Lecturer John Cullum is celebrating 40 years at Writtle University College. Since 1979 he has shared his passion for plant science and horticulture with hundreds of students. He said: "We've seen many advancements in the industry over the last four decades. I've enjoyed supporting students as they move towards careers in our fast-paced sector."
John's career at Writtle began in 1979, within the science department, just ten days after his marriage. He and his wife relocated to Essex following a three day honeymoon. The new job opportunity marked the start of a varied career. John was part of the degree development group and helped to launch Writtle's first horticulture BSc in 1988.
Over the years, John has worked on multiple projects, advancing rose seed germination and assisting Scotia Pharmaceuticals as they solved crop disease issues found in evening primrose. More recently, he oversaw the creation of 'Little Writtle', a hardy dwarf Osteospermum.
Though John chose to settle in Essex, he's spent the last four decades advancing Writtle's world-wide academic network. He participated in exchange programmes with Beijing and Montreal, and created lasting links through the Erasmus programme with The Technical Educational Institute of Thessaloniki, in Greece.
John is now working part-time and continues to assist with the recruitment of higher education Horticulture students, and giving some lectures to undergraduate and postgraduate students in Horticultural Crop Production and Crop Science.
John and his wife still live in the Essex area and are expecting their third grandchild. He said: "In 1979, my interviewers had one concern; that I wouldn't choose to stay at Writtle for long. (I had changed jobs a number of times in quick succession.) It turns out they were wrong! I'm pleased to have promoted our students' love of horticulture and, on a few occasions, I have now taught more than one generation of the same family."