Foley earns national 'Educator of Year' PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sentinel-Tribune Staff   
Thursday, 28 June 2012 09:25
Owens Associate Professor of Science Chris Foley (left) provides instruction to one of his classes. (Photo courtesy of Owens Community College)
Owens Community College Associate Professor of Science Chris Foley has been chosen by the Professional Landcare Network Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) to receive the prestigious 2012 Outstanding Educator of the Year Award for exemplary contributions and dedication to students and green industry education.
The Outstanding Educator of the Year Award, developed by the PLANET AEF in cooperation with the PLANET Accreditation Committee, recognizes professors who have made significant contributions to green industry education. Educators nominated for this award are recognized for devoting time, energy and enthusiasm to their programs and to the education of future leaders of the industry.
"I am honored to be mentioned with the previous Educator of the Year recipients and grateful for the amount of effort that my current students, alumni and faculty members put into the applicationĀ  process," said Foley, a Swanton resident. "It is always nice to be recognized for your efforts. It is important to me that students find their passion like I have. Thank you PLANET for acknowledging educators in the green industry."
Foley began his career in the green industry as an employee at Frank's Nursery in Clawson, Mich. He later earned his bachelor's degree in horticulture science from Michigan State University in 1982. After graduating from Michigan State, he worked at The Andersons in Toledo. From there, Foley began his 22-year educational teaching career at Owens Community College, whose programs include urban agriculture and sustainability, golf course and athletic field management, and landscape and turfgrass management.
Students and peers describe him as being extremely passionate about the subjects he teaches and having the ability to pass that enthusiasm on to his students. Additionally, he works tirelessly in advocating for experiential learning opportunities for his students highlighted by coordinating landscape installation projects involving area residents. Foley also leads student plant sale activities, which helps support the Owens Student Landscape Turfgrass Crew Club's participation in the annual PLANET Student Career Days. The event is a national horticultural and landscape competition involving over 50 colleges and universities across the country.
His passion and enthusiasm extends beyond the classroom as he oversees a nursery in Swanton, which focuses on the production of rare and unusual trees and shrubs.
PLANET is an international association serving lawn care professionals, landscape management contractors, design/build/installation professionals and interior plantscapers. The organization provides its members with a good business foundation to help them evaluate, plan and better manage their companies. Over 3,800 green industry professionals are members of the PLANET.
Last Updated on Thursday, 28 June 2012 09:29

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