Alum of the Month: Laura Irish, Teaching Specialist in the Department of Horticulture Science at the University of Minnesota

Laura Irish graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Horticulture in December 2015 and a Master of Science degree in Horticulture & Sustainable Agriculture in May 2018. Laura is currently a Teaching Specialist in the Department of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota.
Laura teaches HORT 101 Plant Propagation lab, which Laura says is very similar to HORT 221 course at Iowa State. She works closely with two professors who are responsible for the lecture portion of the course (Drs. Alan Smith and Matt Clark). Laura cares for all the stock plants, orders all materials needed, and runs the labs each week. She is also the Horticulture Club advisor. Laura says the best part of her job is working with students and growing their interest in horticulture. Laura went on to say that students from across the university enroll in this course because it counts as a biological science with a lab credit. She also stated that every student has their own ideas of what caring for and propagating plants means before they come to Plant Propagation course. Laura truly enjoys working with the students in finding the resources they need to make scientific judgments on caring for their plants after they leave the course.

Laura’s advise to current Iowa State Horticulture students is to go into each of their courses with an open mind. Laura said every course she took in the horticulture department at Iowa State has helped her to be a better horticulturist, even the courses she was not so keen on while she was taking them. She also said to do something you love, even if it’s not directly in your career path because finding something you love makes everything else worth doing. Laura’s hometown is Grayslake, Illinois.