Geosciences Advisory Council Updates

Apr 11, 2017

Since 2007, the College of Geosciences Advisory Council has been represented by leaders in their respective fields, former students and friends, and dedicated to the success of the College and the students within.

In August 2007, the then Dean Bjorn Kjerfve wrote to the inaugural council members, “The demands for energy resources combined with global awareness of environmental issues have never been greater.”  He continued with, “Your individual contributions are critical and greatly valued, and as a council, your combined efforts are essential for our future successes.”  That impetus is even stronger today.  Although some of the faces have changed, our Advisory Council remains a vital and influential part of our team.   

During the Advisory Council Meeting in Fall 2016, Interim Dean Debbie Thomas, outlined the comprehensive advancement strategy for the College which aligned with the fundraising priorities for “Lead By Example,” the Texas A&M Capital Campaign.  Dr. Thomas identified the top three priorities as (1) recruiting and retaining the best and brightest students; (2) provide them with transformational professional development and experience; and (3) place our graduates in rewarding career trajectories.  The fundraising goals for the College map directly in to seeking donor support in those three priorities through endowed scholarships, undergraduate experience initiatives, a brand-new living learning community for geosciences students, and ultimately, an endowed student success center.  

The Council provided valuable feedback on advancing each of the priorities and, as always, were very eager to take the lead in further developing actionable strategies towards the goals.  One particular idea emerged within the “transformational professional development” priority.  Stuart Burbach identified the value of creating opportunities for current students to interact with successful former geosciences students - the “Dean’s Professional Development Series” was born.  The first program of the series is affectionately known as “Pizza With A Pro.”  On Tuesday evenings, since January, council members have presented materials in regards to their own professional experiences, offered advice, suggested opportunities, and answered many questions from the students.   

Dr. Thomas said, “I cannot thank the Advisory Council enough for their time, effort and vision.  It is clearly their passion for this College, but specifically for the students that will be the future leaders that inspire their commitment.”  

The current list of Council Members may be found here.
The Geosciences Advisory Council meets in the Spring and Fall of each year and serves according to the Charter & Bylaws.  More information may be found here.