Largest Incoming Class in 40 Years
The MSU Forestry program is thriving, and our incoming class numbers show it.
The MSU Forestry program is thriving, and our incoming class numbers show it. We have a record-breaking 26-person incoming class, and for the second time in history the class of first-year students consists of a majority of female students. As we continue to spread the word about our outstanding alumni and their worldwide reach and influence, we continue to grow the program, educating up-and-coming forestry professionals on their potential impact on our forests and the health of our environment.
First-year student Ryan Wallace joined the forestry program to learn more about the diversity of forestry studies and the impact those lessons can have on his world. “I am worried about forests in places like Brazil where rampant logging is highly detrimental and goes unhampered,” said Wallace.
Wallace’s favorite course so far has been Natural Resources Field Skills, where he has enjoyed learning practical skills, like how to use a chainsaw.
I knew before transferring that the forestry program was pretty small and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my place in it, but when I started my classes I found that everyone was so welcoming. Wren Rojas
Katherine (Kat) Jones, an MSU Forestry legacy and first-year student, joined the program hoping to gain a better understanding of the world around her and to be able to help preserve everything she loves about nature.
Jones’s brother Benjamin graduated from MSU Forestry just last spring. “Being a legacy student in the forestry program, I figured I was probably more prepared than other people in the program, but I am finding myself absolutely swept away by how fast college can go,” she said.
Dendrology, taught by Dr. David Rothstein, has been Jones’s favorite course so far. “I absolutely love this class, I love learning how to identify things and learn about nature, so this really is the class for me,” she said.
First-year student Wren Rojas, hailing from Chicago, is a first-generation college student and second-generation Mexican immigrant. Before arriving at MSU, Rojas attended Lake County College where he majored in Psychology. “I’m hoping that by studying forestry at MSU I’m able to have a bigger appreciation for our ecosystems and can learn more about how our forests help support us,” said Rojas.
Rojas has particularly enjoyed Forest Vegetation with Dr. Rothstein. “I thought that the three-and-a-half-hour long labs would be a drag, but I love being able to walk around outside and learn about the trees that we see in our everyday lives,” he said.
One thing that stands out for Rojas is the amount of support he has found in the forestry program. “I knew before transferring that the forestry program was pretty small and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find my place in it, but when I started my classes I found that everyone was so welcoming,” he said.
As the forestry program continues to grow at MSU, faculty and staff are dedicated to providing educational and professional opportunities to our students that they may not see in other programs. Students in the program attend professional development opportunities, such as the SAF annual convention, and develop practical skills in the field and labs that prepare them for their future in the forestry world, however that may take shape.