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Students get alumni lesson in networking, confidence

Pictured in front of pink chrysanthemums at Longwood Gardens are (from left) students Courtney M. Wilcox, of Troy; Jessica M. Duke, of Allentown; Robert J. Williamson, of Fort Washington; and Alexis B. Hassinger, of Bellefonte.
Pictured in front of pink chrysanthemums at Longwood Gardens are (from left) students Courtney M. Wilcox, of Troy; Jessica M. Duke, of Allentown; Robert J. Williamson, of Fort Washington; and Alexis B. Hassinger, of Bellefonte.
Garris visits her alma mater's Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
Garris visits her alma mater’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center.
Against a backdrop of yellow mums are (from left) students Joseph N. Moore, of South Williamsport; Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills; Taylor L. Keiper, of Archbald; and Austin R. Weaver, of New Holland.
Against a backdrop of yellow mums are (from left) students Joseph N. Moore, of South Williamsport; Alexis M. Witherite, of Spring Mills; Taylor L. Keiper, of Archbald; and Austin R. Weaver, of New Holland.
McGinty explains North Creek's automated potting process.
McGinty explains North Creek’s automated potting process.

Twenty members of the Horticulture Club and faculty members Justin Shelinski and Carl J. Bower Jr. enjoyed a pair of Tuesday field trips: Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square and North Creek Nurseries in Landenburg. The group savored a beautiful fall day, saw the Chrysanthemum Festival display at Longwood, and toured North Creek facilities with general manager Tim McGinty and section grower Kassie L. Garris, a 2018 alumna in Penn College’s landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis. (Garris visited campus last week to talk about the postgraduate path she took, from employment at Longwood Gardens to working at North Creek.) McGinty shared that he first met Garris during a Penn College field trip to North Creek two years ago, when the then-student introduced herself to him. “It just goes to show: You never know what your experiences might bring,” Bower said. “The networking you do, whether it is while you are a student or in your professional career, can lead to some great opportunities. I always tell my students to never be afraid to shake someone’s hand, introduce themselves and say they are a Penn College horticulture student … because that can take you far.” North Creek is known for its sustainable horticultural practices and native perennials, added Bower, who said its greenhouses employ some impressive technology and innovations.
Photos by Bower, assistant professor of horticulture

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