Ally Murray

B.S. Geology and Oceanography '19

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Why did you choose Stockton?

I chose Stockton because of its small class sizes, proximity to my home, ability to conduct research as an undergraduate, and its affordability and generous scholarship programs.

What about the degree program made it unique?

The undergraduate program at Stockton was unique in that it really allowed me to tailor a curriculum to best suit my interests and prepare me for life after Stockton. I enjoyed that I had flexibility in the classes required for my majors, and then was also required to take classes in subjects far outside my field as part of the liberal arts degree, and in the honors program.

How did Stockton prepare you for the next chapter in your life?

Stockton University thoroughly prepared me for the next chapter in my life. At Stockton, I had the pleasure of being involved in research with three faculty members and developed my own research project senior year. Being so involved with research as an undergraduate really aided me in becoming more confident in myself as a person and as a scientist. Especially since I also had the opportunity to present at several conferences and at the NAMS symposium while a student. Also, the geology program really prepared me to be comfortable in the field, which is important for the work I do as a geologist. During my master’s degree, I spent many weeks out in the field either mapping or on trips to see new outcrops, and the exposure I had to this during my time at Stockton made it so that I was extremely comfortable and confident during these trips.

Can you talk about your career path since graduating from Stockton?

Since graduating from Stockton in 2019 I have been employed in academia. I was a graduate student at Northern Arizona University from 2019-2021, an adjunct instructor of environmental science at Brookdale Community College in Lincroft, NJ from Winter to Fall of 2022, and am now a graduate student at the University of Michigan.

Can you talk about your educational path since graduating from Stockton?

After graduating with my B.S. in geology from Stockton in 2019, I went on to pursue my Master’s of science in geology at Northern Arizona University studying melt inclusions from a volcano near Naples, Italy. I graduated with my master’s in the summer of 2021, and I am currently a Ph.D. student in Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Michigan, studying melt and fluid inclusions from iron deposits in Chile. The educational background I received at Stockton University helped me excel in both classes and research as a graduate student. But more critically, I was introduced to the topic of melt and fluid inclusions by Rocky and fell in love with the topic. Without his introduction, I may have never found a topic in geology that suits my interests as well and pushed me to continue school and continue doing research.

What advice would you give to students who are considering majoring in your field?

For any students considering majoring in geology, my best advice is to get involved in research as soon as possible and explore your options. The faculty in the geology program have diverse interests, and you should talk to each one and see what area of research brings you the most joy.

Additional Feedback: 

My connection with NAMS and the geology program in particular did not end after graduation, and the connections I formed with the faculty have been key to my success. Rocky and Jeff have remained in contact and have been extremely helpful and interested in my work since leaving Stockton, and I know they will continue to be valuable resources as I continue in academia.