As both a single father and college student, Adam Wade stands as living proof that a quality education can be attained by anyone. Adam says the personable attitude and willingness of CFR professors to support their students has "helped tremendously" in pursuing his educational goals and dreams. Adam is a sustainable bioproducts graduate student from Scooba, Mississippi.
Itawamba Community College soccer star, Allie Barnett, is a natural resource and environmental conservation major. The Iuka, MS native plans to graduate in the fall of 2021, and she is a first-time ambassador for the CFR. She is also a member of the forestry club, wildlife society and the MSU club soccer team. Aside from the beautiful campus and the sense of community MSU offers, Allie appreciates the staff and students within the CFR. She notes, "My favorite things about the College of Forest Resources are the instructors and my peers. Everyone is so helpful and want you to succeed, giving it a homey feeling!" After graduation, she plans to move west and work for a private environmental company, using her experience from an internship through the Chickasaw National Wildlife Refuge.
Allison Purdue is a conservation education graduate student from Marietta, Georgia. Allison loves the passion that everyone in CFR has about their field of study. Allison recounts how the CFR family welcomed her during her first year and made her feel right at home. With an undergraduate degree in wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture and a graduate degree in conservation education, she will be able to live her dream, educating the educating the public, particularly children, on the importance of conservation.
A long way from home, Autumn Carroll, a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major with a pre-vet concentration, was inspired to become a CFR ambassador. After being encouraged to pursue a WFA major by a previous ambassador, Autumn wanted to help others the way she was helped. The Las Vegas, NV native dreams of running a marine animal rehab, making her major the perfect fit. "I aspire to work with aquatic and wild animals during my veterinary career, and I wanted to get a head start working with these species. I also wanted to gain research experience," she said. She also credits the small class sizes and the caring faculty as her favorite part of the CFR. "The class sizes are small, and the professors and counselors look out for you. They encourage us to go above and beyond just going to class so that we can succeed in our future endeavors," she said.
Richton, MS native, Camille Green, is a political science and wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major with a concentration in wildlife agriculture conservation. When she is not training for the Miss Mississippi pageant as Miss Riverbend 2021, she has a passion for the outdoors, helping others as an ambassador and the small, yet nationally recognized MSU College of Forest Resources. Pursuing a career in wildlife was an easy decision, given her background with the field. She adds, "My father taught me to appreciate God's creation, coupled with shadowing his job in the USDA, and I knew I wanted to pursue a career in wildlife or agriculture. I later discovered that there is a hole where conservation and politics meet, so I added political science as a major in order to take what I learn from the College of Forest Resources and bring it to the Capital!" Camille has dreams of moving to Washington D.C after graduation to lobby for conservation and agriculture policy.
For Caroline Crawford, a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major with a concentration in human-wildlife interaction and a minor in political science, a desire to help others better understand the world around them is just as important as working with wildlife. With hopes of becoming a wildlife biologist or working in environmental policy, Caroline appreciates the experiences and opportunities offered through the CFR. "The CFR is special because it gives you the unique experience of getting to know your professors and other students in your school/major early on in your college career! There's also plenty of opportunities provided for you to get involved and learn more about what you're interested in," she said. The sophomore from Tyler, TX is a member of the student chapter of The Wildlife Society, as well as a CFR ambassador. Being an ambassador has given her the opportunity to show incoming students why MSU and the CFR are the best choice, something she's thankful the ambassador on her first tour provided for her.
Junior Cerise Mensah, a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major with a concentration in conservation biology, has a deep love for wildlife and MSU's College of Forest Resources. "There are many careers I have considered, and none bring me more excitement than the field of Wildlife, Fisheries and Aquaculture. As far back as I can remember I have been fascinated with all the different species of animals and the habitats they lived in. I developed an interest at a young age with mostly wild animals," she said. With dreams of becoming a wildlife conservationist after attending graduate school, the ambassador credits the CFR for its quality and opportunities. She mentions, "The College of Forest Resources is unique because it has helped thousands of students obtain skills and education in forestry, wildlife, and environmental science. The MSU program is unique in that it is 1 of only 10 top ranked universities in the Southeast with a concentration in wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture. Personally, MSU was my choice for undergraduate studies because of the many opportunities in the field of wildlife that the university offered."
