Monica Dix ’20 Awarded Truman Scholarship

May 22, 2019
Hillary Hempstead
Monica Dix
Monica Dix ’20. Photo credit: Kate Pippenger

Geology and politics double major Monica Dix ’20 has been awarded a Truman Scholarship.

Awarded to outstanding college juniors who have demonstrated a strong commitment to public service, recipients of the highly selective scholarship receive up to $30,000 to apply toward graduate study in the United States or abroad, along with enhanced access to competitive graduate schools and access to scholar programs.

At Oberlin, Dix works in the geology department’s geomorphology lab, which she was introduced to through the Strong Program. She began working in the lab the summer before her first year at Oberlin, and she has been involved ever since. Dix is currently studying abroad in New Zealand with the Frontiers Abroad program where she’s doing research on the Waimakariri glacial valley.

Dix applied for the Truman Scholarship after realizing that there are few geoscientists who are elected officials. She concluded that she wanted to eventually enter politics to make an impact and create change in the scientific realm.

“I think that with a lot of issues we’re having, such as massive flooding, or even trying to understand climate and policies on more of a long-term, less election cycle basis, geologists have a lot to offer,” says Dix. “My hope is that I can work with individuals in public policy and use their guidance to become an effective agent of change in a very holistic and intersectional way.”

The Wisconsin native plans to use her $30,000 award to attend graduate school to study geology and build her expertise as a scientist. Dix plans to first obtain a master’s degree, followed by a PhD, in geosciences or natural resources. Her goal, particularly in the doctorate program, is to integrate her research with economics research in order to gain a holistic perspective on land and water management.

“Having the support of those connections that the Truman Foundation provides is really crucial to ensure I make a big impact in my career in public service,” says Dix. 

While at Oberlin, Dix has served as president of the College Democrats, been involved with the Oberlin Student Cooperative Association (OSCA), served as a Peer Advising Leader (PAL), wrote for the Synapse, participated in Model United Nations, and worked for the Office of Admissions.

Dix hopes to eventually pursue a career in public office where she will focus on land and water management in the Great Lakes region.

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