For the fourth consecutive year, Mississippi State's chapter of the Society of American Foresters is being recognized as the top student group in the nation.
The Society of American Foresters is a national professional organization that evaluates student chapter excellence based on partnership with natural resource organizations, public relations outreach, community involvement and service to the organization, its members and their university.
In addition to receiving the Outstanding Student Chapter consecutively since 2018, Mississippi State's SAF chapter also received the same honor in 2016 and has placed in the top three consistently for the last 25 years.
Samuel Williams of Brandon, a senior forestry major and third generation forester, serves as president of university student group.
"The Society of American Foresters is an organization that develops a community among like-minded people and connects us with professional foresters," said Williams, who has been a member since his freshman year.
"We're so honored to receive this award," Williams said. "I knew coming into my presidency that the Mississippi State chapter had won this honor consecutively the past three years and that's a legacy we hope to continue."
Adam Polinko, assistant professor in the Department of Forestry, serves as the SAF faculty advisor and leads the chapter to uphold the organization's mission statement of promoting the sustainability of forests through education, science and technology.
Polinko himself joined the Northern Arizona University SAF student chapter while pursuing his undergraduate degree and transitioned into the professional society after obtaining his master's and doctoral degrees. He took the reins as faculty advisor for Mississippi State's SAF chapter in 2021, crediting past SAF leadership, such as former faculty advisor Robert Grala, and the dedication of SAF members for the chapter's success.
"I think it's important to acknowledge all the prior leadership and the work they have done to create this legacy at Mississippi State," Polinko said. "We have exemplary students at MSU, and it is an honor to see them lead the nation as the Outstanding Student Chapter."