June 24, 2009
SMU's student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists has received the organization's highest award — the Domestic Student Chapter of the Year.
Andres Ruzo (center) with fellow chapter members Jason Bell and Philip Klintmalm at a Barnett Shale drilling site.
"Over the past few years, we have transformed the chapter, applying for grants, holding meetings, organizing events and making ourselves known," said Andres Ruzo ('09), chapter president and a geophysics graduate student in SMU's Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
In addition to the honor, the recognition includes a $1,000 scholarship from Schlumberger. The prize will be used to attract sponsors, recruit more members, hold more events and create a travel grant so that members can attend AAPG conferences, Ruzo said.
The chapter's 39 members include not only geology majors but also those majoring in business, economics, engineering, other sciences and the arts. Although it has a broad range of interests, the chapter's primary focus is on energy-related projects, Ruzo said.
SMU's was the first student chapter in the nation. Now, there are more than 145 AAPG student chapters. Its faculty sponsor is David Blackwell, the William B. Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences and head of the Geothermal Lab.
# # #