Sarah Leach Smith was born and raised in Durham, North Carolina. Despite multiple trips to West Point on the Eno River and Sarah P. Duke Gardens as a child, Sarah was a “late bloomer” to public horticulture.
After receiving her B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Sarah had a career in the publishing industry as a customer service specialist. She traveled to Chennai, India to develop and train an international customer service team and led a team of print specialists in Raleigh, North Carolina. Although she enjoyed her job, Sarah had a developing passion for horticulture that could not be ignored. She enrolled to pursue a B.S. in Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University where she experienced all aspects of horticulture from plant breeding and greenhouse management, to landscaping and retail sales, and found her niche in public horticulture after an internship at Longwood Gardens and a volunteer position at the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Sarah is excited about the world of public horticulture because of its endless possibilities: from the smallest garden to the largest arboretum, public gardens can connect people and plants in many ways. With her background in communication and horticulture, Sarah is looking forward to discovering new ways in which to make those connections. In her free time, Sarah enjoys gardening, reading, museums, baked goods, and sweet tea.
Student Postion: Graduate Dinner Assistant Leader