When UCONN’s Club Sports Department constructed two new fields on campus to support their diverse sporting activities they looked to Dr. Jason Henderson Assistant Professor of Turfgrass Management for guidance on field maintenance. High quality fields capable of withstanding a demanding mixed-use game schedule were needed. An opportunity arose for a UCONN turf student to work with the Club Sports Department to oversee the maintenance of these fields. Brian Tencza, a graduate student working with Dr. Henderson, was selected to manage the 4.5 acre facility. Tencza, graduated from UCONN in 2009 with a degree in Turfgrass and Soil Sciences, and is now pursuing a masters degree in addition to managing the athletic grounds. Tencza took over the fields in mid-June and needed them ready to host a number of fall athletic events including men’s and women’s soccer, rugby, and lacrosse. At that time the fields were far from game ready. Turf density was low, weeds were numerous, and the irrigation system was in poor condition. However by mid-August, Tencza and his limited crew of undergraduate turf students had dramatically improved the field conditions. The transformation of the fields has been documented by photos taken from the ground as well as in the air; since in his free time Tencza logs hours flying in pursuit of his pilot’s license. Due to Tencza’s efforts, turf performance through the first part of the season has been a huge success. His experience managing the athletic fields has been a rewarding opportunity to apply his classroom knowledge to improve and maintain athletic field conditions for his fellow Huskies.
Graduating turfgrass science student Brian Tencza was recently selected by the Jacobsen Company as one of 30 students from throughout the U.S. to attend the 2009 Jacobsen Future Turf Managers' Seminar. This all expense paid seminar will to be held at Jacobsen’s Headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina May 18-21, 2009. The program provides students the opportunity to visit some of the nation's most prestigious golf courses and interact with several of the top professionals in the turfgrass industry. One of the golf courses Brian will be visiting is Augusta National, home of the Masters Tournament and currently ranked the number 2 golf course in America. While at Augusta, Brian will have the opportunity to meet with Augusta’s golf course management team. In addition to visiting golf courses, sports turf venues, and networking, attending students will be given the opportunity to tour Jacobsen’s facilities as well as operate Jacobsen turf equipment. This will help to better prepare students for their future roles as turfgrass professionals.
Jacobsen’s Future Turf Managers' Seminar is open to one graduating baccalaureate student from seventy-one universities throughout the United States. This year 30 students were selected to attend the symposium. The seminar provides students the opportunity to network with leaders, as well as future leaders of the turfgrass industry.
Brian is graduating this May with a B.S. degree in Turfgrass and Soil Science. Brian is also a Ratcliffe Hicks graduate receiving his A.S. in Ornamental Horticulture and Turfgrass Management in 2007. After the conference in Charlotte, Brian will head to Glen Arbor Golf Course in Bedford Hills, NY where he will begin his career as the Second Assistant Golf Course Superintendent.