Meet Our Staff

Kaitlyn Lawrence, Gardener, joined the staff in 2022. Prior to joining the Scott Arboretum, she was the Horticulturist Assistant/Foreman at David Brothers Landscape Services based in Norristown, Pa. She also worked at West Laurel Hill and Laurel Hill Cemeteries as a horticulturist from 2019-2020 and had the opportunity to assist with planning and leading events for volunteers. Kaitlyn holds a Bachelor of Arts in environmental studies and anthropology/sociology with a minor in food studies from Ursinus College. Upon graduation, she worked as a research assistant in the biology department of Ursinus College for a year, collecting and cataloging native grasses and planting crops at their organic farm. She interned at the Speaker’s House Museum in Trappe, Pennsylvania, where she designed and coordinated restoration of two pollinator gardens on historic sites. Kaitlyn is presently pursuing a horticulture certificate from the Barnes Arboretum at St. Joseph’s University.

Mackenzie Knight-Fochs, Education Programs Manager, joined the staff in 2022.

Josh Coceano served as the Scott Intern from 2010 to 2012 and was then promoted to Horticulturist. Josh Coceano hails from Mt. Crawford, Virginia – a small town in the Shenandoah Valley. Josh is a graduate of Virginia Tech with a Bachelors in Horticulture and a Master of Science in Education. Other work experience includes internships with the Hahn Horticulture Gardens in Blacksburg, Virginia and Stonecrop Gardens in Cold Spring, NY as well as time in the classroom teaching Agriculture Education classes to high school students and being a third grade classroom teacher.

Sandra Lopez Cortez grew up in Guanajuato, Mexico and moved to Kennett Square, Pa at the age of 14. She graduated from the Professional Gardener Program at Longwood in 2013 and obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture & Natural Resources with a minor in Horticulture at the University of Delaware in 2019.
 Sandra became a member of the Scott Arboretum staff in 2015 where she  helps maintain a variety of gardens. Most of her experience involves maintaining ornamental plants but she is growing a passion for sustainability, the environment, wildlife, and education.

Jody Downer, Special Projects Coordinator, became an Arboretum Assistant in 1989, chaired the 1991 and 1993 Plant Sales, and from 1992 to 2003 served on Scott Associates Council. Before becoming so involved with the Scott Arboretum, Jody owned and operated Media Hardware Company for seven years and prior to that was Office Manager for 11 years with Bio Clinic Company, a medical manufacturing company. She joined the staff in 2002.

Paul August (Gus) Eriksen, has been a gardener at the Arboretum since 1984. Other work experience includes Alfred I. DuPont, Institute of the Nemours Foundation and Reynold’s DuPont estate in Delaware, Kraft Nurseries in Florida, and the DuPont Co. plant research lab. He holds a B.S., Agriculture in Plant Science from the University of Delaware.

William R. Evans, Jr., Gardener, joined the staff in 1989. Prior to that he worked at Chessick’s Wholesale Greenhouses propagating poinsettias, and Wolff’s Farmer’s Market in plant sales, orchard pruning and harvesting.

Adam Glas, Gardener Supervisor, joined the staff in 2012. Before that, he worked as Nursery Manager at Terrain (at Styer’s) Nursery in Glen Mills. He was accepted into the Longwood Gardens Professional Gardener (PG) Training Program, completing that program in 2006. He currently serves as president for the PG Alumni Association and vice president of the board of managers at Chenoa Manor. He studied Horticulture and Landscape Design at University of Wisconsin River Falls.

Charles Hinkle, Gardener, joined the staff full-time in 1998. Previously, he was a gardener at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia. He holds a B.S. in horticulture from Temple University.

Jeff Jabco, Director of Grounds and Coordinator of Horticulture, has been on staff since 1990. Before coming to Swarthmore, he worked for Penn State University Cooperative Extension as a horticulture agent in southeastern Pennsylvania; he also owned and operated a garden design and vegetable production business. He is a graduate of Penn State University and has a Master’s degree from North Carolina State University in Horticulture/Plant Breeding and Plant Pathology.

Shem Ruszczyk joined the staff in  2022 as Assistant Garden Supervisor.  Prior to joining the Scott Arboretum, he was a Horticulturist at Hagley Museum and Library as well as Head Gardener Apprentice at Gravetye Manor in East Grinstead England. He is the owner of Canopy Horticulture, a fine gardening and land stewardship service for private clients. He is a graduate of the Professional Horticulture Program of Longwood Gardens and holds an Associates in Arts degree from Harrisburg Area Community College as well as currently serving as a board member for Goodstay Gardens at the University of Delaware’s Wilmington Campus.

Sue MacQueen joined the staff as the first campus engagement coordinator in  2017.  Prior to coming to the Arboretum she was the executive director of University City Green in West Philadelphia for eight years.  She also held the position of land manager at Awbury Arboretum in Germantown and was part of the horticultural staff at Meadowbrook Farms.  She has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2010.  She graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture from Temple University, Ambler.

Andrew DeGothseir, Gardener, joined the staff in 2019. He holds a B.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Design from Delaware Valley University.  Before joining the horticulture staff, he worked at Haverford College, The Westtown School, Henry Schmieder Arboretum, The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, and Germantown Friends School where he was instrumental in creating the Betty Cary Arboretum.

