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EMC mentors

Meet the EMC Team

emc core program floral education Aug 09, 2022

Who are the mentors?

What is their role in the EMC Core Program and how do they contribute to the success of our students?

The EMC mentorship program is a very important part of the educational experience we offer to our students. Having a mentor gives you the opportunity to learn from someone who whats you to grow, to be guided by someone who has already experienced the entire process. The mentors are chosen from our previous generations of graduates, who are talented designers and, even more importantly, have the skills and passion to guide fellow students on their journey within the European Master Certification program. 

To be an EMC mentor is an incredible experience and it comes with responsibility. The EMC process is not easy. Achieving this goal takes much dedication and focus. Having the guidance of a mentor as your own personal cheer leader is sometimes exactly what is needed to help students move on to the next steps. Additionally, every opportunity to support a student as they invest time, energy and resources toward their goal of achieving EMC certification is another chance to continue one’s own education. Mentorship is about giving back and sharing in the excitement of the education process. Completing EMC is an achievement to be proud of. The mentorship program is an asset to help you in this journey. Any mentor can tell you how wonderfully satisfying it is to welcome a new student into the EMC family.

During the Practicum part of the EMC Core Program, students are given the possibility to opt for a personal mentor who is always an EMC alumni. These alumni are the people who have shown exceptional skills during their journey as students and who desire to offer support to the future designers who choose EMC. Mentorship is important for so many reasons. Students rely on not only the EMC Coach for positive input and encouragement. Getting the chance to have an extra graduate to asks questions to, to connect with and to create a bond with is many times a great factor in having students succeed.

Even just knowing someone else is cheering for you can be very reassuring. 

From a mentor perspective, being there for the students gives them a chance to give back. Remembering what it was like, the challenges, where they got stumped, and the still fresh their our mind aspect of EMC gives the mentors insight to be extremely helpful. Here are our mentors and how they each view their contribution to the program.

"I am retired as Emeritus Professor from College of Southern Nevada, Department of Applied Technologies " Floral Design Program" which included beginners to advance creativities and all basic necessary for Floral Industries required based on the Principle of American Institute of Floral Designers. My background is business and instructor certification of Ikenobo Ikebana and being a member of AIFD Laureates. I wanted to complete all of Floral Education before my retirement therefore I have studied 2017 to 2018. The Mentorship during studying was tremendous help. I have requested my mentor to drill with me for many times to identify expression, classification and sometimes entire analysis according to principle and elements of floral design. It's a little bit different, American and European. I have noticed some of the student is first time learning of Floral Design and Techniques and some of them are already in business and knew their advanced techniques. I highly recommend that you finish the entire program in Belgium." Chieko Fukushima AIFD, EMC


"When I began my journey with EMC, I relied heavily on the encouragement and support of my mentors. They gave me great advice and virtually held my hand through this process. I had lots of questions and they were always helpful and took the time to walk me through any issues. For that reason and more, I am happy to now be able to mentor students. I see the role as one of a cheerleader rather than as a teacher. I am always happy to talk things over and help them find the way to the answers themselves." Ellen Baum Seagraves , EMC 

"I think mentoring a student during the learning process is important for several reasons. The first reason is the ability to discuss with someone else what the idea is and to see if it is possible to execute. I have been designing with botanicals for many years. I still will ask colleagues their opinion on colour choices, mechanics, and other details. I like to push the envelope on designs and sometimes need to rethink some colour combinations. Also if someone has used a certain mechanic before, it’s nice to see how it is done instead of struggling with the trial and error to figure it out myself. The second reason is to share knowledge. No one knows everything. Some people know a lot, and some know less. It is always good to share the knowledge and elevate your colleagues to a higher place in their design. It will also help you elevate yourself as well. I think it is beneficial having a mentor that has been through the process before to help navigate the way." Bryan Swan, EMC

"The EMC Part 1 Foundations course is packed full of so much amazing information. For me, it was more than I could absorb in a week. I was grateful for having a mentor to help me make sense of my cryptic notes taken during the course and assist me in understanding some new concepts. The Self-Practicum portion of the curriculum is so important. It really tests what you've learned when you try to apply all the theory and techniques learned in Foundations. I think it is important to have a mentor who has gone through the process to help new students navigate their way along the journey. Support and clarification can help students gain confidence and understanding.  All mentors are able to share stories about their journeys to let students know they are not alone in their struggle and can help build camaraderie within the EMC community." Terry Godfrey, AIFD, EMC

“A mentor serves as a valuable resource for an EMC student. They understand what it’s like to be a student with the quantity of material that is required of them during the self-practicum. A mentor is available to lend advice and provide clarification and guidance. When I was a student my mentor was readily accessible to answer my many questions and check in on my progress.  Most importantly, she was a super supportive cheerleader for me.  Her encouragement and guidance was invaluable.” Katherine Glazier, EMC

