Meet 2017 Spring Graduate Chloe Stanton

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Chloe L. Stanton, who is graduating with a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, says her calling in life has always involved the sciences. In that respect, she maintains that Georgia Tech chose her. Stanton, who attended Mill Creek High School in Hoschton, Georgia, is a former Undergraduate of the Month in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (EAS) and a Spring 2017 Student Award winner in the College of Sciences. She has also been a teaching assistant in the EAS Earth Processes course and has served as president of the EAS undergraduate club.

What attracted you to Georgia Tech?

My passion and true calling in life has always been to learn. I knew from very early on that I was meant to be a scientist, a no-brainer career choice for someone like me who is always curious. No other school could allow me to engage with the sciences as closely as Georgia Tech does. I never “chose” to attend Georgia Tech. It was meant to be, and nothing else would have felt right.

How would you describe your life before enrolling in Georgia Tech?

My childhood and grade school experiences were dominated by many different activities, including but not limited to reading, swimming, camping, and exploring with my dogs. Looking back, these suburb adventures helped shape me into the aspiring geoscientist that I am today.

What is the most important thing you learned at Georgia Tech?

Through my Georgia Tech education, I have learned more about the sciences than I had ever could have hoped. However, the most important lesson I have learned is something about myself. I now consider myself a scientist – not because I know many things, but because I understand that I know very little. Georgia Tech has taught me how to think like a scientist. I have learned how to answer questions, but more importantly, I also have learned how to ask questions.

What surprised or disappointed you the most about Georgia Tech?

My favorite and most surprising aspect of the Georgia Tech experience has definitely been the quality of my relationships with the faculty and staff. Entering a research powerhouse institution like Georgia Tech, I did not expect to receive such a warm welcome. The connections I have made with my mentors in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and beyond have left lasting impressions on me.

Which professor(s) or class(es) made a big impact on you?

I met Jen Glass during my first semester. She was also new to Georgia Tech then. She was starting a brand new lab and planning lessons for her first classes, but she took so much time out of her schedule to train me in the lab and shape me into a genuine geoscientist-in-training. I will always admire Dr. Glass for being an excellent scientist and mentor; I will cherish her guidance and advice for years to come.

Another EAS professor, Chris Reinhard, has been a role model for me at Georgia Tech. Reinhard is a superb teacher and scientist, and I appreciate him for introducing me to the world of astrobiology. Two other mentors in EAS who have also guided me on my journey are Dana Hartley and Martial Taillefert. I appreciate them both for their patience and for inspiring me to succeed.

What is your most vivid memory of your time at Georgia Tech?

I remember once spending an evening studying with friends in the Ford Environmental Science and Technology Building. Even after we had finished, we decided to stay on campus and spend more time together. That night we spent hours talking about environmental science and policy, occasionally making the trek to Starbucks for caffeine. I can remember many similar nights, spent with like-minded friends, discussing science until well past our bedtimes. I will adore these memories and friendships for the rest of my life.

If you participated in experiential learning activities, what was the most valuable outcome of your experience?

When I think of my time at Georgia Tech, it is impossible for me to separate my education from my time as an undergraduate research assistant. I have spent eight semesters researching in Jen Glass’s lab, and working with her and our lab group has influenced me more than any other experience. Research helps me feel close to the heart of scientific advancement. This is a feeling I have come to know and love.

On the basis of your experience, what advice would you give to incoming freshmen at Georgia Tech?

As an incoming freshman, I was hesitant to get involved in research and science-related extracurricular activity for fear of being the “new kid” or being perceived as inexperienced. One day I forced myself to attend a department seminar, and to my surprise, I received a very warm welcome. From that day forward, I attended almost every department event and immediately started my work in research.

To incoming freshman, my advice to you is to step outside your comfort zone as often as possible in your first years, because this is the fastest way to learn new things and meet people. Use the new relationships you form with professors and older students to share ideas and achieve your goals.

What feedback would you give to Georgia Tech to improve the campus experience for future students?

My mentors in the Georgia Tech faculty have been so available and helpful throughout my career here, and for that I will always be grateful. My hope is that all students receive the same care and attention that I enjoyed, independent of their plans to enter academia or not. I think most of my professors do a great job of this already, but I can understand that it may be hard to relate to students interested in jobs in industries outside of the academic world.

Where are you headed after graduation?

After graduation, I will be attending Penn State to work on a Ph.D. conducting astrobiology and geochemistry research. I would not have been accepted in such an esteemed program without a strong foundation. It’s a privilege to graduate from the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and I am so thankful to all those who have contributed to my success. I will always be a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech!



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