Monika Zwolinski; Undergraduate Student
My name is Monika Zwolinski and I am an undergraduate student at UW-M. I am originally from Illinois so I drive fast, like the Bears and I am a Cubs fan! But that doesn’t make me a bad person!
Every since I was a kid I can remember going places and always taking a rock home with me. Now I am sure a lot of people had a pet rock or a rock collection but my obsession with rocks was a little bit out of the ordinary. I don’t think kids would pass up ice cream for the chance to go sit in a pile of rocks and pick out the “prettiest” one, because that is what I used to do. In middle school and beginning of high school I took chemistry and physics and it did not hold my attention very well. It wasn’t until junior year of high school when I decided to take the geology class and that’s when the light bulb to my life lit up. I had an amazing teacher who was so passionate about teaching geology to students that I knew I was in the right place. I thank my teacher because she is the reason I am here at UW-M majoring in Geosciences.
Growing up in a High School with great teachers and enough funding for good books made me so fortunate to be able to learn about Geology as I did. But what also made me want to further my education in Geology is knowing that schools out there don’t have the same access to such resources so I want to be able to expand my knowledge in hopes of teaching it to other kids.
- Hometown/High School?
Park Ridge, Illinois and I attended Maine South High School
- Year in School and expected graduation date?
Junior and Fall 2012
- What brought you to UWM?
I think I have always been destined to end up in Wisconsin and I really liked the UWM campus.
- What convinced you to major in Geosciences?
I have always had a love for what started out as rocks and now I find that learning about Geosciences is never ending therefore I can’t get bored!
- What field of study would you like to go into and how would you describe it to a prospective student?
I want to be a science teacher and help students learn about the Earth.
- What's been your best experience so far?
Being a TA in high school was very eye opening for me as well as the trip I took to Iceland with UWM was unbelievable!
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in field trips, field work, or travel as part of your education?
Yes I have for classes and I am hoping to travel even more depending on time and money
- Have you gotten the opportunity to participate in a student research project while at UWM?
- What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in geology?
The thought that we live on a planet is in itself mind blowing to me and because of that I want to learn as much about it as I can. So the constant wonder of how this got here or why that changed is what keeps me focused on learning.
- How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
I would tell other students that our department is great. There are so many professors and students there to help. If one person doesn’t answer your question just go to another because I am sure between everyone we have you will find what you need.
- Do you have any advice that you would give to a student who is new to the Geoscience major at UWM?
Get involved early in the department early on in your major! That is the one thing I would have like to have done differently. Also to make friends with your classmates because once you get into your upper level major courses that is what will help you. Also take advantage of getting to know your professors. Even though UWM is a big campus, if you put the effort into becoming known it pays off in the end.
- What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
I like that it is similar to where I grew up back home so I don’t feel out of place and I like the city because it gives you options of what to do.
- What are your plans after you graduate?
To get my masters then hopefully a job, and help to inspire other students to learn about the Earth. I want to help them understand what I once didn’t.