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Celebrating the Class of 2016: Laura Dafov

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Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences

Activities: Geoscience Leadership Organization for Women, the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, and the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Pre-Graduate School Internship Program

Rocking it out…When she first came to UT Austin, Dafov wasn’t sure which direction to take. After her father connected her with a mentor in the petroleum industry, she discovered her fascination with rocks and minerals. “I love being able to understand what’s near us and what’s beneath our feet—whether we know it or not.”

Exploring the great outdoors…After graduation, Dafov will spend six weeks at field camp, a mandatory course requirement and rite of passage for geologists. Her eyes light up when she talks about all the rock formations she will be exploring in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado and Montana. After her camping excursion, she’ll embark on her next adventure: Graduate school at Stanford University.

Life after college…When asked the dreaded question, “Where do you see yourself ten years from now,” Dafov just smiles and says, “I see myself doing geology the rest of my life. It is my passion and has been an extremely fulfilling journey.” Her goal is to work in the petroleum industry and ultimately make a positive impact on global communities.

The value of mentors…With help from her mentors and professors, Dafov found her niche early in her college career. In the Intellectual Entrepreneurship Program she paired up with a graduate student mentor who guided her through the grad school application process. Indebted to all her supporters, she hopes to return the favor one day. In the distant future she foresees herself returning to academia, where she can help more students like herself discover their passions. “I will try my very best to become the best geoscientist, learning as much as possible while helping others along the way and giving back to the community as much as I can.”