Recently, We all may be aware of Dr. Mari Loehrlein last semester was fall of 2014. Since she was able to retire. The Agriculture Department needed to find someone to fill her position. In the meanwhile they had Terra Beal teach an online horticulture class last spring semester. Students might have been concerned who might be our next horticulture professor? Will there still be Horticulture? This fall semester Western Illinois University Agriculture Department welcomed Dr. Margaret C. Hoffman!
Dr. Margaret C. Hoffman is originally from Minneapolis MN, but had lived in Lewisburg PA for 25 years. She studied at the University of Minnesota for her BS in Forestry and Penn State for Masters in Forestry and PhD in Horticulture. She is married and have 4 children. Her hobbies is listening to all kinds of music, She has a talent in playing the piano. she also enjoy reading, in particular history and science fiction. Last year she read over 350 books!
She decided to come to Western Illinois University to teach because She said “It is important to her that this university emphasizes teaching and student education over research. she intends to continue conducting research , but hope to tailor it so students can participate. She would like to grow enrollment and reach out to industry for student mentorship and internships. she hopes to instill enthusiasm and passion in the students for sustainable horticultural management and technologies.”
She is our new WIU Horticulture Club advisor. Margaret explained her plans for this year’s plans. “I think it would be great to take some trips to St Louis to see the botanic gardens and Chicago to visit green roofs, the arboretum and botanic gardens. Perhaps bring some speakers to meetings. Also, there is a competition sponsored every year by NALP, this year at Mississippi, and it is always an interesting experience. In addition to the competition there is a large career fair with companies from around the nation looking for employees and offering internships. The students probably have some ideas about fun activities for the biweekly meetings.”
She would like to get more students involved in more students interest in taking horticulture classes. To enjoy them, maybe the students will spread the word. I am also reaching out to industry so potential students will realize the employment opportunities that exist in the field. In addition, I am developing a few classes to appeal to a broader university audience, exposing more of the students to horticulture. Horticulture classes start at an Intro level at 180. She also teaches horticulture 385, 386, and 389. These classes are available this spring semester. Many job are available in horticulture including plant breeding, nursery production, greenhouse production, vegetable and fruit production, green roof design, landscape design and management to name a few. Great thing about horticulture students. They normally graduate with job!
My name is Karisa Johnson. I am from Abingdon, Illinois. I am a senior at Western Illinois University. I plan on graduating December 2016. I am majoring in Agricultural Science with a Minor in Natural Resources and Conservation. I am currently enrolled in Dr. Margaret Hoffman’s Horticulture class 381. Identifying annuals and perennials by Latin and common names. I have enjoyed all my horticulture classes that I have taken at Western Illinois University! I encourage more students to get involved with Horticulture.