Dr. Emily Hoover, a long standing pillar of the Department of Horticultural Science, retires on May 28th after 41 years of dedicated service as a faculty member and department head. It is with great honor that we congratulate Dr. Hoover on this new chapter and thank her for her countless contributions to the department and college.
Dr. Hoover’s journey with the University of Minnesota started in 1978 when she began her Master’s program. Little did she know at the time, she would spend the rest of her academic career in Alderman Hall, continuing as a PhD student, and then as a faculty member. Over her career, Emily Hoover has been recognized with numerous accolades and awards. At the University of Minnesota, she was named a Morse-Alumni Distinguished Teaching Professor and received the President's Award for Outstanding Service. As an active member of faculty governance, she served as chair of the Senate Committee on Educational Policy, the chair of both the Senate and Faculty Consultative Committee and a Faculty Athletic Representative. Within her professional society she received the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award, Outstanding Administrator Award, and became an ASHS Fellow. For the previous 14 years, she has served as the Head of the Department of Horticultural Science.
Throughout Emily Hoover’s career, she’s been a consistent advocate for students, an invested learner and teacher, and supporter of women in science. The importance of community greatly shaped the way Dr. Hoover approached her classes and beyond. By focusing on students' motivations, needs, and interests, she was able to transmit her enthusiasm for science and plants in ways that would resonate with scholars and students alike.
Dr. Hoover’s research focused on sustainable production systems for fruit crops. She had rich collaborations with pomologists around the country and globally focusing on extreme temperature impacts of growing perennial fruit trees, primarily apples. She also collaborated within the state on increasing berry production with research on different systems, both perennial and annual, to expand growing options. This work was enriched by the many graduate students she advised throughout her tenure.
In addition to her many academic accomplishments, Dr. Hoover has positively influenced her colleagues and students providing both friendship and mentorship. As Dr. Hoover bids the department farewell, she leaves behind a rich legacy of collaboration, community building, and commitment to impactful teaching. We are immensely grateful for her service, leadership, and contributions. We congratulate Dr. Hoover and wish her all the best in her retirement.