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Michael Jesiolowski

Michael Jesiolowski

Senior horticulturist | Chicago Botanic Garden | Class of 2011

Little did Michael Jesiolowski know at the time how much a class road trip to Kentucky would wind up shaping his future.

It was April 2010, a year before he graduated from the UI with high honors with a bachelor’s in horticulture.

“The students in Dr. Gary Kling’s HORT 302 Woody Plant ID II class boarded a bus outside of the Plant Sciences Greenhouses and headed down to Kentucky for a tour of several public gardens. ... When I originally went back to school, my goal was to earn a horticulture degree and I knew I wanted to have a career working with plants, but I didn’t know exactly what that meant.

“Working in a greenhouse? Having a landscaping company of my own? The class trip to Kentucky made it clear that working in public horticulture is what would give me fulfillment,” says Jesiolowski, now a senior horticulturist at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

“To have access to so many different plants, be a part of a destination that adds beauty and inspiration to the lives of others, and have the opportunity to share my passion for plants with others; that’s all I could ever want. One of the stops on the trip was to Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, in Clermont, Kentucky, which I interned at the following summer.

“Thank you Dr. Kling, I feel very fortunate to have been in your classes. You forever changed the way I look at plants.”