Deadline to apply for 2017 is March 1, 2017.

Kellie Walters
Michigan State University

Kellie’s love of horticulture started at a very young age. She grew plants to sell while her sisters sold lemonade, and her passion for plants took off from there. Receiving her B.S. and M.S degrees in Horticulture from Iowa State University, Kellie specialized in greenhouse production and researched hydroponic basil production. At Iowa State, she was involved in many activities including serving as president of the undergraduate Horticulture Club, the Graduate Student Horticulture Society president, and the Alpha Theta chapter Pi Alpha Xi president. She also had the opportunity to work with a school gardening program in St. John, USVI, complete research internships at Iowa State, as well as intern at the Iowa Arboretum and Molbaks. Currently, Kellie is an R&D intern at Costa Farms. This fall, she will be perusing her Ph.D. at Michigan State University focusing on hydroponic production. As for future goals, Kellie aspires to become a controlled environments educator and researcher.
Lindsay Daschner
Michigan State University

Lindsay is a 2016 graduate from Michigan State University, having received her bachelor's degree in horticulture. A self-professed “flower junkie” and horse enthusiast, Lindsay grows hundreds of sunflowers each year, leading her friends to affectionately dub her the Sunflower Cowgirl. She and her husband own twenty-five acres in southeast Michigan, as well as two mini-pigs, Iris and Kalanchoe. Lindsay’s dream is to own a wholesale cut flower farm and produce perishable cut flowers all year round. The plan includes selling to florists in the Lansing, Ann Arbor, and Toledo corridor. Lindsay says, "I am surrounded by amazing industry mentors, in the professional and academic realm, and I look forward to entering the industry and cultivating my future!"
Nathan Jahnke
North Carolina State University

Nathan grew up in West Fargo, ND where he completed his Bachelor's Degree in Horticulture from North Dakota State University. He got his start in horticulture when he and his dad built their own greenhouse out of old windows from their church, which turned into a small business and a passion for plants. His love for the diversity in horticulture is shown through his experiences in high value crops at NDSU, an internship with Darwin Perennials, a public garden internship at Como in St. Paul, MN, and a publication on a tissue culture protocol for Wisteria under Dr. Todd West. Nathan was inspired to go on to graduate studies at North Carolina State University where he is studying the combination of Botrytis and ethylene on Geranium cuttings. His main goal is to become a professor at a university where he can instill his passion for horticulture in others through teaching and research.
Robert Brockman
University of Kentucky

Robert is from Northern Kentucky. Growing up as the sixth child of thirteen, he always enjoyed working in the garden and loved to see what would grow. There was distinct satisfaction from something growing the way he wanted it to. His favorite things to grow were oddities and anything that pertained to sustainability. Robert spent three years working in landscape maintenance, a year working with a local farmer who sells to the farmer's markets, and this summer is working at the Boone County Arboretum. Currently going into his second year at the University of Kentucky as a Horticulture, Plant and Soil Science major, Robert is still discovering where his future will lead him. He likes the idea of working in research or at an arboretum. Wherever his career leads, Robert intends to always integrate sustainability into it. Some of his other hobbies include running, hiking, canoeing, reading, and of course, gardening.
Jaclyn Nelson
University of Nebraska - Lincoln

Jaclyn is a Nebraska farm girl who fell in love with flowers as a little girl when she started her own flower garden on the farm. In 2010, Jaclyn started making and selling corsages and boutonnieres for students from her high school and later the surrounding high schools. Today she continues to grow her cut floral business while attending school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in Horticulture with a minor in Agribusiness Entrepreneurship next May and intends to have her business running full time by graduation. Jaclyn’s business specializes in event floral art that captures her client’s vision. When Jaclyn isn’t running her business she is hanging out with friends or participating in one of several student activities she is involved with on campus. Jaclyn is a member of the Alpha Gamma chapter of Pi Alpha Xi, Horticulture Club, the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program, and Cru. Currently, Jaclyn is interning at Bachman’s in Minneapolis though the American Floral Endowment internship program.
Sayde Heckman
University of Missouri

Sayde hails from Ashland, Missouri. One may assume her passion for horticulture came early on, but oddly enough, she was never interested. It wasn’t until high school that Sayde discovered her passion for horticulture by enrolling in Agricultural Education classes focusing on the greenhouse industry. With quickly increasing interest, Sayde worked in the school greenhouses and joined the Floriculture career development team with the local FFA chapter. Her love for horticulture blossomed, and she is now a junior at the University of Missouri pursuing a BS in Plant Sciences emphasizing in Landscape Design. Her experiences are diverse including an undergraduate teaching assistant position, landscape design work, and horticulturist at an amusement park. Sayde says, "I plan to become a professional landscape designer, designing dream landscapes for my clients."
Emily Teng
Univerity of Hawaii

