The Arboretum at Penn State

Staff Members

casey sclarCasey Sclar
H.O. Smith Endowed Director

Email: csclar@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 867-3080

Casey began serving as the H.O. Smith Endowed Director in August 2022. He has a master of science degree and a doctorate in entomology from Colorado State University, and a bachelor of science degree in ornamental horticulture from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.

Casey’s experience in horticulture spans almost three decades. As executive director of the American Public Gardens Association from 2011–2022, he served over 600 public gardens throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and more than 20 other countries. Prior to that appointment, he spent 15 years leading plant health care efforts at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square, PA, including soils and compost, IPM, land stewardship, and other sustainability programs. He is currently board vice president of the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation and was the recipient of the American Public Gardens Association’s Professional Citation in 2011. Since his arrival at Penn State, Casey has also been appointed an affiliate professor in the Department of Entomology in the College of Agricultural Sciences.

Casey enjoys developing partnerships that benefit the growth and development of professionals in the horticulture industry, and help preserve, conserve, and grow gardens and habitats.

Mailing Address:

Casey Sclar
320 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Shari K. Edelson
Director of Operations

Email: ske13@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-8080
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Shari earned a bachelor of arts degree in Philosophy, Psychology, and Cognitive Science at Goucher College, and a master of science degree in Public Horticulture at the University of Delaware and Longwood Gardens. She has worked with several public gardens and community greening organizations, including Reeves-Reed Arboretum, the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College, and the Delaware Center for Horticulture, the Parks & People Foundation, and Cylburn Arboretum. Her responsibilities include the development and care of the Arboretum’s plant collections, oversight of new garden planning and construction, coordination of the internship programs, and facilitation of public education and outreach efforts.

Mailing Address:

Shari Edelson
320 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Jennifer HoovenJennifer Hooven
Childhood Education Coordinator

Email: jtb149@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 867-4813
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Jenn holds a bachelor of science in Recreation and Park Management with an option in Environmental Interpretation from Penn State.  For the past 15 years, she has worked in child care at Penn State as a preschool educator leading a team of practitioners to plan and implement emergent project-based curricula focused on nature and place-based education. Jenn has served as a mentor to students from the Colleges of Education, Health and Human Development, and Arts and Architecture. She has volunteered at the Arboretum’s Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden since 2012.

Mailing Address:

Jennifer Hooven
212 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Rebecca Horwitt
Childhood Education Assistant

Email: ruh212@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 867-4813
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Rebecca has a bachelor of science degree from Tufts University in biology and geology.

Prior to joining the Arboretum staff, she worked at the National Museum of Natural History for the Evolution of Terrestrial Ecosystems Program, and as an artist and freelance scientific illustrator.

Mailing Address:

Rebecca Horwitt
212 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Yuhui Zhou
Financial Coordinator

Email: yxz128@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-9118
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Yuhui earned a bachelor of arts degree in English for scientific purposes, and a master of arts degree in Applied Linguistics at Southeast University in China. She holds a master of engineering degree in Computer Engineering from Penn State. She worked as an instructor at Southeast University and Penn State before she worked as a business information specialist in a consulting firm.

She joined the Arboretum staff in March 2016 as the financial assistant. Her responsibilities include monitoring income and expenditures, preparing budget reports, reconciling expenditures, tracking expenses for special events, purchasing, processing invoices, accepting and posting payments, processing interdepartmental transactions, and assisting with event-related tasks.

Mailing Address:

Yuhui Zhou
320 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


 

Patrick J. Williams
Director of Development

Email: patrickwilliams@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-0441
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Patrick holds a bachelor of science degree in Parks and Recreation/Leisure Studies from Penn State. In his previous position as associate director of Corporate and Foundation Relations, he worked to build corporate relationships between Penn State and Fortune 500 companies through research, recruiting, sponsorships, and philanthropy. Hired in January 2008 as the Arboretum’s director of development, Mr. Williams coordinates and manages fund-raising efforts.

Mailing Address:

Patrick J. Williams
302 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Kate Reeder portrait #1 smallKathleen K. Reeder
Event and Marketing Coordinator

Email: kkr1@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 863-8690
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Kate holds a bachelor of arts degree in Liberal Arts (English) from Mansfield State College and a master of arts degree in Liberal Arts (English) from Penn State. She has previously held positions in program development and administrative planning with the Central Pennsylvania Workforce Development Corporation and the Mid-State Employment and Training Consortium.

As event coordinator, she is responsible for collaborating with other staff to develop and host special Arboretum events and for renting spaces in the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens to the University and public for such activities as academic receptions, reunions, and weddings. Her duties as marketing coordinator for the Arboretum include developing promotional materials, maintaining the website, creating marketing strategies, coordinating public relations, assisting with fund-raising activities, and preparing grant applications.

Mailing Address:

Kathleen K. Reeder
336 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Kelly Oleynik staff picture
Kelly Oleynik
Development Assistant/Volunteer Coordinator

Email: keo5114@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 867-2591
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Kelly has a bachelor of science degree in Human Development and Family Studies. Her responsibilities include providing support to the Arboretum’s director of development, and reviewing volunteer applications, interviewing prospective volunteers, scheduling volunteer activities and assignments, and planning training sessions.

Mailing Address:

Kelly Oleynik
209 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


small Mandy DiBella
Amanda “Mandy” J. DiBella
Plant Records and Horticulture Coordinator

Email: apd5734@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-8080
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Mandy joined the Arboretum staff in late March 2020 as the plant records and horticulture coordinator. She has earned her bachelor of science degree from Cedar Crest College in biodiversity and conservation biology. She has participated in a number of research projects in the fields of marine conservation and ecological science, and has held positions as a research assistant, interpretive park naturalist, zookeeper, and teacher in various locations on the East Coast and abroad.

Most recently, she worked as the plant records assistant at Willowwood Arboretum in Chester Township, New Jersey, which is part of the Morris County Parks Commission.

Her responsibilities at the Arboretum include overseeing the use of the plant records system, accessioning and mapping the plant collections, labeling, developing plant records and mapping standards and procedures, and providing support for horticultural projects.

Mailing Address:

Mandy DiBella
320 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604


Joshua Gershey
Natural Lands Program Assistant

Email: jag6539@psu.edu
Phone: (814) 865-8080
Fax: (814) 865-3725

Joshua Gershey grew up on a small, family farm in the woods of northeast Pennsylvania. He was a curious child with passions for the natural world, science, music, and food. As an adult, Josh served in the U.S. Navy as an engineering technician prior to coming to study at Penn State.

Josh graduated from Penn State in 2021 with a bachelor of science degree in Forest Ecosystem Management and a minor in Arboriculture. While at Penn State, Josh spent the majority of his time working as an undergraduate research assistant on ecology projects, with a focus on trees. When not doing schoolwork or research, Josh can be found biking, drinking large amounts of tea, enjoying online video games, or exploring new dishes and unique flavors in the kitchen. Josh is excited to contribute to the Arboretum and engage with community members.

Mailing Address:

Joshua Gershey
320 Forest Resources Building
University Park PA 16802-3604