Student Sponsorship Program
Application and Recommendation links at bottom of page
The Scholarship Program has been an important part of the Cullowhee Conference since
the conference began in 1984. Approximately 20 scholarships to the Cullowhee Conference
are annually awarded to students, interns at botanical gardens, nature centers and/or
parks, and to beginning professionals in a native plant-related field. Also, the Scholarship
Program is open to applicants with careers in environmental and science education.
Any individual in these categories who can demonstrate an interest in native plants
and their use in the landscape - through horticulture, botany, ecology, landscape
architecture/design, education, or a related field - is encouraged to apply for a
Winners are expected to actively engage with conference attendees; donate some of
their time to assist during the conference; and participate in all conference activities.
Scholarship winners, if not on a field trip, help vendors set up on Wednesday afternoon,
staff the Plant Holding Area table during the conference, run plants during Plants
of Promise Saturday morning, assist conference attendees to their cars with plants,
and help vendors load at the end of the conference on Saturday. Additionally, a Scholarship
Meet & Greet is held on Tuesday evening after registration, and the winners are introduced
on stage during the opening conference introductions.
The scholarship package includes registration fee, a semi-private room, all meals
during the conference, and field trip expenses if field trip (FT) attendance is selected.
We offer the option of full and partial scholarships. Full scholarship covers the
cost of the entire scholarship package. Partial scholarship recipients agree to cover
half of the expenses related to their attendance choice ($225-FT or $160 non-FT).
The deadline for scholarship applications is midnight, Friday, April 21, 2017. Applications
received after this time will be considered only after punctual and complete applications
have been judged and awarded. Applications without the information requested, which
includes recommendations, are incomplete and will be considered late. NOTE that this
deadline is right at the end of the semester, so factor in the time needed writing
your application and asking for your letter of reference.
Scholarship awards will be made by email in May.
Applications are to be submitted by the link at the end of the page. If necessary,
contact Olivia Brakenbury for instructions as to how to submit an email or printed
Cullowhee Scholarship Committee
Annual contributions to the Scholarship Program come from the proceeds of the conference,
nursery men and women who sell plants during the conference, donations of honoraria
from the speakers and field trip leaders at the conference, and private contributors.
Additionally, The French Broad River Garden Club Foundation (Asheville), The Botanical
Gardens at Asheville, and the North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Tennessee,
and Georgia Native Plant Societies have sponsored sponsorships for individuals from
the respective states. Contributions to the Cullowhee Sponsorship Program are welcome
at any time and greatly appreciated. If you or your organization would like to make
a contribution please contact Olivia Brakenbury, LivBrak @ gmail.com.
The Janie Leonard Bryan Native Plant Conference Endowment Sponsorship, created in
2014 by gifts from family and friends, honors the memory of Janie Leonard Bryan. Janie
passed away in October 2013 after a decade-long battle with breast cancer. She was
one of the original attendees of the conference and an avid native plantswoman who
dedicated 25 years to the North Carolina Botanical Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill. Janie’s
Sponsorship ensures the brightest and best student or beginning professional a place
at the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference. The winner of the award is announced at
the conference and is selected from the applicant pool.
Janie’s Sponsorship Awardees:
2016: Samuel McCauley, BS Biology student, College of Charleston
2015: Jeremiah DeVore, MS Public Horticulture student, Auburn University
2014: Kaitlin Griffith, BS Biological Sciences student, Florida State University
The C. Ritchie Bell Award, created in 2015 by a gift from Robert Edward Wyatt and
Ann Hudson Stoneburner, honors the memory of C. Ritchie Bell, the first Director of
the North Carolina Botanical Garden at UNC-Chapel Hill. An active and influential
scientist, Bell enthusiastically advanced the appreciation and conservation of native
plants, especially in the southeastern United States. The C. Ritchie Bell Award insures
that a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student and/or young professional
at the North Carolina Botanical Garden has a place at the Cullowhee Native Plant Conference.
The winner of the award is announced at the conference and is selected from the applicant
Bell Award Awardees
2016: L. Caroline Durham, BS Environmental Studies student, UNC-CH & NCBG Conservation
The Cullowhee Conference is honored to be aligned with our scholarship hosts in expanding
our knowledge of native plants and their ecology, native plant landscaping, environmental
sustainability, and the conservation and wise use of all of our natural resources.
The Cullowhee Conference is committed to the ongoing expansion of the Sponsorship
Program and to the active involvement of the sponsorship winners in the conference.
2017 SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION
2017 RECOMMENDATION FORM