Skip to main content
Student Success

Forestry Student Mary Marriott Awarded Prestigious Scholarship

Mary Marriott hugs a tree - Forestry Student Mary Marriott Awarded Prestigious Scholarship - College of Natural Resources News NC State University
Photo provided

Mary Marriott, a junior majoring in forest management at the NC State College of Natural Resources, has been awarded the Nicholas M. Curtis Memorial Scholarship Endowment from the North Carolina Forestry Association. The scholarship, which was established in 1965, is awarded each fall to an NC State forestry student who demonstrates academic excellence. 

Marriott, who has a 4.0 GPA, has earned a number of accolades for her academic success during her undergraduate career at NC State, including the J.M and Sally B. Beard Forestry Endowed Scholarship and the Eldon M. and Leola P. Estep Natural Resources Endowed Scholarship Award. She plans to pursue a master’s degree and Ph.D. following graduation.  

In addition to her studies, Marriott is conducting research on the social dimensions of chronic wasting disease management as an intern with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources. She’s also studying the correlation between age and the rate of carbon sequestration in longleaf pines under the supervision of Tom Gower, the Jordan Family Distinguished Professor for Natural Resource Innovation. 

We recently asked Marriot about her decision to study forest management at the College of Natural Resources and her goals for the future as she nears the end of her undergraduate education. Check out the Q&A below to learn more. 

What does it mean to you to be named the recipient of this scholarship?

To me, this scholarship gives me the opportunity to be a passionate representative of the amazing field of forestry. It will also help me to set a good example for my school, its contributors, and all of their help that they provide the students … I am forever grateful to the contributors of these funds and the benefits that their actions have had on me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your generosity and your support for my education.

Why did you choose to major in forest management?

Forest management is such an underrated and important field. You can approach management from the environmental side, economic side, conservation side, the list goes on. I always knew I wanted to be a ‘scientist,’ I just didn’t know what I wanted to do, specifically. However, when I learned about NC State’s forestry program, I knew that it would be a perfect fit for me. Being in forestry allows me to pursue research, protect the environment, and help the economy. I absolutely love the course material and enjoy having the forest as my classroom.

What is your favorite memory or class from your time at NC State?  

My favorite NC State class memory was in my last dendrology lab in the woods. The labs were long and difficult but our group really bonded after all the time we spent together. We had many laughs and I learned a lot from other students who knew a lot about bird calls, hunting, and entomology. You would think I would be happy to have my labs over with. However, it was bittersweet, as I genuinely connected and really enjoyed spending time with everyone.

What are your career goals?

I want to be a professor because I love seeing people reach their full potential in education. Having great professors has truly changed my life and the way I look at it. From the student perspective, I’ve seen how much a bad experience with a professor can be extremely detrimental to a student’s education. I also want to pursue research and being a professor would give me a great chance to do that while teaching.

How has the College of Natural Resources prepared you for your future? 

I have learned a lot from my classes and time at NC State’s College of Natural Resources. I’ve learned about professional development, tax returns as a forest landowner, working with Microsoft Excel, and much more. Going into the field weekly has also given me an amazing opportunity to learn from the hands-on approach.

What advice would you give to students entering your major? 

I would tell students to go all in. If you love the field, it’s easy to do the work but it’s no walk in the park as far as difficulty goes. The people are amazing, the professors are wonderful, and the woods never fail to teach you something new. It’s an amazing major and I am so glad that I’m able to say that I’m in forestry.

Tell us about something you are passionate about outside of your academic studies.

Outside of school, I love taking care of my guinea pigs and gerbils as well as playing tennis. I’ve been out of practice for a little while, as I broke my humerus and needed surgery. However, I’m really excited to play on the club team at NC State starting this spring semester.