Dawn Salley

Photo of Dawn Salley A love of the outdoors prompted a career change for Dawn Salley and led to her success as a Forestry student.

When Dawn Salley, HCC Forest Management student worked in the Human Resources Department at Grove Park Inn, she would look out her office window throughout the day and wish she could be outside. She stayed with the position as long as she could stand it until she transferred to the grounds crew. Even that was not enough to fulfill her desire to work outside. So she spent two seasons as a smoke chaser for the state forest service in Buncombe County. And it got in her blood. It was really already in her blood considering her dad is Deputy Fire Marshall for Buncombe County.

Dawn also spent four summers in New Mexico as a wilderness guide backpacking with Boy Scouts at Philmont Scout Ranch. She also helped start an orphanage in Bolivia for three months as a volunteer.

Dawn came to HCC with a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish from Clemson University. She studied Spanish in Costa Rica and Mexico.

At HCC, Dawn is treasurer of the Forestry Club. She competes with the Woodsmen’s Team in six events. She was also selected for the North Carolina Community College System Academic Excellence Award. Recipients of the award must have completed at least 12 semester hours and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. In addition, she was selected as Outstanding Field Crew Leader for the Natural Resources Department.

In her spare time, Dawn works part-time for Reems Creek Fire Department and volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters. She is from Asheville and graduated from Asheville High School. After graduating in May from HCC, she is considering a career with the US Forest Service.

“I have learned a lot at HCC,” Dawn says. “We spend a lot of time in the woods receiving hands-on instruction.”

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