LAHS student EliseAnne Koskelo wearing the medal she received from the YoungArts Foundation. Courtesy photo
EliseAnne Koskelo, a junior at Los Alamos High School, is the recipient of several prestigious awards for her work in art, design and science.
In December of 2014, Koskelo was awarded a Merit designation from the National Young Arts Foundation for her work. Koskelo’s portfolio was chosen from more that 11,000 applications from across the United States.
As one of 700 winners of this award, she travelled to New York City earlier this month to attend master classes in her field of art and design. Koskelo received a generous travel scholarship from the Emily Bradley Memorial Fund and she thanks Mrs. Linda Zwick and family for their support of education in the arts.
According to the Young Arts website, the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts; assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development; and raise appreciation for the arts in American society.
Each year, there are approximately 11,000 applications to YoungArts from 15-18 year old (or grades 10-12) artists, and from these, approximately 800 winners are selected.
YoungArts provides these emerging artists with life-changing experiences and validation by renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition and other opportunities at critical junctures throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation’s most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.
To date, YoungArts has honored more than 20,000 alumni, including Doug Aitken, Josh Groban, Jenji Kohan, Desmond Richardson and Kerry Washington, with over $12 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $60 million in college scholarship opportunities in the past two years; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Marina Abramović, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Plácido Domingo, Zaha Hadid, Robert Redford and Bruce Weber.
Koskelo was inspired by her experience with YoungArts.
“Travelling to NYC this past month was an unforgettable experience. I met incredible artists who were singers, dancers, actors, musicians, photographers, writers, and/or designers,” she said. “The workshops that I attended allowed me to learn from real designers and artists and validated my own work as an artist. I am extremely grateful to Mrs. Batha, my AP English teacher, for making me aware of this opportunity and her encouragement throughout my application. The community’s support in Los Alamos is phenomenal.”
In April, Koskelo earned another honor—an Honorable Mention in the Senior Division in the Dupont Challenge Science Essay Contest for her essay: Nature’s Solution to the Earthquake Engineering Dilemma: Rooted in its Trees”. Of the over 5,000 senior essays submitted, Koskelo’s essay was one of 37 recognized. Her essay was based on her prize-winning science fair project in engineering. This week, for her overall academic excellence in science and mathematics, she was awarded the Rensselear Medal from Rensselear Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY.
Koskelo dreams of combining her interest in design, science and art in college and in a future career.
“In the future, I plan to pursue a career in the intersection of three different fields: archeology, geology, and engineering. I want to create unique structures or technologies based off of geological and engineering principles that will help to preserve cultures and their traditions,” she said.
An interest in science and mathematics runs in the family. Koskelo’s parents, Aaron Koskelo and Jeanne Robinson, are PhD chemists working at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Robinson also is a fiber artist who creates beautiful, hand-knit designs. Koskelo’s twin brother Nick also has a strong interest in science and engineering as a career. This year, he k has lettered in Chess, Science Olympiad, Basketball and Golf. Both Koskelo and her brother carry a full load of AP classes. In Koskelo’s spare time, she like her mother, is an accomplished fiber artist.
Koskelo is a three-time recipient of the Los Alamos Youth Business Grant and her work is featured in the Fuller Lodge Art Center Gallery; her business is called Blueprint Wraps, inspired by her love of architecture and design. In addition, both she and ner brother will be working at LANL this summer in the Engineering Institute and CINT, respectively.