Season 5 | Professionals of Color in Forestry and Natural Resources | Episode 16

#83 | Why can’t I have big dreams like everyone else?

October 17, 2018 | Dr. Stephanie Freeman

Dr. Stephanie Freeman is the GIS Coordinator for the U.S. Forest Service. Her professional education includes a BS in Ornamental Horticulture from University of Illinois, an MS in Forestry from NC State University, a Master of Professional Studies, Agriculture and Horticulture from Cornell University, and a PhD in Plant and Soil Science from Alabama A&M. In her current role, Stephanie helps bring the benefits of technology to the great outdoors. As an African American woman, Dr. Freeman is breaking down barriers by choosing a profession that has typically been the purview of white males. She also broke through some stereotypes held by her own family, saying “My family would have preferred that I become a doctor or lawyer. Forestry to them was linked to horticulture, and that was linked to the stigma of slavery in their minds.” You’ll learn more of her story, reflections, and advice by listening to this episode now.

Key Takeaways:

[:55] A message from Leadership Nature.

[1:35] A quick intro to Stephanie’s background.

[3:30] How did Stephanie get into forestry and natural resources?

[7:25] Stephanie describes what her internship experience at Walt Disney World was like.

[10:30] Stephanie shares an experience of when someone did not take her seriously about her passions and pursuits.

[12:35] Stephanie was a C student in school, but she still prevailed through excelling in internships.

[14:30] Stephanie was fortunate enough to work at two NASA stations.

[16:55] Keep a strong integrity and character no matter what.

[17:25] What’s next for Stephanie?

[18:10] Stephanie recommends some of her favorite books.

[24:30] Leaders are made over time and through experiences!

Mentioned in This Episode:
Stephanie on LinkedIn
Book: Trace: Memory, History, Race, and the American Landscape, by Lauret E. Savoy
Book: Kindred, by Octavia E. Butler
Book: Favor, the Road to Success: How to Receive Special Favor with God and People, by Bob Buess
Movie: The Great Debaters


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