ONF Scholarship Recipients

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Meet the men and women who have been selected to receive various scholarships from the Oregon Nurseries Foundation (ONF).

The ONF supports incoming or continuing college students who are preparing for careers in ornamental horticulture and related fields. Students were evaluated based on academic achievement, nursery industry commitment and financial need.

2019 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Taylor Ames

Taylor Ames has grown up in the nursery industry in Oregon and has an interest in viticulture and enology. She will be a sophomore at Oregon State University in the fall and is passionate about staying within the industry. Taylor was awarded the Bill Egan Memorial Award.

Dylan Arritola

Dylan Arritola will be entering his senior year at Oregon State University and plans to graduate with a degree in agricultural sciences and a minor in horticulture. Dylan is no stranger to the industry; having grown up in the Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas and Fessler Farms family. He has made the Dean's List at OSU over the last three years. He has been awarded the Woodburn Nursery I and Retail Chapter III awards.

Helene Dondero

Helene Dondero is an agriculture science major at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, and is entering her senior year. Helene has grown up being exposed to the horticulture industry through involvement with her mother's flower shop and through local growers. She was awarded the Larry Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship as well as the Nurseries Memorial Award for her achievements.

Corinne Heimuller

Corinne Heimuller is a graduate of Newberg High School and will be entering Oregon State University in the fall as a freshman. She is fascinated with horticulture, from tissue culture to cutting to breeding. Corinne was awarded the Woodburn Nursery II Award to begin her horticulture studies and hopes to raise awareness on the importance of plants and their uses.

Emily Iverson

Emily Iverson grew up working on her family's farm, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, and wants to continue the growth of the business with her completed education in agriculture. She will be a junior at Oregon State University and was awarded the Sid & Cindy Miles Nursery Award as well as the Clackamas Chapter Ed Wood Memorial Award.

Susan Johnson

Susan Johnson will be a senior at Portland Community College while simultaneously running her own residential landscape design and maintenance company. She is also a Master Gardener. Susan was awarded Joseph H. Klupenger Award to assist in fulfilling her goals as a landscape professional in the horticulture industry.

Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a senior at Portland Community College studying landscape design and environmental management. His interests include "green infrastructure" to improve water quality, environmental restoration, and restoration projects that manage landscapes in sustainable ways. Michael was awarded the Retail I Award.

Eric van Klaveren

Eric van Klaveren has been awarded the Willamette Chapter Award and will be entering his junior year at Oregon State University. Eric has been involved in the family business, Van's Nursery, from a young age and plans to continue his future in horticulture. He plans to effectively apply his electrical engineering degree, with a minor in horticulture, as a useful, technical skill within the industry.

Savanna Mead

Savanna Mead will be a sophomore at West Virginia University pursuing a degree in horticulture. She hopes to pursue a career in ornamental plan propagation in a greenhouse or nursery setting. Her extended interest is in horticulture consulting for a landscape architecture firm. In addition, she is involved in the WVU Symphony Orchestra with a cello performance minor. Savannah has been awarded the Mt. Hood Chapter II Award.

Kristin Passey

Kristin Passey is a horticulture major entering her sophomore year at Brigham Young University-Idaho. She has a strong interest in owning and operating her own nursery and aquaponics greenhouse and has a special interest in starting plants. Kristin is the recipient of the Mt. Hood Chapter I Award. Kristin has also been a piano teacher and member of the Utah Music Teachers Association.

Emily Purdin

Emily Purdin has a career goal to design therapeutic gardens and is currently enrolled in Portland Community College's landscape design program heading into her junior year. She has enrolled in the horticultural therapy program as well. Emily is the recipient of the Royal Boltman Memorial Award to help continue her education.

Jimmy Reyes

Jimmy Reyes has transferred to Oregon State University to continue his education towards a degree in agricultural sciences. He is actively involved in his family's business, Palmer Creek Nursery, and balances school and work with a positive attitude. Jimmy has been awarded the Nursery Employee Award.

