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Recent Graduate to Attend Industry Event as ‘HortScholar’


A May graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology’s landscape/horticulture technology program is one of six 2018 HortScholars invited to a premier industry event in Columbus, Ohio, this summer.

Aaron A. Sledge Jr., who earned an associate degree in the major’s plant production emphasis, will attend AmericanHort’s “Cultivate 18” event at the Greater Columbus Convention Center from July 14-17.

National “HortScholar” Aaron A. Sledge Jr., a May graduate in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis, welcomes Open House visitors to a Penn College greenhouse.
National “HortScholar” Aaron A. Sledge Jr., a May graduate in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis, welcomes Open House visitors to a Penn College greenhouse.

The scholar program is open to undergraduate and graduate students, including recent alumni, who gain beyond-the-classroom experience on a national level. The awardees will help with setup, network with industry leaders, have access to multiple education sessions and attend CareerUP – a one-day workshop tailored to emerging horticulture professionals navigating the green industry’s career ladder.

In his scholarship application – which was endorsed by Carl J. Bower Jr., an assistant professor of horticulture – Sledge noted a lifelong enchantment with plants that continued to bloom as a high school intern at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens near his Pittsburgh home and as manager of a greenhouse at Penn College’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.

“Horticulture is my passion because plants are beautifully fascinating and inspire curiosity,” he said. “Getting people to have an appreciation for houseplants is something that I hope to accomplish, because science is revealing the positive effects that plants have on our physical and emotional well-being.”

Sledge has a summer job with The Plant Lady & Associates Inc. in Pittsburgh and is enrolled at Penn State this fall to work toward a bachelor’s degree in plant science with an emphasis on horticulture.

For more about AmericanHort, which was founded through the 2014 consolidation of the American Nursery and Landscape Association and the Association of Horticultural Professionals, visit the organization’s website.

For more information about landscape/horticulture technology and other majors in the college’s School of Transportation & Natural Resources Technologies, call 570-327-4516.

Penn College is a national leader in applied technology education. Email the Admissions Office or call toll-free 800-367-9222.

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