Faculty and Staff
Day-to-day operations of the School are managed by the Director, who also guides students with special group projects, plant studies, reviews, and field trips. An advisory board, composed of instructors, education and horticulture staff, and representatives from horticultural businesses, meets periodically to review school policies and curriculum.
The School, the Director, and all School faculty are licensed by the New York State Department of Education’s Bureau of Proprietary School Supervision (www.acces.nysed.gov/bpss/) in order to fulfill their duties to students in the program.
Jeffrey A. Downing
Susan Pell, Ph.D.
Jeffrey A. Downing
Vice President for Education
Charles M. Yurgalevitch, Ph.D.
Director, School of Professional Horticulture
Timothy H. Barker is a gardener in the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections. He gained extensive hands-on experience in profitable plant production from the greenhouse and nursery business he started with his father.
Tolly Beck is the horticulturist at Lasdon Park and Arboretum, Westchester County Parks, Recreation and Conservation. She was formerly a horticulture educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Rockland County.
Jamie Boyer, Ph.D. is the Director of Children’s Education at the Garden. He holds a doctorate from SUNY-Binghamton and studies the evolution and development of ancient land plants.
David Bulpitt is a principal of Brookside Nurseries, Inc., which specializes in soil mixes for horticultural use.
Wayne Cahilly is Manager of the Lionel Goldfrank III Institutional Mapping Department. He is an arborist, a garden consultant, and a graduate of the Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture.
Ember Chabot, MS, University of Illinois, earned her bachelor’s in environmental science at SUNY Oneonta, where she spent summers helping to control the invasive aquatic plant Eurasian watermilfoil in Lake George.
Mark Cupkovic is Associate Vice President for Operations at the Garden, and holds a BS from Miami University, Ohio.
Deanna Curtis, Associate Curator of Woody Plants at the Garden, is an ISA-certified arborist. She holds graduate degrees in both horticulture and landscape architecture from Cornell University.
Alice Eckerson, RLA, holds an MLA from the University of Virginia and owns a business in Fairfield, Conn.
William Einhorn, RLA, principal of Landscape Design Associates of Westchester, Inc., and AquaScape Pool Company, has a BLA from the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse.
Don Gabel is Plant Health Care Manager at the Garden. He is an ISA-certified arborist, a certified nurseryman, and has been active in the green industry for more than 35 years.
Alan Gorkin has over 25 years of horticultural experience in managing greenhouses, nurseries, and floristry businesses. He is the owner of Earth Garden Florist and Nursery in New Canaan, Conn.
Holly Hepp-Galvan is Adjunct Professor of English and Speech at Manhattan College and Adjunct Professor of Communications and Theatre Arts at College of Mount St. Vincent. She holds a BA with honors from Skidmore College.
Bill Logan is an ISA-certified arborist, a member of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, founder and president of Urban Arborists, Inc., a journalist, and author of Oak: The Frame of Civilization and Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth.
Gary Lincoff has taught plant studies at the Garden since the 1970s. He is the author of several books on mushrooms, including The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Mushrooms. In 2002 he was the recipient of the Garden’s Instructor of the Year Award.
Donald McClelland, BA, is a doctoral candidate at City University of New York and is a Botanical Garden Graduate Fellow working on the genus Solanum.
Marta McDowell is a writer, lecturer, and garden designer. She holds a BA in American Studies from Rutgers and a Landscape Design Certificate from the Garden.
Kurt Morrell is Director of Arboretum, Grounds and Gardens at the Botanical Garden, and is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.
Fintan O’Sullivan works in the Nolen Greenhouses at the Garden as a plant propagator. He is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.
Jody Payne is Curator of the Rock Garden and Native Plant Garden at the Garden, and is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.
Susan Pell, Ph.D., the Garden’s Botany Program Coordinator, is Plant Molecular Systematist and Laboratory Manager at Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
Jon L. Peter, NPD, OAC is Plant Records Manager at the Garden. He holds diplomas in horticulture from the Niagara Parks School of Horticulture and from the University of Guelph, and has over 15 years’ experience in North American public gardens.
Michael Ruggiero is the horticulturist at Matterhorn Nursery. Former Senior Curator of Horticulture and a long-time instructor at the Garden, he lectures and writes on gardening topics and has authored several books, including Annuals with Style and Perennial Gardening.
Kristin Schleiter is Curator of Outdoor Gardens and Herbaceous Collections at the Garden. She earned a BS from Cornell University.
Julie Schondorf-Seghrouchni is a horticulture educator for Cornell Extension in Nassau County specializing in plant diagnostics, IPM, and commercial horticulture. She has an MS Ed. and a BA in biology.
Mobee Weinstein, Foreman of Gardeners at the Garden, holds a BS in plant studies from Lehman College and is a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture.
Horticulture Rotation Supervisory Staff
Toby Adams Family Garden Manager
Wayne Cahilly Manager of the Lionel Goldfrank III Institutional Mapping Department
Ursula Chanse Director of Bronx Green-Up
Jessica Clarke Associate Curator of Glasshouse Collections
Francisca Coelho Vivian and Edward Merrin Associate Vice President for Glasshouses and Exhibitions
Karen Daubmann Director of Exhibitions and Seasonal Displays
Margaret Falk Associate Vice President for Landscape, Gardens, and Living Collections
Don Gabel Plant Health Care Manager
Marc Hachadourian Manager of the Nolen Greenhouses for Living Collections
Peter Kukielski Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden Curator
Jean Mayfield-Morelli Senior Plant Recorder
Kurt Morrell Director of Arboretum, Grounds and Gardens
Jody Payne Curator of the Rock Garden and Native Plant Garden
Jon L. Peter Plant Records Manager
Eric Pioselli Foreman, Turf and Grounds
Brad Roeller Manager of Outdoor Gardens
Kristin Schleiter Curator of Outdoor Gardens and Herbaceous Collections
Jessica Arcate Schuler Manager of the Forest
Mobee Weinstein Foreman of Gardeners