Adding to a long list of earned awards, scholarships, and recognition, Louisiana Tech Forestry major and 2019 spring graduate Nathan Bolner has been named the Sigma Xi Research Honor Society’s Outstanding Undergraduate Student of the Year by Tech’s Chapter of Sigma Xi.
All Tech students are eligible for the award, given to the student who most exemplifies the goals of Sigma Xi, which are a dedication to research excellence, the promotion of a public engagement and scientific communication, and the education and encouragement of future researchers.
Nathan has exceeded each requirement.
- He won first place for presentations at both the Louisiana Society of American Foresters (SAF) meeting in February and the Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference in March; he was also recognized as the Louisiana SAF Student of the Year in 2019.
- He has worked as a volunteer at the Ruston branch of the Natural Resources Conservation Service, as a volunteer for the U.S. Forest Service Genetics Lab in Saucier, Mississippi, and has served as treasurer of Tech’ plant science club, Greenscape; as part of that organization, Nathan has helped with gardening and landscape projects in and around Ruston, including building raised bed vegetable gardens at the Pecan Villa Retirement Community. He was also a member of the Tech track team and competed in distance events.
- He has been the recipient of the Wirt L. and Althea E. Bond Scholarship, the Dan and Dave Metz Memorial Scholarship, and multiple Louisiana Forestry Foundation Scholarships.
“Nathan exhibits a strong passion for learning, both in the classroom and through his research,” said Dr. Heidi Adams, who nominated Nathan and is an assistant professor in the University’s Agricultural Sciences and Forestry department. “He is always seated in the front row during class and is usually always the first to ask questions.”
He graduated with a 3.609 GPA and will work for International Paper in Vicksburg as a fiber supply associate. It will be his job to assist in sourcing environmentally responsible wood fiber to make paper products.
Nathan came to Tech from his Ocean Spring, Mississippi hometown because “it was affordable and had a solid engineering program,” he said. Once he found out engineering was not what he wanted to do, he “decided to take a chance and major in forestry” because he’d always enjoyed biology and spending time outdoors.
In five years, Nathan sees himself “moved up” in his job, he said, likely at a new location, and working on a graduate degree. In 10 years, “I see myself raising a family,” he said.
“I’ve had a really good experience at Tech,” Nathan said. “I met my fiancé and made some good friends here. I also had some extremely supportive professors who facilitated my success.”