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SDMG SCHOLARSHIP FUND

The San Diego Mineral and Gem Society's Scholarship Fund began in 1986 to provide funds in order to advance educational and scientific objectives relating to earth sciences and the lapidary and metal arts.  In 1999, the $500 grant was renamed after Carmelita and Bern Swarts because of their tremendous contribution to the Society.

Both Carmelita and Bern were tireless and dedicated members, helping to shape the club for over 30 years, serving on the Board of Directors for over 20 of those years.  They were extremely active members and were involved in some way in almost every event the club sponsored.  Carmelita worked steadily for the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies on the public lands advisory committee and was awarded the Golden Bear Award – the top single award given by the CFMS because of her years of long service.  Carmelita Swarts, with the assistance of Assemblymembers Lucy Killea and Rusty Areias, was responsible for seeing that Benitoite was named the official gemstone of the State of California in 1985. Bern served as Society President from 1984–85, was chairman of the Mineral Division, Building Superintendent and was also a life member.

In 2007, the William Tirk Scholarship was created.  This scholarship enabled the SDMG to assist two students in the pursuit of their educational endeavors.  Bill was a member of the Society for almost 50 years.  He was an instructor, School Director and on the Board of Directors as Treasurer for over 40 years.  He was awarded the Golden Bear award from CFMS for his extensive service to that organization.  From 1976–77 he was CFMS President and hosted the AFMS/CFMS show in 1984, which was a huge success.

The student chosen for scholarships must meet the following criteria:

  • Be enrolled full time in junior, senior or graduate studies.
  • Maintain a 3.0 or higher grade point average.
  • Major in subjects related to earth sciences or lapidary arts.

Scholarship recipients are nominated by the Department Heads of the Geological Sciences and the Jewelry/Metalsmithing College of Fine Arts.  The choosen recipients are awarded their Scholarship at the SDMG's Annual Banquet, which is held in March.

Biographical statements by the recipients of the 2020 SDMG Scholarships (submitted January 2020): Jennifer Hansen for Jewelry and Metalsmith and Javaria Aziz for Geology.

 

Jennifer Hansen

Jennifer Hansen is a 2nd year MFA candidate in the Jewelry + Metals program at SDSU. She has a BA in Art History from UC Berkeley and spent many years working as the assistant to the head of the Jewelry Department of the San Rafael Auction Gallery. Her work explores visual perception and boundaries, what we choose to show vs. what we conceal.

She grew up in England raised by parents who were buying and selling antiques partially as a side business but mostly out of love for old things and the stories they tell. This early exposure fostered a life long connection with Victorian and Georgian jewelry which continues to inform her work. The hidden messages in Victorian jewelry and the concealment of Georgian lover's eye brooches are themes repeated in her work.

She discovered metalsmithing by accident when she first started her undergraduate studies. An illustration major in a heavily impacted program she was unable to register for drawing classes and took the only art classes that had space, jewelry and metals. It was instant love. Unfortunately that jewelry program lost its funding and she eventually switched to an Art History major but she always maintained a jewelry practice.

Many years later while volunteering as a teaching assistant in the College of Marin jewelry department she came to realize that education is her happy place and what she wants to do with her life. Two years ago she took a leap of faith and applied to graduate school in pursuit of a life teaching Jewelry + Metals at a college level. Since starting graduate school she has taught during the summer at College of Marin and last year as a graduate instructor of beginning Jewelry + Metals at SDSU. She hopes that after graduation she will be fortunate enough to continue teaching, she learns as much if not more from her students as they learn from her.

 

 

Javaria Aziz

I am a Geological Sciences student at San Diego State University. I am in my senior year and will receive my Bachelor's degree in May 2020. I am working with Dr. Vic Camp for my senior thesis, on Miocene volcanic deposits near Jacumba, CA. I have worked with Dr. Austin Hendy at the Invertebrate Paleontology Research Collection of the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, studying Pleistocene marine molluscs from Santa Barbara, CA.After graduating from San Diego State University, I plan on working for a year and then going to graduate school in Oregon for my Master's degree. This prestigious honor means a lot to me and will help me in achieving my future goals. Geology isn't just a career choice for me, it is my passion and I am extremely grateful that I get to do what I love doing the most every single day for the rest of my life.

 

PAST RECIPIENTS
of the CARMELITA and BERN SWARTS (geology)
and WILLIAM TIRK (jewelry and metalsmithing) SCHOLARSHIPS

 2020 – Javaria Aziz (geology)

 2020 – Jennifer Hansen (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2019 – Mason Einbund (geology)

 2019 – Rachel Ness (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2018 – Scott Knapp (geology)

 2018 – Julia Schechner (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2017 – Scott Knapp (geology)

 2017 – Misaki Sano (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2016 – Maria Henderson (geology)

 2016 – Petra Winnwalker (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2015 – Amanda Linn (geology)

 2015 – Kaiya Rainbolt (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2014 – Heather Webb (geology)

 2014 – Michael David Rybicki (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2013 – Luke Weidman (geology)

 2013 – Niki Grandics (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2012 – Joanna Rose (geology)

 2012 – Eirene Mavromichalis (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2011 – Jason Parizek (geology)

 2011 – Rachel Shimpock (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2010 – Rebecca Tsang (geology)

 2010 – Lynsey Pew (jewelry an metalsmithing)

 2009 – Dylan Collins (geology)

 2009 – Kira Williams (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2008 – Cara Leach (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 2008 – Briana Johnson (geology)

 

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