Josh Dunham: A Life Dedicated to the Land

Josh Dunham

Horticulture major Josh Dunham took a different path to arrive at Temple to complete his degree.

A lifelong love of the outdoors led him to start his own yard maintenance business while he was still in high school. Seeking to expand his knowledge, he entered the Longwood Gardens Professional Gardener program, which in turn led to months-long opportunities to study his craft in England and Japan.

“Those experiences led me to complete my horticulture degree at Temple. What drew me here was that I spoke to students who came to Temple to finish their degree just like I intended, and they had nothing but good things to say,” said Dunham who began his coursework in the Tyler School of Art and Architecture during the spring 2020 semester. “They said the transfer process was very smooth and easy; the courses were all beneficial; and all of the instructors were great and very knowledgeable in the field. After hearing all that positive feedback, I put in my application to become a student.”

Dunham said the transfer process went as well as he had anticipated. All of his credits transferred from the Longwood program to Temple.

“When I was applying Temple, it was in the middle of the pandemic when the whole world was basically shutting down. Even while that was happening, I was able to easily visit Temple’s website and determine what I needed to do as a transfer student,” he said. “I spoke with admissions office staff and they guided me in the right direction. Once all of that was done, I received my acceptance letter and was able to register for classes.”

Coming to Temple as a transfer student with several years of real-world experience is proving to be a benefit to Dunham’s fellow students. It has also helped him to reflect on how far he’s come already, he said.

“After working on several group projects with other classmates, I was able to really connect with other students. I could say, ‘Look, I’ve done something like this before and I’ve been in your shoes. If you’re nervous, just know that this project will be very beneficial in the long run,’” he said. “You begin to appreciate how much you’ve learned. You can appreciate where you are today and provide some level of mentoring to students who are just starting on this path.”

Temple, Dunham said, is providing a well-rounded educational experience that goes beyond expanding his knowledge in his field of choice. 

“With the courses I’m taking now, I could very well change my career path by the time I graduate and still be ready for that next step,” he said. “The courses you take, the instructors and students that you meet, it really does help inform what your aspirations are and what you’d like to accomplish following graduation.”

Everything he and his fellow students are learning, Dunham said, has practical, real-world applications.  

“In the classroom we’re learning how to work with other people, learning about managing workload and distributing it equally. You gain insight into your personal strengths and also areas that you might need to work on,” he said. “There are so many people at Temple that have an incredible amount of experience in their respective fields. I’ll finish my degree three semesters from now, but I know that in 10 years I’ll still be a student because you’re always learning, you’re always adapting. Temple gives you the opportunity to determine the career path that is right for you.”