Florence, AL native Drew Allen is majoring in Forestry with a concentration in Forest Management. Drew chose to major in forestry because he wanted a job doing something different everyday. He's not one to be in a cubicle from 8-5 every week. His love of nature and anything outdoors inspired him to shadow forestry professionals. That opportunity sealed the deal for Drew to study forestry.
Eliot Jones, a forestry major from Chattanooga, Tennessee, says that his classes in forestry have taught him important life lessons. "Dendrology was a difficult class, but taking it meant that I not only know how to identify different trees, but also that I know how to take a difficult class and come out better because of it," Jones said. The forestry major with a concentration in forest management has camped across 25 different states and hopes to use the fortitude gained in his classes to ensure the outdoors is a resource that future generations will be able to enjoy, the way he has.
Emily White, a sophomore from Trussville, AL, is a forestry major with a concentration in environmental conservation. Her favorite thing about the college is the connection she makes with likeminded people who all have similar goals. It's one big team, especially since the CFR is one of the smaller colleges at Mississippi State. Emily chose to major in forestry because she wants to focus her career on research. Regarding her decision, Emily states that, "Many people think of forestry as a big business field focused on the economics of lumber, but it also involves aspects like sustainable harvest, environmental protection, and ecology. These were all things I wanted to study and research in the future! Forestry was the perfect place for me to get involved. Upon graduation, Emily plans to get her Ph.D. and hopefully publish her own research potentially concerning environmental protection, sustainability, and forest hydrology. An interesting fact about Emily is that she has lived in five different states all around the southeast!
Olive Branch, MS native Flannery Egner is a Natural Resource Environmental Conservation and Political Science double major. She believes that what makes CFR special is that it truly is a body of students all working towards a common goal but each having such different backgrounds. Each individual brings something different to the table, or classroom or field, that helps other students grow in ways that a simple lecture wouldn't. She chose to major in Natural Resource Environmental Conservation because in a time where the earth is ever-changing, it is important to study what resources we have left, where we need to conserve, and most importantly, how to do it or how to maintain our lands and waters better. Natural Resources specifically sparked her interest because of her involvement and studies in Political Science. Natural Resources are a very common topic in many of the law classes and she wants to pursue a career in politics and be an advocate for the environment. She has interned in two congressionals offices for the Mississippi delegation in Washington D.C.
A forestry major with a concentration in wildlife management, junior Harris Groberg is a Harrison, AR native. Being outside in nature, whether it's hunting or hiking, encouraged him to become a forestry major, and after seeing how esteemed the CFR is, the decision was easy. According to Harris, the CFR is not only known for its high achievements, but also for the family atmosphere everyone in the college has created. As a CFR student, everyone he has encountered has welcomed him with open arms and been extremely helpful. After Harris graduates in 2023, he hopes to find a job he thoroughly enjoys and wants to live somewhere full of forestry. Outside of college, Groberg enjoys playing guitar, especially playing around a campfire with friends.
Wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major with a concentration in wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture science and a minor in business economics, Hunter Mentges, is more than just a hop, skip and jump from home. The Trappe, MD native enjoys all things outdoors, including learning more about it. "I have a passion for the outdoors like many in the CFR but also a desire to learn. By majoring in WFA, I feel like I have the chance to study and learn about animals that no one else has or learn something new about an animal's habits that no one else has seen before. To me, that's very fun and exciting," Hunter said. Over the summer, Hunter had the opportunity to intern for a graduate student, studying wood duck box productivity—a meaningful experience for him. The College of Forest Resources offers a close-knit family for Hunter.
