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Doctoral student receives Scholar Award

May 24, 2011

Erin DiMaggio, a Ph.D. candidate in geological sciences in the School of Earth and Space Exploration in ASU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, received a $15,000 Scholar Award from the Philanthropic and Educational Organization (PEO), which awards competitive scholarships to women attending graduate school in the United States and Canada.

DiMaggio, who grew up in the greater Detroit, Michigan area, received a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Michigan in 2004. Working with Professor Ramon Arrowsmith, she earned a masters of science in geological sciences from ASU in 2007.

Her current research focuses on interpreting the Earth’s sedimentary record to extract information about the mechanisms and history of plate tectonic rifting (including volcanism and faulting) and the implications for paleoenvironmental changes during a crucial period of human evolution 2-3 million years ago. DiMaggio conducts her field investigations in the Afar Depression in Ethiopia. Her research contributes to understanding past environments in East Africa during a particularly interesting period of biologic, climatic, and structural change.

“Showing future employers that you can independently secure funding to support your research is big plus,” says DiMaggio, who plans to use the Scholar Award to fund her upcoming field season in Ethiopia in October. “I am honored to be recognized by such a wonderful organization of women.”

The P.E.O. was founded in 1869 to bring women increased opportunities for higher education. The Scholar Awards program began in 1991 to provide merit-based awards for women in the U.S. and Canada who are either pursuing a doctoral level degree or are engaged in postdoctoral research at an accredited college, university or institution.