Indianapolis—Bianca Nunez, a senior in the earth sciences program at IUPUI, has received a scholarship from Professional Geologists of Indiana (PGI). PGI exists to promote, endorse, and protect the profession of geology and the careers of licensed professional geologists in Indiana.
As a first-generation college student, Nunez had always felt that college may be unattainable for her financially, but her passion for geology and encouragement from her mother has pushed her to pursue her passions. For Nunez, this scholarship means a lot.
“I was ecstatic! This was a pleasant surprise, and I am extremely grateful to PGI for selecting me as a recipient,” said Nunez.
PGI chooses its scholarship recipients based on several factors.
“We partnered with the IUPUI geology department in selecting Bianca as the recipient of the PGI Student Scholarship based on several factors (academic standing, financial need, etc.), but the key metrics we looked at were passion for geology, hard work in and out of class, and mutual respect from teachers and peers,” said Jeremy Kinman, President of the Professional Geologists of Indiana. “These factors aren’t easily measured and are of equal or even greater importance than some others. Our future geoscientists need to understand how important it is to engage with their peers, teachers, and advisors. Networking and communication can set you apart from others.”
For Nunez, her love of geology began when she was young.
“My mom has instilled an appreciation of nature into me from a young age. We used to go hiking at Turkey Run, and she would help me pick out rocks to add to my collection,” Nunez explained.
Her childhood hobby has now become her educational passion.
After transferring from Ivy Tech, her passions were brought to the surface during her structural geology and mineralogy courses. According to Nunez, Andrew Barth, Ph.D., enriched her education by providing insightful information with a contagious passion for geology. She credits the School of Science for helping her discover her interests and career path.
“If you're not enjoying your school experience, pursue your passions. Classes stopped feeling like such a chore when I changed paths to something I really enjoyed,” said Nunez.
This scholarship will be used to help Nunez fund her field camp involvement. Field camp is a capstone experience for geology majors – it is a field geology course that allows students to apply their classroom learning in an outdoor environment. Nunez says she is eager to apply the skills she has learned during her time at the School of Science and to gain field experience, a different perspective than what she has been receiving in the classroom.
Nunez plans to graduate in the Summer of 2022 with a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a minor in biology.
PGI membership is free to any student majoring in the geosciences. Earth science students can find out more by visiting the Professional Geologists of Indiana website.