The Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County and Arizona Community Foundation of Sedona will be holding their annual Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Nights on December 3 at Yavapai College in Prescott and December 4 at the Verde campus.
Both events will provide opportunities for area students, families and local educators to learn more about the many post-secondary scholarships that are available for both traditional and non-traditional college students. Last year, Yavapai County students received over $140,000 in scholarship funding!
G.E.M. Environmental is proud to be participating this year, so be sure to stop by our booth to learn more about all of our exciting funding opportunities!
CASH FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP AWARENESS NIGHT – PRESCOTT
Monday, December 3
5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Yavapai College Gymnasium, Prescott Campus
1100 E. Sheldon St., Building 2
CASH FOR COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP AWARENESS NIGHT – CLARKDALE
Tuesday, December 4
5:00 to 6:30 p.m.
Yavapai College, Verde Valley Campus, Community Room – Building M., 1st Floor
Learn more about at: http://www.azfoundation.org/
We're pleased to announce that G.E.M. Environmental and the Windsock Lounge have teamed up for a Christmas toy drive. An Angel Tree and toy donation box will be located inside the Windsock Lounge. All toys will be donated to Yavapai Casa For Kids and donations will be accepted through Christmas Day.
Please consider making a difference this holiday season.
Only three more days to apply for a STEM scholarship with G.E.M. Environmental!
Learn more about eligibility and apply online here. The deadline is November 23. Hurry!
G.E.M. Environmental is excited to announce another new addition to our Science Stories blog series. Each month, we interview a STEM scholar, student, or community member and ask them things like why they believe the STEM fields are important, how they got started in their field, to what they would do if they hit the jackpot. We hope that our new blog series will inspire you, introduce a variety of fields, and create new conversations.
Our featured guest for the month of November is Lisa Sahady, Regional Philanthropic Advisor for the Arizona Community Foundation (ACF) of Yavapai County. ACF's mission is to "Lead, serve and collaborate to mobilize enduring philanthropy for a better Arizona."
Why do you believe that the STEM fields are important?
STEM fields are the future. Students having an understanding of the importance of STEM is crucial for our society and country.
How and why did you get involved in the STEM fields?
For the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County our involvement with STEM fields is two-fold; 1) grants that we offer through our annual competitive grant cycle, and 2) scholarships offered to students. Through our Field of Interest funds we are able to provide grants to organizations and/or schools for STEM related projects. The Arizona Community Foundation offers over 100 scholarships to students. Many of these scholarships are STEM specific.
What inspires you in your current position/role?
The ability to help our community is one of the most inspiring aspects of my work with the Arizona Community Foundation of Yavapai County. Knowing that we help provide funds for projects that encourage students' involvement with STEM is incredible. Helping students achieve their dreams of a college education through scholarships is exciting, especially today when so many students are accruing high levels of debt. Every student who wants a college degree should be able to obtain one.
What work experiences (past or present) have been the most educational for you, and why?
My current position is the most educational. I never knew I could work with so many organizations and individuals and make such an impact on our community. It is amazing to see how our community cares. Knowing that I am a part of that is inspiring.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
Our next big event is Cash for College Scholarship Awareness Night on December 3rd and December 4th. We hold this annual event in Prescott and Clarkdale, hosted by Yavapai College.
What is something that people might be surprised to learn about you (hobby, skill, interesting story)?
I love science fiction, novels, television, and movies.
What is the worst job that you had, and what would you tell your past self now?
I will not name the organization. I would tell my past self that you do not have to settle. Believe in your talents.
You won $10 million in the lotto. What would you do?
I think most people have thought about winning the lottery. First, I would pay off all debt. Second, I would set up donor advisor funds. My husband and I could give and teach our daughter, and future grandchildren, the joy of philanthropy. Lastly, we would go have some fun. Take a trip or two.
What’s your favorite book of all-time?
I love science fiction, but my favorite book is the Outsiders. It is a dynamic story of struggle and the need for family.
You can learn more about the Arizona Community Foundation HERE.
G.E.M. Environmental's Executive Director, Eric Welsh, will be interviewed by Robert Milligan and Robert Coombs during the "Talk of the Town - Prescott Chamber of Commerce" today at 4:00 PM on KQNA 1130 AM and 99.9 FM.
Tune in to learn more about who we are and what we do. Listen live here: www.kqna.com/
The deadline for our scholarships is approaching! Are you a STEM student looking to take your education to the next level? Need $ to purchase books or pay down student loan debt? Learn more about eligibility and apply online here. The deadline is November 23!
With the new addition of our Scholarship Success Spotlight blog series, we are delighted to share another story from one of our talented scholarship recipients.
This month our spotlight is on Annette Sunda, one of our 1st quarter 2018 scholarship recipients. She is a recent graduate from Northern Arizona University. Here's Annette's story:
My Journey to Geology and BEYOND
My journey to geology started one class at a time. In my mid-twenties, with a full-time office job, life seemed sweet, except there was a void in my education that needed filling. I began taking classes, part-time, at Coconino Community College. I enrolled in each science course available, and finally found my niche in geology by way of an oceanography research project where I correlated off-shore buoy data to seasonal beach face changes.
