COCC student wins Ore. foresters' award

PENDLETON, Ore. - On April 25 at the 2013 annual meeting of the Oregon Society of American Foresters (OSAF) at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino, Rachelle Hedges, a forestry student from Central Oregon Community College, received the inaugural 2012-13 Community College Outstanding Student Award.

The newly created award is presented annually to an Oregon community college student who is a member of the Society of American Foresters and participates regularly in their respective SAF chapter including in a leadership role, and who demonstrates good academic standing, good citizenship, and excellence in extracurricular and professional work activities.  

This is a special award in that it recognizes the value of the future of the forestry profession. Rachelle has earned this honor by serving as chapter chair in 2011-12 and co-chair in 2012-13--during her tenure the chapter increased both its budgeted spending as well as their savings account by several thousand dollars.  

She has attended two Oregon-Washington State SAF Leadership Conferences, the 2012 SAF National Convention in Spokane, and the 2012 OSAF annual meeting in Seaside.

She has a near-perfect academic record with all As and one B for a GPA of 3.97; she will graduate with an Associates in Applied Science this June. She has also excelled at both her seasonal work experiences with the USFS, earning a perfect performance evaluation in one of the jobs.

Her COCC faculty advisor, Dr. Ron Boldenow, says that Rachelle is a special student and an individual who will succeed in whatever she decides to pursue.

The award presented to Rachelle at the awards banquet consisted of a framed Community College Outstanding Student of the Year Award Certificate and a cash donation from OSAF to her student chapter in recognition of her contributions. In addition, her name will be one of the first added to a new Community College Outstanding Student Award Winners' plaque that will travel to the school hosting the previous year's award winner--starting with Central Oregon Community College.

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