August 2, 2019

Congratulations to our 2019 Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) Olmsted Scholars

“Using ideas, influence, communication, service, and leadership to advance sustainable design and foster human and societal benefits.” 

These are the qualities of students recognized through the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s Olmsted Scholars Program, considered one of the most prestigious national awards for students of landscape architecture.

The College of Built Environments is proud to recognize two graduating students as Olmsted scholar nominees: Fatema Maswood (MLA) and Nick Zurlini (BLA). Fatema, in particular, deserves special recognition as one of six National Olmsted Scholar Finalists. 

Each year, faculty from accredited landscape architecture programs across the country nominate students with exceptional leadership potential for Olmsted Scholar recognition. Two independent juries select winners and finalists from a group of over 80 Olmsted Scholars.

Fatema Maswood crossing the stage at graduation

Fatema Maswood crossing the stage at CBE’s graduation ceremony.

Fatema was recognized by faculty and the independent juries for her approach to design and design research that uncovers overlooked narratives, critically engages political questions, and translates design processes and methods to a broader public as tools for education and mobilization. Fatema’s research explores disaster resilience and stormwater management grounded in traditional ecological knowledge, considering approaches for a decentralized water harvesting network in her mother’s native city of Tunis, Tunisia. 

Nick attributes his nomination in part to the landscape architecture faculty who serve as both role models and mentors to him. Through his studies, he has found a passion for the design process and for the landscape architecture as an academic discourse and as a profession.  

Fatema and Nick represent a strong history of Olmsted Scholars from the University of Washington. The College of Built Environments’ Department of Landscape Architecture has seen four other past finalists and two award winners, David de la Cruz, MLA ’17 and Leann Andrews, MLA ’13, Ph.D. ’18. The Olmsted Scholars will gather in November with this year’s group of Scholars and leaders from practice, academia, and industry at the LAF Benefit in San Diego.