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From Dr. Messina ...

Hello Alumni and Friends:

It’s hard to believe that 19 months have passed since I began this position.  I have just about completed my “get to know Pennsylvania” tours and visits, and things are starting to settle down.  But how can things settle down and still remain so busy?  This is something that I need to determine!

Although this first year passed so quickly, it has left me very pleased and excited.  I am pleased and excited with how productive and positive the faculty and staff are no matter how difficult our economy gets.  I am pleased and excited with how professional and active our students are.  I have really enjoyed those few chances that I get to interact with the students, and I try not to think that they weren’t even born yet when I was in their position!  I have been very pleased and excited with how dedicated our alumni and friends are to this School.  Service on outside committees involving our alumni has been a great experience that continually reminds me about how important this School is to so many people.  Finally, I am pleased and excited with how important Pennsylvania’s natural resources are to so many people.  This convinces me that our teaching, research, and outreach activities will remain vital to Pennsylvania’s long-term future.  Just two days ago I had the privilege of participating in the 2010 Pennsylvania Forest Stewards Annual Meeting and Picnic.  More than a dozen School faculty, staff, and graduate students presented programs to 150 Pennsylvania landowners on a day when the temperature and humidity reminded me too much of my years in Texas.  Several of the presenters from outside the School were alums of our programs.  It was a day that not only demonstrated the commitment our School has to our University’s land-grant mission, but also a day that made me proud to be the Director of the School of Forest Resources.

The next two years are predicted to be quite challenging economically, but the University and College administrations are working diligently to minimize the impact on our School.  We are committed to maintaining excellence in all of our missions even as we are forced to tighten our belts.  I am surrounded here by excellent colleagues who will find ways to keep us strong and maintain our leadership status.

I invite you to read on to learn more about what we are up to.  Please stay in touch.

Warmest regards,

Mike Messina