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close-up of Joan Fryxell boating

Dr. Joan E. Fryxell, Professor of Geology, California State University, San Bernardino, shares how her students are tough and dedicated, but with the added burden of COVID-19 she knew it was her duty to help them.

How did you first get involved in GSA?

I joined GSA in 1977, when I graduated from college, to keep in contact with the geological community while I pursued a master’s degree in another field, and because it seemed like the professional thing to do. I got involved with GSA through the Cordilleran Section, as a local organizing committee member, and from there GSA started asking me to participate in other activities.

What inspired you to give to GSA CARES?

I teach at a regional comprehensive university whose students are overwhelmingly first-generation students working their way through college. I see their struggles to accomplish their goal of a college degree when the economy is “good” or at least the way it has been, juggling school, work, and home commitments, and I applaud the lengths they go to. Adding quarantine is a serious burden, and anything I can do to help is my duty to them.

What would you like to say to students affected by COVID-19?

Wash your hands. Wear a mask. We all need to get used to this mode until an effective vaccine is widely available, so hang in there. I am looking forward to the day when I can hug my students at a commencement ceremony!

What would you like to say to others who want to help during this time?

I am fortunate to be able to work at home, so my income is stable. If you are in a similar position, please consider contributing to a program that supports students. Our students are tough and dedicated, but they need our support.

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