Growing Tomorrow`s Leaders Through Graduate Studies in Sustainable Urban Horticulture Production
As municipalities develop plans for sustainable implementation of urban green spaces and society continues to embrace the ideals of locally-sourced and sustainable produce, there is a growing need for development of specialized experts who have science-based training in urban horticultural systems.
This project objective is to recruit and train four graduate student fellows (2 MS and 2 PhD) in the Targeted Expertise Shortage Area of Plant Production within the nationally relevant discipline of 'Plant Sciences and Horticulture (Code: P).' The overall goal of the program is to impart the experiences and skills needed for fellows to become leaders in sustainable urban horticulture production. Students will be recruited from within the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Urban Horticulture Experience for Undergraduates, existing partnerships with the 1890 land grant institution Langston University (LU), and various national societies and student organizations. Additional professional development of fellows will occur through a strategic mentorship program and engagement with horticultural industries and joint extension activities between OSU, LU, Our Daily Bread Food & Resource Center, and the Oklahoma Water Resources Center. Project success will be evaluated by relevant metrics including the number of fellows graduating from underrepresented groups and the number of graduating fellows entering the horticultural industry or academic positions.
This project will solidify the partnership between OSU and LU programs by providing LU graduates a natural path towards an advanced degree while helping launch a national recognized urban horticulture specialization advocated by OSU and LU leadership to address the challenge of a growing human population.