Jason Robertson

Jason Robertson will be a junior at Clackamas Community College working towards his associate's degree in horticulture. A veteran of the Persian Gulf War, Jason is passionate about opening a community greenhouse that would offer outreach and training to those with mental and physical challenges. He is currently an assistant with the Horticulture Department at CCC and has been awarded the Retail Chapter II Award to assist in his efforts to reach his goals.

Stephen Stresow

Stephen Stresow, the youngest Master Gardener in Texas history, is pursuing a degree in plant science (concentration in organic agriculture and ecology of managed landscapes) with a minor in soil science at Cornell University this fall. He hopes to focus on urban agriculture and eventually shift to academics as a horticulture professor and faculty advisor. Among an impressive list of achievements, he will be a research assistant for the second summer at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center before entering Cornell as a freshman. He has been awarded with the Clackamas Chapter Nurseries Foundation Award.

Rylie Thayer

Rylie Thayer is enrolled in the horticulture therapy program at Portland Community College and will be junior this coming fall. Rylie's goal is to become a registered horticulture therapist that promotes health and wellness through plants and gardens. She volunteers broadly within different horticulture programs, is Backyard Habitat certified, and is working to certify her own home garden. Rylie is the recipient of the Emerald Empire Chapter Award for her continued efforts toward her passion.


2018 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Ann Amato

Ann Amato is, in her own words, a nontraditional student. She has a lengthy background in various aspects of horticulture, from an active garden blogger to running an online seed company to working in the propagation department at Cistus Nursery. Ann will be a freshman at Clackamas Community College this fall to continue her education with the hopes of working in breeding, preservation, education and even management within the horticulture industry. She was awarded the Nursery Employee Award.

Tyler Beasley

Tyler Beasley is continuing his education at Oregon State University's Ecampus and will be a senior working towards his degree in horticulture. In addition, Tyler works full-time as the greenhouse manager for Spokane Community College. Tyler was awarded both Mt. Hood Chapter Awards, I and II, which will assist him in achieving his goal of working on hybridized ornamental plants and plant breeding while supporting his family financially as well.

Hsuan Chen

Hsuan Chen is a Ph.D. candidate in the ornamental breeding program at Oregon State University. His research includes several breeding projects involving hibiscus, lilacs, and mint and he applies his minor in statistics to his research. Hsuan has been awarded the Nurseries Memorial Award as an advanced student in ornamental horticulture and has a dream of "seeing my varieties everywhere."

Helene Dondero

Helene Dondero is an agriculture science major at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Helene has grown up being exposed to the horticulture industry through involvement with her mother's flower shop and local growers. She has a long list of achievements and activities with the Linden FFA and Cal Poly CFFA chapters. She also serves as the Cal Poly Ag Ambassador. Helene was awarded the Larry Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship as she follows in her mother's footsteps, also a Cal Poly alum and ornamental horticulture major.

Samantha Emmsley

Samantha Emmsley will be entering college in the fall as a freshman at Oregon State University and was awarded the Clackamas Chapter Award. Samantha grew up on a farm in Hawaii and is the daughter of an agriculture professor at UH Maui College. Growing up around plants ­— harvesting, propagating, cultivating — Samantha has developed a passion for plants and plans to work in restoration and raise native plants for reforestation and landscaping. She also represented the Agricultural Community of Hawai'i at the National Conservation Awareness Land Judging Competition held in Oklahoma City in May 2018.

Racine Haar

Racine Haar is currently pursuing an associates degree in horticulture at Clackamas Community College with plans to transfer to Oregon State Unversity for a four-year degree. She was awarded the Retail Chapter II Award. Racine divides her time between school and working as the lead associate in the garden center at her local Fred Meyer. She will ultimately like a career in a large nursery or greenhouse that produces plants that will be used by state and local government entities.

Emily Iverson

Emily Iverson will be a sophomore at Eastern Oregon University and was awarded the Retail Chapter I Award and the Sid and Cindy Miles Nursery Award. Emily grew up working on her family's farm, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm, and wants to continue the growth of the business with her completed education in agribusiness.

