Geology Student Accepted to Prestigious Program, Aspires to Change the World

College of Charleston junior Sylricka Foster loves to tell people “the Earth can exist without us but we cannot exist without the Earth,” and that commitment to the environment has led her to become one of 30 students across the nation to be accepted into the Minorities Striving and Pursuing Higher Degrees of Success in Earth System Science Program (MS PHD’S).

MS PHD’S is a professional development program for students in the Earth Science discipline who will go on to purse Master’s degrees and/or PhD’s. The award is reflective of Foster’s academic and professional accomplishments as a Geology student at the College, as well as her potential for success.  “My life goal is to inspire others to change the way they see themselves in relation to the environment and to Earth,” she says.

Through the program, Foster will have the opportunity to network at the American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco in December. Later, she’ll travel to Washington, DC to talk to politicians and policy makers about the critical role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education (STEM) and to present her own research. She will also visit the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation and NASA.

“One day, I want to work for NASA or the EPA as a climate change researcher, and eventually, I would love to become the EPA Administrator. Above all, I want to teach people how to live in a way that’s not so anthropocentric. Human health is impacted by the ‘health’ of the environment, and by using this approach, we can make greater strides to protect the environment, ourselves, and future generations.”

For more information, email Sylricka Foster at