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Alumni Spotlight: Mary Broussard

Mary Broussard (Master of Science Geology/Earth Science, 1995). Senior Geophysicist at Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas, Lafayette, Louisiana.

She says her father inspired her interest in geology. "My father had a Ph.D. in geophysics and was a great mentor for me. I took a high school course in geology and discovered that I loved earth science," Broussard said. "As a geoscientist, I am presented with unique challenges every day that, keep my job exciting. I work with a group of professionals who I respect and appreciate. For me, it's a great career. I appreciate the exposure and opportunity to work on a variety of deepwater projects and I am always expanding my knowledge base."

Broussard started her graduate work at UL Lafayette when she was working full time for Marathon Oil Co. "I needed a Master's degree and, at the time, the UL graduate program was small. The UL professors were willing and able to customize my course load to fit my work schedule," she said. "I took courses during my lunch break and in the evening. I was able to pursue a graduate degree with the help of the professors."

She said the practical and hands-on education worked well for her. "Compared to most programs, it offered real-world knowledge and applications," she said. "It gave me the skill set that I needed to excel in my career. It made me a well-rounded geoscientist."

She gives significant credit to Dr. Brian Lock, who has been in the Department of Geology for 35 years. "He was my thesis adviser. He was patient with me while I was working full time. He encouraged me in many positive ways. Once, he even convinced me to present an abbreviated version of my thesis at a 1995 technical conference focused on gulf coast geology. It could have been intimidating for a grad student, but with his help —he co-authored the paper, it was a great experience. We won the highest honor at the conference for the paper!"

Broussard said she has greatly enjoyed working with the university since she graduated. "I like to stay connected and volunteer. I find it rewarding to work with students and pass on my knowledge," she said. "Through the years I have had the opportunity to mentor numerous grad students participating in the geology program as well as give several seminars."