Growing Success: Inside the Green Collar Scholars Program

May 07, 2024

In the pursuit of higher education, many college students face the challenge of balancing financial responsibilities with academic aspirations. To help meet student needs, the Department of Horticultural Science introduced the Green Collar Scholars scholarship program (GCS) in the fall of 2023. This innovative initiative aims to not only provide financial support but also to showcase students' learning experiences and promote future enrollment. 

Adara Nahornoff in HORT 1003 Organic Gardening.
Photo by GCS Adara Nahornoff in HORT 1003 Organic Gardening.

The GCS program offers undergraduate students a unique opportunity to visually document their educational journey while potentially earning up to $500 for their participation. Additionally, their work has the chance to be featured on the department's social media channels, amplifying their voices and educating prospective students about various courses.

The selection process was open to students across all majors enrolled in HORT and FDSY courses. From a pool of 32 applicants representing 18 different majors, 13 students were chosen to participate in the inaugural year of the program. This diverse group of scholars embarked on a journey to capture and share their insights into the world of horticultural science.

Photo by GCS Jayde Morrissette in HORT 1031 Vines and Wines: Introduction to Viticulture and Enology.
Photo by GCS Jayde Morrissette in HORT 1031 Vines and Wines: Introduction to Viticulture and Enology.

Every two weeks, selected scholars were tasked with creating visual content that reflected their learning experiences. Whether through photos, videos, or vlogs, students showcased their understanding of course materials and shared their perspectives on various topics covered in their lectures and labs. This process not only allowed them to deepen their own understanding but also provided an insider's view for fellow students, faculty, staff, and even friends and family.

The testimonials from participating students paint a vivid picture of the impact of the program on their academic and personal growth. Ajalon Peterson, enrolled in HORT 5114 - Knowing and Naming The Plants We Eat,  shared insights into the taxonomic classification of commonly encountered plants. “I have learned about the taxonomic classification of over 50 different plants that we encounter in our day to day lives. As I pursue my degree in Plant Science, this knowledge will be applicable in many courses going forward. I would recommend this course to any student who is interested in plants, or who may be unsure of which focus within the field they’d like to pursue”. 

Another GCS, Lilly Stene, reflected on their experience in HORT 1001 - Plant Propagation. “Plant propagation offered an amazing opportunity to understand the science behind why my plants have successfully or non-successfully propagated. I was able to learn about different techniques such as grafting and air layering, and experiment with various hormone treatments to facilitate better growth with so many species of plants.” 

As the department celebrates the success of its Green Collar Scholars, it underscores its commitment to supporting students' educational journeys. The recognition of these scholars serves not only as a testament to their hard work and dedication but also as an inspiration for future students considering a path in horticultural science.

Congratulations to all of the 2023/2024 Green Collar Scholars!

Fall Semester: 

Amanda Lynn Cook ( The Edible Landscape - HORT 1014)

Ella Shaw (Plant Propagation - HORT 1001)

Lilly Stene (Plant Propagation - HORT 1001)

Sophie Beyer (Plant Propagation - HORT 1001)

Ajalon Peterson (Knowing the Name of the Plants We Eat - HORT 5114)

Connor Hennen (Plant Families for Plant People - HORT 1015)

Zara Abston (Urban Ag in the TC - FDSY 1016W)

Jessica Vikhorev (Plant Families for Plant People - HORT 1015)

Spring Semester: 

Emily Jane Pacel (Spring Flowering Bulbs - HORT 4114)

Julia Stuenkel (Scheduling Crops for Protected Environments - HORT 4141W)

Jayde Morrissette (Vines & Wines - HORT 1031)

Adara Anne Marie Nahornoff (Organic Gardening - HORT 1003)

Liam Cronin (Scheduling Crops for Protected Environments - HORT 4141W)