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SOWELA Forest Technology Program Announces Hiring of its First-Ever Female Professor

SOWELA’s program is one of only two Forest Tech programs in Louisiana


SOWELA Technical Community College is adding its first-ever female Forest Technology Program professor, Dr. Emma Thomas, to its team at its instructional site in Oakdale, Louisiana.

Thomas will work to uphold the goals of the Forest Technology program by preparing students to produce, protect, and manage woodland resources. The students will learn how to maintain and operate related equipment and harvest raw forest materials for converting into a variety of consumer goods.

She received her Ph.D. in Urban Forestry from Southern University A&M College in Baton Rouge. She has also served at the Parks and Recreation Supervisor in Port Hudson, Louisiana.

Forestry industry jobs are expected to increase by 4.9% nationwide by 2026 based on data available from Career Explorer. The new specialized program aims to help fill those new forestry jobs.

“Forest Technology is critical for a variety of reasons including the prevention of wildfires, protecting forests from damage, sustainable forest management and environmental conservation,” said Thomas. “I’m excited to join SOWELA and help lead the next generation of foresters as they start the new program this fall.”

“The Forest Technology program located at our Oakdale site provides the skilled workforce needed to management and support one of Louisiana’s greatest natural resources – the forest industry,” said Chancellor Dr. Neil Aspinwall. “SOWELA is very fortunate to have one of the very first female instructors teaching this program. Dr. Emma Thomas is a very qualified and dedicated individual who provides her students with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful in the forestry field.”

Registration for the Forest Technology Program is currently open and applicants who sign up by August 17 will receive a $500 discount on their fall tuition costs. Those interested in learning more or enrolling can visit https://www.sowela.edu/programs/school-of-transportation-applied-technology/forest-technology/

About SOWELA Technical Community College
SOWELA Technical Community College provides traditional, distance, and lifelong learning experiences and awards associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. The College empowers learners in career and technical education and enables transfer students to pursue a four-year degree so all learners excel as globally competitive citizens. The College has been educating the region’s workforce for 80 years. For more information visit www.sowela.edu.