The UWG Department of Geosciences annually rewards their top students with cash scholarships. Funds for the scholarships are derived from department faculty, staff, alumni, and friends. There are four separate funds from which the awards are drawn: The John Chambers Memorial Scholarship Fund, The Rodney Morrison Memorial Scholarship Fund, The Geosciences Scholarship Fund, and The Geosciences Founders Fund. The scholarships usually total between $4,000-6,000 to the selected honored students. Students must apply in order to be considered for a scholarship.
John Chambers graduated from West Georgia in 1992 and was one of the department’s best students. He was killed by a hit-and-run driver while conducting geology fieldwork in Tennessee in September of 2001. After graduating from West Georgia John completed a Master’s degree from the University of Tennessee and has numerous awards and publications to his credit. Many among the current Geosciences faculty, and many recent graduates of our programs knew John well. He will be sorely missed by many of us.
Sumner Long was part of the foundation of the department, arriving only a year after the department was founded. He served as Professor and Chair from 1969 until his retirement in 1995. When Sumner passed away in 2010, a memorial scholarship was created in his honor.
The Geosciences Scholarship Fund is administered by the University System and unlike other funds it is a true endowment. Donations to this fund remain in the fund permanently; scholarship awards are made strictly from fund earnings. The Geosciences Department traditionally has used the annual proceeds from this fund to reward talented Geology/Geography majors at any stage of their education at UWG. Each year, proceeds from this fund were awarded to several Geoscience majors, including Geology, Geography, Earth Science, and Environmental Science
The Geosciences Founders Fund is used for scholarship awards to augment the scholarship funds above. It is also used to support student activities including travel for fieldwork and meetings and conference registration fees. The Department of Geosciences prides itself on the level of involvement of undergraduate students in fieldwork and other aspects of “real geosciences”. Unfortunately, all of these activities cost money. Although we have had great success in obtaining external funds for these activities we are always trying to improve opportunities for our students to participate in interesting and challenging activities beyond the classroom.
There are five awards given each year by the Department of Geosciences. Awardees receive a certificate of merit. Award winners are selected by the faculty from the entire pool of students. Students do not need to apply to be considered. The four awards are:
The John Chambers Memorial Award given to the top Geosciences Senior.
The Sumner Long Memorial Scholarship given to the top Geosciences Junior.
The Thomas Herndon Award given to the top Geography major.
The James Emory Boyd Award given to the top Geology major.
The Georgia Mae White Award given to the Geoscience major who demonstrates qualities of kindness, caring, and consideration of others. The winner of this award is selected by vote of the students.
In addition to certificates of merit, winners of the Thomas Herndon and James Emory Boyd Awards are given special recognition on University Honors Day.
Each December, the Department has a Geosciences Club meeting/awards luncheon ceremony to present the awards and scholarships.