Some Success Stories

Below is a list of some School of Professional Horticulture alumni. If you would like to ask a question of a specific graduate, email the Director, who will then forward it to the respective person. Alumni remain an integral part of the School, and students have numerous opportunities to network with them.

Dianne Crary (Class of 2013) was hired by the Central Park Conservancy as a zone gardener after graduation. Besides graduating from the School, she has also received two NYBG Certificates in Sustainable Land Management and Arboriculture.

Kelley Crosson (Class of 2013) restarted her New York City based garden and interior design business while continuing to work as a fundraiser for the Marijuana Policy Project.

Laura Falcones (Class of 2013) started her own business after graduation. Vitawall is a landscape company that specializes in green walls. She also has a law degree and experience in horticulture consulting.

Stephen Jackson (Class of 2012) is currently the Plant Records Manager/Plant Propagator at Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, MA.

Eric Lieberman (Class of 2012) was hired after graduation by the Garden’s Education Division as the Garden Education Manager where he helps to manage the School and the Plant Information Office.

Luis Marmol (Class of 2012) is currently a horticulturist at Dumbarton Oaks, in Washington D.C. In addition, Luis is also contributing to the redesign of the Herbaceous Border at the Peace Palace in The Hague.

Mira Peck (Class of 2012) has a BFA from N.Y.U.'s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduation, she was hired as an estate gardener at a large private property in the Hudson Valley.

Orrin Sheehan (Class of 2012) was hired after graduation as a gardener at The High Line. He has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and new media from Johnson & Wales University.

John Gunderson (Class of 2011) has a bachelors of architecture degree from Cooper Union School of Architecture. Upon graduation he accepted a position as gardener at The High Line (

Christopher Bale (Class of 2010) is a horticulturalist and herbalist currently working at the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden and Centre for Plant Research in Vancouver, Canada.

Peter Couchman (Class of 2010) is assisting in the design and development as Head Gardener of High Glen, a new 60-acre private estate in Maryland.

Brian Kennedy (Class of 2010), originally from Massachusetts, was hired as a gardener with the Arboretum and Grounds crew at NYBG.

Gabriela Marin (Class of 2010), has a Ph.D. in Horticulture from Romania. After graduation, she accepted a position as a gardener at the Battery Conservancy.

Ronda Brands (Class of 2009), a native of Boston, is an associate with Lynden B. Miller Public Garden Design.

Songsuk Kim (Class of 2009) is a native of South Korea where she earned a BS in landscape architecture from Sunchon National University. Upon graduation from the School, she accepted a position as gardener here at the Garden’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Amanda J. Kozora (Class of 2009) works for Aero Studios, Ltd as an estate gardener at a historical home in Bellport, NY.

Sarah Owens (Class of 2009) has a bachelors degree in sculpture and a previous career as a ceramics artist prior to joining the School. Upon graduation, she became the rosarian at Brooklyn Botanic Garden (

Ann Marie Zawistowski (Class of 2008) is currently the Horticulture Manager for Citi Field, home of The New York Mets in Flushing, New York.

Alex Feleppa (Class of 2007) is currently the Landscape Foreman with Summerhill Landscapes, a company based in the Hamptons. Upon graduation, he created the Director of Horticulture position for the Hort Society of New York and then went on to work at Central Park Conservancy before relocating back to the eastern end of Long Island.

Erika Hanson (Class of 2007) started her own consulting, design, and maintenance firm, Living Colors Landscape and Garden, in Hudson Valley, NY.

Fintan O’Sullivan (Class of 2007), a native of Australia, was hired by The New York Botanical Garden after graduation as a gardener in the Nolen Greenhouse.

Naima Green (Class of 2006) is owner of Blue in Green Garden Design, a landscape design company based in Brooklyn that designs, installs and maintains terraces, rooftop gardens and townhouse backyards in NYC.

Paige Keck (Class of 2006) is partners with Susan Welti at Foras Studio, LLC, ( a small, Brooklyn-based design firm that focuses on a detailed thorough approach to landscape design, implementation and horticultural care.

