Meet the South Florida Educational Credit Union Endowed Teaching Chair in Honor of Hubert O. Sibley: Dr. Theresa ChormanskiInspiring a life-changing love for horticulture

Portrait of Theresa Chormanski

Dr. Theresa Chormanski’s expertise in nurturing plants translates to the care she shows for students, who find in her a mentor and advocate for a better future through the field of horticulture.

Since joining Miami Dade College in 2008, Dr. Chormanski has revived the Landscape & Horticulture Technology Program at Kendall Campus and turned it into a stepping stone to gainful employment for graduates.

“She had to create courses, competencies and design spaces, all with a minimal budget,” said Rosa Polanco-Paula, a senior associate professor of in the Department of Biology, Health and Wellness at Kendall Campus. “Today, this program takes underprepared students and graduates them into 100% employment, all because of her hard work and the committed staff she leads.”

In addition to her duties leading the Landscape & Horticultural program, Dr. Chormanski has collaborated across the College to enhance student success. She serves as a Campus Academic and Student Support Council representative, a School of Science faculty research mentor, coordinator of service-learning projects at the Landscape Technology Nursery, and faculty mentor for the Horticulture Veterans Club, as well as partners with architecture colleagues to co-teach landscape architecture courses.

Building on her track record of connecting students with jobs, Dr. Chormanski recently collaborated with the School of Global Business, Trade and Transportation to create a pathway that enables horticulture students to seamlessly go on to earn a baccalaureate degree in business.

“Employers want graduates with business skills, who can manage budgets, order supplies and supervise employees,” said Dr. Chormanski. “It’s been very valuable to expand students’ career options, where they can learn two disciplines and earn higher salaries.”

She has inspired students of all ages and walks of life to develop a life-changing love for horticulture.

“I came to MDC simply to learn how to be a better horticultural production manager. Dr. Chormanski introduced me to undergraduate research and the application of horticulture as part of the STEM fields. I am now working in research as a conservation horticulturist because of that introduction,” said Adjaline Gigliot, a former student who is now a Conservation Horticulture Fellow at Montgomery Botanical Center. “She is always developing new ways to open doors and raise ceilings for her students.”