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Cadott Student Named Outstanding Senior in Horticulture

By Kendra Knutson

MAY 4, 2007--Landscaping, plants and other aspects of horticulture have always sparked the interest of one particular University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) student. This passion is a large part of the reason Michaela Molter has received the 2007 Outstanding Senior in Horticulture from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences at UWRF.

Molter, a senior horticulture landscape design major from Cadott, Wis., was recently recognized by the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) for her scholastic achievements, leadership, activities, participation on campus, and service to the horticultural department.

For the UWRF award, she was selected by a panel of faculty who carefully analyzed a list of graduating seniors nominated for the award. Eligibility was determined by a student's activities, grades and leadership on campus and in the community.

Molter has completed several volunteer projects including helping Hudson Middle School students with their gardens, educating students at River Falls Middle School, participation in a land trust, involvement in the Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Convention registration process, and she has also served as an orientation leader for incoming college freshmen the past two years.

Molter says she enjoys giving back to others by getting them involved in hands-on activities. She has conducted Bonsai and Hypertufa workshops on campus for the students.

The Bonsai workshop provided her with a memorable moment. She told the students to cut off the roots while they gave her questioning looks, because they knew that for most plants the roots provide the growth and life of the plant.

"It made me laugh to see 30 wide-eyes staring up at me," said Molter.

The Horticulture Society has been a large part of Molter's college life for the past four years, where she has served as president and vice president. She also recently chaired the horticulture program review where she listened to students' comments regarding assessment of the program and possible improvements or changes.

Molter's 3.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) and a 3.6 GPA within her major on a scale of 4.0, also played a key role in selection for this recognition, as did her association with UWRF horticulture professor Terry Ferris, whom Molter credits as her mentor in the horticultural field.

"She has helped me understand who I am as a horticulturalist," said Molter. "She helped me focus on the aspects I'm good at and my passion for them in order to drive me and create further opportunities for me."

Concerning her future career plans, Molter says she has several ideas and interest, including landscape design and educating the public. She is very interested in public horticulture, such as botanical gardens, zoos, and historic estates.

This summer Molter will work as an intern in Madison, Wis., at Oakwood Village, a retirement center as one of two interns managing the grounds, resident gardens, assisting with educational workshops involving the residents, and participating in monthly field trips with the residents to public gardens around the southern part of the state.

In September, Molter will travel to New Zealand for a year-long program. While there, she will work in a public botanical garden setting.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:18 Central Daylight Time


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