This year’s election of officers for the ASHS Board of Directors by the ASHS Membership places Mary Meyer as President-elect, Sandra Wilson as Education Division Vice President-elect, Jeff Olsen as International Division Vice President-elect, and Patricia Knight as Research Division Vice President-elect.
Mary Hockenberry Meyer
University of Minnesota
Department of Horticultural Science
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
According to Meyer, “Knowledge about horticulture as a profession and career is especially important for high school and college students, as they represent the future of our profession. Horticulture enters every home every day, in supplying the world with fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals that give so many of us the high quality of life we know today. The challenge before us is to promote horticulture and continue to advance and expand our profession to future horticulturists.”
“ASHS must remain up to date, flexible, innovative, and open to change,” she adds, and “as a support system for academic horticulturists, we need ASHS for professional development and publication of our research. However, we need to be wise in what we are offering as technology changes the way we publish. Members should not question the value of ASHS—it should be obvious and necessary.”
An active ASHS member since 1988, Meyer has volunteered on numerous Working Groups and Committees and served as Extension Division Vice President from 2004–06. Most recently, Meyer was named a Fellow of the Society (2012).
Education Division Vice President-elect
Sandra B. Wilson
Department of Environmental Horticulture
University of Florida
Fort Pierce, Florida, USA
Sandra Wilson knew early in graduate school "that I not only wanted to teach, but that I wanted to teach well." She began her teaching career as a teaching assistant at the University of Delaware in 1991—the same year she joined ASHS—and currently is a Professor at the University of Florida.
Wilson says, "Integrated education, innovation, and technology are critical to the future of ASHS. As our membership dynamics are ever changing, continued and creative embracement of student involvement, scholarship, leadership, and diversity will advance and navigate us through the 21st century.”
She adds, “Today, professional societies are faced with some of the same challenges as University, Industry, and Government sectors. By learning from each other, building new partnerships, investing in our students, using new technologies, and empowering our creative energies, we can make a difference.”
On being nominated as Education Division Vice President, Wilson said, “I’m really excited about the prospect of serving ASHS in this capacity! It’s a great organization that I have always been proud to be a part of.”
In 2009, she received the ASHS Outstanding Undergraduate Educator Award.
International Division Vice President-elect
Oregon State University Extension Service
McMinnville, Oregon, USA
“There is no better time to be a global horticulturist than right now,” says Olsen. “The developing world is eager to diversify their farming to include high-value horticultural crops. They hold a two-fold promise as a source of greater income, and a welcome addition to broaden traditional diets.”
Olsen has served as chair of several Working Groups since joining ASHS in 1979. When nominated to serve as the International Division Vice President, Olsen had this to say, “Serving on the ASHS Board of Directors as Vice President for the International Division provides opportunities to support the five Working Groups in the Division, and to also form cooperative partnerships with the other Divisions. For example, the Education Division works to provide the knowledge and perspective that newly graduated horticulturists need to thrive in a globally inter-related world. The International Division could work to identify and distribute effective educational tools and methods that increase global competency in students, as well as fellow ASHS members. “I welcome the opportunity to work creatively on planning our future as a Society,” he adds.
Research Division Vice President-elect
Patricia R. Knight
Mississippi State University
Head, Coastal Research and Extension Center
Biloxi, Mississippi, USA
“I firmly believe that research provides the cornerstone for the tri-fold land-grant mission,” says Knight. ” That belief also holds true for non-land-grant institutions through their research, outreach, and educational missions. While horticulture was identified as one of the most ‘worthless’ degrees this past year, those of us in the know realize that the facts make horticulture one of the most valuable careers. Basic research, including biotechnology, provides the foundation for applied solutions to food safety and food production issues in fruit and vegetable commodities throughout the world. Ornamental research uses those same tools to deliver quantitative and aesthetic benefits to that same audience."
Knight, who has been active in numerous Working Groups and Committees since 1991, goes on to say, “Agriculture in general and horticulture more specifically is more relevant and needed than ever before, but we as professionals have not taken our message to the general public to explain how vital our field is to the future of the world much less the extent to which they currently rely on our profession.”
As Research Division Vice President, she says, “I am committed to being a strong advocate for horticultural research with our funding entities, our contemporaries, and with the public as a whole.”
Mary Meyer becomes President-elect immediately, and the Division VPs-elect assume office at the close of the ASHS Annual Business Meeting next year in Palm Desert, California.
At the conclusion of the 2012 ASHS Annual Business Meeting on August 3, Paul Bosland took office as ASHS President and Dewayne Ingram moved into the office of Board Chair. Gary Bachman became Extension Division Vice President, Jeffrey Norrie became Industry Division Vice President, and David Hensley took office as Treasurer and Finance Committee Chair.
ASHS Board of Directors 2012–13