PLANET AEF dubs educator of the year, gives 53 scholarships

March 25, 2015 -  By
PLANET AEF scholarship recipients celebrate their awards. Photo: Philippe Nobile Photography

PLANET AEF scholarship recipients celebrate their awards. Photo: Philippe Nobile Photography

The Professional Landcare Network Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) presented a slew of academic accolades at PLANET Student Career Days, hosted Mach 12-15 by North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C.

In 2015 alone, PLANET AEF has given a total of $91,100 in awards and scholarships. Adding to that, it bestowed 53 scholarships at a reception, sponsored by Stihl, March 12.

This year’s PLANET AEF President’s Scholarship, in the amount of $3,000, was awarded to Matthew McKernan from Kansas State University (KSU). The President’s Scholarship goes to a student who demonstrates the criteria set forth by the PLANET AEF board of directors and has high scholastic achievements, industry-related activities and community service.

At the closing ceremonies held March 15, the foundation also awarded the three, highest scoring competitors, referred to as the event’s “Superstars,” a total of $3,000.

In addition, the foundation unveiled the recipient of its 2015 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award—Greg Davis, head of academic advising in the horticulture, forestry and recreation resources department of KSU.

The Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, developed by the PLANET AEF in cooperation with the PLANET Accreditation Committee, recognizes professors who have made significant contributions to landscape industry education. Educators nominated for this award have devoted time, energy and enthusiasm to their programs and to the education of future leaders of the industry.

Davis’s interest in horticulture and landscaping stem from a small lawn care business he had in high school, making the decision to explore horticulture in his undergraduate work evident. His hands-on approach to teaching is credited for preparing students to take on careers in the industry.

In each landscape design class he leads, Davis schedules designs for real clients in real locations, allowing students the opportunity to meet with clients, take site measurements of their home or business, create the design for the area, and present that design to the client.

“I am truly humbled and honored to receive this award from AEF,” Davis said. “It means a lot to me professionally because it suggests validation for our program from this industry, whose leaders I respect greatly, for what we do day-to-day to prepare students for satisfying careers.”

Davis earned a bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture, a master’s degree in journalism and mass communications and doctorate degree in ornamental horticulture from KSU.

LM Staff

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