Day: June 10, 2019

Katie Kring

Katie KringI’m interested in the mining industry. If it can’t be grown, it has to be mined. It’s important to me that it’s done safely, in a way that respects the earth.

Two summers ago, I interned with Eagle Mine as their continuous improvement intern, which helped identify my interest in the mining industry. This summer, I’ll be a geomechanical engineering intern for Freeport McMoRan at their Chino Mine, a big open-pit copper mine in New Mexico. I’ll be out there for 12 weeks working on slope stability. I’m really looking forward to hiking while I’m out west; it’ll definitely be a change of pace from Michigan.

The application process for the NSF GRFP was intense. It’s really easy to make a silly mistake on the application that automatically disqualifies you for the award, so it’s important to read through the entire grant solicitation. My advice for those who want to apply? Start early.

The application requires a personal statement and a research proposal describing your personal goals and your project’s potential for broader impacts and intellectual merit. I proposed a project using photogrammetry images taken at an open-pit mine to predict and model fractures at a nearby highway roadcut. I don’t think I’ll pursue this exact project, but I’m interested in the remote sensing, geotechnical, and geostatistical aspects of it. This fall I’ll work towards developing my master’s research project and reapplying for the GRFP. Receiving the honorable mention was so motivating, and it gives me something to look forward to next year.

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Jamal Palmer

Jamal Palmer

I started learning about alternative energies in high school through a program that also had us do a garden restoration. And that kind of sparked my interest in urban forestry and it kind of got me on the path of saying, “Hey, maybe I can pursue this path.” I didn’t see a lot of people that looked like me that were pursuing this path. So I said, “Hey, let me be a trailblazer in a sense and start this.”

When I first started college as an undergraduate, I didn’t do urban forestry because I didn’t know my school had a program. I did the closest thing to it, which is environmental science, but then I found out from the agriculture department that they had an urban forestry program, but it was still in the development stages, so I said, “Hey, let me get back to what that spark was.” And as I started taking the classes, I realized that this was really what I wanted to do, it was something I could see myself doing for years to come.

I applied to Michigan Tech because it is one of the few schools in the country that has its own experimental forest area. I didn’t really know what to expect. I’m from New York City, but I spent my undergraduate years in a small town at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. Being there helped me understand how small towns work, like the sense of community that’s there is much stronger than it is in a city.

For my master’s thesis, I did a canopy assessment of the trees on campus—looking at the canopy to see how it changes over time. I did two tree tours on campus. I really like telling people about the different types of trees we have on campus. I honestly can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked the campus looking at trees and saying to myself, “Okay, that’s a northern red oak, that’s a sugar maple, that’s a buckeye…” I have a big passion for this and I really want to try to set a precedent for people like myself. I want to show that you don’t have to be pigeonholed in certain areas. You can pursue careers in natural resources.

Next step for me is to be a work planner for a tree company in South Carolina. I’ll be directing work for tree crews. I want to work with the company for a while and then start my own consulting forestry business. I hope to consult landowners about the best methods in terms of preserving their trees and plants. Eventually, I want to set up a scholarship fund and help students that want to pursue careers in natural resources. I want them to be able to have the opportunity to go to school without having that financial burden on them, so, hopefully in the future, once I make enough money and make smart choices, I’ll be able to give back to people. And eventually, I would want to talk to students who may be interested in pursuing careers in natural resources because I think that’s the best way to ensure that the new generation will come into natural resources.

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Sarah Calvert

Sarah Calvert

I’m a sound design major and I’m minoring in music composition. This is my third year at Tech; I transferred from a community college downstate. My grandfather is an alumnus, and I saw the visual and performing arts department and thought, “These are the careers I want to do.” I applied, I was accepted, I drove up here in the fall, I saw an apartment, signed a lease, drove through town, and drove back home. I moved in December during a snowstorm. A nine-hour drive took us 12.

Sound design is really awesome because you get to be part of telling the story. Your influences in the sound touch the audience and having that power is really special. I competed and won at the Kennedy Center for American College Theatre competition. When I’m composing, I prefer to be at the piano, and I tend to do a lot of stuff on my computer. For sound design, I’m at the keyboard and a computer and listening to sounds.

I started a student chapter of sound girls—an international organization that is about bringing awareness and opportunities to women, girls, and minorities in sound, audio, and music production. I’m finding opportunities for newer students and students who are kind of interested in sound/music and getting them an opportunity to grow. Our department can be really challenging. I think by having these little opportunities ahead of time we’ll have more prepared students, hopefully. I’m thinking about going to grad school so I can teach at the college level. I found that that’s what I like to do. I’ve got a few options for grad school in LA.

My friend Allen got me into powerlifting and bodybuilding two or three years ago. I go to the gym four times a week. I lift some pretty heavy weight for someone my size. I listen to a lot of rock, hard rock, and metal while working out. My dad listens to that music; it’s what I grew up with, but I also really like the new progressive metal bands such as Periphery. The higher energy music really helps me focus on the act of lifting heavy weight, which somewhat transports me to another world where there isn’t stress and worries. It is just me, the weights, and music. 

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