As a first generation college student, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I began my college education. It didn’t take long before I fell in love with learning and later on to understand my passion for teaching. Growing up in southern New England, I always had an affinity for forests and a curiosity about how they functioned. I now work with students to understand how to best protect forests while maintaining their ecological, economic and social values. Through my classes, research and the Forestry Crew, we investigate management practices focused on non-timber forest products — especially medicinal plants, agroforestry techniques and maintaining biodiversity through natural regeneration methods. The Warren Wilson College Forest is an incredible resource and vibrant living classroom for this inquiry and a wonder place for our students to begin their professional careers as natural resource managers.