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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 2023 SDMG Scholarships (submitted April 2023): Chloe Glore for Jewelry and Metalsmith and Alec Kelso for Geology.


Chloe Glore

Chloe Glore is a senior at San Diego State University, where she is majoring in Applied Design, with an emphasis in Jewelry and Metals. Prior to moving to San Diego, she was originally from Orange County where she began crafting and selling her own silver jewelry and has since practiced silversmithing for almost four years. Her fascination with metallurgy and metal casting techniques has led her to make one-of-a-kind pieces that represent her love for the craft and the process of creation.



Alec Kelso

Alec Kelso is currently in his third year at San Diego State University, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in the geological sciences program. He has lived in San Diego for the last 12 years and plans on living here for many more! His interests are geared towards igneous and metamorphic petrology, the dynamics of crystallization within the mantle, and pretty much everything else happening on a microscopic level within the Earth. He has recently started working on an undergraduate thesis with Dr. Dave Kimbrough investigating the mineralogy of some post-subduction volcanic rocks found throughout Southern and Baja California. He absolutely loves collecting rocks and minerals and has even purchased a few samples from the Society's store.


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

 2023 – Alec Kelso (geology)

 2023 – Chloe Glore (jewelry and metalsmithing)

 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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