Emily Teng is from Honolulu, Hawaii. Growing up in Pittsburgh, PA, she spent her summers playing outdoors and loved examining the different plants. She didn’t realize this interest could become a fulfilling career until after she had graduated from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Chemistry. At the time she was working at a global consulting firm as an information technology consultant and started pursuing gardening as a hobby. When the time was right, she enrolled in plant science courses, quit her job, and took a job installing landscape flowerbeds in Columbia, SC. The next year she moved to Honolulu to pursue a master’s degree in horticulture, which she received in 2007 from the University of Hawaii. Since 2007 she has been working as the grower for Pang’s Nursery, a family-owned wholesale nursery in Hawaii, growing a large variety of potted ornamentals. In 2013, she decided to go back to the University of Hawaii to pursue a Ph.D. She still works at the nursery part-time and is now starting her dissertation research studying the pigments in poinsettia bracts.
Sarah Leach Smith
University of Delaware

Sarah Leach Smith is from Durham, North Carolina. After receiving her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sarah had a career in the publishing industry as a customer service specialist. Although she enjoyed her job, Sarah had a developing passion for horticulture that could not be ignored. She enrolled to pursue a B.S. in Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University where she experienced all aspects of horticulture. Sarah found her niche in public horticulture after an internship at Longwood Gardens and a volunteer position at the JC Raulston Arboretum. Sarah recently earned her M.S. in Public Horticulture from the Longwood Graduate Program in Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware and looks forward to a future of bringing people and plants together.
Madeline Olberg
Purdue University

Madeline has always been intrigued and inspired by the world around her, so her curiosity and love of plants began at a very young age. However, it was joining her high school horticulture club that ultimately hooked her on horticulture. Madeline went to Cornell University where she earned a B.S. degree in Plant Sciences. While at Cornell, Madeline became president of Hortus Forum, the undergraduate horticulture club, and was an active member of Pi Alpha Xi. She also had the opportunity to spend a summer as the seed technology research intern in the Premier Seed Lab at Ball Horticultural Company. These experiences further ignited Madeline’s passion for horticulture, causing her to pursue a M.S. degree in Horticulture at Purdue University. She is currently at Purdue working on her thesis focused on sustainable greenhouse crop production. Madeline continues to appreciate the value of plants as a vital aspect of landscapes, both aesthetically and environmentally, and hence understands the value of continued research in this field. Madeline plans to continue on to a doctoral program and ultimately obtain a career doing applied research for the horticulture industry.
Nick Sobecki
Ohio University

Nick’s interest in plants began at a young age, sparked by his father and grandma. It was by watching their passion and enthusiasm for plants. While majoring in Applied Plant Biology at Ohio University, Nick interned at Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse Co, where the head grower Matt Foertmeyer became a mentor and teacher concerning greenhouse growing. Nick decided to become a grower because he believes it will give him a great basis of knowledge for whatever area of the industry he pursues next. With a passion for business and experience launching his own company of Niko’s Hemp jewelry, it has given Nick the chance to create and emphasize excellence in products and in customer service. These are skills he intends on transitioning to his horticultural career. In his experience, waking up and going to work does not have to be a bad thing in the least bit, and that is exactly why he chose horticulture to be both his major and his profession. It is something that he loves and knows he will continue to love working in the industry.
Bobby Nance
Virginia Tech

Bobby's love for the green industry started in sixth grade when he found a lawn mower in the trash and began working in the landscape. Choosing to study horticulture at Virginia Tech was a no brainer for Bobby. At Virginia Tech, Bobby is an Ambassador for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, the Vice President for Pi Alpha Xi (the horticulture honor society), the Service Chair for the Virginia Tech Horticulture Club, a part of the Turf Club (in which he traveled to Denver, CO to participate in the STMA student challenge), the Firewood Chair for the Virginia Tech Forestry Club, member of the Golden Key International Honor Society, member of Gamma Sigma Delta (the honor society of agriculture), a part of the Sporn Award Selection Committee, and a member of the Student Advisory Team with the Office of Assessment and Evaluation. Bobby believes his classroom knowledge is pointless unless he practices what he learns in the field, as they say practice makes perfect. Bobby has intentionally had different internships every year, endured all sorts of experience, and keeps an open mind as to what he wants to do after college.
William J. Yoho Jr.
The Ohio State ATI

William’s lifetime of experiences have been marked with an intense desire to make a difference and to help those in need. From organizing a “Bike for Life” event to raise money for Ethiopian famine relief to serving in the Ohio National Guard with tours in Kosovo and Afghanistan, he has never backed away from challenges or opportunities. In 2014, William began the Greenhouse technology program at The Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute. He has learned a tremendous amount, has thoroughly enjoyed the classes and boasts a strong GPA. He and his wife have been blessed with seven children, five of which were adopted from Russia. William has also served as a Eucharistic minister, youth group leader, PSR teacher, RCIA instructor, Boy Scout Chaplain, Lector, chaplain for the Summit County Jail, and the Spiritual Director of the Search for Christian Maturity youth retreat program, Chairman of the Board for Summit County Catholic Charities, and sits on the Board for First Friday of Greater Akron. He was ordained a deacon in May 2007. He loves nature and growing plants and looks forward to pouring himself into horticulture with the same enthusiasm as all of his endeavors.
Marie Arnold
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Marie’s passion for horticulture came from a desire to have an interactive and highly creative career. After job shadowing a florist in tenth grade, she knew that floral design would be in her future. Marie will graduate in December from The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute with an Associate Degree in Floral Design and Marketing as well as Greenhouse and Nursery Management. Throughout her academic career Marie has been highly involved in student organizations, serving as President of Artists de Fleur, Vice President of Greenhouse Club, and Treasurer of Landscape Club. She has also attended the AIFD National Symposium and PLANET Student Career days. Marie is currently completing an internship in Conservatory Management at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania. Her ultimate career goals are entrepreneurial.

