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Northwest Missouri State University


Student Spotlight

May 15, 2014

Northwest geology student awarded Subaru Minority Scholarship

By Summer Lowe, media relations assistant

Marcella McKay

Marcella McKay

Northwest Missouri State University student Marcella McKay is one of seven college students from throughout the world to receive a $1,500 Subaru Minority Scholarship from the Geological Society of America (GSA).

Dr. Aaron Johnson, associate professor of geology and director of the Honors Program at Northwest, nominated her for the scholarship. In addition to her ability to relate to other students, Johnson noted McKay’s work is consistently far above average.

“Marcella is an outstanding student,” he said. “She is intelligent, dedicated, focused and active, both as a student, and as a member of a larger community. This combination of intelligence, drive, and awareness gives her all of the tools necessary to succeed in any arena.”

McKay is a junior environmental geology major from Tekamah, Neb. She is considering a career in the mining industry or as a consulting geologist after completing her degree.

“I am very grateful to receive this award,” she said. “I’m glad to see that all the efforts I put into school are paying off, and I would like to thank Dr. Aaron Johnson for nominating me.”

McKay is a member of the Northwest GeoClub, the student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and was recently inducted into the Epsilon Theta Chapter of the Sigma Gamma Epsilon Earth Science Honor Society. She recently worked with Sigma Gamma Epsilon to provide Earth science education opportunities to Girl Scouts in the northwest Missouri service area.

Marcella is also active in organizations outside the Department of Natural Sciences. She is a member of the 102 River Wildlife Club and works regularly with that group to repair and preserve aquatic habitat on the 102 River near Maryville. She also is active in TWLOHA (To Write Love on Her Arms), a student group dedicated to assisting people who struggle with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicidal ideation.

The scholarship is awarded to one student at an accredited university or college in each of the six North American GSA regions and in a World Bank designated low-income country. McKay will receive a complimentary membership to GSA for one year and free registration for the GSA Annual Meeting, where she will be recognized. The purpose of the award is to encourage minority students to continue studies in the geosciences as a possible degree choice.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468