Three deserving and hard-working horticulture and landscape architecture students at West Virginia University were selected as recipients of the Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarship for the 2013-14 school year.
Whitney J. Garton
Whitney is a Horticulture major, with a minor in pest management. She is a native of Jane Lew and developed an interest in horticulture after starting plants from seed and realizing their vulnerability to disease and fungi. She decided upon a career in research and collegiate instruction from which she hopes to develop solutions to disease and fungi that threaten plants.
Whitney has worked on research projects in the fields of organic mulches’ effects on tomato development, the efficacy of cocoa hulls, waste wool and living crop mulch as an organic weed suppression method and on effective ways to compost wool.
“I also helped a WVU graduate student with her research on biodegradable pots. I was specifically drawn to the diseases and ways to control them. Doing this research strengthened my desire to attend graduate school and my excitement about education and a potential career in research and teaching,” Whitney said in her scholarship application.
Erin is a Horticulture and Agriculture Business major from Poca, West Virginia. In addition to her good grades, Erin’s work ethic is evident in the summer jobs she’s held since she was 14 years old. Most recently, she interned at Gritts Midway Greenhouse in Putnam County, where she was hired as an assistant grower and offered a job upon graduation.
After graduation and some time spent working in the industry, Erin hopes to open and operate a flower farm, where customers may come and pick their own selections from her fields. “I plan on selling flowers that are not part of the “pick your own” section of the farm at the Capitol Market in Charleston and other farmers markets. Also at my farm, I would like to incorporate education classes and hands-on workshops for local people in the area to learn more about plants,” Erin said in her application.
Landscape Architecture student Leah Comerci impressed her professors, particularly Peter Butler, who worked with her in design studios, especially her work designing an outdoor classroom for a Wyoming County school?
Professor Butler recommended Leah, saying, “I believe that with her work ethic; commitment to intellectual growth and exploration; strong graphic and verbal communication skills; and leadership abilities that she is deserving of your organization’s scholarship. If she continues to progress academically and personally, I believe that she could contribute to the field of landscape architecture, especially with her specialized interest and passion for horticulture.”
2012 Rennix Memorial Scholarship Winners
West Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association awarded two Marcus W. Rennix Memorial Scholarships in for the 2012-2013 school year. Megan Mahoney and Aaron Diedrich, both West Virginia University students, each received a $2500.00 scholarship.
Megan is a native of Morgantown, and studying Horticulture and plans to pursue a career in the plants about which she is passionate.
Aaron Diedrich, a native of Frazier’s Bottom, is studying landscape architecture and plans to focus on future innovative and creative designs that promote environmental friendly and sustainable systems.