Now: I am currently searching for internship and travel opportunities.

Quote: "I would encourage all horticulture students to apply because it is a great opportunity to meet people professionally. It is also great for students to gain exposure to all of the different career possibilities out there."
Nicholas Flax
Iowa State University

Then: Horticulture has been a part of Nick's life since he was big enough to pull weeds in his family's vegetable garden. The Evanston, Illinois native discovered his affinity for plants during his junior year of high school while taking his first horticulture class, and with a little encouragement from his teacher, he decided to pursue an education and career in horticulture. He enrolled at Iowa State University, and since then Nick has completed internships at Green Circle Growers and Tagawa Greenhouses, as well as a summer research internship at ISU and a retail garden center in his hometown. After his final semester this fall, Nick plans to continue his education at the graduate level, with the hopes of one day becoming an educator and researcher in greenhouse crop production.

Now: Yes I have! I graduated from Iowa State University in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture, and have continued on to pursue a Master's degree in horticulture at Iowa State, as well.

Quote:"This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! If you enjoy teamwork, exercising your creativity, working with an amazing group of people, and getting a chance to make lifelong connections and friends, the HortScholar program is definitely for you."
Jessica Kivett
Kansas State University

Then: Jessica’s passion for horticulture started at a young age while cultivating vegetables in the garden and tending to ornamentals in the landscape. Jessica started her undergraduate degree in landscape design, but soon discovered her love for greenhouses and floriculture production. Upon changing her focus from landscape design to greenhouse management, she excelled in the honors program and completed a research project that evaluated the effect of light intensity on systemic insecticides. In 2008, she graduated with a horticulture degree in greenhouse management from Kansas State University. Jessica is currently a master’s student researching entomopathogenic fungi as a means of integrated pest management of western flower thrips. Upon graduation, she will pursue a career in greenhouse vegetable production and urban agriculture.

Now: I have just finished my masters degree in entomology and now I am waiting for the arrival of my first baby boy due in March 2015.

Quote: "It is a once in a life-time opportunity to get your name out there and be recognized for your passion in horticulture. If you are passionate about horticulture, then you will succeed!"
Justin Kondrat
Cornell University

Then: From a young age, plants have always held a special place in Justin’s heart. Plants’ therapeutic presence in his life has seen him through numerous personal obstacles, and, as a result, he possesses a determination to succeed as a future public horticultural professional. Justin is dedicated to bolstering the relevancy and accessibility of plants to daily human life. The power and inspiration that comes from plants and their potential to bring a sense of place and belonging to human communities inspires him to hone his unique blend of vision, perseverance, and curiosity. Justin earned this spring a Bachelors of Science in Plant Science from Cornell University. Justin aspires to become a leader within the public garden field, bringing about change and influence to those that otherwise would be left behind.

Now: Currently, I am interning at The Ruth Bancroft Garden, located in Walnut Creek, California. I have been working within the garden's development and outreach sector. Conducting outreach and working with the Executive Director on a 2.5 million dollar capital campaign for a new Visitor and Education Center.Next, I will be starting my career at the United States Botanical Garden, located in Washington D.C. I will be a Collection Grower within the National Orchid Collection that will assist with the health, development, display, curation and outreach of this collection.

Quote: "What are you waiting for? The time is NOW!"
Katie Nickolaus
Michigan State University

Then: Katie grew up on a 40-acre orchard where she developed her passion for horticulture. After two years of attending a local tech center for ornamental horticulture during high school she knew the green industry was what she wanted to pursue. Katie will earn a B.S. of Science in Horticulture from Michigan State in December. At MSU, Katie has taken advantage of the many opportunities that have been presented to her, including being an active member and officer of the Horticulture Club and competing at three PLANET Student Career Days. She will spend this summer at Ball Horticulture as a marketing intern. Upon graduation Katie wishes to pursue a career within the industry that will allow her to continue to learn and that will challenge her.

Now: I have recently graduated from Michigan State University in December of 2014. In March I will begin my career at Mariani Landscape in Lake Bluff, IL as a Client Representative in Training.

Quote: "Go for it! It is a one of a kind experience that you will cherish for years."
James Sacco
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Then: James’ interest in the green industry was sparked at a young age from helping in both of his grandfathers’ gardens, often going and exploring the town forest across the street from his house, mowing lawns in his neighborhood, or visiting his grandmother at the florist shop/greenhouse she worked. He further continued his interest at Norfolk County Agricultural High School, there becoming an Urban Forestry major. He landed his first job in the horticultural field at Nature Works Landscape Services Inc. in Walpole, MA, learning different aspects of landscaping. The following summer he worked primarily on the pruning crew, pruning ornamental trees and shrubs. After graduating Norfolk Aggie, James chose to attend the Stockbridge School of Agriculture at UMass Amherst as an Arboriculture major for an Associate’s degree. James graduated Stockbridge in May and returned to Nature Works to work on the PHC crew this summer. For the future James has reenrolled in UMass to obtain a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Forestry.

