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.

dawn stover headshotDawn Stover, Research 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.

elyce rodewaldElyce Rodewald, Research 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.

JocelynMoore100x150Jocelyn Moore, Assistant Environmental Education Program Coordinator

Jocelyn Moore first joined the SFA Gardens Education program in the summer of 2014 when she was hired as a counselor for the award winning Pinewoods Summer Camp.  Her two sons fell in love with camp and Jocelyn experienced first hand the breadth and wonder of programs offered to youth and adults at the Pinewoods Native Plant Center. In October 2016, Jocelyn joined the SFA Gardens as Assistant Education Coordinator.  During the school year, she brings her passion for edible gardening, healthy eating and outdoor education to the weekly afterschool program Nacogdoches Naturally.  Jocelyn also loves to share her passion of growing edibles with adults, teaching hands on workshops and organizing garden work parties in the community.

duke pittman1Duke Pittman, Technician, 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.

JordanCunningham100x150Jordan Cunningham, SFA Gardens Greenhouse Technician

Jordan Cunningham started working as the SFA Gardens Greenhouse Technician in 2017. Jordan is a Texas native, born and raised in Waxahachie. She spent her summer evenings in the yard helping her dad with their trees, flowers and small vegetable garden. It was there her love of gardening was born. She received her Bachelor of Science in Horticulture at Stephen F. Austin State University in 2015. While in school she worked as a student assistant at the SFA Gardens. As an undergraduate, Jordan received two impressive summer internships, Moore Farms Botanical Garden, Lake City, South Carolina and Disney Horticulture, Orlando, Florida. After graduation, Jordan began working as a Garden Supervisor at the Dallas Arboretum in the Paseo de Flores. In 2017, Jordan married Mark Cunningham, an East Texas native, and moved back to Nacogdoches, Texas.

AnneSullivan100x150Anne Sullivan, SFA Gardens Program Associate

Anne Sullivan is the SFA Gardens Program Associate.  She works half-time, 1-5 p.m., Monday through Friday and other times, as needed.  With a Master’s degree from SFA in Early Childhood Education, 30 years as a public school teacher and simultaneously almost as many in fashion merchandising, how did she end up at SFA Gardens?  Walking her dachshund, Calvin, daily through the beauty and serenity of SFA Gardens, she just decided it was where she wanted to be. Anne’s grandmother, Florence Adams, back in Mexia,Texas where she was raised, loved gardening, and Anne kind of grew up outdoors exploring her grandmother’s yard-full of something blooming every season. Daffodils around the horseshoe drive, roses, lilies, you name it, she grew it with the help of her trusty assistant, D.Y.  So, maybe it’s a little in Anne’s DNA. According to Anne, “Although I don’t actually get to dig in the dirt, because I’m too busy booking events, coordinating guest lecturers, working on membership, quarterly newsletters, grants, garden accounts, travel and ‘other duties as assigned.’ I would if they asked me.”


Malcolm L. Turner, SFA Gardens Technician

Malcom Turner started in March 2017 as the SFA Gardens Garden Technician.  His responsibilities include taking care of the blueberry, fig, muscadine, and kiwifruit plantings.  In addition, he’s responsible for the Moody Gardens Research project.  Malcolm was born in Houston, Texas but soon moved to Clinton, Iowa, and he was raised near fields of corn along the Mississippi River.  He was part of an avid gardening family and he and his younger brothers would sell a little produce at the bottom of their drive, just like his grandfather did in New London, Texas.  In 2014, Malcolm moved to a small farm in San Augustine county, Texas. Malcolm signed up for the first Master Gardeners class in San Augustine County in January 2016 and this led me to volunteer for SFA Gardens before he was hired in March 2017 as a garden technician. 

ChrisDempsey100x150Chris Dempsey, SFA Gardens Senior Garden Technician

A native of Nacogdoches, Chris earned his Bachelor of Science in forestry from SFA's Arthur Temple College of Forestry in 2014. During that time, he served as a student employee at SFA Gardens. Following graduation, he worked as a  climber for Bartlett Tree Experts in San Marcos, TX, where he earned his International Society of Arboriculture Certified Arborist Certification.