2013 Ecke Winner Garrett Owen

2013 Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship Recipient Garrett Owen

Garrett Owen, currently pursuing his M.S. in Horticulture Science from North Carolina State University, was awarded the 2013 Paul Ecke, Jr. Scholarship, a merit-based scholarship honoring the late floriculture pioneer. Ecke made indispensable contributions to the advancement of the global floriculture industry and recognized that creative scientists and educators are necessary for the industry’s future, which is why this scholarship is awarded to students who will become the next generation of exceptional researchers or educators.

“This scholarship is definitely going to help financially, but it also continues to fuel my passion to further my education so I can make an impact from the classroom to the greenhouse,” Owen said. “I once heard ‘success breeds motivation,’ and receiving this scholarship helps keep me motivated to make a difference and make a positive impact.”

Owen, who aspires to become a floriculture extension specialist and professor, will continue his education as a doctoral candidate in floriculture research at Purdue University under Roberto G. Lopez, Ph.D.

“As Garrett’s future Ph.D. advisor, I was very excited to hear that such a bright and deserving young man was selected to receive the Paul Ecke Jr. Scholarship,” Lopez, Associate Professor & Indiana Floriculture Extension Specialist at Purdue, said. “At the age of 15, Garrett opened up his own commercial greenhouse and has the aspirations of helping other growers through research and extension.”

Owen’s doctoral research will involve investigating greenhouse light-emitting diodes (LEDs), wavelength, color spectrum, substrate and air temperature in the propagation environment. He hopes his research will improve propagation and cut costs for production facilities.

This prestigious scholarship, established in 2010, is funded by contributions to AFE from the floral industry, the Ecke family and other sources.

As the 2013 Ecke recipient, Owen will receive $5,000 for two consecutive years, provided he continues meeting scholarship requirements.

AFE provides more than 20 scholarships annually to undergraduate through graduate students.