Meet our Closing the Gap guest speaker for April 2022, Mindy Crandall!

On this episode of Closing the Gap we are joined by both by friend of the show (and Oregon High School Journalist of the Year!) Tori Thorp, and Forestry Professor at Oregon State University, Mindy Crandall. Tori and Mindy discuss the challenges of completing her college education as a single mother, the lack of diversity in the forestry classroom and industry, and the work she has done to change that.

Name and pronouns

Mindy Crandall (She/ Her)

Q: Please describe your educational/training background

Forest Management

Q: Please describe where you work & your occupation

OSU, College of Forestry, Assistant Professor

Q: Career-wise, what have been your proudest moments/highlights/accomplishments so far?

Participating in the establishment of a group for women in forestry at the University of Maine. That program was really impactful! The most personally meaningful journal article I’ve written was on that program and retaining gender diversity in university forestry programs, published in the Journal of Forestry.

Q: What are some of your future goals or things you would like to accomplish?

Oh boy. I’d like to contribute, in any way I can, to making forestry more diverse and welcoming. I’d like to walk in the door of a forestry department in 10 years and see a group of people that matches the US as a whole, in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, and physical ability.

Q: What have been some of your biggest career challenges?

Definitely balancing being a mom with the expectations of my field, and wondering if I fit in.

Q: Many young women might not be aware of the career available in STEM fields. What do you think can be done to spread the word to women about career options in these fields?

We’ve got to get into the schools EARLY. I grew up in western Oregon, and I didn’t know that forestry was a thing – a profession and something I could study – until I was 19 and living in Montana! Then I found out my home state had the #1 forestry school in the nation. I wish I had exposure to it as a career choice much earlier. A field trip as a kid into the woods with someone who had told me about forests and plants? I would have eaten that up!

Q: Do you have any advice for women who are looking to follow in a similar career path?

Do it! Forestry rocks. Start by getting to know what it’s all about if you can. There are programs to get you basic forestry knowledge at many levels. If your high school doesn’t have a CTE program in forestry, try a community college. Ask to job shadow someone in forestry. Follow Oregon Women in Timber on Instagram and the Oregon Dept of Forestry for ideas of what types of careers there are. Go to a local meeting to just check it out (OWIT, Oregon SAF, COFE). Go check out the Oregon Logging Conference in Eugene in February!

Q: What do you like to do for fun in your spare time?

Be in the woods (of course), talk in silly voices to my pets, try to get my kids interested in tree identification (they aren’t), cook, read, and watch sports.


  • Mindy’s episode is available April 18th. LISTEN HERE! You can also find the show on Spotify.
  • Download Mindy’s poster HERE.
  • Learn more about Mindy HERE.