My name is Jessi Stack. Before coming to Louisiana, I lived in California, Illinois, and Hawaii. It was a bit of a culture shock to move here. I learned quickly that there is no place quite like the South.
My love of the outdoors didn’t spontaneously appear one day. I have always known the general direction of where I wanted to take my life. If it was green, if it was wild, if it was outside; I needed to know more about it.
I went to a boarding school in Natchitoches, LA where I dabbled in Botany and Animal Behavior. One of my professors even let me keep a garden behind the dorm. At the time, I didn’t plan on staying in Louisiana. My intention was to move back to Illinois. But the college credit that would transfer from the boarding school to Tech was just too tempting.
I started at Louisiana Tech Fall 2013 and I met Dr. Jeffery Yule. A lot of students avoided his classes. But I loved thinking critically. Environmental Literature really opened my eyes. And then I read Sand County Almanac for the first time. Aldo Leopold is a genius.
I moved to take more hands-on classes on Louisiana Tech’s South Campus. Never had I imagined that I would be able to take classes outside. But I did. After my first forestry class I couldn’t get enough. And the professors were ready to challenge me. It was interesting to take forestry classes as an environmental science student. I often had different perspectives than my peers. They called me a hippie and a tree-hugger. But it didn’t bother me. I just wanted to learn.
I didn’t expect to enjoy GIS so much. Who knew maps are so interesting and that you can do so much with them! Mr. Wesley Palmer is a great professor. Thanks to him I got to help map the ponds on South Campus and I was available to assist Dr. Terri Maness when she needed a student to manage her Henslow’s Sparrow data. I have been working on the Hesnlow’s Sparrow project for over a year now and I have learned so much. I am so grateful to be a part of it.
Now, I am about to graduate. I will leave Louisiana Tech in May 2017 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and a double minor in Wildlife Habitat Management and Geographic Information Science. This year I lead a group of students to compete for Louisiana Tech at the Southeastern Wildlife Conclave for the first time in over a decade. I am also an ambassador for the School of Agriculture and Forestry where I have been recruiting as best I can. And now I am ready for my next challenge in Seattle, WA where I will start my new job and continue to represent Louisiana Tech University as my alma mater.
The School of Hunan Ecology has given me the education and experience needed to succeed within my nutrition field. The extensive curriculum and hands-on experience has challenged me to go beyond the scope of my practice to actively pursue and incorporate the latest techniques and research within my professional career. The support of the professors and faculty has enabled me to thrive as student, and as an educator. As I am completing my education with a Master’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics, I am proud to say that not only am I student at LA Tech, but a part of the Human Ecology family.
Dr. Joseph Sapatafora
Dr. Joseph Spatafora is a professor of botany and plant pathology at Oregon State University and a 1986 Louisiana Tech University alumnus. Spatafora has received a number of teaching and research awards including the Oregon State University Alumni Distinguished Professor Award, the Weston Teaching Award from the Mycological Society of America, and the Thomas T. Sugihara Young Faculty Research Award from Oregon State's College of Science. He has also mentored over a dozen graduate students and nine postdoctoral fellows, and publishes with them regularly in the top journals in his field.
Spatafora earned his bachelor's degree from Louisiana Tech in 1986 before going to LSU to complete his Ph.D. in botany and postdoc at Duke University. He has worked on large collaborative project sequencing genomes of various plants and fungi, and most recently completed a sabbatical in Nancy, France where he worked on phylogenomics of Kingdom Fungi with an emphasis on the evolution of nutritional modes.
-Information From News @ Tech- For Full article http://news.latech.edu/2016/05/02/new-frontiers-series-concludes-with-presentation-by-renowned-botanist/