Fellows Bios

Class of 2017

Elizabeth Barton

Millennial Engagement with Cultural Institutions

Elizabeth has a passion for horticultural education and making science more approachable to the general public. She is a graduate student in a collaborative program with Longwood Gardens and the University of Delaware. Elizabeth is currently researching methods for cultural institutions to engage a millennial audience. She received her Master’s degree in Plant Science from the University of Maryland where she researched green roof plant establishment and organic substrate amendments. Elizabeth has a B.S. from the University of Delaware in Landscape Horticulture and Design.

Alice Edgerton

Racial Diversity in Public Garden Internship Programs

Alice Edgerton grew up in the family business, a summer camp on the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and considers her love for the outdoors and desire to help others connect with nature a family trait. Alice graduated from Earlham College with a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology and completed a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the University of California, Santa Cruz’s Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems in 2011. She worked as a Project Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society for three years, as a Foreman for Philadelphia-based Graceful Gardens, and as a consultant for Bartram’s Garden. Her professional focus is on growing stewardship and advocacy for the environment through more inclusive, stronger public horticulture institutions.

Erin Kinley

An Evaluation of Food Systems Education and Interpretation in U.S. Public Gardens

Erin Kinley grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she spent many years immersed in her family’s row-crop operation. In high school, she actively participated in plant ID and floriculture contests before discovering her passion for plants and deciding to pursue a degree in Horticulture at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. At UNL, Erin experienced many facets of horticulture, including plant biology, entrepreneurship, pollinator education, and vegetable production. She believes educating people about the importance of plants—particularly those used for food—will be critical to solving the challenges facing our rapidly changing world.

Grace Parker

Succession Planning in Public Gardens

Grace Parker graduated from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Landscape Architecture, complemented by minors in Sustainability Leadership and Environmental Inquiries. Equipped with a range of internship experience from Mt. Cuba Center, Longwood Gardens, Disney’s Horticulture, and the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, her commitment to public horticulture stems from a love of local history and nature. Grace’s thesis research aims to identify the role succession planning plays in public horticulture today and how it may evolve in the face of changing conditions within the field.

Tracy Qiu

Racial Diversity in Public Garden Leadership

Born in China and raised in Canada, Tracy’s experience in two cultures inspires her to seek different perspectives in all areas of life. As an animator, her graduating film aimed to provide positive and inclusive messaging for young children. As a horticulturist in training at the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, her internship at the National Tropical Botanical Gardens in Hawai’i gave her an appreciation for the role of traditional and Indigenous cultures in public gardens. She believes that cultural diversity can play a large role in the future of public gardens and that a difference of perspectives could provide previously undiscovered solutions to public gardens’ greatest challenges. She also believes that public gardens can play a part in social justice movements by using horticulture and plants as a lens for activism. Her graduate thesis will explore racial diversity in public garden leadership, and aims to identify leadership pipelines, impacts on decision-making, and implications for future leaders.

Class of 2016

Andrea Brennan

Bud-Forcing and In Vitro Propagation for Conservation of Oak (Quercus L.)

Andrea grew up in West Lafayette, IN, home of Purdue University, where she earned a B.S. in Public Horticulture. After interning for the Purdue Arboretum throughout her undergraduate career, Andrea graduated and became the arboretum’s first staff member, the Collections Manager. During her time in the position, she led the effort to develop and launch the arboretum’s mobile-learning platform, the Purdue Arboretum Explorer. Through the Longwood Graduate Program, Andrea has developed a strong passion for science communication and making complex scientific topics more accessible. Her thesis investigates oak conservation and how bud-forcing and in vitro propagation (tissue culture) could play a role in saving threatened oak species.

Mackenzie Fochs

Quantifying Adult Culinary Arts Programming at Public Horticulture Institutions

A Wisconsin native, Mackenzie attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for her degrees in Horticulture and Life Sciences Communication. Through internships at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI and working on campus at the D.C. Smith Greenhouse, she realized her passion for public horticulture. After graduation, Mackenzie moved to become the Education Intern at the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College for two years. She is an ex-officio member of the Board of Directors for The Delaware Center for Horticulture and the 2016 Rare Plant Auction Intern. As the Education Chair for the Marketing and Communications Section of the American Public Gardens Association, she coordinates educational webinars for members. Her research explores the variety of culinary arts programs at public gardens across the United States and the benefits of offering them in terms of audience, membership, and visitation.

Fran Jackson

Managing the Risk of Water Shortages to Living Plant Collections

Fran is a public garden professional from Sydney, Australia, with a background in botanic gardens and museums management. Fran most recently was the Manager of the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain in Sydney. She is undertaking the Longwood Graduate Program to gain an international perspective on public garden administration and curatorship to further develop her skills in public garden leadership. She would like to work in the US, Europe, or the UK before eventually returning to Australia.

Stephanie Kuniholm
A Comparison of Membership Programs at Public Gardens in the United States

Stephanie holds a degree in Environmental Studies from Eastern University, St. David’s, PA. After graduating, she worked for several years at Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens as a Hamilton Education Fellow and then at Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, where she researched interactions between continuing education and membership. Her current research documents the successes and challenges in the administration of membership programs at almost 300 public gardens in the United States.

Stephanie sits on Natural Lands Trust Board of Trustees as well as the Public Programs Committee at Morris Arboretum. Additionally, she serves as the Communications Chair for the Emerging Professionals Section of the American Public Gardens Association.

Keith Nevison
Evaluating Insect Preferences and Nectar Forage Values of Native Phlox vs. its Cultivars

Keith most recently moved from Portland, OR where he was the Green Space Specialist for Friends of Trees, a volunteer-driven, ecological restoration non-profit. He graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and Geography minor from Portland State University and worked with leaders in the field of ecological economics at PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions.

The Founder of the PSU Restoration Guild, Keith has served as a Board Member for the Society for Ecological Restoration the past four years. Keith has experience in the sustainable agriculture and nursery trades, working as a dairy herdsman, orchardist, forester, and biodynamic horse-farmer. He hopes to work at the interface of plant conservation and public gardens, developing strategies that inspire the public to practice holistic land stewardship and care for nature.