• Evan Alderman
     

Evan Alderman

  • Program: Horticulture and Turfgrass Management

    Education/Industry Certifications: Associates of Arts from Hawkeye (Iowa) Community College; Bachelor of Science in Horticulture: Turfgrass Management from Iowa State University; Master of Science in Horticulture: Turfgrass Science, Kansas State University.

    Has Taught at SCC Since: 2016

    Years of Work Experience Outside SCC: 9 in the horticulture and turfgrass management industry.

    Describe your teaching philosophy.

    The horticulture and turfgrass management industry is very applied. My approach to classes is to prepare students with real-life scenarios to better prepare them for their first professional job. I like to challenge my students to think outside the box, because many of these scenarios have more than one answer. Pairing the information learned in the classroom with hands-on learning experiences gives our students the best opportunity to be successful.

    Why did you decide to teach at a community college?

    I strongly believe in the two-year college system. I feel community colleges give students many opportunities to learn about themselves, but also allow them to find their passion in life. Community colleges also give students many opportunities that they may not have gotten at a four-year institution. After high school, I was in a situation where I didn’t know what I wanted to focus on in college. I attended a community college, and it allowed me to find my passion for turfgrass management before moving on to my B.S., and M.S. degrees. With my passion for horticulture and turfgrass management, and my drive to teach the next generation to enter our industry, SCC was a great fit for me.

    What can prospective students expect when they enroll in your program?

    Students can expect a balance of classroom theory and hands-on experiences. After you leave our program, you will have the necessary skills and knowledge to be successful in that first job.

    What experiences outside of SCC do you bring to the classroom/laboratory that enhance student learning?

    Before starting at SCC I had the opportunity to work at several top 100 golf courses across the United States. I’ve been very fortunate to work in different parts of the U.S., which has allowed me to not only prepare students that want to stay in Nebraska, but also the students who want to end up elsewhere. My curiosity for the science involved in turfgrass management led me to obtain my M.S. I was definitely challenged to think about how to grow turfgrass well, but also how to improve the science for our industry. I take this same approach in the classroom. I want to challenge my students to think about how to make our industry better and more sustainable, while maintaining high-quality turfgrass surfaces. I am also very active in the Nebraska Turfgrass Association as a member of the board of directors.

    What advice do you have for students pursuing a degree in your program?

    The one piece of advice I would give students is to take full advantage of any opportunities given to you while at school, and if you’re not given any, go out and find them. Success isn’t always a one-way street, but it’s the journey you take and the experiences you have that make you the best version of you.

    What do you enjoy most about working with students?

    Being able to advise and mentor diverse groups of students who will be the next generation in our professional industry is truly rewarding. The students drive me to not only keep challenging them, but also to challenge myself to continue to grow professionally.

    What is the best part about being an SCC faculty member?

    Getting to watch students grow individually and professionally while they are here. I also enjoy getting to work with many instructors with diverse backgrounds.

    What has been your proudest moment as an instructor?

    I am proud each time a student takes that next step to better themselves. The excitement of the students when they get that great internship or land that first job is always an enjoyable moment as an instructor.

    What do you like to do when you’re not teaching?

    I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I also enjoy golfing, cycling, exercising, and watching Iowa State sporting events. Go Cyclones!

    What would students be surprised to know about you?

    Right after high school I wanted to be a vocal music teacher. I quickly learned that my passion was turfgrass!

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