SoPH Students working on a microscope.

Some Success Stories

Kelly Ivanoski (Class of 2018) is manager of the Nolen Greenhouses here at the New York Botanical Garden.

John Jacono (Class of 2018) is employed as a horticulturist at Untermyer Gardens, the former estate of Samuel Untermyer in Yonkers, NY.

Martin McCormack (Class of 2018) works at Staten Island’s Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, were he helps maintain the beautiful gardens.

Christopher Freimuth (Class of 2017) started a garden design and installation business in New York City called CF Gardens, which creates and maintains terrace and backyard gardens throughout Manhattan.

Francesca Holinko (class of 2017) works for Arborjet, Inc. in Woburn, MA.  She was hired as a research horticulturist and grower in their Research and Development Department.

Jared Jaffe (Class of 2017) founded his own garden design, installation and maintenance firm, Harlem Horticulture, providing a variety of horticultural services including exterior and interior horticulture as well as planting and maintaining vegetable gardens and foodscapes.

Ashley Natale (Class of 2017) was hired by Brooklyn Grange Farm as the Maintenance Manager for Design & Installations. She cares for a wide range of residential and commercial green spaces including a 20,000 square foot rooftop meadow and vegetable/herb garden atop the VICE Media headquarters.

Rebecca Dragonetti (Class of 2016) was hired as a horticulturist at Cat Rock, a private estate in Garrison, NY.

Chris Ruiz (Class of 2016) is currently a cultivation associate for Curio Wellness, a medical marijuana grower in Baltimore, MD.

Marc Wolf (Class of 2016) is the Executive Director at Mountain Top Arboretum, a public garden in the Catskill Mountains which is dedicated to creating a living sanctuary of native and exotic trees and shrubs.

Joseph Charap (Class of 2015) is the Director of Horticulture at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY.

Eric Cioffi (Class of 2015) is a horticulturist for Blondie’s Treehouse, a New York landscape and design firm, where he is responsible for purchasing and maintaining nursery stock for all exterior landscaping jobs.

Wade Wheatley (Class of 2015) is a horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden where he maintains the tropical, semitropical, and arid greenhouse collections.

Megan Booth (Class of 2014) works as a horticulturist and designer for Gardener’s Touch, a residential landscaping design and maintenance company in Fairfield County, CT.

Jackie Lyons (Class of 2014) is an estate gardener at AP Farm, a private estate in Westchester County where she maintains a diverse collection of plant material.

Tim Wells (Class of 2014) is the Garden & Property Manager with The Laurelrock Company in Wilton, CT, where he manages and maintains beautiful private residences in Fairfield and Westchester Counties.

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 called Vitawall, which 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 at Mount Auburn Cemetery, in Cambridge, MA.

Eric Lieberman (Class of 2012) was hired after graduation by NYBG’s Education Division, where he is the manager of the School of Professional Horticulture. He previously helped oversee the Garden’s 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 at a 600-acre private property in Millbrook, NY.

Orrin Sheehan (Class of 2012) was hired after graduation by The High Line, where he is currently a senior gardener. He has a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and new media from Johnson & Wales University.

Jeong Aee Boo (Class of 2011) works as a seasonal gardener for Randall’s Island Park Alliance and splits her time between New York City and Korea.

John Gunderson (Class of 2011) has a Bachelors of Architecture degree from Cooper Union School of Architecture. Upon graduation he accepted a position at The High Line, where he is now a senior gardener.

Mitja Stragapede (Class of 2011) is a gardener at Cornell Plantations, a 35-acre site, which features 12 specialty gardens. These include herbs, flowers, vegetables, rock garden plants, rhododendrons, perennials, ornamental grasses, groundcovers, vines, container gardens and plants with winter interest in Ithaca, NY.

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 the Executive Director of High Glen Gardens in Frederick, MD, overseeing the development of the 64-acre private estate into a public garden.

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 and since graduation has worked at the Battery Conservancy where she is now the Chief Horticulturist.

Alyssa Siegel-Miles (Class of 2010) is the founder and owner of Bluebird Garden Design, a landscape design, installation and maintenance company serving Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Ronda Brands (Class of 2009), a native of western New York, has her own landscape design company, Ronda M. Brands Garden Design, specializing in four-season planting design for public parks and shared urban spaces.

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 NYBG’s Enid A. Haupt Conservatory.

Amanda J. Kozora (Class of 2009) is the Horticulturist at DFI Resources LLC, a landscape management company based in Austin, TX.

Shanti Nagel (Class of 2009) founded Design Wild, a collaborative landscape design firm based in New York In addition, she continues her work in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood as the Director of Community Cultivation and founder of CultivateHKY.

Ann Marie Breyer (Class of 2008) is currently the Director of Landscaping and Horticulture at 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. After graduation, he created the Director of Horticulture position for the Hort Society of New York and then worked at Central Park Conservancy.

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 and is currently a gardener with the Outdoor Gardens team.

Naima Green (Class of 2006) is an owner/partner of Blue in Green Gardens, LLC, a landscape company based in lower Manhattan that designs, installs, and maintains all types of garden spaces, and specializes in terraces, townhouse back yards, and rooftops.

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.

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 the 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 the Director of Horticulture at Iroki Garden (the Steinhardt Estate) in Mount Kisco, NY.

Stacey A. Hirvela (Class of 2002) is in marketing for Proven Winners Color Choice Shrubs. She is also the author of Edible Spots & Pots from Rodale, a book on growing vegetables and herbs in containers and raised beds.

Laura Leach (Class of 2002) originally from England, is Director of Individual and Corporate Giving at Wasatch Community Gardens in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she works with individual donors and corporate sponsors. Before coming to the School, she previously studied horticulture in California.

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 from 2002 to 2006, and is currently co-Director of Thirtythreetrees in Dublin.

Diane Schaub (Class of 1994) is director of the six-acre, formal Central Park Conservatory Garden. She also designs many other herbaceous plantings and seasonal displays for Central Park Conservancy.

Yukie Kurashina (Class of 1992), is a gardener for 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) is AP Farm Associate Vice President for Landscape Operations at NYBG. After graduating from the School in 1987, he was hired as a Botanical Garden Aide and has received many promotions over the years prior to his current role.

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) was hired after graduation at Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, NY and is currently their Walled Garden Supervisor.

Mobee Weinstein (Class of 1982) ) is currently Foreman of Gardeners at The New York Botanical Garden, horticulture instructor, and is a NOFA Accredited Organic Landscape Professional. She holds a BS degree in Plant Studies from Lehman College.

Francisca Coelho (Class of 1981) was hired by the New York Botanical Garden upon graduation and rose up to become the Vivian & Edward Merrin Vice President for Glasshouses & Exhibitions until she retired in 2017.

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.

Tom Christopher (Class of 1977) has worked as a garden columnist for a number of magazines and written several books, his latest being Essential Perennials: The Complete Reference to 2700 Perennials for the Home Garden Hardcover (2015) that he co-authored with Ruth Clausen. He also consults about sustainable gardening practices.

Joseph Docolla (Class of 1977) is the Director of Research and Development at ArborJet, Inc., in Woburn, MA.  ArborJet is a plant health company which develops systemic tree formulations, especially for the emerald ash borer, the Asian longhorn beetle, the bronze birch borer and the wooley adelgid.

Billie Cohen (Class of 1976) has been transforming landscapes throughout the tri-state area since 1972, including campuses, public parks, community gardens, nonprofits, and residential estates through her company Billie Cohen, Ltd.

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