Department Head, Professor of Horticulture and Human Health
Office: 2019 Throckmorton
Area(s) of Specialization:
Horticulture and Human Health: Older adults and gardening for health improvement and maintenance; Youth and gardening for healthy eating and physical activity
Dr. Candice Shoemaker grew up on a dairy farm and peach orchard near Grand Rapids, Mich. She graduated from Michigan State University with her B.S. in Floriculture in 1978, and then worked in production greenhouse businesses in Washington and Michigan for the next three years. She returned to school, earning a M.S. in Horticultural Therapy from Kansas State University in 1982 and a Ph.D. in Environmental Floriculture from Michigan State University in 1990. Prior to returning to Kansas State University as a faculty member in 2001, Shoemaker completed a post-doctoral research fellowship with Dr. Diane Relf at Virginia Tech University, had a teaching position in ornamental horticulture at Berry College in Rome, GA, and was the first Director of the School of the Chicago Botanic Garden. She is currently a Professor of Horticulture and Human Health with teaching and research responsibilities.
Dr. Shoemaker currently directs the graduate program in horticultural therapy which consists of campus-based M.S. and Ph.D. programs and an online graduate certificate program. Shoemaker is also involved in the Urban Food Systems specialization in our M.S. program. This novel program is in response to the increase in urban farms and interest in local foods.
Shoemaker’s research program investigates the physical and psychological health benefits of gardening, focusing on children and older adults. Furthermore, this research allows her to work with students and colleagues from across a wide range of disciplines, including kinesiology and human nutrition. She has successfully obtained over $1,500,000 in grant funding to support her research programs.
One of the rewards of Shoemaker’s leadership in research and education in human issues in horticulture and horticultural therapy is invitations to speak around the world, with recent visits to Taiwan, England and Korea. She serves as the Executive Chair of the People Plant Council, an association that promotes communication and research about people plant interactions. In this role she gets to work with people worldwide in planning the biennial International People Plant Symposium and facilitating the publication of the symposium proceedings. She is involved in the American Horticultural Therapy Association, having been a member of the Board of Directors, and currently serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture and chair of the Charles A. Lewis Research in Excellence Award committee.
B.S. Horticulture, Michigan State University, 1978
M.S. Horticulture, Kansas State University, 1982
Ph.D. Horticulture, Michigan State University, 1990
Area of Emphasis
Dr. Shoemaker’s research focuses on gardening for health with a focus on the older adult and children. The ultimate goal with her research on gardening with the older adult is to develop “gardening prescriptions” for sustained or improved physical functioning, psychological well-being, and social interaction for older adults with arthritis. The research in children’s gardening focuses on the effectiveness of gardening as a tool for promotion of healthy living behaviors through fruit and vegetable consumption, increased physical activity, and reduced sedentary behavior. She also has a research interest on the impact of community gardens, local food systems, and farmer’s markets on the health of local communities.
Sin-Ae Park, Kwan-Suk Lee, Ki-Cheol Son and Candice Shoemaker. 2012. Metabolic Cost of Horticulture Activities in Older Adults. J Japan Soc Hort Sci 81(3): 295-299
Candice A. Shoemaker. 2012. Using a Social-Ecological Model in Development of Treatment Programs that Target Behavior Change. Acta Horticulturae 954: 77-82
Candice A. Shoemaker and Elizabeth R. M. Diehl. 2012. The Practice and Profession of Horticultural Therapy in the United States. Acta Horticulturae 954: 161-164
Candice A. Shoemaker. 2010. Student Confidence as a Measure of Learning in an Undergraduate Principles of Horticultural Science Course. HortTechnology 20(4):683-688. KAES #10-281-J
|Course #:||Title||Semester||Delivery Method|
|HORT 360||Public Horticulture||Spring**||On Campus|
|HORT 691||Urban Agriculture||Fall||On Campus|
|HORT 751||Human Issues in Horticultural Therapy||Spring|
|HORT 752||Horticulture in Horticultural Therapy||Spring||Distance|
|HORT 753||Clinical Skills in Horticultural Therapy||Summer||Distance|
|HORT 755||Horticultural Therapy Practicum||Summer|