Geology Museum celebrates grand opening

Katie Roupe

Professor Emeritus Rodney Feldmann inspects geology masters student Beth Rhenberg’s rock as part of “Stump Your Professor.” The rock was later identified as a belemnite (a squid imprint). KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

Multicolored rocks and minerals lined the hallways of the second and third floors of McGilvery Hall during the grand opening of the Kent State Geology Museum Friday.

“It’s nice just to see everyone here enjoying science,” senior geology major Jerad Dudley said. “Usually the hallways are empty, but now it’s like, ‘What’s this, people are in the hallway?’ It’s nice to see people actually interested in geology.”

Visitors enjoyed free doughnuts and orange juice while browsing the many exhibits featuring rocks, minerals and fossils. Items in the museum were donated from various sources such as closed rock shops, alumni and field trip findings.

Various rocks and minerals were available for purchase. The museum will be accessible as long as the building remains open during the day, and new pieces will be continually added.

“I find it relaxing between classes or studying to check out the rocks,” said Yvette Vlack, vice president of Sigma Gamma Epsilon. “It’s academically aesthetic.”

Senior geology major Sandi Kandel won the geode slice that was raffled off by Sigma Gamma Epsilon.

“I’m thrilled to win it,” Kandel said. “I’ve been eyeballing it for two weeks.”

Kandel said she collected all different types of rocks and minerals and had the perfect place to display it with her collection.

Several students took the opportunity to play “Stump Your Professor” and asked a variety of questions on rocks and geology.

“It’s really nice to socialize with people and answer any questions about geology,” undergraduate adviser Richard Heimlich said. “I think the event is fun and we should do it more often.”

Students and professors joked around while community members browsed exhibits.

“We are really pleased with the turnout,” assistant professor Donna Witter said. “We’ve seen many KSU administrators and community members.”

The opening of the museum was the finale to the Earth Science Week that spotlighted a speaker about declining coral reefs.

“We’re excited about getting heard,” Witter said. “It’s nice to highlight different issues. Science is not something people tend to think about every day.”

Vlack said the opening of the museum was all about getting people there to realize the exhibits existed and encouraging everyone to get involved in upcoming projects such as field trips and research.

“Science isn’t a spectator sport,” Vlack said. “You have to get hands on, and you have to dive in.”

Contact honors and international affairs reporter Katie Roupe at [email protected].