"For me, the CFR is so special because of the close-knit community one feels here. Although on a big campus with so many faces, the CFR seems to be a small community with many familiar faces and professors that care about your path to success and will go out of their way to make sure you find it," Hunter said.
McKinley Owens, a Vestavia Hills, AL native, is a senior majoring in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture with a concentration in Pre-Vet. On her first visit, all of the students and faculty were extremely welcoming, especially the ambassadors she met as they were very passionate about MSU and wanted her to feel at home. McKinley chose her major of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture after discovering how many wildlife classes she would have the opportunity to take and upon graduation, she would be able to become a certified Associate Wildlife Biologist. Upon graduating in May 2022, McKinley hopes to attend veterinarian school and specialize in marine veterinary medicine because she has a passion for the conservation of marine mammals. An interesting fact about McKinley is that she has been a member of the Famous Maroon Band since freshman year, playing French horn and mellophone; she has participated in the marching and concert bands, French horn choir, and a student brass quintet.
From the beaches of Pensacola, FL, Molly Graham is a sophomore forestry major with a concentration in forest management. Though she was first intimidated by the large university, she found her home in the College of Forest Resources, where she says the faculty are welcoming and patient; the sense of family and belonging the CFR offers is special to her. Molly has always loved the outdoors, and pursuing forestry was a given. "My passion for forestry is rooted in my involvement in the National FFA Organization. I competed in the forestry competition for 7 years at both the district and state levels. It was never a secret that I loved being outdoors and, in the woods, but it wasn't until practicing and studying for this competition that it became clear to me that forestry would make the perfect career for my future," she said. Molly enjoys leading and influencing future generations through being an ambassador, stating, "To me becoming an ambassador means influencing the next generation of the industry. I want be proactive in helping new students feel at home at MSU and be helpful in any way I can."
Avid hiker, Samuel Williams, is a forestry major with a concentration in forest management and a minor in business. The Brandon, MS native enjoys the amazing faculty and students of the College of Forest Resources. "All of the students and faculty are amazing, and even though we all come from different walks of life, we can bond over our shared interest in the great outdoors," Samuel said. With a family history in forestry, choosing this route was something he knew he would do. Samuel furthered his experience in the field with an internship his freshman and sophomore years at Stimson Lumber Company in Oregon where he worked in reforestation. He plans to become a forester in the private sector.
Forestry major Scott McAlpine hails from Haleyville, AL. His concentration is business with a minor in real estate. He enjoys the uniqueness of the CFR, particularly for peole who love the outdoors. Scott plans to work for a timber company when he graduates. He interned working in wildlife habitat management and learned from respected leaders in the field.
A junior from Bartlett, TN, Thomas Rovery is a wildlife, fisheries, and aquaculture major with a concentration in WFA science. Thomas chose this major since he has always wanted a career working with wildlife, but he also wanted opportunities to help people when it comes to managing the environment. With this major, Thomas is able to work on conservation, research projects, and ensure the proper management of natural areas, while still educating the public on the importance of the environment. Attending graduate school and beginning research on the effects and management of invasive Burmese Pythons in the Florida Everglades is what Thomas hopes to do upon his graduation in 2023. He has always had a passion for reptiles and invasive management, so working in the Everglades would be an incredible opportunity for him. An interesting fact about Thomas is that he has worked at the Memphis Zoo and in various national parks, and as a result, has been bitten by a wide variety of species, ranging from snakes to tiger cubs.
Yvanna Paez Mendez is a senior wildlife, fisheries and aquaculture major with a concentration in pre-vet. The Valencia, Venezuela native worked as a research interpreter at the Mississippi Aquarium during Summer 2021. The CFR is special because it is a home to her. Everyone is very
welcoming and she has made amazing connections with many professors in the college.
There is not one person who is not willing to help you accomplish your goals and reach your
dreams of your choosing, according to the Animal and Dairy Sciences double major. After graduation, she plans on working with aquatic animals.