Bryan Ekberg is Wayne Community College’s first member of a national honor society for forestry students.
Ekberg was inducted into the North American Forest Technician Honor Society “in recognition of all your hard work,” his notification said. He was nominated for the honor by one of his WCC instructors, Lynn Jenkins.
The society says that members must have high standards of scholarship, leadership, and character and have achieved an overall 3.0 grade point average and a 3.3 grade point average in forestry courses.
Ekberg was consistently named to the college’s President’s List which requires a grade point average of 4.0 for the semester. He was presented the WCC Forest Management Technology Program Outstanding Student Award in 2022.
Additionally, he was recognized by the Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools for academic achievement. The council presented Ekberg and two other inductees each with an award of $150 for having the highest grade point averages in their group of honor society inductees.
Forestry will be a second career for Ekberg. The Rockford, Illinois native served 10 years in the US Air Force and ended his career at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. He settled in Pikeville.
He wanted a job different from what he had done in the military. He recollected that the “happiest I had been” was a job in a park he had when he was 18.
“I came to the program knowing what a pine and oak were but not much else,” Ekberg said. “The biggest thing about forestry is you can never know everything.”
He hopes to work for the North Carolina Forest Service or other North Carolina Department of Agriculture division. “I am ready to get into the workforce and start that experience,” he said.
The North American Forest Technician Honor Society is a component of the Council of Eastern Forest Technician Schools (CEFTS), of which WCC is a member.
CEFTS was founded to improve the quality of Forest Technician education. It achieves this goal by facilitating the exchange of information and ideas among CEFTS members, fostering productive relationships between academic institutions and individual instructors, promoting consistency and academic integrity among the member institutions, and representing the interests of its members to the Society of American Foresters. Any institution of higher education in the United States or Canada that offers a forest technician program can join CEFTS.
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 10,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 165 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.