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Student Spotlights


Chloe Beddingfield

While many students majoring in Geology conduct field studies in traditional areas such as Big Bend National Park or the mountains of California, Chloe Beddingfield, a senior Geosciences major from McKinney, decided to test the hypothesis of plate tectonics further afield: she chose Saturn’s icy moon, Enceladus. While planetary scientists have recently discovered that the south polar region of Enceladus contains four, 100 km long (about 63 miles) cracks that emanate geysers of water vapor and other elements, a contentious debate has arisen as to whether there is a layer of water beneath the surface of the frozen moon measuring just 502 km (about 314 miles) in diameter. Using recently obtained images transmitted from the NASA Cassini probe, Chloe and Dr. Aaron Yoshinobu (Department of Geosciences) have been able to document and explain structures hundreds of kilometers long that may reflect past and current movement of subsurface liquid water.

Given that Enceladus is one of only a handful of recognized tectonically active bodies in the solar system, her research will shed much light on the nature of water in the solar system and its affects on tectonic activity on solar system bodies. This past December she presented her research at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, and she has one article submitted to the prestigious journal Nature, and another in preparation. This coming August, Chloe will enroll in the Ph.D. program in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Tennessee.

“Dr. Yoshinobu’s guidance has provided me with an opportunity to pursue my dream for the past few semesters. I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to work with him as an undergraduate student. It is an incredible feeling to study the surface of an extraterrestrial object with such an intelligent and knowledgeable scientist. The results of our research on Enceladus have allowed us to make connections with many prominent planetary scientists across the country and has given me a head start in my future career as a planetary scientist. This experience has given me an understanding of how scientific research should be conducted.”

Dr. Yoshinobu says, “It has been a tremendous pleasure to work with such a thoughtful, motivated and ambitious student. Tech students like Chloe make a professor’s combined job of teaching and research such a rewarding and inspirational experience.”







Jeremy Torrez


Jeremy Torrez grew up in Abernathy, Texas, and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Texas Tech University in May 1990 with a major in History and a minor in Political Science. After working in the telemarketing field, he returned to Texas Tech University in the spring of 2006 for a second Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies which he received in 2008. He was then asked by Dr. Bolanle Olaniran if he had considered graduate school, and despite some initial hesitation, he applied, was accepted, and offered a teaching assistantship for Public Speaking courses. He will receive his Master’s degree in August of 2010. His areas of interests include organizational, interpersonal, and intercultural communication. In his thesis work, Torrez is focusing on the interview setting in particular and how interviewees evaluate themselves once the interview is finished.

Torrez says, “I am taking it one step further by comparing how the visually impaired and the non-visually impaired evaluate themselves. This subject matter is important to me since I have albinism, and throughout my graduate courses I have focused much of my work on the visually impaired. I want to find any differences or similarities in this research and apply them to the interview research field. Mostly, I want the findings to be used by interviewers and interviewees in order for them to understand their roles in the interview process. I also hope that the information gathered will become useful for interviewing coaches in helping people prepare for their interviews.”