After 6 years of taking one class at a time while working full time as a file clerk, I had my first degree: An Associate of Arts in Liberal Studies and a new-found passion for learning. Since it’s difficult to train in the geology discipline from behind a file clerk’s desk, I quit my job and focused on school. The decision to leave my career, my friends, and my life behind came after a discussion with management in which I was told to choose between school and work. I woke up the next morning and knew that if I wanted a better life it was up to me to work for it: I left my career and became a full-time student.
The transition to becoming a full-time student was more challenging than I expected. Giving up a career and the stability that comes with it meant that I had to give up my comfortable life, but I found support in my classmates and friends who put a roof over my head and food in my belly. In 2017, I completed my Bachelor of Science, in Geology, at Northern Arizona University (NAU) and am now working on a Master of Science in Computer Science at Regis University.
Many amazing research opportunities came along my journey to becoming a geologist, all which had the common thread of measuring how and why sand moves. My undergraduate geology research included California State University Channel Islands (CSUCI) Project ACCESSO summer internship, NASA NAU Space Grant, a Student Contract with USGS Astrogeology Science Center (Astro) which grew into a Pathways Internship. My work for CSUCI Project ACCESSO was focused on Sandy Beaches of southern California, we measured many parameters of the beach including grain size and beach face slope, and biological richness. Learning how to measure slopes of sandy surfaces and do a grain size analysis led me to my Space Grant where I worked on correlating the movement of sand dunes on the Navajo Nation with a grain size analysis of the dunes. My student contract work with Astro started with image processing for the Mars Exploration Rover (MER) Microscopic Imager (MI), I processed data from the MI to create images such as anaglyphs, color merges, and focal mergers but blossomed into building a database to contain metadata for the images and a website prototype to share that data. While working as a student contractor for the MER team I was asked to join another group of people doing research and joined their team to do a grain size analysis of sand collected at their Mars analog dune site.
What I did with your SUPPORT
The research I did for my Space Grant was accepted for a poster presentation at the 10th International Conference for Aeolian Research (ICARX) in Bordeaux, France. ICARX is an international conference dedicated to wind erosion and transport phenomena. The financial support I received from G.E.M. Environmental made it possible for me to attend the conference. They supported me with a $1,000 scholarship which went to pay for my transportation to and boarding during the conference. My poster was displayed for two days, and my abstract included in the abstract book. This was my first conference in a different country and my first trip to another continent; it was a life-changing experience. I was able to network with people doing similar research, those doing complementary research, and those studying things I had never imagined. For a week I lived and breathed wind-driven sediment transportation and had a field trip to the largest sand dune in Europe, the Dune du Pilat.
How it benefited my FUTURE CAREER in STEM
My time in Bordeaux was dedicated to the conference; most people go to Bordeaux to drink fine wine and admire the art, but I spent most of my days drinking fine wine and talking about wind driven sediment transport. The time I had between presentations, I asked questions and took notes. Evenings were spent riding a bike through the narrow streets while trying not to run over pedestrians or get ran over by trams. I returned home with a collection of knowledge about active research projects from around the world and made networking connections for potential collaborations.
The field of research in sediment transportation is small and somewhat disconnected, attending ICARX helped me bridge some of those gaps. After this conference, I attended a proposal writing workshop for sediment transportation, I was able to inform key decisions based on connections made at ICARX in Bordeaux. By the end of the workshop, I was co-point for a project, tasked with finding funding sources, finding data archives, and maintaining the momentum from that workshop.
What is my MOTIVATION
If I ever need to remember for a moment, why I do science, I remind myself of the dead-end paper shuffling career and the struggles I went through to get here. I recall the friends and family that supported me when I wanted to give up, and those that gave me a home when the alternative was sleeping in my car. I think of the people that shared their love of science with me and the incredible projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on. My old chemistry professor, Dr. Salami, comes to mind often; his words are burned in my memory “You will not fail! Do not give up! Failure only happens when you give up”. Dr Salami would be happy to see how far I’ve come since his introduction to chemistry course.
Working at Astro is a daily reminder that with determination you can achieve anything. My passion in science is sediment transport and through that I found data science, my Pathways Internship at Astro allows me to combine my passions and grow as a scientist.
Thank you, G.E.M. Environmental! Your gracious support has benefited my life in ways I never imagined.
Wow! What an awesome experience, Annette! G.E.M. Environmental is happy to help with your educational pursuits and we wish you all the best.
Are you a STEM major like Annette? Consider applying for one of our scholarships! Our next scholarship deadline is November 23, 2018. Visit our Scholarship page to learn more about eligibility and apply online.
G.E.M. Environmental is excited to announce our new partnership with ArizonaServe, an organization harnessing the power of Americorps interns to "connect passionate people with transformative community projects to fight poverty." Thanks to AZ Serve, we are pleased to welcome our new Yavapai College Campus Liaison, Giovanni Hernandez!
