April 16, 2017
2016 Cullen Family Scholarship Program recipient Jeryn Mackey didn’t always have her sights set on a career in the green profession. The Fort St. John, B.C., native started her post-secondary career at the University of Victoria, studying biochemistry.

“I really love science, but I was having some trouble because I still wanted to do some creative things,” she explained. Mackey is now a second-year landscape student in the University of Guelph’s landscape architecture program. “I found out about the Guelph program from one of my cousins, who went to the university, and I decided that it sounded a lot more like what I wanted to do.”

Though Mackey did not have any formal landscaping experience — gardening at her family home notwithstanding — she landed a job in the Fort St. John, B.C. office of Urban Systems, which provides strategic planning, engineering, environmental science and urban design services to public and private sector clients throughout Western Canada. After her first year at U of G, Mackey was able to apply her skills and knowledge with the firm, participating in small design projects and community engagement for a municipal parks and recreation master plan.

Mackey will return to the company this summer, and plans on pursuing a master’s degree in planning after completing the four-year landscape architecture program.

“I really love the university and the program” said Mackey. “Being so small, you can really get to know your professors and the people you’re with. And I love the work that we are doing.”

This semester, Mackey has been working on a number of site construction projects, and she has really enjoyed the hands-on nature of the program.

“We have been doing a lot of site engineering and more technical things this year, and it has been fun to be learning things that we will actually be able to build now,” she said.

Mackey is also involved in the university’s student society, which recently hosted local kids and helped them build models with clay at an annual open house event.

“While our classes are great, and I really enjoy learning about the profession, the outside of school part is a lot of fun as well. The student society has been an excellent way for me to get involved,” she said.

She also expressed her gratitude to the Ontario Horticultural Trades Foundation (OHTF) program and the Cullen Family Scholarship Program for the $2,000 contribution to her studies.

“I am so appreciative of the scholarship,” she said. “It makes a real difference for me, and I want to thank the Cullen family and the OHTF.”
 

Cullen Scholarship Program


The Cullen Scholarships are designed to encourage and inspire leadership qualities in students who have a passion and enthusiasm for the landscape profession. They are awarded to contribution-oriented candidates who possess integrity, honesty, perseverance and initiative and who care about fellow students, teachers, community and industry. Candidates are selected by their peers and teachers. The program coordinator hosts an election process and submits a brief profile of the winning candidate to Mark Cullen and the OHTF each year. The profiles outline the character attributes of the successful candidate. To donate or apply, visit ohtf.ca.