Santa Cruz, Bolivia, native Alvaro Puente ’11, majored in geology and minored in physics while at Earlham. He has put both subjects into practice as a staff geologist for Geologic Services & Consultants, Inc., an environmental geology consulting company located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Puente credits four years of studying in a rigorous natural science program for providing him with the tools to succeed in his position. He also appreciated the chance to partake in opportunities outside the standard curriculum, making his education more diverse and complete. For example, he conducted research on the creation of gas sensors based on semiconducting, metal oxide nanobelts for the physics department. He assisted Andy Moore (geology) during the deployment of an acoustic current Doppler profiler and other equipment in Pensacola, Florida, which monitored coastal erosion during tropical storms.
Puente believes that the strength of Earlham’s academic programs lies in its talented faculty. Professors such as Moore, John Howell (physics), Meg Streepey-Smith (geology) and Ray Hively (physics) stood out. He credits Howell as “a fantastic professor and mentor during my four years at Earlham” and states that he has “yet to meet a person with his pedagogic skills.” Moore and Streepey-Smith were “pillars of my college career. It was their teaching that drove me toward a degree in geology.”
His positive memories of college employees weren’t limited to faculty; staff made an impact on his life as well. During Puente’s years at Earlham, he held a work-study position at the campus post office, where he met postal staff member Kay Lynch and her team. He admired their dedication, work ethic, immense hearts and humble spirits.
What’s next for this talented alum? Puente is in the process of applying to Master of Science degree programs in geological and geotechnical engineering in universities around the United States. Wherever his path may lead, he’s on a strong foundation.
B.A., Earlham College
Hometown: Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Major at Earlham: Geology (minor in physics)