Christy Barszewski; Masters Student

Hello, world! My name is Christy Barszewski (bar-shess-key), and I am a Master’s student here at UWM. I am a student of structural geology, studying under the one and only Dr. Dyanna Czeck. In a nutshell, my thesis focuses on microstructural assemblages within clasts of a Neoproterozoic glacial diamictite around the Willard Thrust Zone, Utah. It is my prediction that I will be able to quantify these assemblages and compare them with measured strain magnitude, as well as look for evidence of fluid interaction during deformation. So far I have been lucky enough to receive the Department Summer Field Scholarship and the Wisconsin Geological Society Scholarship. In October I will be presenting on my research at the annual GSA meeting in Minneapolis. I was also fortunate to receive an internship with BP, so I spent my summer working in Houston. After I graduate I hope to either gain employment with an oil and gas company or perhaps pursue a PhD.

  1. Hometown?
    I am from Grand Rapids, MI (right across the lake).
  2. Previous degrees (Degree and University)?
    I received my B.S. in Geology at Grand Valley State University.
  3. Expected graduation date?
    May 2012.
  4. What is your field of study and how would you describe it to a prospective graduate student?
    My thesis falls under the umbrella of structural geology. Structure is a wonderful field for anyone who appreciates deformation in rocks. There are so many possibilities! Structure can be found from the microscopic to the regional scale. It incorporates all three dimensions and should appeal to anyone who has ever pondered the formation of mountains (or perhaps in Wisconsin the apparent lack thereof…), or just really thinks faults are neat.
  5. What brought you to UWM to study Geosciences for your graduate degree?
    I chose to come to UWM for several reasons. I found that I got along well with my advisor, the research sounded like something I would be interested in (and it has not failed in that respect), and UWM was the only school to offer me an RA position for the first year.
  6. What's been your best experience so far?
    As cliché as it is to say, I have met some wonderful people here at UWM. Also, being able to look at my thin sections for the first time was a trip and a half.
  7. christy2_cropIn graduate School, have you gotten the opportunity to travel as part of your education?
    I have indeed. My field area is in/around the Great Salt Lake, Utah, so I have had the opportunity to travel there to collect data. I have also been on several field trips within Wisconsin and the surrounding area. This fall I will also be going on a GSA sponsored field trip to northern Minnesota and Ontario led by my advisor. I was also tipped off by a fellow UWM student about the opportunity to apply for internships with BP (the interviews are conducted in Madison, so it’s not as tough as you might think), and subsequently I was able to travel to Texas.
  8. What trait or thing has allowed you to succeed in graduate school?
    Perseverance. Don’t give up. Work hard. You will get results, and it will be rewarding.
  9. Do you have any advice that you would give to a new graduate student in your program?
    Well firstly see the above question. Also, learn how to wisely manage your time. Everything has a deadline, and being the mature adult you are I’m sure you’d like to put all-nighters and hastily-written shoddy work behind you. Of course you do.
  10. What has been the hardest part about being a graduate student (Is there anything that you've had to "give up" as a graduate student)?
    As I said, being a graduate student is a huge consumer of time. I wouldn’t say I’ve given anything up, but I may have had to cut down on some things. I’ve also had some unfortunate roommate situations because I moved here not knowing a soul, and had to go in blind.
  11. What are your plans after you graduate?
    I suppose I’d like to be employed. Or enrolled in a PhD program somewhere. Only time will tell.
  12. How would you describe the Department of Geosciences at UWM to a prospective student?
    I really enjoy the Geosciences Department here. The people are all friendly and outgoing, professors are easily approachable, and there are plenty of opportunities to succeed for those who wish to take them.
  13. What has been your favorite activity while you’ve been in Graduate School in Milwaukee?
    I’ve taken to bike riding, which I never did much of before. I’ve also started cooking, exploring the local thrift shop, and I hope to try my hand at homebrewing soon. I also like to try a new type of Wisconsin cheese every time I go to the grocery store. Oh, and eating breakfast at The Original Pancake House. It is truly the most delectable breakfast of my life.
  14. What do you most enjoy about Milwaukee?
    Who knew the Midwest had such hidden delights as I have discovered in Wisconsin? I enjoy just about everything about Milwaukee. At first I was reluctant to believe that Milwaukee could be in any way a fun place, but eventually I warmed up to it, and now I am in love with this city! There is plenty to do, downtown is great, it’s right on Lake Michigan, and did I mention the food? If you are a beer snob or just enjoy a good microbrew, this is the place for you. Honestly, I wouldn’t mind staying here permanently.

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