Now: Right now I'm at UMass Amherst going for my Bachelors Degree in Urban Forestry which I will obtain in 2016.

Quote: "I would tell them definitely go for it! Your going to have a great time, meet lots of important people in the horticulture industry, possibly find a job or internship, and make some great close friends."
Josh Craver
Kansas State University

Josh’s interest in horticulture began with a love for the outdoors. He started his undergraduate degree in landscape architecture, but quickly discovered his passion was for the science and plants rather than the design and drafting. He quickly changed his major to horticulture and is now continuing his education at the graduate level with a focus on floriculture physiology. He aspires to one day teach and conduct research at a university, allowing him to both convey and pursue knowledge involving this field. He has previous experience in the greenhouse after interning with Metrolina, and is currently pursuing his Master’s degree at Kansas State University as a Teaching/Research Assistant.
Steven Ferullo
Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Steven acquired his interest in plants after taking horticulture and landscape design classes his junior year in high school. He evidenced his newfound passion by fulfilling a student mentoring and leadership role within the horticulture department his senior year. Steven is one semester shy of receiving his Associate’s degree in Greenhouse and Nursery Management from the Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute. He has received several scholarships and is actively involved in the Greenhouse Club. Upon graduation, Steven intends to expand his practical skills in greenhouse management with the goal of eventually opening his own greenhouse, specializing in vegetable production.
Josh Henry
Ohio State University

Then: Josh’s passion for horticulture began in the fourth grade after taking a class with the Ohio State Extension Master Gardeners. He has spent over a decade volunteering at different gardens in the Cleveland, Ohio area, including the Cleveland Botanical Gardens. Josh graduated from Ohio State Agricultural Technical Institute with an Associate in Greenhouse and Nursery Management, and served as President of Landscape Club, Vice President of Greenhouse Club, Treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and participated in two PLANET Student Career Day Competitions. He is now continuing his education in Horticulture and upon graduation would like to pursue a career as a Researcher.

Now: I am currently doing a six month internship at Smith Gardens in Aurora, Oregon. I will be working in every department while I am here including anything from growing to shipping. After this internship, I will be going on for a Master’s of Science in Horticulture at North Carolina State University.

Quote: "I would tell someone interested in being a HortScholar to absolutely go for it! Being a HortScholar was one of the best opportunities I have ever had, and you can only benefit from the experience. There is no reason not apply and nothing to lose! Even if you are not selected, applying will get your name out there and may lead to you volunteering at the trade show or simply meeting individuals that you would not have met otherwise. Through the HortScholar program, you will get very close with other up-and-coming horticulturalists in the country, and you will make some amazing friendships and memories along the way."
Chris McKellar
Michigan State University

Then: Chris’s desire to be a horticulturist began from day one. Growing up near Traverse City, Michigan, Chris was surrounded by many pristine natural areas, as well as generations old fruit orchards. This developed into a full-fledged interest into the care, love, and culture of plants. Chris completed Master Gardener Training in spring of 2011 and then went to Michigan State University where he continues to pursue his undergraduate degree in horticulture. He has competed in two PLANET Student Career Days in plant identification, serves as treasurer of the MSU Horticulture Club, and is the Teaching Assistant for two landscape plant identification courses at Michigan State. He is completing an academic internship in Horticulture at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore this summer. His goal is to teach horticulture at the collegiate level and share his love and passion for plants with those who are interested, and those who don’t know they are yet.

Now: Post graduation I accepted a position as Farm Manager for Chalet Nursery, Wilmette, Illinois. Our farm is 183 acres, 140 of which is under active cultivation either of field grown nursery stock or container grown ornamentals. We produce over 75,000 perennials, and 70,000 woody ornamentals annually. We serve our landmark retail store as well as our landscape division. I love what I do!

Quote: "Keep an open mind and apply wholeheartedly. It's easy to have your mind set on a career in one area of horticulture, and having direction is good. But always be open to new ideas and interactions that you may find rewarding that you never considered or even imagined."
Garrett Owen
Purdue University

Garrett's interest in horticulture sparked in high school when he was given the opportunity to work in the FFA chapter's greenhouse. From his experiences in the greenhouse and interest in agriculture education, Garrett intended to pursue a degree in agriculture education at North Carolina State University. Shortly after the beginning of the semester, Garrett switched to horticulture science where he continued to develop his passion for horticulture. His previous experience as an intern at Rockwell Farms Inc and visiting greenhouse growers in North Carolina has fueled his passion for production floriculture. He will be pursuing his Ph.D. at Purdue University with a focus in greenhouse LED lighting and floriculture crop production. He aspires to become a floriculture professor, extension specialist, and researcher.
Alicia Rihn
University of Minnesota

Then: Alicia’s interest in horticulture began in her father’s garden in Truman, Minnesota, where she was responsible for selecting and growing one row of plants. That one row of garden plants morphed into a passion for all types of plants. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – River Falls in professional horticulture and became fascinated with the human-plant interaction. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota in horticulture with an emphasis on marketing. Specifically, her research focuses on consumer behavior toward horticultural products and the potential of using different marketing strategies to reach, engage, and educate consumers.