Michael Kehoe

Michael Kehoe is a senior at Portland Community College studying landscape design and environmental management. His ultimate goal is to have his own business, specializing in designing landscapes, gardens, and restoration projects that manage landscapes in sustainable ways. Michael was awarded the Bob Fessler Family Foundation/Woodburn Nursery I Award which will assist him in achieving his goal while continuing to support his growing family financially as well.

Saralun Ondee

Saralun Ondee will be an incoming freshman this fall at Clackamas Community College. Saralun participated in CREST (Center for Research in Environmental Sciences and Technologies) as a farm intern and progressed to being hired as a farm intern leader and is passionate about sustainable farming. She has been awarded the Bob Fessler Family Foundation/Woodburn Nursery II Award to help finance her interest in horticultural education.

Janae Patino

Janae Patino transferred to Oregon State University after earning a master's degree at California State University, Los Angeles. Janae also received her Master Gardener certification and works as a garden educator at the Harlem Children's Zone in New York. She has been awarded the Royal Boltman Award and Bill Egan Memorial Award. Janae is particularly interested in working in greenhouse and ornamental horticulture while continuing to educate people about growing their own plants for enjoyment and for food.

Ricardo Luna Rendon

Ricardo Luna Rendon will be an incoming freshman at Clackamas Community College this fall. Ricardo has grown up in the industry, having followed his father as a child to the nursery where he worked to now helping manage an entire nursery. Ricky has benefited from hands on training in all aspects of running a nursery and has the support of his employer to supplement this training with an education in Horticulture. He has been awarded the Joseph H. Klupenger Award.

Jimmy Reyes

Jimmy Reyes is returning to Chemeketa Community College as a sophomore this fall. He is actively involved in his family's business, Palmer Creek Nursery, with the eventual goal of taking over as the next generation owner. Jimmy is pursuing a degree in horticulture business management and was awarded the Willamette Chapter Award. He is active with the Dayton FFA and has won many awards including first in National FFA Proficiency in Diversified Horticulture in 2018.

Ellen Selander

Ellen Selander has been awarded the Emerald Empire Chapter Award and the Nurseries Foundation Award for her senior year at Oregon State University. Ellen transferred from Chemeketa Community College and is pursuing a degree in horticulture. She currently works at OSU's Plant Clinic as a lab technician. Her particular interest in agriculture lies in organic vegetable and fruit production as well as heirloom seed saving and collecting.

Sidney Shelton

Sidney Shelton will be a sophomore at Clackamas Community College in the fall and is pursuing a career in horticulture. Currently, Sidney is the plant and live goods manager at her local Ace Hardware and has the ability to work with local farms. She is passionate about the environment and hopes to own a nursery with greenhouses and a flower shop. Sidney was awarded the Retail Chapter III Award.

Eric van Klaveren

Eric van Klaveren will be a sophomore at Oregon State University and has been awarded the Clackamas Chapter Ed Wood Memorial Award. Eric has been involved in the family business, Van's Nursery, from a young age. He is working towards his business degree, with a minor in horticulture. His goal is to combine his education and work experience to own and operate a nursery, hazelnut farm, or landscaping company.

2017 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Dylan Arritola

Dylan Arritola was awarded the Bob Fessler Family Foundation Award. Dylan is an incoming sophomore at Oregon State University. Dylan comes from a nursery family; his mother is Jodi Arritola of Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas and Fessler Farms. His career goal is to start a hazelnut farm and manage everything from the propagation to the harvest.

Tyler Beasley

Tyler Beasley is pursuing his degree at Oregon State University via their Ecampus. Tyler also manages three greenhouses at his full-time job at Spokane Community College. His future career goals include plant breeding, and he hopes to bring "the next big thing" to ornamental horticulture. Tyler was awarded the Mt. Hood Chapter and Retail Chapter III Awards; these will help him achieve his dream while supporting his family's financial needs.

Brooke Bennett

Brooke Bennett came to Oregon State University all the way from Chicago, Illinois to work toward her goal of achieving a degree in ecological and sustainable greenhouse production. Brooke was awarded the Retail Chapter II Award and will be transferring this fall from OSU to complete her degree at Iowa State University. Brooke plans to attain a master's degree and hopes to one day teach, sharing her love of agriculture and sustainable horticulture at the high school level.

