Michelle Brooks, greenhouse coordinator, was honored with the 2021 Mumford Award for Outstanding Faculty during CAFNR’s Celebration of Excellence ceremony, held April 19.
Brooks manages the Sears Greenhouse complex, the greenhouses on the roof of the Bond Life Sciences Center, the Ashland Road greenhouse complex, and the new East Campus Plant Growth Facility (ECPGF). In addition to her responsibilities of managing greenhouses, Brooks played a crucial role in the planning and design of the East Campus Plant Growth Facility, from the initial proposal draft to design with the architectural firms. The ECPGF features highly specialized construction and systems.
She has spent more than 20 years in CAFNR, keeping the greenhouse structures up to date through her keen technical knowledge, while providing consultations with the many faculty across campus who use these spaces for their research and teaching.
“Michelle is also a world-class problem solver! She is able to juggle multiple requests for plant growth space that exceed the space that is available,” says David Braun, director of the Interdisciplinary Plant Group. “She has the knowledge and experience to recommend which faculty research projects would be compatible with growing their plants in the same greenhouse room, and importantly, under similar climatic conditions.”
Brooks also provides guidance to student organizations who use the facilities, and she teaches Tiger Garden students how to care for their plants and greenhouse.
“Michelle Brooks is a dedicated, reliable and collegial staff member who is on call 24/7. It’s not uncommon for Michelle to work on holidays so others can enjoy time off,” says Mary Ann Gowdy, assistant teaching professor in the Division of Plant Science & Technology. “She is highly driven and service minded, extremely knowledgeable and happy to help others succeed. Michelle Brooks embodies who and what CAFNR stands for.”