UCC Forestry Student Alumni 3-Peat in OSU Award Recognition
ROSEBURG, Ore., July 1, 2022 — Umpqua Community College transfer student Justin Helgren, from Elkton, received the Oregon State University Forestry Program Harold Bowerman Leadership Award. This marks three years in a row that UCC students have been recognized in the OSU annual forestry award program. Last year, Ashley Backen was the Outstanding Forestry Student of the Year, preceded by Wade Christiansen in 2020.
Helgren was selected to receive the OSU Harold Bowerman Leadership Award by a committee comprised of a representative from each department in the OSU forestry program. The criteria for the selected students includes demonstrated leadership, outstanding contributions, and participation in student club activities and collegiate programs.
“What I’m most excited about in the field of forestry is the sustainability of this valuable resource. Safe and effective forestry practices allow us to reduce our carbon footprint and promote a healthier and cleaner planet,” Helgren said.
“Many of our local students from UCC have gone on to OSU, the number one forestry program in the nation, according to the Center for World University Rankings. The frosting on the cake is that after they graduate, most of them return to Douglas County or western Oregon to take one of the in-demand forestry jobs,” said Mark Buckbee, chair of the UCC Forestry Program Advisory Committee.
While still a student at UCC, Helgren worked for the log scaling bureau and started his own small logging business. He then worked for Sierra Pacific Industries in Anderson, Calif. as a forestry technician before transferring to complete his bachelor’s degree in forestry at Oregon State University. He has also worked for Weyerhaeuser in Oregon, served as president of the Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters (SAF), and is active in both the Student Chapter of SAF and the Forestry Club.
Justin has returned home to Douglas County to work as a forest engineer for Roseburg Forest Products. He says, “It is a tremendous opportunity to be able to come home and work for a company that cares so deeply about the community of Douglas County and couldn’t have picked a better place to work,” he added.
About Umpqua Community College
Nestled in the beautiful North Umpqua River Valley, Umpqua Community College is the regional center for higher education in Douglas County, Oregon. UCC provides high quality college degree programs, workforce development, and community learning opportunities.