Kutztown University junior wins first in geologist competition

Kutztown University junior geology major Dea Musa, of Catasauqua, was awarded first place and $1,000 in the Pennsylvania Council of Professional Geologists 2012 scholarship competition, at the PCPG’s Annual Meeting on Jan. 15 in Harrisburg.

Musa won the scholarship for her essay on the significance of geology in Pennsylvania. In her paper, she focused on how geology in Pennsylvania provides resources for its citizens and on the role geologists play in protecting our environment and preserving natural resources.

A panel of judges comprising of numerous experienced geologists and last year’s first place recipient evaluated all of the 2012 essay submissions and selected Musa as the winner.

“Winning this was awesome,” Musa said. “You never think that you’ll be chosen, but then you are!”

Musa, who plans on investing the prize money in her education, credits the geology department at KU for encouraging her to enter the competition.

“The interactivity between the faculty and students is amazing,” she said. “Dr. (Kurt) Friehauf motivated me to enter the scholarship competition and he guided me along the way. I’m so glad to be here. The geology program is a hidden gem here at KU.”

In March, Musa will present two papers at the Symposium on the Application of Geophysics to Engineering and Environmental Problems, in Denver, Colo. One presentation, for which she is the main author, is on the glacial geology of New York, while the other, co-authored with Jeff Kadegis ’12, is based on research regarding the Schuylkill River and abandoned mine drainage.

In the future, Musa, who is also minoring in physics and chemistry, plans to focus on geochemistry and geophysics.