Giovanni is currently developing the STEM Success Club at Yavapai College, a group for students to participate in STEM focused field experiences, discussions with scientific professionals and no cost mentorship opportunities to streamline their transition from student to industry professional. Below, Giovanni shares his personal story:
About Me And My Work
I was born in Mexico, but before I had turned two, my family immigrated to Arizona. In Arizona, my father began working in one of the flagstone quarries near Drake, so at a young age I was introduced to the process of mining and the identification of flagstone. I even ended up working at the same quarry at one point. As far as I can remember Coconino sandstone has been a part of my life, and I think this is what really set the foundations for my interest in geology and STEM overall.
My interests extend beyond geology, one of my current passions is in creating fine art, and I have found that STEM and art go well together not only in the fabrication but in the concept of the pieces I create. Using the Fibonacci sequence to create beautiful logarithmic spirals is something that is evident even the works of the Renaissance masters. I try to emulate this in my art because it fulfills both my passion in the fine arts as well as in STEM. I also enjoy rock climbing, I find that it stimulates my desire to further improve myself and aim for greater heights.
I am grateful for the opportunity that G.E.M. has given me. Last year I took a position as an assistant field researcher at the National Bison Range. Even though it wasn’t in my area of study, the position gave me valuable experience in working in the field with a team. The exciting part is that with G.E.M., not only will I be able to gain experience in geology; I will also be helping others do the same. I look forward to my internship with G.E.M.
You can learn more about Giovanni by clicking HERE.
To learn more about G.E.M. Environmental's programs, including internships, visit our Programs Page.
If you're interested in joining the STEM Success Club at Yavapai College, the first meeting will be held Friday, November 9 at 12.
People who love working with their hands and bringing projects to life are the technologists and technicians within the realm of STEM. For every type of engineer, there is an engineering technologist to assist in project implementation. Installation, operation, troubleshooting and/or repair of machinery and/or equipment is generally handled by engineering technicians. Technologists and technicians differ in their level of education and assigned tasks, yet both career paths have areas of specialization related to the field of engineering they support. Choosing an area of specialization can be challenging, particularly for those participating in two year certificate programs with fast paced, job focused curricula offering little or no general coursework. Internships can be particularly useful for students in this category, as on the job experience is the best way to determine if your field of study is a genuine match for your personality.
The Builders and Implementers of STEM
Hands on work is essential in the implementation of any type of engineering project. Engineering technologists and technicians bring formal project plans to life by bringing together the pieces that allow the whole to function as intended. By focusing on practical application of the steps involved in actual project execution, degree programs for technologists and technicians have a reduced need for formal coursework in mathematics and science (compared to engineering curricula). If you enjoy working with the actual nuts and bolts which bring things together and want to get started in a well paying career field relatively quickly, work as an engineering technologist or engineering technician may be perfect for you.
Engineer vs. Technologist vs. Technician
Every type of engineer will have a corresponding engineering technologist and/or technician for support during the implementation phase of projects as well as for ongoing maintenance. So what are the main differences between engineers, technologists and technicians? Generally speaking, engineers are the highest paid members of the group and have completed four or more years of postsecondary education. Coursework encompasses high order math and science and gives engineers the background to create complex plans and blueprints for projects within their field of specialization. Technologists complete degree programs ranging between two and four years in length with curricula focused on the application of engineering concepts rather than their formal development. While pay scales don't generally approach that of engineers, salaries are comfortable for many and technologists often have job openings in a wider range of geographic locations. Technicians typically obtain an associate's degree or technical certificate in their field of interest during a two year program of study. These folks literally work with the nuts and bolts of whatever task is at hand. Jobs are readily available and pay appreciably higher than positions requiring only a high school diploma.
Selecting Your Area of Specialization
As a technologist or technician, selecting an area of specialization can be particularly challenging since many of these degree programs have highly specific career focused curricula. While this may be appealing for those looking to start their career as quickly as possible, it's important to have a good grasp of your preferred field before investing significant amounts of time in your program of study. Mid-program changes in your area of specialization will create delays in your graduation date and add to the cost of your education. Think about what types of projects you feel most drawn to work with; if you love tinkering with cars, for example, becoming an automotive technician may be a natural choice. Within every field of engineering there are corresponding technologists and technicians, so be sure to follow our blog for next month's entry covering the range of engineering specialists. Additionally, consider spending time as an intern in your field of interest. Experience as an intern not only makes you more attractive to potential employers but is also a powerful tool to help you narrow down the career path best suited for your personality and needs. Some internships, including ours, are paid and are particularly well suited for those interested in working within a geotechnical field of engineering technology.
G.E.M. Environmental is committed to providing scholarships, paid internships and useful suggestions to help you attain the career of your dreams. Consider applying for our upcoming STEM scholarship. The deadline to apply is November 23, 2018!
As we continue our exploration of STEM careers, we'll focus on the spectrum of opportunities available to engineers in next month's blog entry. Stay up to date about our upcoming programs and opportunities by signing up for our newsletter! Just scroll to the bottom of our page and click on "Newsletter" (under "Follow Us") to join the G.E.M. family!