Horticulture Student Success Stories

Marne Norquist

Marne Norquist

Marne, who works in design, sales, and estimating for CoCal Landscape in Denver, was in graduate school for landscape architecture when she discovered that her favorite classes were the electives – the practical application. So she left grad school for FRCC. “I really appreciated all the walks of life a community college offers,” she says. “It makes for a great learning environment.” She remembers Ray Daugherty as “a really dedicated guy. He puts a lot of pride and integrity into the program.”

Mike Bone

Mike Bone

Mike was an apprentice millwright when the jobs dried up. A friend got him a job with a landscape company. “I fell in love with it, and I needed to learn about it” he says. So he enrolled at FRCC as he worked. A year after graduation, he was recruited by the Denver Botanic Gardens, where he is a senior horticulturist. His specialty is plant propagation. He serves on the Colorado Nursery and Research Education Foundation, which funds research and scholarships.

Jeff Pieper

Jeff Pieper

Jeff tried college but mostly worked after high school to support a travel bug. Then he came to FRCC to study horticulture. “I thought FRCC would be a good place to be reintroduced to higher education,” he says. “All my teachers were friendly. They were more mentors than teachers. They made me feel comfortable.” His goal was a bachelor’s degree, and that was accomplished after his FRCC graduation and transfer to Colorado State University. “The transfer went really well,” he says. “FRCC was a beautiful stepping stone to meeting people at CSU.” After a year teaching English in Japan, Jeff worked as a field manager at CSU.

Richard Lozano

Richard Lozano

Growing up in Half Moon Bay, Calif., a rich floricultural area, gave Richard an early start to his love for plants. Winning 4-H ribbons at the county fair for his vegetables nurtured his love further. After an associate degree in electronics and a little “cabin fever” from working indoors, Richard came back to his first love – horticulture – and enrolled at FRCC. He graduated in 2003. These days, Richard is a park operations technician for the City and County of Broomfield, responsible for the grounds around the municipal buildings. “My degree helped me get my job,” Richard says. “And what I learned just about tree identification helped me pass Arborist certification.”