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GCA Scholarships Recipients: The Garden Club of America Hope Goddard Iselin Fellowship in Public Horticulture

2017 Leslie Touzeau

Leslie Touzeau is a master’s student in rural sociology at the University of Missouri in Columbia. Her research examines the life experiences of African-Americans in agriculture. In collaboration with the Mizzou Botanic Garden, she is developing several on campus gardens to honor native Missourian George Washington Carver. The gardens will serve as community growing areas on campus as well as educate students about the roles of marginalized groups in agriculture. Through signage, demonstration plots, and lectures, her project intends to teach the public about the forgotten contributions of minorities and women in building and maintaining our current food system.

2016 Andrew Sell

Andrew Sell is a master’s student in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment. He serves as a student instructor, a member of the American Public Gardens Association Emerging Professional Section, and an editorial group member for Public Garden Magazine. In collaboration with Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, he is creating a study to measure the impact that children’s gardens play on the development of environmental stewardship and on ‘nature play’ spaces in private homes. Based at Matthaei’s Gaffield Children’s Garden, the study will include surveys, educational workshops, and interviews to highlight the constraints and opportunities of creating translational children’s nature play spaces.

2016 David Pease

David Pease is a master’s student at the University of Tennessee, Department of Plant Sciences & University of Tennessee Gardens with a concentration in Public Horticulture. The pilot program, 'DIG IT!' (Drawing in the Gardens, Impacting Teens), is an integrated gardening and botanical arts afterschool program for at-risk youth. The program will take place at the University of Tennessee Gardens with 6th, 7th and 8th grade student participants from a local Title I middle school. Lessons within this unique integrated curriculum are informed by principles and theory of Therapeutic Horticulture and Horticulture Therapy. The associated thesis research will look at the effect of this integrated gardening and art program on at-risk youth's self-efficacy and stress levels.

2015 Allyson Ayalon

Alysson Ayalon is a Master’s student in Horticulture and Agronomy at the University of California, Davis. Her interests in public horticulture include plant records, collections management, curatorial projects, education and outreach. Her research and curation project will be in the Mary Wattis Brown Garden of California Plants at UC Davis. She will audit the collection, which has not been done since 1977, and will develop a plan of improvements to the native plants garden and will help to align them to the California Floristics course at UC Davis. 

2014 Chris Watson

Chris Watson is the first recipient of the Iselin Fellowship. He is pursuing a Master's degree in Environmental Horticulture at the University of Washington. His research involves the use of geographic information systems or GIS. His graduate work focuses on a GIS analysis of the potential effects of land use surrounding the Washington Park Arboretum at the University of Washington Botanic Gardens to determine the need for storm water management. His future career interests include expanding the skillset of public horticulturists to include GIS tools and finding creative ways to inforporate GIS into oublic gardens. 


Scholarship Opportunities Abound

The GCA offers 28 merit-based scholarships and fellowships, awarding more than $330,000 to 86 scholars in 2017.

For example, the GCA Fellowship in Ecological Restoration offers an $8,000 annual grant for graduate study and research at a leading accredited university in the United States. Fields of study of past recipients have ranged from forestry to applied plant sciences to ecology and evolutionary biology.

Read more about the four 2017 recipients.