Congratulations to CAFLS Alumnus Dr. Sandra Wilson

The CAFLS Alumni Board is pleased to recognize the success of CAFLS alumnus Dr. Sandra Wilson.

You may view Sandra's accomplishments on the University of Florida websites listed here and in the text of the recent news release below. 

Congratulations to Dr. Wilson!

FORT PIERCE, Fla.—Multiple national award recipient Dr. Sandra Wilson, has been selected for the prestigious Marion C. and Virginia T. Roche Professorship. Wilson is Associate Professor of Environmental Horticulture at the University of Florida/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center near Fort Pierce, where she has served in increasing roles of statewide departmental leadership for 12 years.

“Sandy has overwhelming passion, dedication, and commitment to horticulture education, and especially so for distance education pedagogy,” said Dr. Peter Stoffella, director for the UF Indian River Research and Education Center. “While initially developing and teaching five courses onsite, she quickly identified the need for online course delivery.”

During her newly appointed Roche professorship, Wilson will provide leadership for distance education pedagogy for UF College of Agriculture and Life Sciences faculty and students.

Devoted to equal amounts of research and education, Dr. Wilson teaches courses in plant propagation, native landscaping and plant identification, all of which complement her research in invasive potential of ornamental plants, native plant physiology, propagation and production. She oversees two botanical gardens that are used by students in courses, and enjoyed by about 500 statewide garden club members annually, in addition to local extension outreach. She co-created an interactive module for greenhouse management along with colleagues nationwide; a graduate student she co-advised received the UF Best Dissertation Award. In 2008, Dr. Wilson was inducted into the University of Florida Academy of Teaching Excellence.

Recognized for distinguished service as a teacher by her superiors, peers and students, Dr. Wilson is recipient to a number of awards including: Outstanding Graduate Educator for 2009 by the American Society for Horticultural Science; the 2006-2007 UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Teacher of the Year Award; the 2005 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Fellow Award, and an Agricultural Communications and Education Gold Award.  

Dr. Wilson holds a doctorate in Plant Physiology from Clemson University, and both Master and Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Delaware. She continued her academic training by completing two post-doctoral programs: one at Chiba University in Japan; a second, at Clemson. 

She is an active member of the American Society of Horticultural Science, the International Plant Propagators Society and the Southern Nursery Association.

The Marion C. and Virginia T. Roche Faculty Excellence Fund is allocated for professorship appointments to accomplished University of Florida Faculty members who serve the university’s College of Agricultural and Life Sciences. Marion Roche, an UF alumnus who earned three UF degrees, served for more than 51 years with the Marion County School System. He was director of vocational and adult education for 25 years. His wife, Virginia “Pat” Roche, was a Florida native and had retired from a career in teaching and counseling.