May 12, 2015

Contact: Jay Thompson

Cal Poly Student Named American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows Scholarship Recipient for 2015

SAN LUIS OBISPO — A Cal Poly student is one of three university students across the nation to receive the 2015 American Society of Landscape Architects Council of Fellows Scholarship.

Rachel SantaOlalla, who plans to graduate in December 2016 with a bachelor’s in landscape architecture and a minor in land rehabilitation, said it was a “shocking feeling that I rarely ever feel” to learn she will receive the $4,000 scholarship.

“I’ve become comfortable with the professional world through my ASLA endeavors, which have benefitted me as a student, an emerging professional and as a person,” she said. “It felt very rewarding to be recognized for my enthusiasm in the field.”

SantaOlalla, 25, was a team leader of a project that received an ASLA national award of excellence last November for a playground Cal Poly students designed and built at an orphanage in Alexandria Township, South Africa.

The 5,000-square-foot Ratang Bana Orphanage Park project was honored in the community service category of the organization’s Student Awards competition. It was one of only three awards of excellence given out in the annual competition that attracted more than 500 entries from 77 universities across the U.S.

SantaOlalla grew up in Ventura, Calif., where she developed a love for nature “surrounded with mountains, rivers, islands and the ocean,” she said. “I finally found a field that I am heavily passionate about and am looking forward to what the professional world has to offer.” 

The ASLA Council of Fellows established the scholarship in 2004 to aid outstanding students, increase the participation in landscape architecture of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented populations, and enrich the profession through increased diversity. 

She will attend the professional organization’s annual convention at McCormick Place in Chicago, Nov. 6–9, to receive her scholarship certificate.

About the American Society of Landscape Architects
Founded in 1899, ASLA is the national professional association for landscape architects, representing more than 15,000 members in 49 professional chapters and 72 student chapters. Members of the Society use ASLA after their names to denote membership and a commitment to the highest ethical standards of the profession. Landscape architects lead the stewardship, planning and design of the built and natural environments; the society's mission is to advance landscape architecture through advocacy, communication, education and fellowship.

(Mug attached)

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