Grace Martinelli (Class of 2006) is owner of Graceful Gardens, a garden and floral boutique in Williamsburg, Brooklyn opened in 2009. Grace designs and maintains urban gardens and is also floral designer specializing in special events.

James Neville Richardson (Class of 2006), a native of Bermuda, became the head curator at the Bermuda Botanical Gardens after graduation.

EunYoung Sebazco (Class of 2006) earned BS in Landscape Architecture from Tokyo University of Agriculture. She is the Horticulture Manager at Randall's Island Park ( in NYC and is owner of Silverflower Design (

Cathy Beauregard (Class of 2004) owns and operates Beauregard Horticultural Services, a design, build and maintenance firm in Bethel, CT. She is a member of the Northeast Organic Farmers Association - CT, and the Federated Garden Clubs of America where she lectures regularly on a wide variety of topics to garden clubs in New England.

David Bergman (Class of 2004) started his own landscape design company upon graduation, called DWB Botanical Designs, LLC.

Emily Glodek (Class of 2004) is estate manager at the Vik Estate in Greenwich, CT.

Cassie Banning (Class of 2002) is currently the Garden Manager for the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden in Seal Harbor, Maine.

Cathy Deutsch (Class of 2002) is at the Steinhardt Estate in Bedford, NY

Stacey A. Hirvela (Class of 2002) is in marketing for Proven Winners ColorChoice Shrubs. She is currently working on her first book about vegetable gardening in containers and raised beds, which is due out in 2014 from Rodale Press.

Ani Adishian (Class of 2001) started her own company, Flora Horticultural Services, Ltd., which is responsible for beautifying the campus of Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, New York.

Maria Vlahos (Class of 2001) was Head Gardener at Mount Usher Gardens, Ireland 2002-2006, and is currently co-Director of Thirtythreetrees, Ltd.

Diane Schaub (Class of 1994) has been curator of the six-acre, formal Conservatory Garden in Central Park since graduating. She also designs many other herbaceous plantings and seasonal displays for Central Park Conservancy.

Yukie Kurashina (Class of 1992), is a gardener for the Outdoor Gardens at the New York Botanical Garden, propagating Rock Garden plants and growing Japanese Chrysanthemums for the Kiku exhibition.

Kurt Morrell (Class of 1987) was hired by The New York Botanical Garden upon graduation as a Botanical Garden Aid, and after many promotions over the years, is currently Associate Vice President for Landscape Operations.

Wayne Cahilly (Class of 1984) was hired by The New York Botanical Garden upon graduation and is currently Manager of the Institutional Mapping Department.

Kim Johnson (Class of 1984) waiting

Mobee Weinstein (Class of 1982) is currently foreman of Gardeners at the Garden, Horticulture Instructor, Diploma School of Professional Horticulture, BS Lehman College. She is also a NOFA Accredited Organic Landscape Professional.

Francisca Coelho (Class of 1981) was hired by The New York Botanical Garden upon graduation and is currently the Vivian & Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses & Exhibitions.

Tom Christopher (Class of 1977) has worked as a garden columnist for a number of magazines and written several books. He also consults about sustainable gardening practices.

Billie Cohen (Class of 1976) has been transforming landscapes throughout the tri-state area since 1972 including campuses, public parks, community gardens, not-for-profits, and residential estates. She also involved with educational programs.

Joseph Blank (Class of 1970) has been estate manager for over 25 years at Copper Beech Farm, a 52-acre private estate in Greenwich, CT, with greenhouses, various gardens, a turf-grass tennis court, a fruit orchard, and a tree farm. In his spare time, he hybridizes crape myrtles.

Edmund D. Hollander (Class of 1979) is an award winning landscape architect, author, and lecturer whose firm, Edmund D. Hollander Landscape Architect Design P.C., produces landscapes of enduring beauty around the world. His latest book is The Private Oasis, The Landscape Architecture and Gardens of Edmund Hollander Design, by Phillip Langdon.

Marco Polo Stufano (Class of 1967), Director Emeritus of Horticulture at Wave Hill (1967–2002). He now lectures around the country and is Chair of the Garden Conservancy's Projects Department Screening Committee.