DelVal’s turf management students land prestigious internships and jobs

Jun 14, 2012

What do the Philadelphia Eagles, the Baltimore Orioles, and Pine Valley Golf Club have in common?

They’ve all employed Delaware Valley College turf students or alumni. DelVal has been preparing the people who maintain famous sports fields and some of the nation’s top golf courses.

Turf management students going through DelVal’s program are landing exciting internships at places like the United States Golf Association and the Philadelphia Eagles. They’re also finding jobs quickly after they graduate. The entire turf management class of 2012 all had jobs before graduation.


In an environment where some are struggling to find work, DelVal’s turf management students seem to be a bright spot. They are landing competitive positions both in college and after they graduate.

DelVal encourages students to participate in internships with well-known employers and get valuable work experience, which helps them stand out.

“Students and graduates are advised to work at least one summer at one of the top 100 golf courses in the U.S., or a similar course, to get exposure to the highest level of turf management and to build their resume and network,” said Dr. Doug Linde, a faculty member in DelVal’s Natural Resources and Biosystems Management department who advises all turf management students and oversees the turf program.

Eric Junkins ’13 has taken this advice. He’s interning during summer 2012 at Pine Valley Golf Club in New Jersey, which was ranked as the number two course in the nation by Golf Digest for the 2011-2012 rankings.

The DelVal turf program has produced many other students who are landing competitive positions.

James Bryson, ’13 is just one of the success stories coming out of DelVal.

Bryson is interning at Merion Golf Club, in Ardmore, Pa., during summer 2012. Merion is scheduled to host the 2013 Men’s U.S. Open tournament and Bryson is working to get his foot in the door so he can be there next year.

“The U.S. Open is just about the biggest pro golf tournament in the world,” said Dr. Linde, Bryson’s advisor.

Bryson  will be taking a week off from that internship to intern with the United States Golf Association’s Green Section this summer.

He is the fifth DelVal student to be selected for one of the highly competitive internships with the USGA, which is the top consultant to U.S. golf courses.

“James beat out candidates from Penn State, Maryland and Virginia Tech to earn the Mid-Atlantic internship,” said Dr. Doug Linde. “The DelVal turf program and I have a good reputation with the United States Golf Association which has helped open doors.”

The USGA Green Section has awarded internships to outstanding students for the past 15 years.  For the 2012 internships, 11 students were selected. Three of the other 10 are graduate students and two are Ph.D. students.

Interns travel with a USGA agronomist for a week between the months of May and August. Agronomists share firsthand knowledge and experience from working in the industry with the interns.

Steve Trombetta, ’13 is another turf student using his summer to build his resume.

Trombetta is interning for the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also planning to take the fall semester off so that he can work with the Eagles through the entire football season.

DelVal grads and students have been maintaining the turf for a variety of baseball and football fields.

“Steve is my third student to work for the Eagles, plus we’ve had students at other professional fields like Fenway Park, Camden Yards, and the Reading Phillies,” said Dr. Linde.

Alumni are working at places ranging from baseball fields to country clubs.

Nick Rozdilski, ’06 is currently the assistant groundskeeper at the home of the Baltimore Orioles, a Major League Baseball team.

Ryan Tuxhorn, ’02 is the head superintendent at Somerset Hills Country Club in New Jersey, which was ranked #93 in U.S. for Golf Digest’s 2011-2012 rankings.

Steve McDonald, ’03 currently owns a turf and golf course consultant company, Turfgrass Disease Solutions, LLC. 

He is one of the top golf course consultants in the nation and visits over 100 courses per year and conducts research.  He earned his master’s degree from the University of Maryland. While he was a student at DelVal, he played golf. He has stayed involved with the college and currently sits on the DelVal Turf Program Advisory committee.

DelVal has also had 21 graduates and students work at Saucon Valley Country Club since 1996.

The course is similar to those in the top 100 and the Head Superintendent Jim Roney is a 1996 DelVal graduate. 

“He does a great job with  teaching and mentoring his interns and I funnel many students his way as a result,” said Dr. Linde.