The president of Pennsylvania College of Technology's Horticulture Club served as a student ambassador at the recent Green Industry Conference in Louisville, Ky., the third straight year that the college has been represented in that fashion.
Nicholas D. Foreman, of Rockwood, majoring in ornamental horticulture: landscape technology emphasis in Penn College's School of Transportation and Natural Resources Technologies, was one of seven students chosen nationwide for the Oct. 23-25 event.
He succeeded May ornamental horticulture graduate Jeremy L. Thorne, who earned degrees in both of the major's emphases: landscape technology and plant production. Thorne, employed as an installation technician with Scott's Landscaping Inc. in Centre County, served as a Professional Landcare Network ambassador in both 2011 and 2012, and was invited back to supervise this year's ambassador program.
Penn College ornamental horticulture student Nicholas D. Foreman (back row, second from left), of Rockwood, was one of seven student ambassadors at the recent Green Industry Conference. Penn College alumnus Jeremy L. Thorne (back row, center), an ambassador in 2011 and 2012, returned to supervise this year’s class of ambassadors.
"It was an easy choice to nominate Nick for this honor," horticulture instructor Carl J. Bower Jr. said. "He is one of the hardest-working students we have, and his enthusiasm for the industry is contagious. He makes a great spokesman for the college, and his presence at the conference lets the industry know that Penn College continues to put out hard-working, knowledgeable, quality students."
As a student ambassador, Foreman's responsibilities included moving inventory, setting up and staffing the conference registration area, introducing speakers, collecting forms after educational sessions and packing and loading materials for shipment.
"The experience was invaluable," Foreman said, noting the firsthand benefit of learning about and trying out new tools of his trade. "While there, I was exposed to the latest and greatest equipment and education involving the landscape industry. The greatest experience was being introduced and having a chance to talk to industry professionals. We discussed industry issues, trends and the future changes that seem inevitable."
PLANET officials said Foreman was chosen from an impressive group of faculty-recommended applicants, all of whom submitted essays detailing how their skills and experience qualified them for the position. Ambassador applicants were ranked based on their qualifications and experience in the green industry; a list of those with the highest scores was then narrowed down to the top candidates.
"I am proud to say my experiences at the conference will be cherished," he said. "Who knows? I could end up being employed anywhere, nationwide, through my involvement in the GIC."
The conference is the largest annual educational event and trade show offering educational and networking opportunities for landscape industry professionals. Held in conjunction with the GIE+EXPO, the event attracts landscape professionals from all over the country eager to learn about industry trends, technology, products and services.
Penn College's two-year ornamental horticulture: landscape technology emphasis major is accredited by PLANET, which comprises more than 3,700 member companies and affiliates. Those businesses' employees, from lawn-care professionals to golf-course superintendents, amount to more than 100,000 green-industry jobs.