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Meet the Pro Horts

Class of 2021

Kaylene Argot

Kaylene Argot

Kaylene is from Pocono Lake, Pennsylvania, where she discovered her love for horticulture while working at a small garden center and exploring the surrounding Pocono Mountains. After high school graduation she continued garden center work, gaining a broad understanding of plants and cultivating her management skills. Kaylene hopes to gain a wider knowledge of the opportunities available in horticulture during the Professional Horticulture Program.

Mel Ciliberto

Mel Ciliberto

Mel is from Boothwyn, Pennsylvania. She grew up exploring the outdoors and practicing art. She joined Longwood as a part-time employee in 2016, where she worked in Peirce’s Woods. She has also worked as a private gardener since 2017. Mel has studied herbalism, foraging, and edible plants on her own, taking some classes at Longwood and in her local community with Save the Valley organization. She became a Professional Horticulture student in 2019. Her main interests are edible plants and garden design and she hopes to specialize in designing edible garden spaces after completing the Professional Horticulture Program.

Wyatt Emig

Wyatt Emig

Wyatt is from south central Pennsylvania near Gettysburg. Growing up, Wyatt began working in horticulture at a young age with his own garden and greenhouses. Throughout high school Wyatt worked at a large production greenhouse in Dover, PA. As well as going to school and working, he was an active member of the Bermudian Springs FFA chapter, serving as the chapter secretary for two years as well as competing in leadership and career development events. Wyatt graduated from Bermudian Springs High School in 2019. Wyatt is studying horticulture at Longwood Gardens in the Professional Horticulture Program and wants to become a greenhouse grower.

Courtney England

Courtney England

Courtney is from Rising Sun, Maryland. Growing up, Courtney spent a lot of time outside exploring and working for her dad in his landscape maintenance business. Exploring the outdoors sparked her interest to apply to the Cecil County School of Technology for horticulture. Throughout her time at Tech, she became more passionate about horticulture, which led her to the Professional Horticulture Program at Longwood Gardens. After the program, she plans on traveling to further her education by working in different parts of the U.S.

Miguel Loredo

Miguel Loredo

Miguel is from Keswick, Virginia. Miguel started landscaping with his grandfather’s company at the age of 13, where his passion for horticulture started. He received his associate degree in business management in 2017, but promptly returned to his “roots.” Before applying to the Professional Horticulture Program, Miguel returned to work with his grandfather for two years and traveled frequently during that time, visiting gardens like Keukenhof, the Montreal Botanical Garden, the United States Botanical Garden, and more. As a Professional Horticulture student, he is looking forward to expanding his knowledge and experience beyond his landscaping background.

Lauren Meyer

Lauren Meyer

Lauren grew up in Baltimore, though she found her love for the outdoors during her summers in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She graduated in 2014 with a BS in environmental science focusing on marine science. After college she moved to Washington, D.C., where she worked as a Youth Programs Manager at an urban forestry nonprofit for four years. She managed several tree-focused youth education programs, most notably a program in which she designed and carried out tree plantings at numerous schools throughout D.C. In July 2018, Lauren took some time off from the working world to travel for a year. She decided to apply to the Professional Horticulture Program because she loved working with trees but wanted to know more about horticulture in general. She is most excited to learn about the myriad opportunities that exist at Longwood and in the horticulture world.

Billy Russell

Billy Russell

Billy is from rural upstate New York, an area where farmland and agricultural communities thrive. He has worked several years in outdoor residential landscaping and maintenance, including pruning, planting/transplanting, mulching, installation of irrigation, and various hardscaping job opportunities. Going through the Professional Horticulture Program, he is learning various skills in multiple areas of the horticulture industry including conservatory and nursery maintenance as well as production and research. Billy would like to learn as much as he can in the horticulture and plant industry to one day, following graduation, become a residential design-and-build landscape architect.

Mark Volpe

Mark Volpe

Mark is from Media, Pennsylvania. He grew up directly next to the Tyler Arboretum and spent much of his youth exploring their woodlands and volunteering in their natural lands and rhododendron gardens. His passion for the outdoors has led him to follow a career in horticulture. He began his journey working for Delaware County Parks and Recreation, later working as a part-time employee in the Conservatory at Longwood Gardens, and as a full-time grounds manager for The Inn at Grace Winery. Along his horticulture journey, Mark has aided in the start-up of Ethel’s Back Yard, a local cut flower farm, and has done his own freelancing as an estate gardener and landscaper. During his time in the Professional Horticulture Program, Mark hopes to sharpen his horticultural knowledge and, upon completion, pursue further education. Mark also has plans to pursue a career in plant breeding and hopes one day to run a business of his own.

Hannah Watts

Hannah Watts

Hannah acquired a love of plants in the mountains of western Colorado where she grew up. After obtaining a degree in anthropology from Fort Lewis College, Hannah worked for several years as a social worker. During that time, she continued to develop her horticultural skills through working at a water conservation education garden in Sandy, Utah, and growing vegetables in the crevices of her backyard. She is thrilled to be a part of the Professional Horticulture Program at Longwood Gardens and hopes to use the knowledge she gains here to continue working toward solutions to food access and environmental issues.