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Jun 12, 2013

Delaware Valley College alumni doing work for the U.S. Open

Delaware Valley College has alumni, from both its ornamental horticulture and turf management programs doing work for the United States Golf Association’s U.S. Open this year. The U.S. Open is being held in Ardmore, Pa. from June 13-16.

James Bryson

James Bryson ’13, a turf alumnus, was hired as a spray tech by Merion Golf Club, host of this year’s event, before he graduated. He interned with the club as a student and started working there full-time in May.

Turf management is a bright spot for employment, where graduates are in high demand. In 2012, all of DelVal’s seniors were scooped up by employers for full-time jobs in their field before graduation. DelVal turf students have also interned with the United States Golf Association and the Philadelphia Eagles.

“It's a great experience to be working at such prestigious championship and it will be very interesting to see how professional golfers play this course,” said Bryson. “It's great to see how the USGA is setting up the golf course to make it challenging, but yet fair. With the large crowds mixed with all of the rain we have received, it will make for an interesting and labor intensive cleanup.  Overall, it's a great experience and will hopefully add to my future success in the turf industry.”

In College, Bryson was involved in the Turf Club and took advantage of internships.

“My experience with DelVal's turf program has helped me get where I am today through my internships and also with networking,” said Bryson. “Some very successful golf course superintendents have come from DelVal, who I have met and worked with during my internships. In the classroom, learning about not only plant physiology, turf cultural practices, and turf pests, but also budgeting, crew management, and human resource management are all very important in succeeding in the turf industry."

Mike Kachurak '11, who is also an alumnus of the College, is an assistant superintendent at Merion Golf Club. 

Debbie Doyle ’82, an ornamental horticulture alumna, is helping with flowers for this year’s VIP tents at the U.S. Open. Doyle has been a floral designer at Kremp Florist, of Willow Grove, Pa., for about a year and a half. 

US Open Flowers by Kremp
Flowers designed by Kremp Florist for the US Open

She said the tents have different themes and that the designers have been using greens, whites, and burgundy in their designs. She said they included orchids because they are long-lasting.

The College changed the name of the program to floriculture and nursery production. This major prepares students for a wide variety of fields related to this booming industry, including: floral or nursery marketing, garden center management, floral design and decorating, and greenhouse or nursery management and production.

DelVal also offers Floral Society, an organization for students who are interested in the floral industry, which offers students a chance to  hear from speakers, go on trips, and more.