Now: I am currently working as a post doctoral research associate at the University of Florida's Mid-Florida research and education center. I'm conducting research on consumer behavior toward ornamental plants.

Quote: "The HortScholars program provides you with the opportunity to deepen your understanding of career options in horticulture while meeting lifelong friends."
Jeremy Crook
Clemson University

Then: Growing up Jeremy loved to work with his mom and dad in their vegetable garden.  Later in life, he had the opportunity to live in Bolivia for a couple of years where he became fluent in Spanish.  Seeing orchids that grow on the roof tops and power lines in Bolivia and Peru inspired Jeremy to learn more about plants and ultimately a career in horticulture. Jeremy’s career aspirations center on sharing his passion and knowledge with budding horticulturalists and enhancing industry ties between the United States and Latin America. Upon graduation he plans to work for an international company with growing facilities in Latin America where he is able to use his ability to speak fluent Spanish to enhance production and communication.

Now: I am currently working as the Ecke / Oglevee Brand manager for Dummen N.A. while I finish my PhD. I get to work with the Ecke poinsettia and Oglevee geranium breeders, producers, sales and marketing team to ensure that we are successful and always moving forward.

Quote: "DO IT!!! Stop reading this and go fill out the application! Being a scholar will change your perspective and broaden your opportunities to be successful in this industry!"
Heather Genrich
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Heather’s passion for horticulture started at a very young age in her family’s garden center and greenhouse business in Rochester, New York. She plans a life-long career in the horticulture industry and to one day take the helm of the family business. As the current President of the Greenhouse Club, Heather orchestrated a club trip to Longwood Gardens and coordinated various plant sales throughout the year. Last year Heather interned at Four Star Greenhouse in Carleton, Michigan, where she focused on improving her growing skills with flood floors, booms, and the ECHO system, and conducting a trial on AUGEO.
Amy Miller
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Amy’s interest in horticulture as a career was sparked during a visit to a local vocational school. After a tour of the greenhouses and a chat with the program instructor she fell in love with the idea of growing and working with plants as a career. Amy is involved with the Greenhouse Club, Phi Theta Kappa, and National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and is a peer tutor for other horticulture students. Currently, Amy is interning at Raker in Litchfield, Michigan, and has previously worked at Cedar Lane Farms in Wooster, Ohio. Upon graduation Amy plans to work as a grower for a large wholesale grower.

Now: I am finishing up my Bachelor's Degree at The Ohio State University, which I will graduate in May 2015. After that, I am going to be working towards a Masters Degree in Crop Science at North Carolina State University.

Quote: "APPLY! This program is an extreme honor, and is a wonderful experience. You get to meet and get to know five other students in the horticulture industry, which will only help you in the future."
Liz Riley
North Carolina State University

Then: Elizabeth’s interest in plants was encouraged by her grandmother and further fueled through involvement with FFA in high school. Her dream job is to teach horticulture at the college or university level where she can help others learn about plants and get them excited about a career in the industry. Her Ph.D. research focuses on the remediation potential of rain gardens and development of best fertilizer practices for the production of herbaceous perennials. Elizabeth has worked for a florist, garden center, and in various teaching and research positions at North Carolina State University.

Now: I am currently finishing up my Ph.D. in Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University with an anticipated graduation date in 2015.

Quote:"It is a fantastic opportunity where you have the opportunity to meet many people within our industry that share similar passions."
Jared Schuster
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Jared is a third-generation horticulturalist whose grandfather started a greenhouse nearly 50 years ago. In addition to experience in the family greenhouse Jared has been a leader in ATI’s greenhouse practicums and will be interning at Willoway Nurseries, Inc. in Avon, Ohio. Jared is the Greenhouse Club’s Secretary, a member of the Dean’s List, and a volunteer at St. Agnes Parish. After graduation Jared plans to join his father and brothers in the family business.
Lauren (Tuski) Snyder
Michigan State University

Then: As a teenager Lauren’s love for plants and gardening was cultivated through an exchange with her music teacher - flute lessons in exchange for assisting her teacher in the garden. Her passion for plants led her to pursue a Horticulture degree and a degree in Professional Writing. Lauren believes the industry is on the “threshold of redefining its importance in our national and global economy,” and plans to be a key communicator in helping the industry move forward. Lauren is involved with the Horticulture Club, PLANET, and has worked for WoJo’s Greenhouse in Ortonville, Michigan, and the MSU Teaching Greenhouses and Horticulture Gardens.

Now: The Marketing and Communications Specialist for AmericanHort.

Quote: "It is the single best thing you could do to find focus in your emerging career and to begin to get to know people. This is a small industry in that everyone pretty much knows everyone. Being a HortScholar gives you a jumpstart on that network. I met people I'm still friends with today by being a HortScholar. "
Jared Barnes
North Carolina State University

Then: Jared was raised in a family that loved gardening and the outdoors, and that environment encouraged him to develop a love of horticulture.  With that passion he pursued a bachelor’s in environmental biology from the University of Tennessee at Martin.  Jared continued on to graduate school at North Carolina State University where he completed a master’s degree and is currently working on a doctorate.  Jared aspires to be a college professor, transferring his enthusiasm into the classroom to cultivate a love for horticulture within students.