"I am excited and honoured to ”pay it forward” by being a mentor for the EMC program, were it not for my mentor I am not sure I would have made it through. The process can seem overwhelming at times but
having someone in your corner who wants you to succeed is what makes this program so very special. We have all been there and understand the commitment, time and dedication that each student is making to achieve their certification. My mentor’s guidance, encouragement and having a caring ear when frustrations arouse helped keep me on this journey. I am so grateful to have completed this course and consider the EMC program the most valuable tool of all my professional tools. What you will learn and how you will grow as a designer is just as exciting for me to witness as it will be for you to achieve." Robin Weir, AIFD EMC

"I was born and brought up on a plant nursery, before going into floristry and then into floristry education, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience which I have been delighted to pass onto my many students, past and present. Having been surrounded by floristry students of all ages I have seen the effective power of mentorship, helping and supporting these students through their qualifications, personal difficulties and overwhelming delight at their successes. When, as a very mature student, I was welcomed into the EMC family, I was personally surrounded by the care and encouragement of the teachers and coaches but also by my fellow students, and my mentor was always available if I needed to bounce ideas off her. I was always encouraged to challenge myself both in my time spent completing the Foundation Course and throughout the Self Practicum. It was during this that I was able to call on my horticulture knowledge for the Nomenclature section, which a lot of people find very hard but I found fascinating. It is based on my own personal experience of learning and succeeding within the encouragement of the EMC family, of this type of support, care and consideration, that I feel I can now give something back in mentoring others and accompanying them through this wonderful and very worthwhile journey ahead of them." Sara Marie Andrews EMC

"Mentors are some of the most important people you encounter during your journey to achieving EMC. The 3-phase process can feel overwhelming at times, and my mentors were always there to answer questions and guide me in a direction of learning and growth. They were there to motivate me and remind me that I can be greater, and I am only limited by my own creativity. As you work through each phase of EMC, remember that your mentors are there for you. Do not be afraid to reach out, but do not feel deterred if the answers are not always black and white. Every journey is as unique as the designer themselves. I am grateful and humbled to be an EMC mentor for the next generation of students. I look forward to working one-on-one with you and to help you grow into the amazing designer you will become through the EMC process." Courtney TurnerAIFD, EMC, ICPF

"I have benefitted personally from mentorship, not only in my career, but spiritually as well. My hope is that the privilege of being a mentor will allow me to pay back the universe for the gifts I have received through mentorship. And, that I will continue to learn and grow through the process." Lynn Tischler EMC

"I am so thrilled to be a part of the EMC personal mentor team! The community of students, teachers, coaches, and alumnae make EMC truly one-of-kind in the floral industry. After having such a wonderful experience as a student throughout the EMC program, I hope that I can give back to my EMC floral family as a personal mentor.  Prior to floral design, I was a Critical Care Nurse for 18 years. I have oriented and mentored many new nurses in my career. Please know that if you reach out to me, I will be happy to listen to you and guide you on this illuminating path as a Conscious Creative!" Ursula Gunther AIFD EMC 

"Being a part of the EMC personal mentor team fills me with immense joy! EMC is truly unique in the floral industry, thanks to its vibrant community of students, teachers, coaches, and alumnae. Having had an amazing experience as a student myself, I am eager to give back to my EMC floral family as a personal mentor. If you ever need guidance or simply someone to lend an ear, please don't hesitate to reach out to me. I'll be delighted to support you on your enlightening journey through this educational program during Practicum!." Carolyn Minutillo AIFD EMC PFCI

"I strive to run my business with kindness, flexibility and designing with the ever-changing trends to make my clients dreams come true. I am passionate for floral education and strive for excellence in all my endeavours. In 2019 I was inducted into American Institute of Floral Designers in 2020. I also began my EMC journey in Atlanta in 2019 and graduated in September of 2021. My class, cycle 5, had an extended length of time after practicum due to the impacts of Covid 19. It was during this time that I began to delve even deeper into nomenclature. I find it an essential part of my business and education. It has enriched me as a floral designer and helped me to provide even greater customer service. I have continued to study nomenclature on my own. My personal goal is to create an online resource for all known and commonly used botanicals in floristry. I am excited to be a part of the nomenclature mentor group and I look forward to helping students find passion for their own nomenclature projects.In the path of life, learning is endless. In the floral design industry, floral design is an ever-changing combination which has different trends at different times. Therefore, it is very important to keep learning and practicing, this is also a very professional industry, with a wide range of scope that you can't imagine only if you enter the floral industry, then you will know why and how complicated it is to be a part of this industry. Mentors are extremely important for students, as students are learning. A mentor is like a lighthouse in the sea, they navigate you away from the darkness and confusion you experience, giving you encouragement along the way and giving you the impetus to move on to the next steps and can ultimately help you reach your goal. EMC mentoring program is utterly useful because it can completely help students reduce their psychological pressure during their learning journey, just like having a friend by your side to grow up with you. Assuring the students understand that their mentor will never give up on them half way, will greatly help the students to smoothly enter the EMC Advanced Course." Tricia Won AIFD EMC


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