Elizabeth Brentano

Elizabeth Brentano grew up involved in her family's nursery business, Brentano's Tree Farm, and developed a love for agriculture by being involved in her local FFA Chapter. Samantha has been awarded the Nursery Employee Award; she will begin her college career at Oregon State University and plans to study veterinary medicine but after college wants to remain involved in the nursery industry.

Tanner Fessler

Tanner Fessler has been awarded the Larry Fitzgerald Memorial and the Bob Fessler Family Foundation Awards. Tanner will be a freshman studying agribusiness this fall at Cal Poly. Tanner's work experience in the industry started at Fessler Nursery but he also spent time working at Bauman Farms. Upon graduation Tanner plans to return to his family's business, Fessler Nursery.

Emily Iverson

Emily Iverson will be a freshman pursuing agribusiness this fall at Eastern Oregon University. She was awarded the Retail Chapter I Award and the Nursery Foundation Award. She grew up working at her family's business, Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm. She plans to take her education back to the family farm and help increase their productivity and expand the business after she completes college.

Maxwell Jaeger

Maxwell Jaeger grew up in the farming and nursery business as part of the family nursery, Woodburn Nursery and Azaleas. Maxwell's work experience in the industry started at Wilco Farmers and continues at Fessler Nursery and Woodburn Nursery & Azaleas Inc. Maxwell was awarded the Bob Fessler Family Foundation Award. He expects to complete his degree from Oregon State University in spring 2018, majoring in crop and soil science, and begin his career as a farmer following graduation.

Ryan Kraemer

Ryan Kraemer will be a senior at Washington State University this fall and expects to finish his degree in greenhouse and nursery management in spring 2018. Ryan was awarded the Bill Egan Memorial Award and the Sid and Cindy Miles Award. Ryan has attained real-world work experience through internships at Carlton Plants (summer 2016) and KCK Farms (summer 2017). Ryan plans to take his propagation skills and family's tradition to become a nurseryman and one day lead his own company.

Marissa Nechuta

Marissa Nechuta will be entering her senior year in fall 2017 at the University of Wisconsin–River Falls and expects to complete her degree in horticulture with an emphasis on landscape design and management. Marissa has achieved high honors throughout her college journey including serving as president of the UWRF Horticulture Honors Society, Pi Alpha Xi. Marissa has been awarded the Mt. Hood Chapter II Award for her academic achievement.

Jimmy Reyes

Jimmy Reyes grew up in the nursery business at Palmer Creek Nursery. He will be a freshman this fall at Chemeketa Community College. Jimmy was awarded the Willamette Chapter scholarship. Jimmy has valuable leadership skills acquired by growing up and working at the family nursery and through his local FFA chapter.

Clover Rudicel

Clover Rudicel was awarded the Emerald Empire Award. She will begin studying agribusiness this fall at Oregon State University. Clover's love of horticulture was grown working at Ruby and Amber's Organic Farm. She has already learned seed sowing, transplanting, cultivation, harvesting and sales at farmer's markets in Eugene and Cottage Grove.

Eric van Klaveren

Eric van Klaveren will be entering college as a freshman and beginning his degree in business at Oregon State University. His education plan includes a minor in horticulture and he plans to take his work experience from growing up and working in his family's business, Van's Nursery Inc., into one day managing his own orchard or landscaping business. Eric has been awarded the Clackamas Chapter Award.

Amelia Porter

Amelia Porter will begin college this fall at Chemeketa Community College after relocating from Grants Pass, Oregon. Amelia is embarking on her degree in horticulture. Her specific interests include beekeeping, with aspirations of one day running her own orchard. She plans to gain skills with on-the-job experience at nurseries following college before one day owning her own. Amelia has been awarded the Royal Boltman Memorial Award.

Ellen Selander

Ellen Selander will be a junior this fall at Oregon State University. She is pursuing a degree in horticulture after transferring from Chemeketa Community College. Her eventual aim is to own an organic and sustainable fruit and vegetable farm. She hopes to be influential is producing heirloom seeds and protecting seed diversity in the food population. Ellen works at the OSU Plant Clinic as a lab technician and was awarded the Nursery Memorial Award to help her achieve her dreams.

