Lankford Earns National Horticulture Scholarship
Bumpers College student recognized as one of top in the nationFriday, July 11, 2014
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Megan Lankford, a horticulture major in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences at the University of Arkansas, has been selected to receive an American Society for Horticultural Science Scholars Scholarship.
Lankford, an honors student from Oxford, New York, is one of only two recipients of the scholarship award for 2014. She will be recognized at the ASHS Conference in Orlando, Florida, on July 28.
“I am deeply honored to receive this scholarship,” said Lankford. “It was an honor just to be nominated. It is gratifying to know the hard work and dedication I’ve put forth in my education, career and in my free time have led to this opportunity.”
“This is a very prestigious honor,” said Curt Rom, horticulture professor, director of the Bumpers College honors program and interim dean of the Honors College. “Megan is essentially being recognized as one of the top two horticulture students in the United States. She is very deserving, and we are very proud of her.”
Lankford is one of the managers of the campus community garden, which helps provide food for the Full Circle Campus Food Pantry to combat food security issues for the university community. She is a former vice president of the GroGreen Club, which seeks to educate the public on and encourage use of sustainable organic gardening practices, and to increase awareness of food insecurity.
Before moving to New York, Lankford lived near Joplin, Missouri, where she discovered her future career.
“While there, I found my passion for horticulture through the inception of my first vegetable garden,” said Lankford. “I fell in love with my plants and taking care of them, and researched different careers that involved plants. The University of Arkansas offers classes on organic horticulture, and that’s what I was most interested in.”
Lankford is also a part-time gardener at the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks with plans to become a horticulture therapist to “help others heal through gardening.”
Lankford is also working on her honors thesis project.
“I’m writing a case study on five local farm families and their stories,” she said. “I want to understand why they farm, why they sell locally, learn about their families, and what successes and failures they have had.”
ASHS is the world’s premier professional society for horticulture science. It seeks to promote and encourage national and international interest in scientific research and education in all areas of horticulture.
Robby Edwards, director of communication