The Penn Garden Crew

Michael Accardo – Head Gardener (

William Dossett – Planning and Assessment Gardener (

Glen Brixey – Head Assistant Gardener (

Fernanda Robles – Assistant Gardener (

The Penn Garden Advisory Board

Current Advisers

Tracylea Byford is the long time director of the Kaskey Memorial Garden at the University of Pennsylvania, a small oasis in the middle of an urban campus.  Holding a Bachelors Degree in Biology and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Penn, she facilitates a fiction writing group for the Kelly Writers House where she instructs and encourages beginning writers.  Byford and her husband are also the owners of a 33 acre working farm in the wilds of Southern New Jersey where they have raised organic vegetables, fruit, hay, cattle, hogs, chickens and lambs for nearly 25 years.

Jenny Chen is a class of 2014 student at Penn and the garden advisor for UNI – Urban Nutrition Initiative, run through the Netter Center for Community Partnerships. Jenny enjoys teaching new gardeners ways to create better yields of crops in urban environments as part of UNIs way of incorporating fresh vegetables into the diets of Philadelphians.

Dan Garofalo is the Environmental Sustainability Director of Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, and has been instrumental in the ongoing work of the Penn Garden Club since the Green Fund Grant allowed its creation of the garden beds next to Rodin. Dan is also involved in many of the green initiatives across campus.

Sarah Fisher is the Sustainability Strategic Planning Associate for Penn’s Green Campus Partnership, and frequently takes an active role in the Garden Club’s work.

Scott Poethig is a plant developmental biologist, and is currently studying the genetic regulation of the juvenile-to-adult transition in Arabidopsis thaliana, a model genetic system. He also has a long-term interest in leaf development, and has studied the factors that regulate this process in a variety of species.  He teaches a graduate course in genetic analysis, and a non-science major’s course on the biology of food. He received his Ph.D. from Yale University, and did post-doctoral work at Stanford University and the University of Missouri, before coming to Penn as an assistant professor in 1983, where he is now the Patricia Williams Term Professor of Biology.

Chloe Cerwinka is Penn’s Landscape Planner, our key contact at FRES – Facilities and Real Estate Services, and has been keeping Penn pretty since 2012.

Dr. Zhengxia Dou is a recent addition to the Garden Club’s list of advisors and plans to help in evaluations of the soil conditions in the Penn Garden by Rodin College House.


Sandra Zhao

Sam Beattie

Leah Abrams

Laura Cofsky

Shirley Leung


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