Mazvita Chikomo ’22 awarded IDEA Scholarship from Association for Women Geoscientists

Mazvita Chikomo

Mazvita Chikomo ‘22, an environmental geoscience major at The College of Wooster, earned the Idea Scholarship Award from the Association for Women Geoscientists (AWG).

The scholarship award was presented to Chikomo by the Geological Society of America during a virtual ceremony Wednesday (Oct. 6) night.

The Geoscience Inclusion, Diversity, Equality, and Accessibility (IDEA) Scholarship program encourages women from under-served communities to pursue an education and career in the Geosciences or Earth Sciences. It provides up to $5,000 in awards annually, typically split between two or more undergraduate students and matches them with AWG mentors to enhance their careers. It also includes a one-year, sponsored AWG student membership.

“I was shocked and elated that I had received the award,” Chikomo said. “The first thing I did was call my mother, and reach out to my adviser, Dr. (Shelley) Judge. She was the one who encouraged me to apply to the scholarship and I would have never come across it without her.”

Chikomo has participated in multiple research experiences at The College of Wooster, including as a Sophomore Research Assistant in the College’s Tree Ring Lab, participating in two AMRE programs, holding an APEX fellowship, and serving as a research assistant in the learning garden, a course design assistant and a STEM Zone intern for multiple courses.

“I have tried to be in spaces where I can also create opportunities for other black students who come through this major,” she said. “As a STEM Zone intern, I always tried to make sure that students of color who came into the major felt they too could find their home as earth scientists.”

Chikomo also serves as the co-president of the African Student Union, the vice president of the Geology Club and one of the two STEM Success Initiative Interns.

“During her time at Wooster, Mazvita never hesitated to ask about opportunities during the academic year or the summer,” Judge said. “When offered chances at research or internships, she always took advantage of each moment with enthusiasm and energy.  But Mazvita did not conduct all of her research in the Earth Sciences; she stretched herself to other disciplines, knowing that the skills she acquired would help her future self. While trying to better herself, she has been a part of programs that impact the quality of others’ lives too. It has been a joy to be Mazvita’s I.S. adviser, and I am so proud of her accomplishments while at Wooster. Being awarded the AWG Idea Scholarship is an affirmation of contributions to our department and the larger campus community.”

“What has been most rewarding is working with the amazing powerhouse faculty within Earth Sciences,” Chikomo said. “From my first experience in environmental geology, I remember Dr. (Greg) Wiles reaching out to me about research opportunities in the Tree Ring Lab after seeing the enthusiasm I had when talking about the content. Then to having Dr. Judge and Dr. (Meagen) Pollock being superwomen in my life who have always showed me there is a place for women in Earth Sciences and that we can do amazing things and are destined for greatness.”

Posted in News.

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