What activities were you involved in at LSU?
I was involved in all of the clubs and organizations I had time for. I was a member of the LSU student chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF) from my first year on campus, and I served as vice president and president. I participated in all of the club activities, and competed in dendrology, log rolling, and archery for the LSU Forestry Conclave team. The team took 5th place overall in the 2009 conclave. I also attended the 2007 and 2008 SAF conventions as part of the SAF student chapter, and assisted in planning these trips. I was also a Les Voyageur (College of Ag ambassador), which gave me lots of experience with recruitment and leadership. I am a member of Xi Sigma Pi forestry honors society, and served as the Nu (LSU) Chapter Forester (President). I was awarded the Southeastern Regional Scholarship by Xi Sigma Pi, which is a very competitive award.
What did you do after graduation from LSU?
I went on to go to graduate school in forestry at the University of Maine after I graduated in 2009. I specialized in forest operations, and my thesis focused on innovation among Maine’s logging contractors. While I was at Maine I had an article accepted to the Journal of Forestry (the major SAF publication) entitled Applying Innovation Theory to Maine’s Logging Industry. I received my Masters in August of 2011. After I received my Masters I started a permanent position as a Forestry and Natural Resources Instructor at Reedley College in Reedley, California. I look forward to a long tenure as an instructor here.
What was your favorite experience at LSU?
It is very hard to pick one since I had so many great experiences while I was there. I was one of the recipients for the University Medal (reserved for students graduating with a 4.0 GPA) for the 2009 class as well as being the Outstanding Senior Male student in the College of Agriculture. Attending these award ceremonies as well as graduation were definitely some of my favorite experiences . Competing in Forestry Conclave and attending the SAF conventions were some of my favorites as well. Some of my favorite social events were the annual tailgating events, pig roast, and crawfish boil that the student clubs from the School of Renewable Natural Resources hosted.
How did the LSU Forestry program prepare you for graduate school?
Beyond receiving excellent training in the technical aspects of forestry, I received lots of training in public presentations and writing. The faculty in Renewable Natural Resources emphasized these skills and gave us lots of presentation and writing assignments. That is some of the best preparation for graduate school that a student can get. The forestry program also emphasized working in teams on a projects, which is crucial in any career in that field. Students were also encouraged to join the professional societies and clubs in the department, and faculty really emphasized professional networking. These are crucial in graduate school and in a career.
What are your plans after graduate school?
In May of 2011 I interviewed for a position as a Forestry and Natural Resources instructor at Reedley College in California. I landed the job and started in August. My plan is to make a career passing on the skills that I learned at LSU to new generations of students seeking careers in Natural Resources.
What is your advice to a prospective student thinking about choosing a major in the LSU College of Agriculture?
My biggest suggestion is to select a major that you really love. If you love what you do it makes for a great career, and class is interesting and exciting as well. If there is something you have a passion for go after it, and your passion will turn into a great career. Many of my friends and acquaintances tell me they couldn’t see me in any other field but forestry. My second piece of advice is to take every opportunity you have to get involved and be visible. IF you are involved in extracurricular activities in your field you will stand out and generate an impressive resume. You will also meet professionals in your field which will often lead to jobs and career opportunities. Also, don’t limit yourself and think about how to market your skills to other career fields as well. Finally, approach your education with a sense of wonder and enjoyment. This is your chance to learn all kinds of skills and knowledge from some of the best faculty in their field of study. Take every chance you have in and out of class to learn and take advice from them. It will serve you well as you embark on your career.