College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Institute of Applied Agriculture

IAA Class of 2018

22 IAA Students Graduate
Author: 
Brandy Walterhoefer
IAA Class of 2018. From left to right: Bobby Blake, Eric Spalt, Emily Novak, Nicolas Tardif, Jessica Dumsha, Victoria Bryant, Becky Jones, Edwin Sanchez, Rebecca Bell, Conrad Mellin, Cameron Smith, Jade Loewenstein, Amy Winkler, Emily Richardson.
Image Credit: 
Brandy Walterhoefer

“No matter where you go from here—whether it is continuing on to get a four-year degree or going out to work in your field—may the grass always be greener, the fruit always be sweeter, and may your wildest dreams always come true,” said Robert Blake, Jr., with a smile.

Blake and three of his fellow graduates, Amy Winkler, Nicolas Tardif, and Becky Jones, gave heartfelt speeches to classmates, faculty, family and friends at the pre-graduation celebration at the College Park Marriott on May 19. The pre-graduation celebration consisted of laughter, tears, and nerves along with a huge array of food and drinks.

 “IAA, IAA, IAA…” chanted everyone at the celebration as Tony Pagnotti, an IAA Oral Communication lecturer and emcee for the occasion, energized the group on their big day. His entertaining antics brought much laughter and many smiles.

The 22 members of the graduating class had shared-but-unique experiences, individual stories to tell, and plans for their future. Twelve of the graduates plan to begin their careers in their desired field now that they have gained a certificate. Ten of the graduates are continuing their education in order to earn a bachelor’s degree at the University of Maryland or other universities. In addition, four graduates are planning weddings.

Congratulations also to lecturer Larisa Cioaca, who was awarded the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture’s Teaching Award of Merit.

The IAA is proud of this year’s graduates:

Kossi Bassinan

Gaithersburg, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Work at a federal job and help people in need worldwide

 

Rebecca Bell

Beltsville, MD

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Work at a floral shop in Westminster, MD

 

Robert Blake, Jr.

Jersey City, NJ

Golf Course Management

Plans: Assistant Superintendent at Beacon Hill Country Club in Atlantic Highlands, NJ. 

 

Frank Bohne

LaPlayta, MD

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Continue education in environmental health

 

Emmett Brew

Columbia, MD

Sustainable Agriculture  

Plans:  Work at USDA dairy farm

 

Victoria Bryant

Edgemere, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Complete bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and then go to graduate school

 

Marco Carlucci

University Park, MD

General Ornamental Horticulture

Plans: Continue education at UMD in Urban Forestry

 

Jessica Dumsha

Glen Burnie, MD

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Obtain a position with Department of Agriculture and eventually start grass-fed beef operation

 

David Floyd

Cambridge, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Continue education in Environmental Science and Technology

 

Anthony Freni

Brandywine, MD

Landscape Management

Plans:  Purchasing Manager at F & F Landscaping, Inc.

 

Rebecka Jones

Sunderland, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Continue education in Agricultural and Resource Economics.  Then, create a meaningful career in the agricultural field

 

Jade Loewenstein

Boyds, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Continue education, attend graduate school and then work in biotechnology and research

 

Brandon McIntrye

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Continue education in environmental policy

 

Conrad Mellin

Parkton, MD

Landscape Management

Plans: Continue education in Landscape Architecture

 

Emily Novak

Germantown, MD

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Move up in position at current job toward management

 

Emily Richardson

White Marsh, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Continue education in Agricultural Policy while working for and expanding family farm

 

Edwin Sanchez

Clarksburg, MD

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Continue education to obtain bachelor’s degree in Agronomy

 

Cameron Smith

Laurel, MD

Sustainable Agriculture

Plans: Continue education at UMD for degree in Environmental Science and Technology with concentration in environmental health with the ultimate goal of work in cancer research

 

Eric Spalt

Belair, MD

Golf Course Management

Plans: Assistant Superintendent at MD Golf Course and Country Club and Lawn Care Business

 

Nicolas Tardif

Laurel, MD

General Ornamental Horticulture  

Plans: Field Manager for Ruppert Landscape

 

Ally Thomas

Gaithersburg, MD

Agricultural Business Management

Plans: Continue education toward degree in Environmental Science and Policy

 

Amy Winkler

Clarksburg, MD

Sustainable Agriculture and Ornamental Horticulture
Plans: Historic Site Gardener at the Riversdale Mansion in Riverdale, MD

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