Students Earn Spring Meadow—Proven Winners HRI Scholarships

Jennifer Zurko

Spring Meadow Nursery and the Horticultural Research Institute (HRI) announced the recipients of 2018-2019 Spring Meadow—Proven Winners Endowment Fund scholarships.

Dale and Liz Deppe established the Spring Meadow—Proven Winners Endowment Fund with HRI in 1999 with the belief that bright, well-trained, qualified people are essential to the green industry and that backing motivated students plays a vital role in protecting and growing the industry. Through HRI, the AmericanHort Foundation acts as the administrator of endowments that help students to obtain the education necessary to successfully pursue horticultural careers.

The students who were each awarded $3,500 scholarships for the 2018-2019 granting period are:

• Currently an undergraduate student at Virginia Tech, William Lewis is working toward a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Horticulture. William has been working in his family’s nursery since he was 14 years old and hopes to take over the business in the future.

Yufei Qian is a graduate student at the University of California, Davis where she pursues her passion for plants. Yufei interned at UC Davis, including stints in UC’s Teaching Nursery where she worked on plant propagation of ornamental plants, and on two lab internships where she worked on plant genetics and molecular level breeding. All of these experiences, Yufei says, are pointing her to a future career in woody plant breeding.

Aaron Sledge just started his junior year at Penn State University and is especially interested in woody plant propagation. He has completed internships in arboriculture, interior plantscaping, and conservatory and historic landscape management, and has worked on-campus in the greenhouse and as head propagator for the horticulture club. Aaron was also selected as an AmericanHort Scholar at the Cultivate’18 conference.

The students were chosen from a competitive national applicant pool for their academic achievements, exemplary leadership abilities and commitment to pursuing careers in horticulture.

These three scholarships bring the amount of awards distributed through the fund to 30 totalling $73,750 since 2004. Scholarship applications for 2020 will open in April 2019. Individuals who are interested in applying for a scholarship can check the HRI website or contact Jennifer Gray at (614) 884-1155 for more scholarship application details. GT