Name Dropping — and Looking to Add One More By Tim Hodson

Do any of these names sound familiar to you: Eric Pitzen; Alina Lovelace Hanna; Scott Stiles; Jessica Boldt; Emily Stefanski; Jennifer Browne Stark; Janna Hogue Todd; Sarah McQueen Rasch; or Mandy Froning Baggett?

How about these companies: Syngenta Flowers; Arborview Greenhouses; Pleasant View Gardens; Valley of the Flowers; Swift Greenhouses; or McGregor Plant Sales?

All of them should sound familiar — these are the names of the alumni of the GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year

Scholarship Award and the companies that some of them are working for today.

For each of the last nine years now, GPN and Nexus Greenhouse Corp. have recognized a college student who has successfully completed a horticulture-related internship. We are now officially calling for entries for the 10th annual GPN/Nexus Intern Scholarship!

We’re looking for students whose intern experiences helped change their outlook on horticulture, both in the classroom and in the greenhouse.

Welcome to the Real World

All of the previous honorees successfully completed their collegiate education and have ventured out into the “real world.” Many have gotten married and started families and are now bona fide horticulture professionals. For personal reasons, two of them are not currently working in the industry, and one of them just finished up a graduate-level degree and is getting ready to enter the job market. But the one thing all nine of them have in common is they all hold horticulture near and dear to their hearts.

All of our scholarship award winners had extraordinary academic careers and are entering into the next phases of their personal and professional lives. And they all have a zeal for making things grow. It is that kind of student we continue to look for.

2009 Intern of the Year

If you know of a student who has participated in a horticulture-related internship program and might be interested in this scholarship program, we would like to hear about him or her.

The 10th annual GPN/Nexus Intern Scholarship winner will receive:

  • A check for $3,000, courtesy of Nexus Green- house Corp.
  • His or her photo on the cover of GPN
  • A feature-length profile in the January 2009 issue of GPN
  • An expense-paid trip to OFA Short Course, July 11 to 14, 2009
  • A four-day Short Course registration, compliments of OFA

Any student who would like to be considered for this award needs to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled in a four-year accredited uni- versity during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 academic years
  • Be working on a floriculture-related under- graduate degree
  • Have completed a greenhouse internship in 2008

To be considered for the GPN/Nexus Intern of the Year scholarship award, qualified applicants must submit:

  • A cover letter stating what university the student attends requesting consideration for the scholarship
  • A letter of recommendation on university letterhead from the applicant’s academic adviser
  • A minimum 1,000-word essay describing the intern experience including who the applicant interned for, what his or her responsibilities were and what the applicant learned.

Once all of these criteria have been met, mail scholarship applications to:
GPN/Nexus Intern Scholarship
Tim Hodson
3030 W. Salt Creek Lane, Suite 201
Arlington Heights, IL 60005

The deadline for submissions is Oct. 31, 2008.

If you have any questions about the scholarship, feel free to contact me at thodson@

You can read about our most recent honoree, Eric Pitzen, who graduated from Iowa State University in May and recently began working for Syngenta Flowers in Boulder, Colo. Just go to and search “Pitzen.”

And, in case you missed it, last month, Associate Editor Darhiana Mateo caught up with all of the previous GPN/Nexus Interns of the Year. You can read the article, “Where Are They Now?” on our website.

Tim Hodson

Tim Hodson is the editorial director of GPN and Big Grower. He can be reached at

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GPN recognizes 40 industry professionals under the age of 40 who are helping to determine the future of the horticulture industry. These individuals are today’s movers and shakers who are already setting the pace for tomorrow.

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P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345

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