Katherine Robinson at the Ropp Agriculture Building.

Katherine Robinson, a Department of Agriculture student studying Horticulture, graduated with honors in December with a 4.0 GPA. She is fascinated with plant consciousness and the differences between how plants and people work, as well as how humans interact with plants.

This spring, Robinson completed an independent study project for the gardens at the Illinois State University Horticulture Center. First, she researched what colors mean visually and culturally. Next, she collaborated with Jessica Chambers, director of the Horticulture Center, to design and plan the rainbow and black gardens, and then planted and grew seeds in the greenhouse. “I started brainstorming ideas for my designated area based on the theme and then I would draw out plans and meet with them and run that by them and then develop a list of plants.” Finally, once it got warm enough Robinson started the seeds for the plants in the greenhouse. She added that she was “there every day, watering and pinching.”

Girl standing in front of a statue holding her degree.
Katherine Robinson

Robinson shared the impact that the faculty and staff in the department of agriculture had on her experience. “I definitely have some very meaningful relationships with my professors. When you are studying something that you are passionate about and your professors also have that passion, it’s infectious and creates a very meaningful connection. They are also willing to help. I just started my job search and reached out to a couple of my professors, and they have been helpful and even connected me with potential employers.”

After graduation, Robinson plans to work in the Horticulture field to gain more experience and has also considered graduate school. “In the end, I’m definitely proud to be graduating from Illinois State. The professors I have worked with have been amazing, helpful, and passionate. The facilities, such as the agriculture greenhouse and the Horticulture center, are nice. It’s definitely exceeded my expectations and was a very fun period in my life.”

This story is one of a series of profiles on Redbirds who are graduating this December. For more information about how Illinois State is celebrating commencement this semester, visit the Graduation Services website.