Oakdale college hires first ever female forest technology professor


OAKDALE, La. (KALB) – At SOWELA Technical Community College in Oakdale, there’s a new professor paving the way in her profession. This fall Dr. Emma Thomas will lead the Forest Technology program – teaching how to produce, protect, and manage woodland resources. “To be the first black, female forest technology professor here is truly an honor and blessing and it’s also a huge milestone in my life right now.”

Thomas holds a PhD in Urban Forestry from Southern University.(KALB)

Students will also learn how to maintain and operate equipment and harvest raw forest materials to be turned into consumer goods, a strong industry in Louisiana. “Within the next six years there should be a five percent growth rate with employment,” says Thomas.

Thomas holds a Ph.D. in Urban Forestry from Southern University. She says she became interested in the outdoors as a child, which lead her to pursue a career in the field. “Always was out playing in the dirt, planting trees with my grandfather, grandmother and on the farm.” Thomas says she’s excited to have the opportunity to pass on her love for the outdoors to other students. “Go for it, don’t be afraid, step out.”

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