Mary Lewis, a graduate student at the University of Georgia, has been named the recipient of American Floral Endowment's 2019 Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship.
"I think ornamental horticulture often gets a bad rap as something people do to get away from other people,” Lewis says, “when in reality, horticulturists are some of the best folks out there. Yes, sometimes they are strange as all get-out! But they are like most artists very passionate about what they do.”
Currently working toward a master’s degree in horticulture at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lewis graduated from the same institution two years ago with an already impressive C.V. Among other activities, she interned at Walt Disney World Resort’s Epcot theme park (supported by an AFE Vic and Margaret Ball internship/scholarship), testing new floral cultivars for production, maintaining crops and displays and conducting tours for guests.
During her undergraduate years, Lewis was involved in as many horticulture groups and activities as possible. For example, she took on major responsibility for the Horticulture Club’s annual plant sale, growing the crops and overseeing the teams that implement the sale. She has also been a member of the AFE’s Young Professionals Council since 2016, she has represented AFE in promotional videos and provided a podcast interview to Greenhouse Management magazine to encourage young professionals to join the green industry.