News from the Department Head

December 16, 2015

The last year has brought several major changes to the department. First, when you’re around campus next spring, stop by Alderman Hall to see the new Living Laboratory garden next to the third floor entrance, which was created in part thanks to generous donations from our alumni and friends. The new garden combines plantings that are both aesthetically pleasing and environmentally beneficial to help create a more sustainable campus environment. It features a pollinator-friendly yard and plants developed through department breeding programs such as chrysanthemums, roses, and plum trees. Classes will be able to use the garden to teach students about a variety of topics. You can see the plans for the garden at the top of this page — while much of it has already been implemented, it will be ready to really show off once the growing season begins.

In December 2014, Evonne Kuyper retired from her student services role after 35 years in the department. We have a a great team in place with Lauren Drube taking over student services, Echo Martin managing communications, and Samantha Grover as the department administrator. I’m excited for where this team will take us in the future. Over the summer our main office space also received a much-needed update, and it turned out even better than we could have hoped. You can see before and after pictures below. The new layout really brightens up the office and makes it a welcoming environment for students and guests.


We couldn’t make these changes happen without our students, alumni, donors, and friends of the department. Thank you for how wonderfully you represent the department around the world, and I hope that the upcoming year brings more good changes for us all.

Happy holidays from Emily Hoover, Department Head