Susan McGinley graduated with a B.S. in Horticulture from Temple University, Ambler, and a B.S. degree from Cabrini College in Radnor, PA. Before joining the horticulture staff at the Scott Arboretum in 2001, Susan worked as a research biologist, and gardened at Chanticleer in Wayne, PA, Smith & Hawken in Rosemont, PA; and with Laurie Humphrey’s landscape design and maintenance firm in Haverford. Susan completed an internship at the Tyler Arboretum in Media, PA.

Dale Nemec, Gardener, has been with the staff since 2004. He comes to the Arboretum with a wealth of experience including Grounds Maintenance Coordinator at Friends Hospital in Philadelphia for more than 20 years and horticulturist at Villanova University for a year. In 1999, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Temple University.

Rachel Warren joined the staff as the Assistant Education Programs Manager for Youth, Family and Diverse Audiences in September of 2022. Prior to coming to the Arboretum she was an elementary school teacher in Maryland and Delaware for seven years. Her favorite subject to teach is science and she loves bringing students into nature. In her previous positions she facilitated the school wide Science Fair, led after school Yoga / Mindfulness Clubs and organized field trips for the entire grade. Rachel completed a Masters of Education in Teacher Leadership at the University of Delaware following her completion of a B.S. in elementary and special education, also at the University of Delaware.

Lars Rasmussen graduated from Temple University, Ambler, with a B.S. in Horticulture and has an extensive background in growing greenhouse cut roses. Before becoming a member of the Scott Arboretum’s horticultural staff in 2001 and garden supervisor and plant health in 2018, Lars was employed by Octararo Native Plant Nursery in Kirkwood, PA; and Landstudies Inc. in Litiz, PA, where his focus was stream bank restoration and wetland installation. Lars completed an internship at Mt. Cuba Center for the Study of Piedmont Flora in Greenville, DE, and he has taken Longwood Gardens certificate classes.

Rebecca Robert has been with the Scott Arboretum since 2004 and currently serving as Communications and Volunteer Manager. She received a M.S. and a B.S. in horticulture at Penn State University. She has worked at a variety of nurseries and garden centers including Avalon Flower and Garden in Avalon, NJ; Snyder’s Greenhouse in Leck Kill, PA; Hershey Nursery in Hershey, PA; and Meadow Creek Farms in Klingerstown, PA.

Claire Sawyers has been the Director of the Scott Arboretum since 1990. Prior to that she worked at Mt. Cuba Center for the Study of Piedmont Flora in Hockessin, Delaware for seven years. She holds Masters degrees in ornamental horticulture from Purdue University and the University of Delaware where she was a Longwood Graduate Fellow. She has gardened in Japan, France and Belgium in addition to the U.S. She served as a commissioner for the accreditation program of the American Association of Museums from 2004 to 2010. Her book, The Authentic Garden: Five Principles for Cultivating a Sense of Place, was published in 2007 by Timber Press.

Mary Tipping joined the Scott Arboretum as Curator and Plant Recorder in 2015. From 2008 to 2015, she served as Arboretum Horticulturist at Delaware Valley University’s Henry Schmieder Arboretum, where her responsibilities included the collections database administration for the 40-acre arboretum. She has earned an M.S. in Crop Sciences from the University of Illinois, and a B.S. in Horticulture from Temple University. Mary is also a PA Certified Horticulturist and ISA Certified Arborist.

Jacqui Ricchezza, Administrative Coordinator, joined the staff in 2004 and has ample experience at Swarthmore College. Her seven years with Alumni and Gift Records and two years with Facilities Services Department has given her a variety of computer, office, information, and management skills. In addition, she is a certified Master Gardener through the Penn State Cooperative Extension. Jacqui is continuing her education at the University of Pennsylvania taking classes at the College of Liberal and Professional Studies.

Jerry Schrack, Assistant Director of Grounds and Horticulture, joined the staff in 2019.

Rowan Payne-Meyer, Assistant Horticulturist, joined the staff in 2019. Rowan has a B.S. in Sustainable Landscape Horticulture from the University of Vermont where his studies centered on plant biology and ornamental horticulture. He was the Horticulture Student of the Year in 2017 and served as Teaching Assistant for the Woody Landscape Plants  course at UVM. He has over 8 years experience in landscaping, garden maintenance and the nursery trade.  He was in intern a Chanticleer in 2017 and prior to that has worked  at Creative Landscapes in Putney, Vermont, and Horsford Gardens and Nursery, in Charlotte, Vermont. He comes to us from Rocky Dale Gardens in Bristol, Vermont where he has been serving as the Woody Plant specialist on staff.

Nick Lang joined our team in 2021 as the Athletic Fields Crew Member/Gardener. He comes to the College after experience working as a quality control technician at Glasgow Inc. in Malvern. Since 2015, Nick has owned and operated Trifecta Landscaping where he provided lawn care and garden maintenance for over 100 properties. He is currently enrolled part-time at the Community College of Philadelphia.

Stephanie Myers, Gardener, joined the staff in 2022.  She was the Greenhouse and Cutting Garden Horticulturist at Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington DE.  She is the current Garden Club Organizer and volunteer at Lakeview Elementary. Formerly she was the Assistant Vineyard Manager of Salem Oak Vineyards in NJ. She holds a BS in Horticulture from Oregon State University College of Agriculture.

Megan Rossman joined the staff in 2022 as the Public Horticulture Intern.