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PSS professor receives Texas Nursery Landscape Association Lifetime Award

PSS professor receives Texas Nursery Landscape Association Lifetime Award

Cynthia McKenney, a nationally-recognized professor of ornamental horticulture with Texas Tech’s Department of Plant and Soil Science, has been presented this year’s Lifetime Member Award from the Texas Nursery Landscape Association. The honor was presented at the group’s annual meeting on Friday (Aug. 16) in Dallas.

McKenney’s research efforts have focused on development and release of native plant varieties included in the Raider Wildflower Collection, and olive production research. Her research also includes working with native plants, focusing on wildflower enhancement to increase drought tolerance, plant architecture, and length and intensity of floral display.

“Working with native plants over the past 25 years, I naturally began conducting research with water-conserving landscapes,” she said.

In the past, McKenney has held a number of academic leadership positions, including serving as an undergraduate program coordinator, and greenhouse administrator at Texas Tech. At Texas A&M she worked as an assistant and associate professor of urban horticulture and extension specialist, as well as an assistant and associate professor of horticulture and regional distance education coordinator at Texas Tech. In 2010, she was named a professor of horticulture and distance education leader at Texas Tech.

McKenney received her bachelor’s degree in ornamental horticulture and her Texas provisional secondary teaching certificate in broad field science from Texas Tech. Her master’s degree in horticulture and doctorate in higher education administration are from Texas Tech.

Awards for McKenney include J.C. Miller Distinguished Educator Award, Southern Region-American Society for Horticulture Science (2010); Outstanding Horticulture Technology Paper Award, American Society for Horticulture Science (2010); and Taber Award, Texas Nursery and Landscape Association-Region IV (2003).

Honors include being named a charter member of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy, as well as being named to Who’s Who in Agriculture Higher Education (2003) and CASNR’s Ag Council Teacher of the Semester (2007). She is a member of the American Society for Horticulture, Phi Kappa Phi, American Society for Horticulture Science-Southern Region, and Pi Alpha Xi, Gamma Sigma Delta, Texas Association of Nurserymen, and the Native Plant Society of Texas.

The Austin-based Texas Nursery and Landscape Association represent all aspects of the green industry in Texas. Program officials note that among its goals are enhancing members’ business success through legislative/regulatory advocacy, education, networking and promotion of professionalism.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Richard Zartman, Department Chair and Leidigh Professor of Soil Physics, Department of Plant and Soil Science, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2838 or



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