The interdisciplinary horticultural therapy program at Nazareth College provides an introduction to the fields of horticulture and therapy. Courses for this minor will be offered online whenever possible. The minor can be taken as part of a B.A. or B.S. degree.
Horticulture therapy is helpful in achieving many kinds of goals including improved mood, general wellness, stroke recovery, physical rehabilitation and job training. It is used with people of all ages and abilities. Horticulture therapy can be used in a wide variety of settings including nursing homes, hospice, prisons, dementia units, schools, sheltered workshops and clinics.
Education: Ph.D., Kent State University (Ecology, specializing in the impact of alien plant species on the pollination of native species); M.S., University of Akron (Biology); M.A., Antioch University (Urban Studies and Planning with a concentration in Natural Disaster Management); B.A., Evergreen State College (Biology and Creative Writing); Certificate in Horticultural Therapy, Horticultural Therapy Institute; Registered Horticultural Therapist (HTR), American Horticultural Therapy Association.
Areas of Academic Interest: Plant biology, including pollination, plant responses to the environment, and best practices for propagating plants; medicinal and cultural use of plants (ethnobotany); using plants to remove toxicants from the environment (phytoremediation); the neurobiology of learning and its application in the classroom; and horticultural therapy.
Research Interests: Best practices in horticultural therapy; utilizing plant species native to western New York to degrade bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine disruptor found in plastics and other consumer products (with Drs. Zamule and Roote); and plant-pollinator interactions.
"Using a horticultural therapy approach has the potential to improve outcomes. When the focus of the client becomes the plant and not the skill they're trying to develop, the skill can develop naturally."
Nazareth’s College of Arts and Sciences and School of Health and Human Services partner to use a horticultural therapy approach to help aphasia patients regain language skills.