Earth and Environmental Sciences – Outstanding Senior 2021

Theresa “Tessa” Czech

Seattle, WA

Degrees and Majors:

  • Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Science


  • Mathematics

Cum laude

Clubs, Organizations, Leadership, and Service

  • Geology Club

Internships and Employment

  • Library Reference Assistant, WSU Libraries
  • Student Ambassador, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Research Assistant
  • Exxon Mobil Geophysics Short Course
  • Exxon Mobil Reservoir Characterization Short Course
  • IRIS Summer Internship where she developed a velocity structure for the Seattle and Tacoma basin, used to better estimate the effects of a large earthquake in the region.

Undergraduate Research

  • Can Supercontinents Form Without Plate Tectonics?
  • Columbia River Basalts Dike Composition Relation to Location
  • Siesmic Velocity Structure and Ground Motion Amplification in the Seattle and Tacoma Sedementary Basins.

Awards and Recognition

  • Auvil Scholars Fellowship
  • Harold E. Culver Memorial Scholarship
  • Fuller Field Course Fellowship
  • Reynolds-Biersner Scholarship in Geology
  • Mel, Johanna, and Sammi Schroeder Scholarship in Geology
  • Myron and Marie Huckle Geology Scholarship

Faculty Comments

Tessa delivered her virtual GSA presentation spontaneously after the system lost all of the recorded poster presentations for that session. In what many of us would have found to be a high pressure and stressful situation, Tessa did not look ruffled in the slightest. She gave a great presentation and answered questions better than I would have! In conclusion, Tessa is great—she’s intelligent, motivated, and ready to engage in geophysics research. Katie Cooper

Personal Statement

My four years at WSU have been filled with amazing people and experiences and I am so thankful to have been a part of this community. Support and encouragement from my family, friends, SoE professors, and WSU Library family has helped me to keep a seed of sanity in turbulent times. Thank you to my mentor Katie Cooper for encouraging me from my first day on campus, pushing me to think creatively and critically, and supporting when times have gotten tough. Thank you for enforcing that science is a place for everyone and advocating for inclusivity within our research group, the University, and the science community. I am so excited to continue my education holding these values close. And as always, GO COUGS!

Honored Faculty and Mentors

  • Katie Cooper, Environment
  • Arlene Parkay, Advising for CAS Student Ambassadors
  • Alecia Hoene, Academic Advising
  • John Wolff, Environment
  • Sean Long, Environment
  • Erica England, WSU Libraries
  • Erin Hvizdak, WSU Libraries
  • Jen Lange Saulnier, WSU Libraries
  • Corey Johnson, WSU Libraries

Future Plans

Tessa will be attending the University of Utah in the fall, pursuing a PhD in seismology and studying Yellowstone volcanic structure and hazards.