In today’s floral education climates you are bound to find fewer and fewer university funded Floral Design programs yet the University of Missouri – Columbia is keeping their floral program strong within the Division of Plant Sciences in Horticultural Landscape and Design degree programs. Within their 5 course program the students also get the valuable experience of running a fully operational store and event business, Tiger Garden, that is attached to the classroom.
This year the University of Missouri SAIFD Chapter has 4 designers participating at the prestigious American Institute of Floral Designers Symposium Student Design Contest in Denver so make sure to say hello and wish them luck for all of you going to Symposium this year!
YOU CAN FIND ALL THE CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE University of Missouri AT THE END OF THE ARTICLE
What advice do you have for designers looking to become a university floral educator or advisor?
I would tell any designers who are looking to become a university floral educator or advisor that, as an educator, you are never done learning. Take advantage of learning each and every day, whether that is from your students or other members in the floral community. Any opportunity that is available to you, use it to grow your floral knowledge. I also believe that to be a great educator, you need to know how to properly communicate with students and work with them. It is great to have floral knowledge, but you also need an education background.
What has been one of the most interesting floral topics you have taught so far at the University of Missouri?
One of the most interesting floral topics that we have taught would be unique personal pieces, including traditional corsages, fascinators, and contemporary bouquets.
Do you have a philosophy when it comes to floral education?
I believe that my floral education philosophy goes hand in hand with my teaching philosophy. We have to, as educators, reach out and help students see and reach attainable goals within the floral industry. I want students to be able to believe, dream and achieve and with teaching the right techniques and ideas, the possibilities will be endless for students. Education is always first in my mind. If students aren’t learning and growing, then you are doing nothing for them or yourself.
Who do you find are the most influential designers or outlets for young designers?
I believe that the most influential designers and outlets for young designers can be found anywhere. From following them on social media to volunteering in the workroom at symposium, I believe that you can find influence anywhere and everywhere you look.
How much support do university floral programs receive and do you think it is enough to insure a strong future for the floral industry?
I believe that our program receives a good amount of support by our college. When looking at the bigger picture, members of AIFD are very supportive of our program and are always willing to help. As long as the seasoned members of AIFD continue to help and be part of our program, then I believe our program will be at the University for another 100 years.
With our ever-changing industry, where do you see floral education heading in the next 10-15 years?
Within the next 10-15 years, I see floral education becoming even more diverse than it already is. Right now, we are learning from designers from around the world at symposium and other shows. Eventually, I think that we will start having more blogs that are showing more how to and allowing designers to be more open.
What are some of the best opportunities available to young designers?
In my opinion, some of the best opportunities that we can offer to young designers are already in place. From our introductory courses, the student run shop, to taking as many students as possible to AIFD National Symposium and by giving students the opportunities to go to design courses offered throughout the year by AIFD members. There are far more opportunities available than many of us realize, but these are several opportunities that we do our best to make possible for the young designers.
What do you think are some of the top floral educational advancements that have helped progress the industry?
Some of the top floral educational advancements that are helping progress the industry are those of social media. By allowing designers to showcase their talents and designs on social media and posting videos, it allows the younger generations to be able to have resources at their disposal.
Do you believe the US floral industry does enough to create interest and jobs for future designers?
As of right now, I believe the industry could do a little more to create interest. AIFD is not something that most people know of. I think that there are a lot of great programs, growers and designers out there that no one knows about because we are such a tight-knit community.
In your personal opinion what are some of the shortcomings in floral education that the industry should strive towards working on?
Some shortcomings that I believe the industry should shrive to work towards:
1) Getting younger people involved in the industry and help them to become successful.
2) We are going to have to work harder at showcasing the floral industry as an art and not so much as a hobby. Although social media is a way to spread good word about the industry, it also has the ability to make everything look so easy and of lesser value.
University of Missouri – Columbia and Tiger Garden Contact Information: Website: University of Missouri – Columbia ~ missouri.edu Tiger Garden ~ tigergarden.missouri.edu Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 573.884.1191 Social Media Facebook Flickr
Good luck to all those competing at this years AIFD Symposium and to the future of the University of Missouri – Columbia and Tiger Garden programs. It’s always great to see students getting exposed to the industry and professionals so one day they can be in the shoes of those they are exposed to.
Tomorrow is our last day of Floral Education Month!