Craig Tisher, MD
Director, Wilmot Botanical Gardens
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Dr. Tisher was awarded his M.D. degree in 1961 from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. After completion of his internal medicine training at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis and at the University of Washington in Seattle, he pursued his fellowship training in nephrology at the University of Washington. Dr. Tisher served for three years in the military at the Walter Reed General Hospital and Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, DC, before he joined the faculty at Duke University School of Medicine in 1969.
In 1980, he accepted an appointment as professor of medicine and pathology and chief of the Division of Nephrology, Hypertension and Renal Transplantation at the University of Florida. Dr. Tisher is recognized both nationally and internationally for his writings and research in renal anatomy, pathology and physiology. He served as editor of the premier journal of the American Society of Nephrology and is a past president of the American Society of Nephrology.
In January 1998, Dr. Tisher accepted an appointment as senior associate dean in the College of Medicine at the University of Florida. In April 2002, he was named interim dean of the College of Medicine, and in September 2002 he was named dean of the College of Medicine at UF. Following his tenure as dean, and then as associate vice president for program development at the University of Florida, Dr. Tisher was named professor emeritus in the UF Department of Medicine. Having helped preserve the gardens during his tenure as dean, Dr. Tisher remains a tireless advocate for and leader of Wilmot Botanical Gardens as its current director.
Elizabeth “Leah” Diehl, RLA, HTM
Director of Therapeutic Horticulture, Wilmot Botanical Gardens
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Elizabeth (Leah) Diehl, RLA, HTM, is director of the Therapeutic Horticulture Program at Wilmot Botanical Gardens at the University of Florida. She is a licensed landscape architect, a master gardener and a registered horticultural therapist. She has bachelor’s degrees in both architecture and art history from the University of Illinois-Chicago and a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Leah began her work in horticultural therapy in Chicago in 1993, where she started a therapeutic and pre-vocational program for individuals with physical and developmental disabilities at Misericordia Home. She served as editor-in-chief of the peer-reviewed Journal of Therapeutic Horticulture from 1999 to 2014. Leah has taught landscape architecture, horticulture and horticultural therapy courses at several universities and colleges and has published more than 20 papers on horticultural therapy and therapeutic landscapes, including a chapter on healing gardens in Ecotherapy: Healing with Nature in Mind. She has provided numerous presentations on people-plant interactions in the U.S. and abroad.
Gardener, Wilmot Botanical Gardens
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Steve Pritchett is the primary gardener at Wilmot Botanical Gardens. He spends his days tending flowers, plants and trees and generally maintaining the 4.8-acre property. Steve is a writer and artist who enjoys his time in the garden immensely for the calming effect of nature and the people he encounters. He believes in the purpose of Wilmot Botanical Gardens, to provide a place of quiet contemplation and reflection for those seeking treatment or for their loved ones who may simply need a place to sit and rest.
Business Manager, Wilmot Botanical Gardens
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Shannon Fickess is the business manager for the Wilmot Botanical Gardens, making sure that all aspects of WBG operations run smoothly. A transplant from Missouri, Shannon worked for the University of Missouri for 19 years before moving to the Gainesville area in March 2020. Please contact Shannon with general inquiries and for specific information regarding operations, hours, plant sales, programs, rentals and reservations, or to purchase gift bricks or memorial benches.