Gary Scholze took a first place award at the California State University Student Research Competition.
Sacramento State’s Gary Scholze captured a first place award and collected $500 during the 25th annual California State University Student Research Competition at Fresno State.
Scholze, who plans to complete his master’s thesis this summer and graduate with a degree in Anthropology, finished atop the Behavioral and Social Sciences graduate-level division. His 10-minute presentation, Native American Root Use Within Northeastern California and the Utilization of Starch Grain Analysis
, was cogent enough for a jury of professional experts from major corporations, foundations, public agencies, and colleges and universities in California.
“Since the presentation was not before your peers,” he says, “it was crucial to condense the complex material in a way that was coherent.”
The systemwide competition, held May 6-7, showcased research conducted by 225 CSU undergraduate and graduate students. It encompassed a full range of academic programs.
Scholze used a new type of analysis to directly connect prehistoric Native American behavior to specific plant exploitation. He’s suited for his field of study, having completed an internship with the U.S. Forest Service several years ago by conducting archeological fieldwork and by working as a firefighter.
The Wisconsin native’s specific concentration is ethnopaleobotany, and he hopes to land a position with a cultural-management firm, adding, “this and the Bay Area are hot spots for the archeological firms and research that interest me.”
Scholze has plenty of field experience, including 10-day excavations in the Mojave Desert, Napa, Oroville, Redding, the Owens Valley and the Midwest. His professional preference is to remain in the archeological field and to enhance his research so it can be incorporated into more archeological studies. He’s motivated by the excavation of materials and laboratory analysis.
Ronald Coleman, faculty director of Student Research Competition, says, "Gary did a great job representing Sacramento State by presenting the results of his extensive research clearly and concisely. The mark of a great research presentation is that it makes you think about something new and wish that you were involved in that study. Clearly the jurors agreed by awarding him first place."
Adrienne S. Thompson, Sac State Research Administration coordinator, agrees, noting that “the jurors were impressed by his knowledge and humble manner.”
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