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Millsaps College Senior Michael Rohrer to Give Presentation at 2017 American Geophysical Union Conference

by Web on December 6, 2017

"Michael Rohrer of Vicksburg has seized every opportunity that has come his way at Millsaps College to prepare for his future career as a geophysicist.

"I have worked as a geology intern for an environmental consulting company, and I have presented my own work at geology conferences across the nation all because of the professors and programs at Millsaps," said Rohrer, a senior who plans to earn a master's degree and then pursue his career. "I have been able to network with numerous local geologists through conferences and gatherings and working alongside them."

In addition, Rohrer has completed research for an Honors project that relates to his major, geophysics. Last June, he visited Lee County, Arkansas, just outside Marianna, for three weeks and used acoustic wave energy to image fractures in the ground and determine if an earthquake has occurred there and if and when another might occur.

He's already given one presentation about his research and is scheduled to give another at the 2017 American Geophysical Union Conference in December in New Orleans. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend the three-day conference, which the largest earth and space science meeting in the world.

Rohrer initially thought he would major in mathematics, but he found an introduction to geology course compelling. Also helpful: Professors in the Geosciences Department want to see their students succeed and enjoy spending time with them, Rohrer said. "We have a fun culture in the Geosciences Department," he said.

The opportunity to play baseball appealed to Rohrer, and that's why he responded when a coach invited him to campus.

"Once I saw the students and how filled with life the campus was, it drew me in even more," said Rohrer, who played baseball his freshman and sophomore years. "Everybody I spoke to that day was so nice and seemed to be genuinely happy. I went home that evening and told my parents that Millsaps was the place for me because I saw how everybody had a positive disposition, and I wanted my life to be enriched in that same way."

The academic environment at Millsaps also attracted Rohrer.

"I wanted to dive into that environment to see if I could push the limits of how knowledgeable I could become," he said. "Millsaps provides a great learning environment in which you can expand your interests as far as you would like."

Rohrer said he likes the sense of community at Millsaps.

"The fact that you can get to know your professors on a personal level, know just about everyone on campus by name, and the pleasantness of everyone is awesome," he said. "I have made a ton of new friends since I started here."

Rohrer said he's learned to use his time wisely, so he could be involved on campus during his sophomore and junior years as a leader of Foundations, which helps new students adjust to life at Millsaps. He has also been a member of Enable America, which seeks to bring awareness to bridging the gap between disabled individuals and barriers they face.

Some weekends he reserves for travel.

"Millsaps' location in Jackson is prime for some pretty cool road trips," he said. "Since attending Millsaps, I have taken several spur of the moment excursions—packed my bags on Friday afternoon—to Atlanta, Chattanooga, Nashville, Perdido Key, Miami, Destin, New Orleans, and Tuscaloosa. Sometimes I will just look up concerts nearby and take off."