Texas Tech University

National AHS Emerging Horticultural Professional Award goes to McKelvey

Norman Martin

March 31, 2022

Nat’l AHS Emerging Horticultural Professional Award goes to McKelvey

A graduate of Texas Tech University's Department of Plant & Soil Science has received the national American Horticultural Society's 2022 Emerging Horticultural Professional Award. Daria McKelvey, who received her master's degree in horticulture in 2015, was presented the honor in mid-March.

“Each plant, no matter where in the world, has its own story,” McKelvey said. “My goal in life is to learn those stories and share them with others.”

Established in 2017, the Emerging Horticultural Professional Award recognizes significant achievements and leadership that have advanced the field of horticulture in America. McKelvey currently serves as Home Gardening & Information Outreach Supervisor at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri.

In her position, McKelvey combines two passions: plants and teaching. She oversees the ‘Plant Doctor & Horticulture Answer Services,' which fields gardening questions from homeowners, and she maintains the indoor informational displays, as well as the ‘Gardening Help & Plant Finder' database on the garden's website. She regularly gives gardening talks at the garden and at other venues for a variety of organizations.

McKelvey's interest in plants began in childhood from time spent outdoors. After completing a degree in biology at the University of Texas-Austin, she went on graduate school at Texas Tech under the academic advisement of Cynthia McKenney, Tech's Associate Chair and Rockwell Endowed Professor of Horticulture in the Department of Plant & Soil Science until her retirement on 2018.

One of McKelvey's areas of expertise is Texas native wildflowers, developed during her time at Texas Tech, where she investigated techniques to enhance seed germination rates in these plants. In addition to her work at the Kemper Center, she is a member of the St. Louis Master Gardener Association and is a Texas Master Naturalist.

"Each plant, no matter where in the world, has its own story. My goal in life is to learn those stories and share them with others."

Founded in 1922, the non-profit American Horticultural Society is one of the most respected and longstanding member-based national gardening organizations in North America. The society's membership includes more than 20,000 aspiring, new, and experienced gardeners, plant enthusiasts, and horticultural professionals, as well as numerous regional and national partner organizations.

Texas Tech's Department of Plant & Soil Science is a comprehensive academic unit, conducting research and offering coursework and programs in several areas of plant and soil science. It has 29 full-time faculty members, and a student body consisting of approximately 150 undergraduate and 120 graduate students. Some of those students are enrolled in the Davis College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources distance education program.


This story was first published in the Davis College NewsCenter. See the original article here.