Deanna Vazquez

Deanna Vazquez is a lifelong lover of plants and propagation who is inspired by new plant breeding. She is currently a student in the Horticulture Program at Clackamas Community College. Deanna immigrated to the U.S. from Australia in 2003, and in addition to being a full-time student, she is also a mother to two young children. Deanna was awarded the Clackamas Chapter Ed Wood Memorial Award.

2016 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Dylan Arritola: Willamette Chapter ($1,000) / Nursery Employee Award ($500)
Samantha Brentano: Mt. Hood Chapter Award ($1,000) / Bill Egan Memorial Award ($500)
Kimberley Curtis: Sid and Cindy Miles Nursery Award ($1,000) / Royal Boltman Memorial Award ($500)
Mandie Driskill: Emerald Empire Chapter Award ($500) / Larry Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship ($500)
Maggie Friesen: Clackamas Chapter Award ($1,500)
Rylie Gold: Mt. Hood Chapter II Award ($1,000)
Marissa Nechuta: Retail Chapter Award II ($1,000)
Victoria "Lauren" Riback: Nurseries Foundation Award ($1,000)
Madison "Piper" Thorneburg: Retail Chapter Award I ($1,000) / Joseph H. Klupenger Award ($550)
Paul Tribbett: Clackamas Chapter Ed Wood Memorial Award ($1,500) / Retail Chapter Award III ($1,000)

2015 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Laura Bennett: Larry Fitzgerald Memorial Scholarship ($500) / Retail Chapter Award I ($1,000)
Kimberly Curtis: Nurseries Foundation Award ($1,000)
Jake Fessler: Clackamas Chapter Award ($1,500)
Jade Florence: Nurseries Memorial Award ($1,000) / Willamette Chapter Award ($1,000)
Amber Gold: Joseph H. Klupenger Award ($550)
Jessica Gonzalez: Emerald Empire Chapter Award ($500)
Jeannie Klein: Royal Boltman Memorial Award ($500)/Retail Chapter Award III ($1,000)
Anne Richards: Mt. Hood Chapter I Award ($1,000) / Nursery Employee Award ($500)
Justin Schulze: Mt. Hood Chapter Award II ($1,000)
Tatum Temple: Retail Chapter Award II ($1,000) / Sid and Cindy Miles Nursery Award ($1,000)
Riane Towery: Clackamas Chapter Ed Wood Memorial Award ($1,500)
Zachariah Wood: Bill Egan Memorial Award ($500)

2013-2014 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Signe Danler: $1,000 Nurseries Memorial Award / $1,500 Retail Chapter III Award
Jeannie Klein: $1,000 Nursery Foundation Award / $500 Royal Boltman Memorial Award
Jaimee Brentano: $1,000 Clackamas Chapter Award of $1000/ $500 Emerald Empire Chapter Award
Nicole Brentano: $1,000 Willamette Chapter Award / $500 Joseph H. Klupenger Award
Emilie Wilmes: $1000 Mt. Hood Chapter 1 Award / $500 Nursery Employee Award
Sarah McKay: $1500 Clackamas Chapter Ed Wood Memorial Award
Jacquelyn Long: $1,000 Retail Chapter II Award

2012-2013 ONF Scholarship Recipients

Blake Bennett: Nursery Employee Award of $500 / Retail Chapter I Award for $1,000
Sam Bookhardt: Emerald Empire Chapter Award of $500
Jaimee Brentano: Clackamas Chapter Award of $1,000
Richell Chiu: Mt. Hood Chapter II Award of $1,000
Signe Danler: Nursery Foundation Award of $1,000
David Grover: Retail Chapter III Award for $1,000
Timothy Judge: Willamette Chapter Award of $1,000
Daniel Killam: Retail Chapter II Award of $1,000
Jeannie Klein: Royal Boltman Memorial Award of $500 / Ed Wood Memorial Award for $1,500
Daniel McKay: Klupenger Award for $550
Cali Powell: Bill Egan Award of $500
Korinda Wallace: Mt. Hood Chapter I Award of $1,000