Longwood Gardens Appoints New Director of Longwood Gardens Fellows Program

Longwood Gardens

KENNETT SQUARE, PA Longwood Gardens recently announced the appointment of Sharon Thompsonowak as Director of the Longwood Gardens Fellows Program, a 13-month residential learning experience focused on building the leadership skills of high-potential public horticulture professionals.

Thompsonowak comes to the position with a wealth of career development expertise. Most recently, she served as the Workforce Development Director for Rebuild, a mayoral initiative to invest millions of dollars into parks, recreation centers, and libraries across the city of Philadelphia. Prior to working for the city, she served as the Director of Career Development Services for Peirce College in Philadelphia, where she provided career guidance to students through one-on-one coaching, trainings, and courses. Thompsonowak earned her Doctor of Education from Vanderbilt University, and her Master of Arts in English from Temple University.

“We are thrilled to have Sharon as our new Director of the Fellows Program,” said Longwood Gardens Vice President of Engagement and Learning, Sarah Cathcart. “Sharon’s progressive experience in capacity-building and development for individuals and organizations make her the perfect fit for this position.”

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“I am honored to be chosen as the new Director of the Fellows Program,” said Thompsonowak. “Longwood is well known for its premier educational programs, and I look forward to furthering the Fellows Program and preparing the next generation of public horticulture professionals for long-term success in a thriving sector.”

Applications are now available for the Longwood Gardens Fellows Program. For more information and to apply, visit longwoodgardens.org/fellows-program. Applications are due August 31, with the next cohort beginning the program in June 2022.

During the fully funded, cohort-based residency at Longwood, Fellows delve into issues relevant to public horticulture leadership, such as board relations and governance, leadership communication skills, change management, innovation, organizational culture, and HR/talent management. A two-month domestic or international field placement provides a deeper understanding of these issues, equipping Fellows to lead organizations into a vibrant and sustainable future. Alumni of the Fellows Program join the prestigious Society of Fellows, a global network of public garden professionals.

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The program is open to global professionals who hold a bachelor’s degree and possess a strong desire to lead in a public horticulture environment. Masters and doctoral candidates and those who are transitioning between careers are welcome to apply.

Public horticulture leaders may also nominate individuals who have a commitment to professional excellence, have a deep intellectual curiosity, and have an interest in representing diverse perspectives and backgrounds for admission to the Program. Nominations should be submitted to Sarah Cathcart[email protected].

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