Leadership Positions


Professional Outreach Leader

Each April, the Professional Outreach Leader initially works with the other Fellows in his/her class to research and select their professional partner organization, and in what capacity. All Fellows also plan an integration strategy to assimilate the new class of Fellows into the project in July. The Leader also works with the Program Director and the other Fellows to create the Professional Outreach Project Advisory Committee (POPAC), comprised of the Program Director and three other professionals related to the selected project’s discipline. The Leader conducts three meetings with the POPAC throughout the duration of the Project: an organizational meeting, a progress review meeting, and a final meeting to review project completion and quality.

2014: Joshua Darfler
2015: Gary Shanks


International Experience Leader

The Leader for the International Experience guides the other First Year Fellows in planning and executing the international trip. This component of the Program provides a unique opportunity for gaining a global perspective on public garden management. The experience is an outstanding opportunity to enrich one’s understanding of public horticulture, develop professional networking skills, observe unique plant collections, and learn about new ecosystems. Shortly after starting in the Program in July, the International Experience Leader schedules meetings to define their professional goals for the trip, select a broad list of possible destinations and ultimate choice, develop a detailed itinerary, identify key contacts, and engage host institutions in the planning process. The Leader heads up weekly meetings, delegates tasks, and insures that the timeline is followed. The Director and Second Year IE Leader act as advisors to the First Year IE Leader.

2014: Lindsey Kerr
2015: Felicia Chua



Symposium Leader

The Longwood Graduate Program Symposium is an event held each March for professionals from public horticulture, museums, zoos, and other organizations. The Symposium Leader is responsible for all aspects of the planning and execution of the Symposium. This position offers a leadership role in both the first and second year in the program. As a First Year Fellow, the Assistant Symposium Leader chairs the Guest Relations Committee. This committee is responsible for fund raising, registration, catering, lodging, and room set-ups. The Assistant Leader coordinates this committee’s meetings and is responsible for the committee’s budget and time line, and sits in on the weekly Leader’s Committee, made up of the committee chairs and the Symposium Leader. The Leader guides topic development discussions, creates and manages the budget and overall time line, and contributes to speaker selection, etc. The Leader guides all full group meetings and the Leader’s Committee. and is encouraged to meet with the Program Director once a week to discuss Symposium details. At the Symposium, the Assistant Symposium Leader and the Symposium Leader share emcee duties. This position offers a great opportunity to be in a leadership role, to manage group discussions, to practice public speaking and to get public recognition for your work.

2014: Laurie Metzger
2015: Sara Helm Wallace



Interview Period (IP)

One of the primary differences between this leadership position and others within the Program is its divided and perpetual nature. While planning and preparation for Interview (IP) Period takes place during a well-defined timeframe, no defined timeline exists for performing Program Identity activities. The Leader for this position will guide the Interview Period in their second year and assist with the event in their first year. Planning for Interview Period begins several months before the event occurs, and involves preparation, coordination of responsibility, and budget management. Major responsibilities of the Interview Period are shared with the Program Staff Assistant and the first year Assistant IP Leader. Tasks include securing hotel, room space, and food reservations; coordinating travel arrangements for interviewees during the weekend; assigning responsibilities for current Fellows’ participation in the three-day event; and meeting frequently with the Program Staff Assistant, the Program Director, and Assistant IP Leader about planning and logistical issues.

2014: Chunying Ling
2015: Bryan Thompsonowak



Graduation Dinner Lead Organizer

At the end of the two-year program, the Fellows host a dinner at Longwood Gardens in honor of those that have contributed to the professional, academic, and personal development of the students. The Appreciation Event leader works with the Fellows, Program Director, and Longwood Gardens Staff to plan and execute the evening event seamlessly. The leader coordinates the production of invitations and other paper media, cuisine and beverage planning, and also finalizing a schedule of events. The evening is an opportunity for reflection on the two-year experience with family, friends, and colleagues over an evening schedule including a garden reception and dinner in Longwood’s Ballroom. During the dinner, the Fellows deliver a unique video presentation depicting their experience throughout the past 2 years, giving recognition to those sharing in their experience.

2014: Chunying Ling
2015: Sarah Leach Smith



Environmental Impact (EI) Leader

The Ecological Impact Team is assigned the task of working to reduce the environmental impact of the Program through education and “green” practices. The Team leader is responsible for holding and leading the monthly EI committee meetings, posting meeting minutes and informing other Fellows and staff of current activities and programs. The leader is also responsible for coordinating and publicizing environmental education and volunteer opportunities outside the program for possible participation. The EI Assistant helps with researching new environmentally friendly practices for the Program office, and organizes and oversees the office recycling and composting program. The EI Team also maintains the interiorscape plants for the College Of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

2013/2014: Chunying Ling & Laurie Metzger
2014/2015: Kevin Williams



Program Identity (PI) Leader

Program Identity initiatives include generation of promotional materials, maintaining Program display cases, and Website development and maintenance. The work performed under the direction of Program Identity (PI) is largely handled by the two current PI Fellows, the Program Director, and the Program Staff Assistant; however, at certain times, the Leader will require the involvement of all current Fellows for input and/or discussion. Additional responsibilities of PI leaders include digital image archiving, maintaining advocate materials and an advocate list, and any other projects relating to Program public awareness initiated within the Program, University or Longwood Gardens.

2013/2014: Joshua Darfler & Lindsey Kerr
2014/2015: Kevin Williams