Geology Undergraduate Wins National Veteran Scholarship

Daniel Orazi | Undergraduate | Geology 

Hard work, determination and whole lot of time spent studying rocks has paid off for military staff sergeant Daniel Orazi. The senior geology major was recently named one of ten recipients nationwide of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists Military Veterans Scholarship Program. The scholarship provides $2,000-$4,000 in funds for an academic year and aims to promote education and career opportunities in geosciences, helping veterans transition into educational and civilian technical professions.

Orazi spent six years at various military assignments throughout the United States and overseas before beginning his education in geology. Orazi believes research with William Gilhooly, Ph.D., assistant professor of earth sciences, has been one his most valuable experiences as an undergraduate and encourages other students to explore hands-on learning to prepare for life after college.

“It’s amazing to learn about the geologic evolution of the Earth through laboratory research and apply the things we learn in class,” Orazi said. “By far, the most rewarding college experience has been getting involved in geologic research with Dr. Gilhooly.”

Orazi’s involvement in Gilhooly’s lab began with the help of funding through the Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Initiative (MURI) administered through the Center for Research and Learning (CRL). Orazi enjoyed his MURI experience enough with Gilhooly that he decided to continue on in the lab, eventually submitting a research proposal to the Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (UROP). Orazi currently studies isotope geochemistry of Ordovician sediments in Gilhooly’s lab, and collaborates with Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) professor Benjamin Dattilo, Ph.D.

After working with him for the last two years, Gilhooly is excited for Orazi’s achievements.

"I'm excited, but not surprised, that he won this scholarship," said Gilhooly. "It's a real pleasure to work with Dan. He quickly learned the lab methods and has taken ownership of the project. All his efforts in his independent research will serve him well in grad school."

When Orazi isn’t in the lab he’s out exploring downtown Indianapolis. After traveling around the world, he says Indianapolis is a nice place for an undergraduate to call home. After completing his degree Orazi hopes to attend graduate school in an energy-related field.