Texas A&M welcomed the second class of GeoX, the weeklong summer program that introduces high-juniors and seniors to the academic disciplines in the College of Geosciences. This year, 21 students from around the state were on campus and on field trips, June 1–8.
"GeoX is designed to give the participants their first step to a successful college experience and a long and productive career in the geosciences," said Dr. Sonia Garcia, director of recruitment for the College of Geosciences.
From last year's class of 20 eligible students, 80 percent have been admitted to Texas A&M in the geosciences.
Participants of GeoX 2012 at the Texas A&M University fountain.GeoX is one of three components in Geosciences' pipeline program, an initiative that identifies promising students and mentors them throughout their academic career. GeoX follows iGeo, a weekend introductory program in the fall. Last summer the Department of Geology and Geophysics also launched G-Camp for Freshmen, an intensive, 15-day experience around the state that gives incoming students three hours credit in the introductory geology course.
Individual and corporate donations provide the funds for GeoX to cover room, board, field trips, and student counselors. More than 20 faculty, graduate students and staff volunteer their time. Geography professor Chris Houser leads the academic program.
The students are from schools ranging from the Rio Grande Valley and Galveston to San Antonio, Laredo and Houston.
"Minorities and women are historically underrepresented in the geosciences," said Dr. Kate Miller, dean of the College of Geosciences. "One of the college's goals is to ensure that our graduates not only contribute to the future workforce of Texas but also reflect its population and diversity."
In addition to being introduced to geology, geophysics, meteorology, geography, oceanography and environmental programs, the students will also go on the road, visiting the Eddie Gray Wetland Center in Baytown, and Galveston and Houston.
While on campus, the students stay in Dunn Hall and dine at campus facilities or local spots around town.
"We give them the full Aggie treatment," Garcia said, adding that the students will also spend time at the recreation center, swimming pool and the newly renovated Memorial Student Center.
Students also learn what steps to take to become an Aggie, with representatives from admissions, the honors program, financial aid, study abroad and Fish Camp to help them make the transition. "Many—if not most—are the first in their families to attend college," Garcia notes. "It can be difficult to navigate the admissions process. We want to help students enter a top-rate university like Texas A&M and to be successful."
Contributions from BP America, Houston; James Benham '01, president, JB Knowledge Technologies, Bryan; Timothy Bryan '72, CEO of Bank & Trust, Bryan; Chris Dailey '93, CEO of Dailey Electric, Bryan; Eddie V. Gray, president, Gray Enterprises, Baytown; and Guy Matthews, Guy Matthews and Associates, Houston, funded the all-expenses-paid program.
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For information about next summer's GeoX 2013, this fall's iGeo 2012 or other recruitment opportunities, contact