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St. Hilaire Joins NMSU as Horticulture Prof

LAS CRUCES Ð Rolston St. Hilaire joined the NMSU faculty in July as an assistant professor of horticulture. He will teach courses about ornamental plants and landscape design and conduct research on drought tolerance and water use in ornamental plants.

St. Hilaire was born on the island nation of Dominica in the Caribbean. He moved from the former British Colony to Trinidad for his first two years of college and won student of the year and valedictorian honors.

He earned his bachelor's degree in horticulture in 1992 at the University of Puerto Rico, graduating at the top of the horticulture class, despite the fact that the native English speaker took courses in Spanish. Two years later, he earned his master's degree at the University of Puerto Rico, studying plant propagation.

St. Hilaire was awarded a doctorate in horticulture from Iowa State University this year. Along the way, he won the campus leadership award in 1996 for his work in the graduate student horticulture society.

Since arriving at NMSU, he volunteered to be a mentor to new undergraduates who want special attention as they adapt to college life. Coming from Dominica, St. Hilaire understands what it is like to come from a small community.

"The whole island of Dominica has 80,000,and I knew nearly everybody," he said.