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Meet our Geological Sciences current Student & Alumni

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Ava Lich
Major: Geological Sciences & Biology Hometown: Edmonson, KY

Ava is an undergraduate student majoring in Biology, Geological Sciences, and Math in the The Mahurin Honors College at WKU who grew up exploring and hiking caves and trails in Mammoth Cave National Park. As a Crawford Mahurin Cave Research Fellow in the Crawford Hydrology Lab, her interests focus on the intersection of geology and biology. She plans to complete her Mahurin Honors College capstone thesis project through the Crawford Hydrology Lab studying waterborne contaminants in South Central Kentucky. 

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Sydney Anderson
Major: Geological Sciences and JUMP Hometown: Williamson, TN

Sydney Anderson is a sophomore in Geological Sciences. She is a student researcher at the Landscape Geodynamic (LeGo) Lab. Her work will be curating rock or minerals resources of the vast collection in our program. Sydney is planning to organize, label, photograph, and create a database for these geological resources, which is attractive and interesting. She is expecting to gain hands-on knowledge and looking forward to the possible option to collaborate in the WKU Kentucky Museum.

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Clay Kilgore
Major: Geological Sciences & Chemistry Hometown: Warren, KY

Clay Kilgore is majoring in Geological Sciences and Chemistry. He is a student researcher at the Stratamax Lab. His aim is to receive his master’s and doctorate degrees in geosciences before pursuing a career in academia or industry. Clay is one of the recipients of 2022 WKU FUSE grant to pursue his research titled Geochemical analysis of an unknown volcanic ash-layer found at a fossil site of early humans in Afar, Ethiopia. He plans present this research at national conferences and at the WKU Student Research Conference.


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Riley Summer
Major: Geological Sciences & ESGS Hometown: Marion, KY

"Coming to college undecided about my major and my future was pretty scary at first, but after taking a geology class all of that changed. Studying geology and ESGS has brought me so many opportunities I never would have imagined possible. I’ve gotten to study abroad in Hawaii and reach my goals in the classroom thanks to the amazing and supportive professors in the Geology & ESGS Programs. Because of these programs, students can expand their understanding of the Earth, join clubs, and get involved with research projects around the world. Choosing to study geology and ESGS here at WKU has been one of the best decisions of my life and I’m so excited to see what the future holds!"

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Dayvon Woodard
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Davidson, TN

"Being a Geology major in the Geological Sciences Program at WKU is an action that I will never regret. Immediately after joining this program, I was welcomed with open arms and a plethora of options for further education in paid research studies. The faculty and staff do an excellent job of immersing students in their passion for the studies of the Earth and giving us the tools that we need to explore our studies and lead us to our futures. Take my advice and take your knowledge to the next level with the Geological Sciences Program. Go Tops!" 

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Mackenzie Senig
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Hart, KY

"At WKU, my time in the geology program has truly changed my life. I never thought I would find a place that I feel like I truly fit in at. The amount of opportunities this program offers you is incredible, and the professors push you to be your greatest. They are always striving to get you involved whether it be clubs, study abroad programs, research opportunities, etc. The classes I have taken are exciting and have thoroughly advanced my knowledge as a geology student! Only being here for a short time thus far, I can proudly say I have found new passions within geology and love being a Top!"


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Barrett Gibbs
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Corbin, KY

"While I have been at WKU, my experience in geology has been nothing short of fantastic. I never find myself trying to find things to do, but rather, I always find myself stuck choosing between many amazing opportunities. I have been able to take classes that foster knowledge and critical thinking, engage in fascinating research opportunities, and participate in clubs that revolve around fun with geology. While doing these things, I have always been impressed with the community atmosphere. I always enjoy my time with professors, graduate students, and fellow geology majors. Geology rocks!"


Meet some of our Alumni

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Scout Munday
Major: GeologyHometown: Marrowbone, KY Current position: Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

“WKU’s Geology Department gave me the opportunity to create a community of peers with similar aspirations and to further my education in ways that I never thought were possible. As an undergrad, I was able to work on a research project, be an active member and officer of the WKU Geology Club, and get quality hands-on field experience which included completing a field course in the Mojave Desert. The knowledge I gained from the program and relationships I developed ultimately set me up for success in passing the Fundamentals of Geology licensing exam and in the professional world.”

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Emily Wright
Major: GeologyHometown: Nortonville, KY Current position: Nevada Gold Mine

"Geology made difficult concepts make sense, puns were everywhere, and my world changed as past environments came to life with each rock I discovered. Being in the geology program, I was able to immediately start on independent research -with no experience-, do a Study Away program on the Big Island of Hawaii, venture into the Mojave desert, and do plenty of wild caving. The geology program gave me a community of like-minded, easy-going, intelligent people! It continues to be an Indiana Jones adventure of a lifetime, and I have the caring and supportive faculty to thank for it." 

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Evan Crowe
Major: GeologyHometown: Allen, KY Current position: Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet

"WKUs Geology program provides excellent classroom and fieldwork experience opportunities to students to apply what they are actively learning in a practical way. As an environmental geologist for the Kentucky Division of Waste Management, I implement geology daily. Various geology classes prepared me for a career that has continued to be interesting and fulfilling. In addition, the geology program stands out for personable faculty who help students to succeed. My FUSE Grant research provide the chance to published paper and present at multiple conferences. My experiences challenged me and stimulated professional and personal growth that wouldn’t have occurred without the exposure this program offers."


