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Horticulture and Natural Resources

Dr. Candice Shoemaker

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Urban Food Systems, Horticultural Therapy

Kansas State University
1712 Clalfin Road
Manhattan, KS 66506

Biography & Education


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 with teaching and research responsibilities and directs the graduate program in horticultural therapy and the Urban Food Systems specialization in our M.S. program.

  • Ph.D. Horticulture, Michigan State University (1990)
  • M.S. Horticulture, Kansas State University (1982)
  • B.S. Horticulture, Michigan State University (1978)


  • Pliakoni, E.D., C.A. Shoemaker, R. Janke and C.L. Rivard. 2016. Building a New Graduate Program: A Model for Collaboration between Institutions and Industry. Acta Horticulturae 1126:187-192.
  • Park, S.A., A.Y. Lee, G.J. Lee, D.S. Kim, W.S. Kim, C.A. Shoemaker, and K.C. Son. 2016. Horticultural Activity Interventions and Outcomes: A Review. Korean J. Hort. Sci. Technol. 34(4):513-527, 2016 http://dx.doi.org/10.12972/kjhst.20160053
  • Geller, K., M.J. Melbye, R.R. Rosenkranz, C.A. Shoemaker, and D.A. Dzewaltowski. 2015. Measuring elementary-aged children's self-efficacy and proxy efficacy for gardening and related health behaviors. HortTechnology 25:731-741
  • Park, S.A., C.A. Shoemaker, S. Harms, D. O'Nell, and D.M. Oh. 2015. An eight-week horticultural therapy program for stroke outpatients: A case study. Acta Horticulturae 1093: 61-72


  • physical and psychological health benefits of gardening, focusing on children and older adults
  • effective strategies for building and sustaining local food systems
  • effective teaching pedagogies for online and graduate education in horticulture


Kenny Artavia Rojas, M.S. 8/2015 – present. Identifying soft-skills needed for professionals entering the urban food systems 'industry'.


Course #TitleSemesterDelivery Method
HORT 791
Urban Agriculture, 2 crFallOn Campus
HORT 792
Urban Food Systems, 2 crSpring (even years)On Campus
HORT 795
Urban Food Systems Professional Development, 0-1 crFall
On Campus
HORT 796Urban Food Systems Practicum, 1 crSummer
On Campus
HORT 751Human Issues in Horticultural Therapy, 3 crFallDistance
HORT 752Horticulture in Horticultural Therapy, 3 crSpringDistance
HORT 753Clinical Skills in Horticultural Therapy, 3 crSpringDistance
HORT 755Horticultural Therapy Practicum, 3 crSummer