and 42 undergraduate students who were nominated by their faculty for being exceptional student leaders. These students all earn the designation of 2024 LAF Olmsted Scholars and join a community of 1,163 LAF Olmsted Scholars named since the program’s inception in 2008. 

The two National LAF Olmsted Scholars included Nina Weithorn and Julia Li. 

Nina Weithorn, a Master of Landscape Architecture student at the University of Southern California, is the 2024 graduate National Olmsted Scholar. Nina has a background in agriculture and environmental science. She plans to use her award to continue her work on the Allensworth Agricultural Experiment Station (AAES) in Tulare County, California, testing soil-building techniques inspired by African Dark Earth and cultivating climate-adapted and culturally significant crops in collaboration with Black, Latinx, and Indigenous communities in Allensworth.  

Julia Li, a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture student at The Pennsylvania State University, is the 2024 undergraduate National Olmsted Scholar. A Schreyer Honors Scholar, Julia is also pursuing a minor in meteorology. Merging her design and scientific training, Julia is passionate about creating tangible solutions that mitigate the consequences of climate inequality. Building from her honors thesis, she intends to use her award to work on a climate resilience training and response strategy in the Kilombero Valley in Morogoro, Tanzania, including weather data alongside generational knowledge. 

Also honored are six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists. The graduate finalists, who each receive a $5,000 award, are:

  • Cameron Coronado, University of Oregon 
  • Aya Keskeso, Kent State University 
  • Tatiana Veloso, North Carolina State University 

The undergraduate finalists, who each receive a $3,000 award, are:

  • Juan Perez, University of Florida 
  • Madison Sanders, University of Oregon 
  • Ellen Sedlacek, Louisiana State University

Learn more about the LAF Olmsted Scholars here:  

The Landscape Architecture Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. Established in 1966, LAF works to increase the influence and impact of landscape architects to create a more sustainable, just, and resilient future. In 2022, LAF joined the Olmsted Network as a Founding Partner of the Olmsted 200 bicentennial celebration. You can learn more about LAF here: