Senior Extension Associate and Senior Lecturer Emerita, School of Integrative Plant Science Horticulture Section
As a senior lecturer and senior extension associate emerita in Horticulture, I know that we have a lot to learn from plants: science-based concepts and principles, certainly, but also lessons about caring, well-being, beauty, reciprocity and stewardship. During my career, I devoted nearly all my professional time to bringing people and plants together, whether students at Cornell, online students around the world, or members of communities from New York to Belize. As passionate as I am about plants and their potential to teach us so many lessons, I have been equally committed to the how, why and who of education, and recently co-authored a book entitled The Courage to Learn: Honoring the Complexity of Learning for Educators and Students (2022, Taylor and Francis). Whether modeling how to observe and describe a leaf in detail or facilitating a student discussion about designing an outdoor sofa made of sod, I have aimed to do so in ways that manifest dispositions that I believe are key to personal growth and social welfare: reflection, community-mindedness, and experiential participation. My current interests involve herbalism and the “re-wilding” of our activities, grounded in deeper explorations of our relationship with Earth.
As a facilitator prepared through the Center for Courage & Renewal, the mission of which is to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it, I aim to help people lead lives of courage and integrity by offering in-person retreats and programs, using the Courage & Renewal® approach, based on the work of author and activist Parker J. Palmer.
Garden-based learning, engaged learning and human development
The intersection of the arts with horticulture
Awards & Honors
- Professor of Merit, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2020).
- High School Graduate of Distinction Award, Canandaigua Academy, Canandaigua NY (2015).
- Best Courageous Books of 2015 (for book of poetry So Much Beauty). Center for Courage & Renewal. (2015).
- American Horticultural Society, Great American Gardener Teaching Award (2014). Highest honor for teaching given by this society.
- Teaching Scholar, Certificate granted by Cornell University’s Center for Teaching Excellence, (2014).
- Excellence in Community Engaged Learning and Assessment, Awarded to HORT/IARD 3200: Experiential Garden-Based Learning in Belize, Cornell Engaged Learning + Research. (2013).
- Center for Engaged Learning + Research, Engaged Learning + Research Faculty Fellow (2013).
- Signs of Sustainability Award for Youth Grow, youth leadership project, Sustainable Tompkins. (2011).
- Innovative Teaching Award, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (2009). Given for creativity in undergraduate teaching.
- Kaplan Family Distinguished Faculty Fellowship, Cornell University Public Service Center. (2009).
- New York State 4-H Award of Merit, NYS 4-H Youth Development (2007).
- American Horticultural Society, Jane L. Taylor Award (2005). Given to an individual, organization, or program that has inspired and nurtured future horticulturists through efforts in children’s and youth gardening.
- College-Based Staff award winner, Epsilon Sigma Phi National Honorary Extension Fraternity Lambda Chapter (2004).
- Certificate for Appreciation of Leadership, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University (2003).
- Outstanding New Extension Publication Recognition Award, Cornell Cooperative Extension. (2003).
- Award of Excellence, Garden Writers' Association of America (2000).
- Outstanding Extension Programming Award in Division for 4-H and Youth, New York State Association of County Agricultural Agents. (1996).
- Overall Product Award, Garden Writers' Association of America (1994).
- Quill and Trowel Award, Garden Writers' Association of America (1994).
Outreach and Extension
While active in my career, I served as the children and youth program leader for Cornell Garden-Based Learning; my primary responsibilities were to provide statewide leadership and coordination of a multidisciplinary garden-based learning extension program for children and youth educators; teach distance courses on several topics; serve as a liaison between Engaged Cornell staff and Cornell Garden-Based Learning; and integrate Extension opportunities into numerous teaching activities. I have authored many educational resources, publications, book chapters, and articles. Currently this role in Cornell Garden-Based Learning is held by Ashley Miller Helmholdt.
- Eames-Sheavly, M., & Mark Miller, (2008). Recommendations for Engaging Undergraduate Students in Community-Based Extension Field Experiences. Journal of Extension. 46:Article 6TOT1.
- Eames-Sheavly, M., Lekies, K. S., MacDonald, L., & Wong, K. J. (2007). Greener voices: an exploration of adult perceptions of participation of children and youth in gardening planning, design, and implementation. HortTechnology. 17:247-253.
- Eames-Sheavly, M. (2007). The Art of Horticulture: Student-Focused College Course Melds Science, Aesthetics, Plants, and Critical Reflection. Journal of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. 39:7-13.
me14 [at] cornell.edu
- Art of Horticulture
- Cornell Garden-Based Learning
- Horticulture Distance Learning (Botanical Illustration)
- Master of Professional Studies
- Bachelor of Science
Marcia in the news
Update: Curriculum now available. Visit Project S.O.W: Food Gardening with Justice in Mind website. Project S.O.W. (Seeds of Wonder): Food Gardening with Justice in Mind focuses on teens who are looking for an experience that introduces them to...
- Cornell Cooperative Extension
- School of Integrative Plant Science
- Horticulture Section
Horticulture senior lecturer Marcia Eames-Sheavly's Seed to Supper two-semester course sequence exposes students to a deeper level of community building and engagement.