Wendy Kloostra inspires her own students at Ohio State University

Wendy Kloostra graduated as a Master's student in Spring of 2008 and now uses her passion for horticulture to teach at Ohio State University.

Featured Alumni: Wendy Klooster

Why did you choose Horticulture and why MSU?

I was debating between the Peace Corps and graduate school when I had the opportunity to visit the Horticulture Department at MSU and interact with several of the faculty members, including Dr. Bert Cregg. Through that visit I got a sense of the type of research that was being conducted and was particularly interested in Dr. Cregg’s lab, studying tree growth and physiology. When he offered me a position as a graduate research assistant I eagerly accepted.

Where did you go after MSU?

After I graduated with my master’s degree I immediately began a Ph.D. program at Ohio State University researching forest ecology and invasive species. This was a slight shift in focus from my previous work, but it allowed me to develop a broader perspective on plant form and function and learn new practical skills along the way. I completed that degree in 2012 and then went on to a post-doctoral research appointment with the Ohio State Department of Entomology.

Any thoughts for current students?

Remain open to serendipitous opportunities. Each step of my education and career came about because I was okay with following an unexpected turn in my path. I may not have ended up where I thought I would, but I’m thrilled with where I am and grateful for all the experiences I’ve had along the way.

Describe your current work. What keeps you engaged?

I am now a faculty member in the Horticulture and Crop Science Department at Ohio State University. I teach a variety of courses related to horticulture, including sustainable vegetable production. Because horticulture is such a broad and evolving field of study, I’m continually learning about new concepts and techniques that I can share with students as well as apply to my own home garden and landscape. It’s exciting to help inspire more people to be aware of their natural surroundings and appreciate the many benefits of plants.

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