Name:

Mallory Gerzan

 

Major:

Environmental geology

 

Hometown:

Madisonville, Kentucky

 

Clubs/Organizations:

Sisterhood coordinator for Alpha Gamma Delta, vice president of Geoclub and the American Institute for Professional Geologists – Murray State chapter, teaching assistant in the department of geosciences and a McNair Scholar

 

Scholarships:

Murray State Regents Scholarship and a research grant through the McNair Scholars program

 

Why did you choose Murray State?

Choosing Murray State was an easy decision for me. My senior year of high school I visited on a field trip, and I immediately fell in love with everything around me. The campus, the people, I couldn’t imagine having chosen anywhere else.

 

What do you love most about Murray State?

I think what I love most about Murray State is the overall feeling of comradery. Whether it be through participating in campus events, cheering on the Racers at a ball game or “benching” on a nice day together, there is always someone around to help make this place feel like home.

 

The small class sizes provided by Murray State have become instrumental in my success as a student. When a professor has fewer students to focus on, it allows them to learn each person’s capabilities and quirks. This means they can challenge us individually, and we have a better chance of succeeding.

 

What’s your favorite club/organization that you’ve been involved in?

Being a sister of Alpha Gamma Delta is absolutely my favorite organization to be involved in. It has given me my best friends, fantastic mentors and several fun opportunities, such as competing in the Ms. Murray State 2017 Pageant!

 

What do you like most about campus?

My favorite part about Murray State’s campus is definitely the Quad. You can always find someone studying on the stairs of Pogue, relaxing in a hammock hung from the trees or even playing fetch with their dog!

 

What is your favorite Murray State tradition, and why?

My favorite Murray State tradition is when Racer One runs a lap around the track when the football team scores a touchdown! We are the Racers after all, so when you get to see that horse and jockey in their Murray State colors take their celebration lap, you can’t help but be filled with pride!

 

What opportunities have you been afforded at Murray State?

I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities that I have been afforded at Murray State. My junior year I began a research project with Dr. Gary Stinchcomb, where I’ve had the opportunity to work on original research focusing on an archaeological area in Northern Kenya. I have the amazing opportunity to present my findings at the Geological Society of America Conference this October. My mentor and I have been working extensively on this project for the past few semesters, and I can’t wait to showcase all of our hard work.

 

I’ve also had the privilege of visiting a local elementary school as a department of geosciences ambassador, where I was able to teach kids about rocks and minerals.

 

Can you provide a brief overview of your summer job?

This summer I am working at the United States Geological Survey Water Science office as a Hydrologic Technician. The office has an agreement with the department of geosciences that provides internships to its students. For the past two summers, I have had the pleasure of working with a fantastic team, all while traveling across Kentucky and learning so much along the way. I am extremely grateful for my position and the doors it has opened for me.

 

How have Murray State’s faculty and staff helped you along the way?

I wouldn’t be where I am now without the faculty within the department of geosciences, especially my mentors, Dr. Gary Stinchcomb and Dr. Michelle Casey, who have been more influential than I could ever express. They both have taught me what it truly means to be a motivated and passionate geoscientist, and I couldn’t be prouder to learn from, and with, them.

 

If you could spend an hour with anyone, who would it be and why?

If I had the opportunity to spend an hour with anyone, I think I would choose Bill Nye (The Science Guy!). I grew up watching his shows in school, and even still I love to watch his debates and read his articles. He is both incredibly intelligent and witty, so I think there would be a lot to learn from him, even if just for an hour!

 

How do you define success?

Success for me simply means being happy and proud of where I am. I may not make a six-digit salary one day, but if I love what I’m doing, and am surrounded by those who love me, I would absolutely say that I am successful.