 Now: I'm a professor, yo! ;-) I'm an assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) in Nacogdoches, TX. I teach horticulture classes, I trial plants, and I advise the Horticulture Club. I also write gardening articles and travel around the country giving gardening lectures.

Quote: "It changed my life for the better."
Jennifer Evans
Michigan State University

Then: Jenn decided to major in horticulture because she wanted to build a career around something she was genuinely passionate about. Over the course of her undergraduate career she has sought out new experiences and projects that have led her into greenhouses, high tunnels, public gardens, and the floriculture laboratory. After a genetics internship at Ball Horticultural Company in 2010, she has decided to pursue graduate school and contribute to the horticulture industry through research.

Now: Jenn's career goal is to keep people interested in horticulture by developing not only plant asthetics, but also the way they smell or taste. She is persuing a Master's degree with Dr. Ryan Warner at Michigan State University.

Quote: "Cultivate demonstrates the breadth of the industry, something that is not typically explained or experienced in the classroom."
Jennifer Hatalski
College of Western Idaho

Then: Jen completed her Associates Degree of Applied Science of Horticulture at the College of Western Idaho. She has been in the industry for many years, developing her passion for the “green” industry at a young age.  As a student Jen was a student ambassador member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. 

Now: Jen is the General Manager of Varsity Garden Center in Swoyersville, Pennsylvania. 

Quote: "Networking and talking to people from all aspects of the industry is truly eye opening! I learned more about the industry at Cultivate than I ever did in a class."
Allison Justice
Clemson University

Then: Allison has been fortunate to be involved in the green industry ever since she can remember. As a child, she grew up on an ornamental tree farm which led her to pursue a degree in horticulture at Clemson University. Post graduation, Allison returned to manage the family farm for two years. Wanting to get back into research Allison returned to Clemson to work on her PhD. 

Now: I completed my PhD in 2014 and now own and operate a wholesale greenhouse and biological (specifically entomopathic nematodes) lab. We grow hard-to-root flowering vines and cold-hardy pomegranates. I've also developed a way for greenhouse growers to produce their own nematodes on site versus buying concentrate. www.hopegreenhouses.com

Quote: "This is one of the most unique opportunities in which a horticulture student can be involved. This is a MUST DO!"
Lori Moshman
Cornell University

Then: Lori is a plant science and entomology senior at Cornell University. She is interested in IPM of field and greenhouse crops. She spent her junior spring semester as an exchange student in Melbourne, Australia, where she enjoyed walking amongst the native tropical plants and animals of the southern hemisphere.  Lori has served as greenhouse manager for Hortus Forum, Cornell's undergraduate horticulture club, and is involved in lab research on pollination by native bees in New York.

Now: I finished my undergraduate degree and I am currently Greenhouse Manager for the organic vegetable farm at White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, GA.

Quote: "It's worth it! It was a great experience and even years later I am still drawing from what I've learned as a HortScholar."
Nicole Rud
University of Toledo

Then: While taking a plant propagation class as an undergraduate, Nicole discovered her passion for horticulture and was immediately hooked. Nicole’s career goals include the use of fundamental horticultural science to improve the industry, as well as imparting this knowledge to current and future horticulturists through teaching and outreach programs.

Now: Nicole is teacher at Renhill Group. 

Quote: "I really enjoyed the exposure to so many different aspects of the industry - marketing, container gardens, new PGR uses and supplemental lighting. The one-on-one meetings were very beneficial to me and my future career aspirations!"
Thomas Baker
Clemson University

Then: Thomas Baker’s part-time grass cutting job turned into a full-time obsession and lead him to pursue a degree at Clemson University. He focused on greenhouse production, completed an internship with Skagit Gardens, and graduated in 2010. Thomas is looking forward to a career that is “just as much about people as plants” and aspires to someday teach at the university level.

Now: Thomas is currently pursuing a Master's of Landscape Architecture at the University of Georgia.

Quote: "I enjoyed the opportunity to meet 'the big shakers' of our industry, such as Allan Armitage, Anna Ball, Rick Schoellhorn, Jack Williams, and many others."
Chris Currey
Purdue University

Then: Chris Currey is a Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University. Chris believes that horticulture is truly “a science and an art” that enriches lives and connects individuals. He has a varied background in the industry including public garden, native plant nursery, orchid production, floriculture physiology, and breeding experience. Chris enjoys teaching, has served as a teaching assistant for several undergraduate horticulture courses, and looks forward to a career as an educator.

Now: I am currently an Assistant Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University with a specialization in greenhouse and controlled-environment crop production. My appointment is a 'three-way split' between teaching, research, and extension. This provides me with opportunities to be involved in many aspects of academic life, including teaching, conducting research, and working with growers.

Quote: "Be prepared to be busy!"
Chris D'Angelo
Cornell University

Then: Chris D’Angelo is a junior at Cornell University. His interest in plants started at a very young age while growing up in his family’s garden center. Chris loves how dynamic working in horticulture can be and the variety of challenges the business presents. As a student he has been involved in Hortus Forum, Cornell’s horticulture club, and lab research on bacterial speck disease.

