Our Horticulture and Plant Science Graduates

Tamara Shivers, Associates Degree in Ornamental Horticulture

"Mercer's Ornamental Horticulture program has helped to expose me to all aspects of horticulture such as landscape and floral design, botany, plant identification and pest management.  It is a great place to start for a field that is such a broad science.  The professors have made every step of the program enjoyable and educational." (Just a note:  Tamara recently completed the prestigious Professional Gardeners Program at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA.  Congratulations Tammy!)

Carole McCollister, Certificate of Proficiency in Ornamental Horticulture

"My first love has always been creating beautiful outdoor spaces with plants, but when I was younger I had no idea how to go about making a living doing that.  I knew about landscape architects and people who sold plants and installed designs, but it was a male dominated field.  When it came time to choose a career, I chose one that was acceptable for women.  Things have changed and I realized there was a place for women in landscape design.  So after teaching for over 20 years, I started looking for a place where I could learn more about ornamental horticulture.  I remember that when we were looking into schools for my son, I had read about a program at Mercer.  Before long I was meeting with the head of the department, Amy Iseneker.  I had some concerns about going back to school after all these years, but she reassured me and answered all of my questions.  The faculty and staff care about each of us.  They work hard to see that we succeed.  As long as a student is serious about learning, they support you in every way they can.  I also enjoy other students.  In spite of our age difference, we have fun together and I feel a bond that a mutual interest generates.  I would encourage anyone who wants a career in horticulture to look into the program here at MCCC.  It is a great place to be."

Courtney Staats, Landscape Architecture Program at Rutgers University

"I began my education at Mercer County Community College in the fall of 1997.  I matriculated into Mercer as a Plant Science major.  While taking classes my interest in the subject matter grew and evolved, leading me to the Landscape Architecture program at Rutgers University.  I will graduate with a Bachelors of Science degree in May of 2002.  Starting my education at Mercer provided an excellent foundation, preparing me for the Rutgers program which is highly rated in the field of Landscape Architecture.  After graduation, I plan to pursue a graduate degree in an environmental design related field."

Christopher W. Field, Certificate of Proficiency in Ornamental Horticulture

"I was employed for nearly 11 years in the hotel industry.  As much as I enjoyed working with the public, I felt like I was spinning my wheels and going nowhere.  I wanted to make a living doing something that was fun while helping people enjoy their lives.  I also wanted to make a positive impact on the environment.  I have always enjoyed the outdoors and parks and gardens in particular.  I looked into the programs offered at MCCC and after meeting with Professor Iseneker, decided to take classes towards a Certification in Ornamental Horticulture.  The classes were wonderful and the instructors were upbeat and passionate about the subjects they taught.  The knowledge and experience that I gained from Mercer County Community College allowed me to get a job in the design field and has changed my life in a very positive way.  Amy Iseneker and her staff are the best and I will always be indebted to them."

Attention: If you are a graduate of the program and would like to submit a testimonial, please e-mail Amy Iseneker Ricco at riccoa@mccc.edu

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