Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture

dave creech 1 as smart object-1

Dr. Dave Creech, Regent's Professor and Professor Emeritus, has been at Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas since September, 1978. Dr. Creech received his BS in Horticulture from Texas A and M University in 1970, a MS in Horticulture from Colorado State University in 1972, and he returned to TAMU and was awarded the PhD in 1978. Dr. Creech is semi-retired and currently directs SFA Gardens, a 68-acre on campus horticultural resource.  SFA Gardens includes 1) the 10-acre SFA Mast Arboretum, an on-campus resource that has enjoyed steady growth, development, utilization and visitation since its inception in 1985. 2) the 8-acre "Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden", which opened in 2000. This high pine canopy garden features over a mile of trails, 6000+ azaleas, over 200 varieties of Japanese maples, camellias and hydrangeas, plus numerous other special collections, 3) the 42-acre SFA Pineywoods Native Plant Center, only the third garden affiliated with the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center in Austin, Texas (co directed with Dr. James C. Kroll), and 4) the 8-acre Gayla Mize Garden, a new garden under development since 2011.  High Resolution Headshot HERE.

duke pittman1Technician, SFA Gardens with most emphais on the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden

Duke Pittman is the SFA Gardens Technician and he came on board in October 2009. Duke is an SFA Horticulture graduate (2008) and has been running his own design and build landscape company for the past year (Blooms, Sweat and Shears). Duke grew up in Mexia, Texas and developed an early love for gardening before graduating from Mexia High School. Duke brings to the garden a fine work ethic and a passion for rare, unusual and exciting new plants. While most of his duties are in the Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden he’s quickly finding himself involved in a myriad of SFA Garden projects. Duke can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


elyce rodewaldResearch Associate, Environmental Education

Elyce Rodewald has served as the Educational Programs Coordinator at SFA Gardens since 2001. Elyce received her BS in Zoology in 1980 from Purdue University. Over the years, she has worked as a zookeeper and educator at Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, Minnesota State Zoo, and the Houston Zoo. In 1985, Elyce, along with her husband and two children, moved to East Texas and became enthusiastic unschoolers, goat herders, and gardeners. By 2001, Elyce migrated completely to the plant world to become the Educational Programs Coordinator, a position that serves the mission of the SFA Mast Arboretum and Pineywoods Native Plant Center. Elyce offices in the Tucker House at the Pineywoods Native Plant Center and runs a very busy program of formal and informal programming for K-12, as well as adults. Program attendance has increased each year and in 2007, over ten thousand children participated in a wide array of educational activities.

kerry lemon1Assistant Educational Coordinator, Environmental Education

Kerry Lemon has served as Assistant Educational Coordinator for the SFA Gardens Environmental Education Programs since July of 2009 when SFA Gardens received a grant through the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Community Outdoor Outreach Program. Kerry serves as Project Director of Nacogdoches Naturally, an outdoor adventure program that includes after-school, family weekend, and summer camp programs. Kerry’s involvement with SFA Gardens began in 2000 when she offered her services as a volunteer with the garden educational programs. She has served as camp director for the SFA Pineywoods Camp since 2002.

krollCo-Director Pineywoods Native Plant Center

Dr. James C. Kroll, Ph.D., As Director of the Institute for White-tailed Deer Management and Research, Dr. James Kroll has made SFA a nationally known resource known for excellence in research in deer biology, management and economics. He is an active member in the Society of American Foresters, Wildlife Society (Texas Chapter), Texas Forestry Association (Director), Texas Deer Association (Co-Founder), Southeast Deer Study Group, Southwestern Association of Naturalists, Sigma Xi, Beta Beta Beta, Phi Sigma Society, Texas Wildlife Association (Director), Texas System of Natural Laboratories (Director) and Xi Sigma Pi, Stephen F. Austin State University Research Committee, the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, Center for Applied Studies Council, Arthur Temple College of Forestry Faculty Alumni Committee.

dawn stover as smart object-1Research Associate, SFA Mast Arboretum

Dawn Stover is a Research Associate with SFA Gardens at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, TX.  Dawn earned a B.S. in Biology from West Texas A&M in 1996, and an M.S. in Agriculture from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1999. Her initial horticultural experience began as a propagator at Treesearch Farms in Houston, Texas. From there she entered graduate school at SFA and continued her horticultural experience in the Forestry Department with Dr. Shiyou Li’s Camptotheca acuminata research project, and later with the Agriculture Department at the SFA Mast Arboretum.

greg grant as smart object-1Research Associate, Pineywoods Native Plant Center

Greg Grant is a horticulturist, naturalist, garden writer, and plant developer from Arcadia, Texas. He is co-author of Heirloom Gardening in the South (2011), Texas Home Landscaping (2004) and writes the popular “In Greg’s Garden” column for Texas Gardener magazine.