Now: Chris is currently a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison studying plant breeding.

Quote: "Being a HortScholar helped me make contacts that will absolutely help me in my future career. I was interested in an internship and feel confident that I can obtain one as a result of the networking."
Morgan Jenkins
Kansas State University

Then: Morgan Jenkins is a M.S. student at Kansas State University where her research focuses on consumer preferences of floral products and florist usage of floral preservatives. Morgan’s ultimate career goal is to own a retail florist design firm where she can create, design, and inspire and would like to explore opportunities in horticultural therapy.

Now: Morgan is a PhD student at Texas A&M University.

Quote: "I loved being an HortScholar. It was an amazing journey that allowed me to meet other floral designers,  learn about different aspects of the industry, and acquire new design skills."
Jim "Chip" Moylan
Michigan State University

Then: Through his involvement with MSU’s Horticulture Club, of which he has served as president and webmaster, Jim traveled to New Orleans to help restore a city park, placed 1st in PLANET’s Student Career Days irrigation design competition, and placed 1st overall in the MACHS competition. Jim’s ultimate career goal is to own and operate a high-end nursery and garden center.

Now: Jim started working at Weigand's Nursery & Garden Center in Macomb, Michigan as a teenager and continues to work there today as the Annual/Perennial Buyer.

Quote: "The HortScholars program gave me an amazing insight on what the industry has to offer. It will be valuable in the future when opening my own business."
Heather Pariso
Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Heather Pariso majored in greenhouse production and graduated from Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute. Heather’s interest is getting people up off the couch and into gardening, especially the younger generations. Heather’s career goal is to grow the horticulture business and believes in educating and marketing to the non-gardening population.

Now: After graduation I started teaching Adult Horticulture classes at our local vocational school. I then became involved with out city and help plan out future gardens and implement them. I know have a a TV show on TV2 called the "The Garden Gurl" where we air weekly episodes on all facets of the gardening world. I also go into Elementary schools during earth week to teach children how to garden and hold workshops for our public library, plus write articles. I stay busy doing what I love.

Quote: "Do it! Embrace it! Enjoy it! Learn from these professionals that are willing to teach. We have a beautiful industry in, take the opportunity to advance from it."
Alicain Carlson
North Carolina State University

Then: Alicain is a graduate student at North Carolina State University where she focuses on the development of new cut flowers, including researching new species for high tunnel production. She plans to pursue a career in education and practical industry research, with grower education being a top priority. Now: I am currently finishing up my Ph.D. in Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University with an anticipated graduation date in 2015.

Quote: "Just do it! You won't regret it. No matter what you want to do in horticulture you will find something that will benefit you in this program."
QiuXia Chen
Kansas State University

Then: QiuXia enrolled in Kansas State University’s horticultural therapy program and aspires to develop hands-on community gardening programs, specifically geared toward third-world countries.

Now: QiuXia completed a study abroad in Costa Rica and is currently interning at The Scotts Company.

Quote: "Meeting with industry professionals on a one-on-one basis was invaluable. I learned a lot from them sharing their personal experiences with me and I was able to get a better understanding of a variety of jobs within different segments of the industry."
Carola De La Torre
The Ohio State University

Then: A plant pathology student Carola’s research focuses on the biology and resistance of Hosta Virus X. Upon graduation she aspires to remain in the industry as a researcher, where she can combine her interest in research with her need to solve problems and help people. Carola’s ultimate goal is to own a horticulture operation.

Now: Carola is a PhD student at the University of Columbia.

Quote: "The best experience was meeting with industry professionals and learning about their jobs, companies, and their previous experiences. It was helpful to learn the different paths traveled to obtain the job they really wanted."
Gretchen Giles
Michigan State University

Then: Gretchen is pursuing horticulture as a second career. She enjoys all aspects of the greenhouse and nursery industries.

Now: Gretchen is continuing to work full-time and take classes to fulfill her degree program.

Quote: "I never knew there were so many different types of jobs in this industry. I am now very confident in the direction of my career! "
Ka Yeon Jeong
North Carolina State University

Then: Kay's research focuses on the development of a system to stabilize substrate pH during crop production. After graduation her goal is to support and educate growers and helping connect the dots between growers, consumers, and the floriculture industry.

Now: Kay is a Senior Scientist at the Scott's Company.

Quote: "My best experience as a HortScholar was meeting successful people. Everyone was so kind and supportive in providing me with good direction for my next steps. The awakening messages from the people whom I met in this program beat my heart and made my eyes sparkle. I really appreciate everyone being so welcoming and willing to share their stories and experiences. That was light, fertilizer, and water to grow my dream in floriculture world."
Jongyun Kim
University of Georgia

Then: Jong's PhD research focused on improving plant-water relations and irrigation management, ultimately helping growers reduce inputs and maintain profits. He has presented his research and won awards at the Southern Nursery Association’s research conference and the American Society for Horticultural Science conference.

