Members Area

GCA Scholarships Recipients


2023 Adele Woodmansee

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture
School: Master’s student, Soil and Crop Sciences, Cornell University

Adaptation and Change in the High Atlas Mountains: Learning from Agricultural Landscapes

Using interdisciplinary methodologies, Woodmansee’s research will evaluate how agricultural systems in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains are responding to climate variability. Woodmansee will document systems and, with input from local farmers, determine needs to support diverse cropping practices and develop adaptation strategies in the face of ongoing water shortages. Expanded research will also be conducted on agrobiodiversity and local seed networks in terraced agroecosystems of the High Atlas Mountains.


2023 Isabella Borrero

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture
School: Master’s student, Agricultural Sciences, University of New Hampshire

The Role of the Microbiome in Natural Suppression of Pythium-Root Rot in Wood-Fiber Substrates

Borrero’s project will characterize wood-fiber based substrates for suppression of pythium in greenhouse production of chrysanthemums. In addition, characterization of diversity levels between fungal and bacterial populations present in grower-standard and wood-fiber based medias will be researched. To understand the role the microbial community function of the rhizosphere plays in producing disease-suppressive environments, Borrero will identify the genera of bacteria and fungi present in both pathogen-infested and noninfested wood-fiber and peat substrates.

2023 Gabriela Sinclair

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture
School: PhD candidate in Horticulture and Agronomy, University of California, Davis

Investigating Interactions in Drought and Grapevine Trunk Disease Resistance in Grapevine

Sinclair will conduct research in Bordeaux, France, to better understand the physiological traits that enhance drought tolerance and fungal pathogen (Esca) resistance in grapevine. Facing environmental and pathogenic stressors, including complications due to drought, France’s vineyards provide ideal fieldwork locations. Sinclair’s findings will be beneficial in California, the leading US wine producing region. Cross comparison of projects conducted in each location will support a diverse, global profile and provide a framework for innovative viticultural solutions.


2023 Joshua Tebow

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture
School: Master’s student, Horticulture and Controlled Environments Agriculture, University of Arkansas

Evaluating a Process Control Approach to Managing Nutrients in Recirculating Hydroponic Solutions

Tebow will continue thesis research on improving root-zone nutrition management practices for greenhouse crops. Focusing on nutrient and pH management with hydroponic and flowering crops, Tebow’s findings will allow growers to produce quality crops while minimizing resource waste. Additional studies will quantify temperature and light effects on crop timing and quality of containerized edibles, including the dwarf tomato. 


2023 Claire Taylor

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture
School: Master’s student, Illustration and Design, The University of Arizona

Creative Documentation of Plants of the Tucson Area

Taylor, an artist who develops creative projects informed by environmental advocacy, aims to utilize illustration and art-making skills to support environmental, ecological, and climatic issues. Field studies in Tucson Mountain Park, The University of Arizona campus, and other green spaces in and near Tucson will provide Taylor with a better understanding of and connection to native plants. Taylor will pair watercolor painting with creative writing to convey the biology of plants and foster empathy for plant life.


2023 Nidhi Vinod

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture
School: PhD candidate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Los Angeles

Using Physiological and Anatomical Traits to Assess Drought Tolerance of Dominant Palm Trees in California

Vinod will study plant adaptation to adverse conditions and climate. Measuring anatomical, nutrient, hydraulic, physiological, and size-related palm plant traits at Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden and California Botanic Garden, Vinod’s findings will provide insight on how palms survive and adapt. Data will inform plant breeders, horticulturists, and conservationists of optimal traits to enhance plant adaptation to droughts and heatwaves.


2022 Luke Owen

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture

Cannabis and Ornamental Plant Breeding

Owen’s studies focus on breeding Cannabis cultivars and ornamental plants that are tailored to southern climates. Owen’s work seeks to determine sustainability, desirability, increased production capabilities, and usability in the landscape and field in a variety of germplasm. Owen’s research will include pollen viability to develop further breeding analysis.

2022 Charlotte Rose Bjørn Frisk

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture

Nordic Seed Saving

Frisk is creating a 25-minute film with University of Oslo to share diverse stories of people’s relationship to seeds and human and more-than human migration within seed-exchange culture. The film will also convey the importance of conservation seed knowledge as a means of Nordic climate resilience and justice. In addition, Frisk is coauthoring an opinion article on seeds in biodiversity conservation that will be published in People, Plants, and Planet.

2022 Liesl Bower-Jernigan

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture

Plant Breeding/Molecular Genetics: Research on the Arctic Daisy, Chrysanthemum arcticum

Bower-Jernigan’s research will focus on the phenotypic and genetic traits associated with the understudied plant Chrysanthemum arcticum, arctic daisy. Bower-Jernigan will identify the ploidy, salt tolerance, cold tolerance, and photoperiod of the plant. Bower-Jernigan hopes to determine genetic markers related to the findings to further the breeding of chrysanthemums.

2022 Brandan Alexander Shur

The Corliss Knapp Engle Scholarship in Horticulture

The Characterization of Soilless Substrate Production of Small Fruits

Shur will build on studies of soilless substrate production of ornamental and edible crops. Continuing previous research at North Carolina State University Horticultural Substrates Laboratory, Shur will examine soilless substrate production methods of small fruits. Shur’s primary focus will be on controlled production of strawberries to increase propagules, yield, and fruit and plant quality.

Back to Scholarships

Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The Garden Club of America offers 29 merit-based scholarships and fellowships in 12 areas related to conservation, ecology, horticulture, and pollinator research. In 2023, over $405,000 were awarded to 86 scholars. Follow GCA Scholarships on Instagram for the latest news about pollinators, coastal wetlands, native bird habitats, and much more. Connect to a larger world of horticulture and conservation through Garden Club of America scholars. Browse the scholarship offerings.

GCA's Scholarships Instagram profile