Baylor University
Department of Geology
College of Arts and Sciences

Baylor > Department of Geology > Alumni > Meet our Alumni

Meet our Alumni

Aaron Shunk, Ph.D.

aaron shunk

Looking back, I feel that it was a very good decision to attend Baylor University for my PhD studies, and I am proud to be a Baylor Bear. I found the Baylor Department of Geology to be a family-like environment with faculty that are easily accessible and readily available to assist with the educational needs of the students. I also met multiple life-long friends from the graduate students. My education and experiences at Baylor helped me develop the academic and professional skills needed to succeed in a career in either academics or industry. I accepted a job working for Shell Oil in Houston, TX.

I really liked that the dissertation at Baylor University is clearly defined, and requires multiple publications prior to graduation. My research subject was Late Tertiary paleoclimate (about 5 Ma ago) and I published multiple papers for my dissertation while at Baylor. I found that the Geology Department provided ample funding for research costs and trips to academic conferences. I was even able to attend AGU international conferences in San Francisco and Acapulco, Mexico at no personal expense. I am excited about the future of the Baylor Geology department. We continue to grow with new faculty hires and new research equipment, and I anticipate our department will develop into an elite research university in the field of terrestrial paleoclimate.

Julia Kahmann Robinson, Ph.D.

Julia Kahmann Robinson

The professors of the Baylor Geology Department made it easy to choose this department for my graduate studies. Not only were they experts, but they were friends and colleagues. In my experience, the open-door policy always held true. Here at Baylor I found the classes to be enriching and challenging. They were the types of classes that might have pushed you to limit, but in that process a wealth of applicable knowledge was acquired that I continue to use. Although grueling, the doctoral requirement to write grants was highly beneficial and enabled me to secure an NSF-EAPSI grant where I spent a summer in Beijing, China researching at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In addition, prior to graduation, I had a great deal of industry experience under the direction of the Applied Petroleum Studies program. There is no doubt that due to my training received at Baylor I am competitive for both industry and academic positions. I might have received MS and PhD degrees, but greater than that I came out with the education I wanted and the tools to succeed in my future endeavors.

Sikiru Amidu, Ph.D.

Sikiru Amidu

Studying at Baylor was a life changing experience. As an international student from Nigeria, there was little fear at the onset vis-à-vis settling into American culture. However, my fear was allayed by the good hospitality that the Baylor community had to offer and the care, support and concern for my general welfare by the professors. I settled in quickly and, within a day or two, I was ready to work. The professors are highly knowledgeable and the open-door policy they maintain makes it possible for students to be impacted by their knowledge and experience.

The requirements for PhD are well defined. Also, because dissertation students work under directions of committees, I was able to interact with and learn from multiple professors. I authored and co-authored geophysics journal articles and presented papers at national and international meetings. In addition to having my work criticized, this exposure provided opportunities to meet and socialize with researchers and students from other universities. Before graduation, I was able to find my work being cited by other authors. Also, I was invited to review multiple papers for publication in notable journals.

The department provided funding to support my research. In addition to the departmental funding, my research was supported by funding from multiple agencies such as the US Department of Energy, US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Agriculture (among others). At graduation, I was able to secure job offers for careers both in academia and industry. I accepted a job offer with ExxonMobil.

No doubt, studying for PhD at Baylor was a very good decision. The training I received has prepared me very well for future challenges and opportunities. I am very proud to be associated with the professors in the department, who were really great mentors, and who are now personal friends and colleagues.