Former Fellows of the Longwood Graduate Program are represented in a diverse array of professions throughout North America. The “Where Are They Now?” section of our Web site highlights some of these unique individuals, making amazing contributions to the field of public horticulture and beyond. Please enjoy reading about the accomplishment of our Alumni below and check back regularly for updates.
Daniel Burcham graduated from Ohio State University in 2007. Fortunately, he was awarded a fellowship with the Longwood Graduate Program at University of Delaware and completed his Masters degree in Public Horticulture in 2009. After graduation, he accepted a position as an arboriculture researcher in the Centre for Urban Greenery and Ecology, part of the National Parks Board in Singapore.
Daniel felt that the program provided a lot of opportunities for him to develop his professional skills and raise his practical awareness; these opportunities helped him to succeed in the horticulture profession. The experiential learning process from the Longwood Graduate Program allowed him to confidently manage projects, resources, and deadlines. He felt that the Professional Outreach Project and the Symposium helped him to cooperate effectively in a team, lead meetings and manage deadlines. The Longwood Graduate Program has certainly supported him to become more resourceful, competent and approachable in his career.
Daniel thinks that the International Experience Trip was his favorite part of the Longwood Graduate Program. He mentioned that if it weren’t for the international trip to Southeast Asia, he wouldn’t have had the opportunity to work in Singapore. Those experiences gave him a chance to reflect on his personal interests and the ‘City in a Garden’ concept in Singapore reinforced his belief about the importance of plants in cities. He was so impressed that he ended up actively contributing to this concept.
Professional and Academic History:
Before entering the Longwood Graduate Program, Liz received a BS in Plant Science from Cornell University. Since graduating from the Longwood Graduate Program in 1987, Liz has had several positions within the horticulture profession. She has always sought out the positions that she thinks will be most interesting and challenging to her. Among other jobs, she was horticulturist at Brookgreen Gardens in South Carolina where she enjoyed working around their renowned sculpture collection. Liz was the only horticultural staff member after the Edwards Conservatory was built at the Huntington Museum of Art in West Virginia, where she chose all the permanent plants, designed the seasonal displays, and grew the floral crops. She was also chief horticulturist at Hillwood Estate in Washington, DC. She now cares for the plants at Hersheypark Amusement Park in Hershey, PA. She has found nearly $50.00 in loose change from the roller coaster riders since she started her position in May of 2013!
The Longwood Graduate Program name and education has been effective in helping her acquire all of the positions that she has had.
Liz’s favorite LGP memory is the trip her class took through the Southeastern US during spring break. They stayed at J.C. Raulston’s house in North Carolina, toured many gardens, and visited with professionals working in the field of public horticulture, making their way to Miami. Her favorite part of the trip was laughing with the other fellows, especially Bob Hays, with whom a great friendship began.
Before joining the Longwood Graduate Program in 1995, Peter earned a BS in Plant Science from the Rutgers University Cook College campus. He found work as a horticulturist at the James A. McFaul Environmental Center, a park of Bergen County Parks, in Wyckoff, NJ. At a conference for the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (now known as the American Public Gardens Association), Peter met former Longwood Graduate Program Director Jim Swasey and spoke with him about the program. Peter was excited to learn more about public gardens and do thesis research on a topic of his choice. Since receiving his Master’s degree, Peter has moved to the Pacific Northwest to further his horticulture career. He was the Executive Director of Lakewold Gardens before transitioning to horticulture education. Now, Peter is a horticulture professor and head of the horticulture department at South Puget Sound Community College in Olympia, Washington where he enjoys cultivating the future of horticulture.
For Peter, the biggest benefit of the Longwood Graduate Program was “a sense of what could be done.” Seeing what can be accomplished when the resources are available and the innovative ways in which challenges are approached was a great and inspirational learning experience. He said that he got a great sense of “what the possibilities are.” He also really liked learning about how Longwood works in committees, from top to bottom, to achieve a consensus and buy-in from everyone.
Peter’s favorite thing about the Longwood Graduate Program? Being at Longwood! He especially enjoyed his first-year summer shadowing experience, during which he was able to experience different departments and shadowing Longwood’s Executive Director at the time, Fred Roberts. Peter loved the culture at Longwood and being around other people who love plants. He misses attending the fireworks shows and hopes to return soon with his wife to see one again.