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Garrett Pike
Major: Geological SciencesHometown: Warren, KY Current Position: Transportation Engineering TechnologistKentucky Transportation Cabinet, KY

"The Geological Sciences program at WKU has opened my eyes to many avenues of the Physical Sciences that help me both in recreation and the workforce. Since transferring here, I have been given a robust education that has already helped me acquire two internships. Additionally, I have joined the Green River Grotto and have got to see my knowledge in action while exploring caves."

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Stone Bardwell
Major: Geological SciencesHometown: Summer, TN

“I have found myself a part of a genuinely unique and involved community within the Geological Sciences department. There is a shared interest among faculty in the professional development and success of the student body, with a clear attitude toward preparing us for whichever path we choose after college. I have had chances to join many great student and department organizations, such as the Geology Club and the Green River Grotto. They also present opportunities for research and work across the country, some of which I plan to partake in this summer.”

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Kevin James
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Robertson, TN Current position: Geotechnical Technician, Geo-Technology Associates Inc., Nashville, TN

"When I transferred to WKU, I decided to major in Geological Sciences, and I believe it was the best academic decision I’ve ever made. The Geological Sciences program is a great program that provides a variety of opportunities to the students and has given me a love for Geology I didn’t have before. The professors push you to be your best and will help you in any way they can. The program has been so great to me since transferring in and I am forever grateful for joining the Geological Sciences program."


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Dereje Carl
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Corydon, IN

"I have had the opportunity to take a wide variety of classes that have helped me gain the necessary tools to be equipped for my future career. I have also had the opportunity to participate in many fun activities while in the Geology Club, one of my favorites being the numerous caving trips we go on throughout the year. Not only does the Geology program offer research opportunities for students, but it also advertises research programs that occur across the country, which I also participated in."

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Josephine Kubala
Major: Geological Sciences & Dance Hometown: Frolence, KY

“This program has a plethora of research projects and opportunities for students. I have done two research projects and have given professional presentations to a variety of conferences. Through WKU I was awarded an AWG grant to conduct my research. The wide variety of classes offered in this department have helped me become better equipped for my future career. I enjoy hands-on learning that is not easily accessible in the classroom setting that is provided to students through many field work and class trips. My experience here is truly valuable. Go Tops!”

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Will Strehl
Major: Geological SciencesHometown: Daviess, KY Current position: Environmental Geologist, EnSafe, Bowling Green, KY

"The Geological Sciences program at Western has many fantastic opportunities for students. The professors are always willing to work with students on research, provide opportunities for internships, and help with class work. Outside of class, the Geology Club and Green River Grotto provide many opportunities for fun field trips and hands-on experiences with geology. I have known graduates of Western's geology program to become professors, work in mining, oil, environmental consulting, the USGS, and many more industries. I even got to intern at a gold mine! "


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John Lunday
Major: GeologyHometown: Goodlettsville, TN Current position: Graduate Assistant, LeGo Lab, Master of Geoscience candidate, WKU, Bowling Green, KY

"My time in the Geology program has opened my eyes to the numerous applications and opportunities presented to those within the program. The professors within the Geology program have done an excellent job in preparing their students for future endeavors. Through the five years I have been with the program, I have developed both a love for Geology that was not previously there and an interest in the subject of Igneous Petrology/Volcanology through the encouragement of numerous, supportive professors and academic peers."

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Shelby Summer
Major: Geological Sciences & Chemistry Hometown: Crittenden, KY Current position: Environmental Scientist & Consultant, EnSafe, Bowling Green, KY

Shelby is currently in her senior year pursuing a major in Geological Sciences (with Environmental Earth Science track) and a minor in Chemistry. Her interests include mineralogy, isotopic geochemistry, radioactive isotopes, water quality, and bioremediation. During her time at WKU, she has conducted a diagnostic analysis of mineral samples to assist in creating a mineral catalog for Great Onyx Cave in Mammoth Cave National Park.  After graduation, she plans to become a professional geologist.  


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Meghan Raines
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Bowling Green, KY Current position: M.S. in Geoscience student, WKU

As a non-traditional student leaving behind a successful career to pursue my dream of obtaining a BS degree in Geology, the transition back into the classroom at WKU was effortless. This was due to the amazing support and camaraderie from both students and faculty. During my undergraduate studies, I had the incredible opportunity to become involved with the Crawford Hydrology Lab as a dye trace lab and field technician gaining hands-on, real-world experience. The opportunity to conduct an undergraduate research project led me to apply for the Geosciences Graduate Program where I am now pursuing a MS degree concentrating on karst hydrogeology and geochemistry. Best Decision Ever!

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Mason Wade
Major: Geological Sciences Hometown: Glasgow, KY Current position: Mine planning Geologist at Rogers Group Inc.

"The Geological sciences program at WKU gave me the necessary skills and experience to go straight into a well-paying and fun geology job. Through my four years, I had the opportunity to participate in large research projects, land an awesome internship at a gold mine, present at a national conference, and go on many memorable field trips throughout Kentucky. There are endless amounts of opportunity for students, whether that be in research or extracurriculars within the department. The professors at WKU take their job seriously and ensure that graduates come out with a firm foundation in geology and science, paving the way for a fun, successful, and fulfilling career.

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Madeline Brosky
Major: Geology Hometown: Elizabethtown, KY Current position: P.hD student, University of Florida

"The Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Environmental Sciences has broadened my horizons and given me the opportunity to discover what I am passionate about. The faculty in the department have all been very friendly, and I felt that I was always welcome to ask questions and participate in projects. I really appreciated the practical approach to learning geology, and the many opportunities to spend time outdoors doing fieldwork. I truly felt that I was given the opportunity to excel."

Where Do Our Alumni Go







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 Last Modified 7/15/24