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Alumni & Friends

See how our graduates are using their degrees and catch up with old friends at the Geology Alumni website, maintained by KSU alumna Merida Keatts.

Spring Banquet
Awards and Scholarships for undergraduate majors and graduate students are announced every Spring at our Spring Banquet.  Please consider attending the Spring Banquet, usually held in April. Watch our website for date and location this Spring.

Department Newsletters

July 2014 Geology Alumni Newsletter

June 2013 Geology Alumni Newsletter

June 2012 Geology Alumni Newsletter

March 2011 Geology Alumni Newsletter

Feb 2010 Geology Alumni Newsletter

Nov 2008 Geology Alumni Newsletter
George D. Gardner (M.S. 1972)

2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
George D. Gardner (M.S. 1972)

We are very pleased this year to present our Distinguished Alumni Award to George D. Gardner (M.S. 1972). George did his M.S. thesis research on slope stability under the direction of Murray McComas. George took upon himself to learn more about engineering geology/geotechnical engineering and, on his own, took and passed the Professional Engineers exam. He is now both a Professional Geologist and a Professional Engineer, registered in several states.

  • From 1972-1983, he was employed by GAI Consultants in Pittsburgh, PA, one of the best geotechnical firms in Pennsylvania, as Senior Engineering Geologist, Geotechnical Engineer, and Project Manager. He worked on a large variety of engineering geology/hydrogeology-related projects, involving slope stability, foundation design, mine subsidence, etc.
  • From 1983-1988, he moved to NUS where he served as Project Manager, Program Manager, Office Manager, and Geotechnical Engineer. He managed a budget of $320 million covering superfund sites in the eastern U.S.
  • From 1988-2006 he worked for NUS in Boston, MA, as Program Manager, Office Manager, Vice President, Senior Vice President, and President. Here he continued to work on superfund and brownfield sites in more than 30 municipal and non-profit sites.
  • From 2006 to present, he is Deputy Director – Bureau of Waste Site Cleanup – Technical and Financial Services Division of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.

As you can see from these credentials, George has risen, professionally, to high ranks. For the past 32 years, George has been leading the engineering geology class field trip, where our students benefit a great deal from his technical knowledge and practical experience. Not once during the past 32 years has he missed leading the trip. He goes to great lengths to prepare slides and handouts for the field trip. For the past 17 years, he has been traveling from Boston to Pittsburgh to lead this field trip, donating his own money and time. This is an unparalleled example of extreme dedication and commitment to one’s alma mater.

Donald C. Gifford (BA, 1951)

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipient
Donald C. Gifford (BA, 1951)

We are very pleased this year to present our first Distinguished Alumni Award to Donald C. Gifford (BA, 1951). Don has spent the majority of his career as a Petroleum Geologist working for a number of different companies from 1952 to 1967 (Union Producing, Texaco, American Petrofina, and Marr Co) and then as an Independent Geologist from 1967 to the present. He has been a member of AAPG, the Mississippi Geological Society, the Dallas Geological Society and past President of the Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists. Don Gifford writes “As I reflect on my years at Kent State University, I recall that the total student population was around 5000 with 18-20 Geology majors and one professor! A second professor was added in our third year (1950). The Geology courses were well thought out with plenty of Math, Physics, lab work and numerous field trips. Over the years I have found that there were many more courses offered by the Geology Department at Kent State University than offered at many so called high power schools. Also, the faculty gave students an abundance of personal attention. When I was hired as a Petroleum Geologist it became clear that I could compete with any of the other Geologists who graduated from Texas A&M, UT, and Oklahoma University. I have been very proud to be an Independent Petroleum Geologist. I have spent the last 60 years having Geologists as friends and associates both in industry and in Geology Societies. I value the many opportunities that my degree in Geology at Kent State University has afforded me and I thank the Department for this honor.”