Now: I am a Senior Scientist in the Research and Development Department at the Scott's Miracle-Gro Company. My main roles are to lead research programs that allow the commercialization of new consumer gardening products, primarily growing media (potting mixes and garden soils), and to improve upon our current products in terms of cost-effectiveness and quality assurance, collaborating with cross-functional groups such as Marketing, Sales, Supply Chain, Quality, Regulatory, and Finance.

Quote: "This is an excellent opportunity to get ideas and answers to any questions that you may have about the horticultural industry, and to build a supportive contact network as well. You can use these resources to aid your understanding of real world situations and to help you to build your own career plan. Apply now!"
Gladys Anguti
The Ohio State University

Then: Gladys worked with Dr. Claudio Pasian on using controlled release fertilizer to reduce environmental contamination from greenhouse runoff. Gladys has extensive international experience studying and working in the Netherlands, Ecuador, Costa Rica, and her native Uganda.

Now: Gladys is a grower for Timbuk Farms in Granville, Ohio.

Quote: "I loved the experience! I would have never met people like Anna Ball, Susie Raker, Dr. Marvin Miller, and several others if it was not for being an HortScholar."
Aubrey Ballinger
Cincinnati State Technical College

Then: Aubrey completed nine-month internships at Diefenbacher Greenhouse and the horticulture department at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Now: I am currently a Learning Resource Specialist at AmericanHort working with the Garden Retail and Floral segments of our industry.

Quote: "Don't be a wallflower, get out there and apply and live it up if you become one. This is a way to get noticed and start your horticulture career on the right foot."
Jenny Barnett
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Jenny is co-majoring in greenhouse and nursery production and is involved with the greenhouse club and nursery club. Prior to enrolling in the horticulture program Jenny was a preschool teacher.

Now: Jenny is working in the research labs at OARDC.

Quote: "Thank you so much for this wonderful opportunity! I am pretty new to the industry and this experience helped me open my eyes to the career possibilities available."
James Cooley
The Ohio State University

Then: His interest in horticulture was piqued by a summer job at a local nursery and landscaping business, and he quickly became interested in propagation and cultivation. James is involved with the Landscape and Floriculture Forum, Pi Alpha Xi, and volunteers at OSU's Chadwick Arboretum and Learning Gardens.

Now: James pursuing a degree molecular genetics and looking forward to graduation in 2013.

Quote: "My best experience was the Unplugged networking event which put me in a position to speak and represent myself to potential employers in an environment that was inviting and just FUN overall!"
Christy Dudgeon
The Ohio State University

Then: Christy served as president of Pi Alpha Xi, a national horticulture honors society. Christy and her husband own and operate a wholesale nursery and landscape business in Circleville, Ohio.

Now: Christy is the Vice President of Operations for Grass Groomers in Columbus, Ohio.

Quote: "The HortScholars program was a wonderful experience! The networking and meetings with industry professionals was priceless!"
Tim Sauner
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Tim co-majored in the greenhouse and nursery production programs and served as president for ATI's Nursery Club, vice-president of Phi Theta Kappa, and a member of the Greenhouse Club. Tim completed two internship programs, one at Raker and one at Willoway Nurseries.

Now: Tim is the sole proprietor of a nursery and landscaping business in Rootstown, Ohio.

Quote: "The HortScholars Program helped me gain a better understanding of the floriculture industry."
Cassandra Kerr
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Cassi co-majored in Greenhouse and Nursery Production. Cassi was involved with the ATI Greenhouse Club, Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.

Now: I am a Research Associate in a Wheat Breeding Lab at the OARDC in Wooster Ohio. I plan and execute the harvest of all of our field planted wheat and also make breeding crosses of that wheat in the greenhouse. I am also taking a few classes at OSU/ATI in crop production to further my knowledge in the field of Agronomy.

Quote: "Use every second of your HortScholar experience to learn as much as possible and meet and network with as many people as possible. Every person you meet opens a door to a new opportunity you may not have had otherwise."
Rachel Rossler South, OCF
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then: Rachel's career focus was on floral design and marketing, and she completed a floral internship with Disney. As a result of her HortScholars experience Rachel landed a job right after graduation with a reputable florist she admired as a student.

Now: Rachel is a floral assistant at MGM Mirage Resorts in Las Vegas.

Quote: "The possibilities in the floriculture industry are endless. Being a HortScholar gave me a better understanding of what careers are out there."
Douglas Schuster
The Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute

Then:  Doug was raised in his family's greenhouse and a love for plants was instilled upon him at a young age. As a result Doug pursued a degree in greenhouse production and management.

Now: Upon graduation I worked for The Ohio State University ATI as their Greenhouse Coordinator and currently working for Kingwood Center, a public garden in Mansfield, Ohio as their Greenhouse Manager.

Quote: "The program will have an impact on your career for years to come; to this day almost 8 years later being a HortScholar impacts my career."
Nicole Waterland, PhD
The Ohio State University

Then: Nicole came from Iowa where she earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from Iowa State University. She is completed her PhD at the Ohio State University under the guidence of Dr. Michelle Jones.

Now: Nicole is currently an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at West Virginia University.

Quote: "Being a HortScholar was great! I met with industry leaders one-on-one. Being new to the industry and not really knowing anyone it would be difficult to meet these people on my own."