Nicole Plunkett, BLAE 2010, recently won not one but two awards for her work. She was named the first recipient of the Exceptional Emerging Professional Award by the Florida Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). She also was selected for the inaugural year of the Landscape Architecture Foundation (LAF) Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership.
The Florida Chapter of ASLA created the Exceptional Emerging Professional Award Program to recognize landscape architects who represent the highest standard of excellence and are in the early stages of their career. Eligible nominees for the award are under 35 years of age and selected by a jury of Fellows within the Society.

Plunkett will receive the award in July at the Florida Chapter’s Annual Conference in Boca Raton.
“It is truly an honor to be the first recipient of the Exceptional Emerging Professional Award,” Plunkett stated. “There are so many talented, emerging landscape architects within the Florida Chapter of ASLA and it is exciting to know that the future of our profession is bright.”

Plunkett was also one of six people selected for the new LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership. Each Fellow receives a $25,000 award to support pursuit of their proposed project.

Over the course of the year-long fellowship, LAF Fellows dedicate 12 weeks of time to their project and participate in three, 3-day residencies in Washington, D.C.

In early May, the six landscape architects selected (four Fellows and two Olmsted Scholars) attended a kickoff Residency in the nation’s capital and had the opportunity to present their ideas to each other and the LAF Board of Directors.

The group will meet two more times over the course of a year in Washington, D.C. and will have a final symposium of their completed work in May 2018.

Plunkett’s project is the Future Landscape Architects of America (FLAA), which is a non-profit founded in 2015.

“I started the program as a way to connect educators and practitioners with K-12 students to create the student discovery of the field of landscape architecture,” Plunkett said. “With the support of the Florida Chapter of ASLA and many others, FLAA has grown throughout the state of Florida and has reached students from Tallahassee to Miami.

“Advancing FLAA with the guidance and mentorship of the 2017-2018 LAF Fellowship for Innovation and Leadership is thrilling to me because I will have the time and resources to develop the program even further,” Plunkett added. “I’m humbled knowing that I will be spending the next year creating new project ideas, developing leadership skills and advancing the field of landscape architecture with such talented Fellows, Olmsted Scholars and mentors from the Landscape Architecture Foundation.”

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