Madalyn Massey is a rising junior at Front Range Community College. She began college studying nutrition, but realized that she did not want to pursue the subject as a career. Madalyn had taken an environmental science course that she really enjoyed, and she discovered a Forestry certificate that she would be able to obtain in a few semesters and then immediately enter the industry with. Two of Madalyn’s professors told her about the Geo-Launchpad program and it seemed like a great opportunity for Madalyn, as a first-generation college student, to network and obtain professional development experience.
Shamsuddin (Shams) Ahmed is a rising junior at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. After enjoying his laboratory class in high school and learning about how interdisciplinary geoscience is, Shams decided to major in Quantitative Geoscience and minor in mathematics in college. At this point in his academic career, he is looking for opportunities to expand his horizons, to get a taste for the different branches of geoscience before deciding which field interests him the most to eventually pursue a graduate degree in. At Appalachian State University, Shams participated in paleontological research under Dr. Andrew Heckert, working to better understand an Upper Triassic to Mid-Late Norian microvertebrate assemblage from East-Central New Mexico with an incomplete dataset.
Skye Fernandez is a rising third-year student at the University of Colorado Boulder. She began to develop an interest in environmental science at a young age after she watched “The Lorax.” Skye was fascinated with natural disasters, weather, and space, and would often go to the library on weekends to read about science. Although she grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, TX, Skye always knew that she wanted to live closer to the mountains.
Shana Egan is a rising senior at the University of Arizona, double majoring in geophysics and chemistry. Growing up in Florida, Shana was constantly exposed to hurricanes, launching her interest in natural hazards. After completing a project about volcanoes in elementary school, Shana knew that she wanted to pursue a career and education in geoscience. At the University of Arizona, Shana has been involved with two research projects. In the first, she spent a semester in astrochemistry research with the Ziurys group, examining the presence of polyatomic compounds in planetary nebulae to see if basic molecules form in these primal environments.
Alex Nguyen is a rising junior at Vassar College studying Earth Science and Astronomy. In high school, Alex participated in a program at Washington University in St. Louis through which he took an introductory course in global climate change. This experience sparked Alex’s interest in renewable energy and large-scale climate impacts, leading him to study geology in college.
Ruben De La Calle is a recent graduate of North Carolina State University with a major in geology and a minor in environmental science. Certain that he wanted his education to focus on the environment, Ruben began his studies with the intention to major in environmental engineering. However, after taking an introductory geology course his sophomore year, Ruben realized he wanted to pursue a major in geology. No matter the major, Ruben always knew that he wanted to prioritize environmental practices in his studies.
We are delighted to congratulate Jae Bridges—a 2020 RESESS intern—for being accepted into the graduate program at Ohio University this fall! We’re even happier to note that Jae will be working with Prof. Katherine Fornash, who is herself an alum of the RESESS program!
Samantha Motz is a third-year student at the Georgia Institute of Technology studying Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. Samantha has always been fascinated in nature and grew up playing in the forest behind her apartment. Despite recognizing this passion for nature, Samantha initially decided to study art. She went to college for graphic design, but felt that art was not providing her with the larger purpose in life that she desired. From art, she went into business, then to art history, in search of her passion.
Zulliet Cabrera Gomez is entering her senior year at SUNY Oneonta as a geology major. Although she grew up in a city that lacked a lot of nature, Zulliet got interested in Earth science after taking a course about the subject in high school. When she had the opportunity to attend a suburban college, she had the chance to explore more nature than in her hometown. She entered college undecided in her major; however, a friend recommended that she join the geology department. Once Zulliet began taking courses, she realized how much she enjoyed Earth science. This is her second year as a RESESS intern.
Phillip Choi is a rising senior at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. Although he initially entered college interested in studying cultural anthropology, Phillip soon realized that he preferred physics. After having completed compulsory military service in Korea, Phillip recognized how much he enjoyed outdoor fieldwork. Once he got to know some of the faculty and students in the Earth Science department at his university and learned more about geology, Phillip decided that his true passion was geophysics, which incorporated both his interest in nature and his knack for physics.