Millersville University students Laurel Blanchard and Cameron Gonteski, both seniors, recently received scholarships from the American Meteorological Society.
Blanchard received the Glickman Family Scholarship while Gonteski received the Larry R. Johnson Memorial Scholarship. The meteorology students had to meet several qualifications to apply and receive the awards.
The AMS awards scholarships based on academic excellence. Each honoree must have a minimum grade point average of 3.0 and must be pursuing a degree in atmospheric or related sciences. Additionally, the students had to describe their experiences in the field of atmospheric sciences and obtain three letters of recommendation.
The Glickman Family Scholarship is awarded to a student with an interest in broadcast meteorology. Blanchard meets this criterion as she has an internship in Peoria, Illinois with WEEK TV and Heart of Illinois ABC.
“To receive a scholarship specifically in broadcasting meteorology is truly amazing,” Blanchard says . “I was completely shocked. I am just so thankful for this scholarship, especially because this is tailored to what I want to be in the future.”
Gonteski currently has a research internship in Memphis, Tennessee with the National Weather Service studying the rotational velocity of tornadoes.
Both students give credit to Millersville University and their professors for preparing them for the scholarship application and for the future.
“The Millersville meteorology program already has prepared me well for the future by teaching me the hard science and math behind the field, but also teaching how to explain this science to the public, Blanchard says, “I think that truly sets us apart from other universities.”
“I have been a part of MU-AMS since my freshman year and was elected the President of MU-AMS for the 2021-2022 school year,” Blanchard continues, “Those opportunities allowed me to find my love of broadcast and was one of the first steppingstones to where I am now.”
“My education at Millersville has allowed me to work not only in the classroom on my major, but also through field work projects,” Gonteski says, “Building my reputation as a research meteorologist through these projects has given me a lot of experience that enhances my abilities to be more competitive.”
“I have been a part of the National American Meteorological Society, as well as our MU-AMS Student Chapter, since I was a freshman,” Gonteski adds , “Both have given me amazing opportunities to build myself in this field of study, both academically and professionally.”
Blanchard says her goal for the future is to become a professional certified broadcast meteorologist. Gonteski says she hopes to continue her research on tornadogenesis, the process by which a tornado forms, and tornado warning systems in Tornado Alley.
“I’d like to send a thank you to all my meteorology professors,” Blanchard adds, “Drs. Richard Clark, Todd Sikora, Sepideh Yalda, Alex DeCaria and Dave Fitzgerald. Also, a thank you to the Honors College and Dr. Elizabeth Thyrum.