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The Water Lover
BS Water Resources
“One day when I was a freshman, it was pouring rain in Brockport. My professors made it a teaching opportunity--they used the rain to talk about the mechanics of water. I realized then that I found water more interesting than rocks! So I changed my Earth Science major from Geology to Water Resources.”
On any given day, Jill Libby can be found taking stream samples or analyzing well water for her research in Earth Science at SUNY Brockport. Jill's passion for Earth Science began as a sophomore in high school when she took a U.S. Geological Survey tour.
“I went on a tour of an area that had been the victim of a landslide,” she says. “After that, I wanted to know how a disaster like that could happen without any warning. When I got home, I told my mom I wanted to study geology in college.”
Despite being raised on a horse farm outside of tiny Tully, NY (“a town with no grocery store and only two stop lights!”), Jill's experiences have been far and wide. Her passion for travel has taken her throughout the United States, as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Cozumel. “My parents would take us to the Caribbean for a week in the winter,” Jill says. “I learned how to sail, speak Spanish and talk to people from all over the world.”
Jill is also passionate about politics. During her junior year in high school, she applied and was accepted to the highly selective Junior Summer Statesman of America Foundation, where she studied at Georgetown University for three weeks. She was also given a front seat to the democratic process as an observer on the House and Senate floors. The experience was “life-changing” in that it gave Jill a glimpse into college life. “We were held to the highest expectations, and I lived in a dorm with other students, so I got a taste of college independence.” Although Jill has decided she does not want to be a politician, she continues her “diplomatic” work as a Campus Ambassador at Brockport, a student-led Christian fellowship that works with issues such as poverty and AIDS. She also actively participates in Brockport Student Government events.
Why did Jill choose SUNY Brockport? “They have an excellent Earth Sciences program,” she says. “But what clinched it for me was when I visited campus. When I went to other schools, they acted like I was just another student to them. But at Brockport, all the teachers made me so welcome. They took a real interest in me, right from the start.”
That dedication has not faltered since she has been a student. Jill says. “My professors are incredibly willing to help me with class work or planning my future. They all go out of their way to make sure that I succeed in whatever I try.”
Jill also cites field work as a major part of her Brockport education. In her sophomore year, she did stream analysis. Now a junior, she works summers at the Research Foundation conducting studies for the Earth Sciences Department. “Brockport strikes a great balance between class, field and lab work,” she says.” I find this incredibly important because that is the kind of work I hope to do in the future.” She adds, “It takes more then just a degree to get a good job; you need to connect with companies and people outside of the college, and my professors have helped me do that. “
Besides studying water, Jill loves sailing, running on campus, strolling through the village of Brockport, animals, camping, hiking, fishing, Bob Marley, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, Clint Eastwood, and books by Tom Clancy.
Eclectic. Well-rounded. Rock-solid. If there is such a thing as a “typical” Brockport student, Jill Libby is it.