County of Monmouth

June 21, 2018

Master Gardeners Award $1,300 in Scholarships
Three Monmouth County residents to use awards to continue environmental education

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Master Gardeners of Monmouth County awarded their Howard Bodner Memorial Scholarship of $1,300 to three Monmouth County residents: Grace Kearney of Oceanport, Jennifer Giovanniello of Morganville and Julia Piancone of Asbury Park. The awards were presented by Freeholder Deputy Director Lillian G. Burry at the Master Gardeners meeting on June 20.

The Howard Bodner Memorial Scholarship is open to all Monmouth County graduating seniors and college students who are accepted to a college or university and planning to major in horticulture, environmental sciences, engineering, botany or related fields. Awardees are selected based on their interest in horticulture that is demonstrated through course work, extra-curricular activities, community service and employment, as well as recommendations and grades.

“I am honored to present our Master Gardener Association scholarship to these three students, whose dedication, passion and leadership make them so deserving,” Deputy Director Burry said. “The Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Master Gardeners wish them all the best as they continue their environmental studies and work to make their surroundings a more beautiful place.”

Grace Kearney is a graduating senior from Trinity Hall in Tinton Falls, and will be pursuing a major within the School of Natural Math and Sciences at Stockton University in Galloway, N.J. in the fall of 2018.

Jennifer Giovanniello is double-majoring in environmental studies and English at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa.

Julia Piancone is a secondary agricultural education major at Delaware Valley University in Doylestown, Pa.

The scholarship was named in memory of Master Gardener Howard Bodner, who passed away in 2016. Bodner was a Lincroft resident who graduated from the Master Gardener program in 2006. He worked passionately to expand the scholarship program, which was established in 2004.

Members of the 2018 Master Gardeners scholarship committee are Co-Chairs Gordon Boak of Colts Neck and Carolyn Giovanniello of Morganville; Fran Ambio, Millstone; Evelin Gaffney, Rumson; Marvin Koren, Howell; Isabelle Koren, Howell; Sue Malmi, Red Bank; Roy Helfrick, Asbury Park; Janet Dill, Shrewsbury; Heather McGrath, Holmdel; and Patti Schleig; Farmingdale.

Applications for next year’s Master Gardener Association Howard Bodner Memorial Scholarship will be available in January 2019. The deadline to submit an application is May 1, 2019. For more information, contact the Master Gardeners at 732-431-7260 or by email at

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