Penn State University Students Tour ANC

By Kevin M. Hymel, Historian on 11/2/2022

Horticulture Chief Steve Van Hoven explains the cemetery's history in front of Arlington House.
(Kevin M. Hymel, Oct. 20, 2022)

“Cemeteries are very interesting places to work for horticulture,” Arlington National Cemetery’s Horticulture Chief Steve Van Hoven told a group of horticulture and landscape contracting students from Penn State University at the Tanner Amphitheater on October 20, 2022. Van Hoven and the ANC Horticulture staff addressed the students to explain potential career options.

ANC staff members who spoke to the students also included Greg Huse, urban forester; Gene Stano, turf agronomist; and Kelly Wilson, horticulturist. Collectively, they discussed the history of ANC, the importance of internships and the daily work of maintaining ANC’s status as an accredited Level III Arboretum (a prestigious designation that ANC earned in 2018). After the staff took questions, Van Hoven led the students to Arlington House, where he provided a brief history of the cemetery and explained horticulture work at ANC today.

Two professors at Penn State—Martin McGann, associate professor of landscape contracting, and Michael Mohney, associate teaching professor—came up with the idea of bringing students to the cemetery. McGann wanted his students to be exposed to as many professions as possible and to meet people who work in various relevant fields. “Talking to the professionals here gave our students a good cross section of what they could become involved in if they wished,” said McGann.

The students seemed to appreciate the cemetery visit. According to senior Jack Fowler, “It definitely opens up my mind to different opportunities.” Junior Carrie Spangler liked the idea of combining horticulture with history. “I never thought of putting the two together,” she said, “so this is really an interesting perspective on groundskeeping.” Senior Riley Hanus stated, “I’m open minded about what I want to do in the future, as long as it includes horticulture and landscaping.”

ANC’s Urban Forester Greg Huse addresses students from Penn State University, while Horticulture Chief Steve Van Hoven (far left), Turf Agronomist Gene Stano (immediate left) and Horticulturist Kelly Wilson (right) look on.
(Kevin M. Hymel, Oct. 20, 2022) 


Contract Historian
Kevin M. Hymel