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Floral-Design Students Claim Top Prizes at Statewide Event

Two students in Pennsylvania College of Technology’s Floral Design/Interior Plantscape major took top honors at the Pennsylvania Floral Industry Association’s Floral Expo on Oct. 17.

Michael R. Merlino, Carlisle, placed first and Melissa A. Sitlinger, Herndon RR 1, placed second in the Student Design competition at the event, which was sponsored by PFIA and FTD. Merlino received a plaque and $250, and Sitlinger was awarded $100.

“We’re thrilled that PFIA and FTD would offer a competition allowing us to showcase the quality of our curriculum and the expertise of our students,” said Dr. Mary A. Sullivan, assistant dean of natural resources management at Penn College. “Students are granted an opportunity to network with industry representatives while gaining confidence in their own abilities and skills.”

The PFIA, formed in 1999 by the merger of Pennsylvania flower growers and the Pennsylvania Florists Association, aims to improve the state’s floriculture industry. Its members include retail florists, growers, floral wholesalers, and associated businesses, educators and students.

Accompanying the students to the event, held in Grantville, was Christine A. Fink, a floral-design instructor in Penn College’s School of Natural Resources Management and an accredited member of the American Institute of Floral Designers.

For more information about the Floral Design/Interior Plantscape Program at Penn College, call the school office at (570) 320-8038, send e-mail or visit online.

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