New Orleans Geological Society Scholarship Award Winners for 2012



The Board of Trustees of the New Orleans Geological Society (NOGS) Memorial Foundation approved four EES students for scholarships for 2012. The students received their awards at the October 2012 meeting. Left to right,Tom Schrilla (Jules & Olga Braunstein Senior Award), Daisy Pate (former NOGS president), Torbjörn  Törnqvist  (Department Chair), Erin Cunningham (George Schneider Award), Jade Mohajerin Haug (James Allen Gilreath Graduate Award). Junior Award winner, Christiane Alepuz, is studying abroad and could not attend ceremony.

T. Jade Mohajerin Haug - $3,000 Cash Award
The one driving factor for all of T. Jade Mohajerin Haug’s career decisions has been the desire to help find a balance between anthropogenic appetites and their environmental impacts. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, T. Jade spent two years as a volunteer with the Peace Corps in Madagascar, where she developed an environmental education program for the local school. She also helped organize local community groups to plant trees on barren hill slopes to prevent sediment from the small island from washing into the ocean and smothering the coral community near the coast. After returning to the U.S., T. Jade spent several years working for the National Park Service, mainly focused on mitigating the impact of exotic invasive plant species. In addition to working on a management plan for the invasives of Joshua Tree National Park, she also served as a resource advisor during wildfires and assisted in writing the budget for post-fire management. After several years, T. Jade realized that weeding national parks was not her calling, and she decided to pursue higher education. She hopes to use her knowledge of geochemistry to enable communities to enjoy the luxuries of modern civilization, while mitigating the impact to fresh water sources.

Erin Cunningham - $2,500 Cash Award
Erin Cunningham was born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Although she thoroughly enjoyed all the Chicago area had to offer--museums, concerts, ethnic festivals, and zoos--she gained an interest in the natural world from the numerous hiking and camping trips taken every summer with her family. She was recruited for the Women's Swim Team at Tulane and was excited to be a part of bringing the swim team back to Tulane after the sport had been suspended due to Katrina. Erin had originally decided to major in physics at Tulane, but after taking her first geology class, she quickly changed to geology as her major and physics as a minor. This past year, Erin was able to gain experience by working in Tulane’s sedimentology lab. She successfully balances a full academic schedule, lab work, and collegiate swimming. This summer, Erin continued her education in geology and gained research experience through an IRIS seismology internship program. After graduation, Erin plans to attend graduate school and continue her studies in geology.

Thomas Schrilla - $2,500 Senior Cash Award
Tom Schrilla is a geology major at Tulane University. A native of Geneva, Illinois, he found himself drawn to the music, food, and culture of New Orleans. He enrolled at Tulane as an undecided freshman and after sampling a few courses, found a home in Tulane’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. This summer, he attended field camp in the Rocky Mountains through Miami University. So far, he has enjoyed his undergraduate experience in geology and hopes to further continue his education.  He is currently planning on pursuing a Master’s Degree in a geology-related field, and ultimately, finding a career in the geosciences.

Christiane Alepuz - $2,000 Junior Cash Award
Christiane Alepuz was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and lived there until Hurricane Katrina. Christiane and her family relocated to Houston, Texas, where she finished high school. While living in Texas, she traveled around the state and started to realize how beautiful it was. With a passion for science and exploration, Christiane entered Tulane, but she was undecided as to what science to pursue. Since she had always enjoyed the outdoors, she decided to take Physical Geology and discovered that she loved it. She has been a geology major ever since and plans on pursuing a graduate degree in geology after graduation.


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