STEM student wants to guide others and help with water crisis


Anthony Aguilar

Tommy Rojas, pictured above, is earning his bachelor of sci- ence in geology. Cal State LA also offers a minor in geology, as well as a Master of Science degree in geological sciences.

Undergraduate student Tommy Rojas, majoring in geology, would like to take on the challenge of giving guidance to students and helping the water crisis the earth faces. 

Being part of the STEM program has given Rojas experience in meeting people.

“The most enjoyable aspect of being in the major is the sense of community that both the professor and peers create,” Rojas said. “If I didn’t have the opportunity to get to know my classmates more and see that the professors actually care for their students, I wouldn’t be as motivated to come to class and learn.”

Finding community has inspired Rojas to give back to others. He said he’d like to help the STEM program and help students in the program later in life.

“After completing the B.S. in geology and the M.S. in hydrology, I plan to find employment locally and find a way to stay engaged with the school to help students in the geology program,” Rojas said. “Hopefully, I provide advice and guidance to students once I have the experience to do so.”

Not only has Rojas set his vision to help students, but he also would like to use his knowledge to work on some of the world’s challenges.

“I want to eventually work my way into the Environmental Protection Agency and help with the water crisis and find sustainable ways to conserve and produce clean water,” Rojas said.

His interest in geology began when he took a class. He wanted to pursue more options within this program, which led him to majoring in it when he got to Cal State LA.

“I decided to major in geology as I was always interested in the Earth and the processes that govern it,” he said. “I took AP environmental science, and it encouraged me to think about pursuing it in higher education.”

He did have other plans before setting his mind on becoming a geology major. He was originally planning in majoring in business with the marketing option.

“The reason I changed my decision was because I took an urban geology course and realized that I really wanted to continue advancing my education in environmental sciences,” he said.

For now, Rojas is looking into opportunities that can help him in his field. He is looking for internships dealing with hydrogeology or hydrology.

“The main resources I’ve received were from professors themselves with academic advisement and advice on how to approach internships and future employment,” Rojas said. “Recently, the geology department created a google classroom for all geology majors that sends out news on current events, updates on new internship opportunities, and webinars from respected organizations like the American Geosciences Institute.” 

When asked if there were any upcoming events or projects that he knew that are STEM related, he said, “Typically there are always events for geologists, from conferences to events that are hosted by more local organizations like the Los Angeles Basin Geology Society.”