PLANET AEF Awards Educator of the Year & Student Scholarships

Updated Mar 26, 2013

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The PLANET Academic Excellence Foundation (PLANET AEF) presented scholarships and awards to students at the 37th annual PLANET Student Career Days—The National Collegiate Landscape Competition—held March 7 to 10 at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.

Since its inception in 1998, the PLANET AEF has given more than $730,000 in scholarships and awards to 720 students. In 2013 alone, the PLANET AEF has given a total of $75,700 in awards and scholarships.

Fifty-two scholarships were presented at a special reception, sponsored by Stihl, which kicked off the event on March 7. A list of the recipients of the PLANET AEF scholarships can be found on the PLANET AEF website.

This year’s PLANET AEF President’s Scholarship, in the amount of $3,000, was awarded to Samantha August from Columbus State Community College. The President’s Scholarship is awarded by the PLANET AEF judging panel, which looks for a student who demonstrates all the criteria set forth by the PLANET AEF Board of Directors and who has high scholastic achievements, industry-related activities, and community service.

The PLANET AEF also awarded the three top scoring Student Career Days students, known as Superstars, a total of $3,000 at the Closing Ceremonies held on March 10:

1st Place – $1,500
2nd Place –$1,000
3rd Place – $500
Chase Ricks, Brigham Young University – Provo
Alex Nisbet, Alamance Community College
Jeff Elshoff, Michigan State University

Dr. Joseph Eakes, a professor at Auburn University, was also awarded $1,000 as the 2013 PLANET AEF Outstanding Educator of the Year.

In spring 2011, the PLANET AEF board launched its 5-by-5 initiative to help raise the fund balance from $2 million to $5 million during the course of five years. Today, the fund has grown to $3.1 million.

For additional information about the PLANET AEF or to donate, visit the PLANET AEF section of PLANET’s website at, or call the PLANET office at 800-395-2522.

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