2024 Student Award of Excellence Recipients

The Student Award of Excellence Program is based on the best work of a thesis or practicum, and a studio project.

The Program is intended to recognize and promote excellence in the profession’s educational institutions and recognize excellence in work by students in CSLA’s LAAC-accredited programs. 

Thank you to jurors Nastaran Moradinejad, Matt Williams and Tracey Hesse.

Thesis or Practicum Category

aaronneglected landscapes







Aaron Bomback (University of Manitoba), Neglected Landscapes: A transformative future for Winnipeg’s infrastructure corridors

According to the jury, this practicum was a robust take on a difficult subject which combined beautiful drawings with a rigorous research framework and analysis. This is an important topic which is easily overlooked and can be difficult to tackle. Aaron Bomback has addressed it in a comprehensive, professional manner, with solid research underpinnings, and provided the practice with a guidebook to enhance biodiversity and achieve our climate objectives by transforming infrastructure corridors.

Read his report here


Aaron Bomback is a Community Planner and Designer who graduated with his Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Manitoba, where he received the Landscape Architecture Thesis Prize for his Practicum “Neglected Landscapes: A Transformative Future for Winnipeg’s Infrastructure Corridors.” Aaron previously completed a Master of Planning degree from the School of Architecture, Planning, and Landscape at the University of Calgary, where he received the APPI Danny Makale Silver Medallion. He was fortunate to obtain experience working in Alberta and Western Canada, where his interests in regional planning and prairie landscapes grew.

While in Winnipeg, he enjoyed discussing shared origins and reimagined futures between prairie landscapes in Manitoba and Alberta. His interest in regional planning and the need for urban ecology in cities guided his research to address biodiversity loss in urban spaces, explore opportunities for a cohesive parkland strategy, and create an ecological network to meet the need for future parkland and transformative change in Winnipeg. Aaron currently resides in Calgary, Alberta, and is a Community Planner at the City of Calgary, focused on planning for growth and change to redevelop established and inner-city communities for the next 30 years and beyond.

Studio Project Category









Erin Schwab (University of Calgary), Agricultural Futurism: The Un-settling of Agriculture in Southern Alberta

According to the jury, this studio project was a fascinating topic that was addressed through compelling images, a visionary idea and a narrative which was engaging. The research into the growing techniques linked to climate adaptation and viewing the problem from a local and land-specific point of view all contributed to a fascinating approach on the topic. The beginning-to-end lifecycle approach was of great interest and the process of exploration resulted in a thoughtful and engaging presentation. A futuristic approach that is rooted in regionalism and connected with craft was very compelling. 

Read her report here / Watch Erin's short film


Erin is currently a Master of Landscape Architecture candidate at the University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape. Her studies merge her passion for art and landscape by articulating regional nuance and processes in the landscape. Through thought inciting design ideas, Erin pushes questions of settler’s place and duty to the land they use and inhabit and what the landscape architect’s role is in mediating design solutions. 

She also holds a BFA from the Alberta University of Arts and a MFA from University of Alberta’s in Drawing. An avid woodworker and maker of things with an extensive art background, Erin’s exhibition history include Future Station: 2015 Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta and 2020 Craft Excellence Exhibition: Alberta Craft Council. 

Erin has worked extensively in Arts Governance and Education through Municipal and Provincial Boards and Post-Secondary intuitions in Alberta. She was Chair and founding member of Arts Council Wood Buffalo and member of the Arts Advisor Committee for the Legislative Assembly of Alberta. She has been teaching multidisciplinary art disciplines in post-secondary institutions since 2004 and currently works as a Landscape Architect Intern at Stantec in Calgary, Alberta. 

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