Southeast Students Selected to Serve on WNLA’s 2020 Student Advisory Committee


Three Southeast Missouri State University horticulture students have been selected to serve on the 2020 Student Advisory Committee of the Western Nursery and Landscape Association (WNLA).

Ian Graves, a freshman from Columbia, Missouri; Leah Schumacher, a senior from Bridgeton, Missouri; and Nick Thole, a junior from Aviston, Illinois, will join a group of 16 of the most outstanding agriculture students from institutions and colleges across the Midwest to serve on the 2020 committee.

As part of the Student Advisory Committee, the Southeast students will help develop ideas and recommendations on educational programming, networking opportunities and other member benefits that would better serve WNLA’s student members now and into the start of their horticulture careers. The Student Advisory Committee meets with the WNLA Board of Directors to share their ideas and recommendations and work together with the Board and with WNLA staff to develop and implement these initiatives.

Additionally, Graves, Schumacher and Thole are among 20 Southeast students participating in the 2020 WNLA Conference Jan. 15-17 in Kansas City, Missouri. The conference is a great opportunity for Southeast students to gain professional experience and network, said Dr. Sven Svenson, associate professor of agriculture at Southeast and faculty advisor for the Student Advisory Committee.

Svenson, who is leading a round-table discussion about what graduating horticulture students need to know, said the conference also gives industry leaders and students an opportunity to interact and connect.

“When students calculate cost of rent and other living expenses along with payments for things like student loans, car loans, etc., they start to build a salary/compensation expectation that sometimes shocks some potential employers,” he said. “Compensation, salary expectations, advancement opportunities and long-term career strategies are all important topics students need to explore and ask potential employer expectations. These discussions help future employers and future employees find common ground.”

Southeast students attending the 2020 WNLA Conference are:

  • Spencer Allender of Springfield, Illinois
  • Hannah Barber of Elsberry, Missouri
  • Keagan Cohen of De Soto, Missouri
  • Logan Dunlap of Poplar Bluff, Missouri
  • Josh Hellwege of Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Chandler Jenkins of Hillsboro, Missouri
  • Adam Jung of Cape Girardeau
  • Sam McHaney of Kennett, Missouri
  • Angelica Moore of Holcomb, Missouri
  • Zeke Ramsour of Centralia, Illinois
  • Anton Rhodes of Jackson, Missouri
  • Jackie Ring of Kennett
  • Brian Sachs of Cape Girardeau
  • Jesse Summers of St. Louis, Missouri
  • Paige Tebrugge of Springfield, Illinois
  • Dom Unterreiner of Jackson
  • Anna Wickes of Union, Missouri