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Under the Sea and On Top of the World
Honors Scholar Goes Global for Degree

Date: June 5, 2002
Story and Video by: Chris Curran
Phone: (513) 556-1806
Photos by: Colleen Kelley, Janelle Sikorski, Thomas Lowell
Archive: Profiles, General News

Janelle Sikorski in Alaska

Anderson Township resident Janelle Sikorski grew up just 20 minutes from UC's main campus, so you might think that attending UC would have kept her close to home. Think again!

The globe-trotting graduate has climbed glaciers from Alaska to New Zealand as part of her geology studies and explored the undersea wonders off the Florida Keys on a special Honors Scholars trip led by Dave Meredith.

"Dave Meredith is my hero!" exclaimed Sikorski. "If you are looking for a particular class or experience he can send you in the right direction."

Janelle Sikorski on Honors trip to Florida Keys

She says she benefited greatly being in the Honors Scholars Program, because she met students with a wide variety of interests outside her own field.

"My honors friends were from all of UC's different colleges. They gave me a different and broader outlook on life. I got to attend plays and musicals downtown dirt cheap thanks to the program."

Sikorski noted that the Honors Scholars Program includes many fundraising events, so even the long-distance trips don't pose an unusual financial burden on students. She also earned a summer research grant through the program which helped support a summer of field work in Alaska. And there's nothing that makes Sikorski happier than to spend a little time next to a glacier.

Tebenkof Glacier in Alaska

  • Janelle talks about her love of glaciers. (audio only, 78KB)
    (video version, 2.3MB)

    She cried when she saw her first one - the jagged ice of Matanuska Glacier in south central Alaska. "It became my favorite, because it was the first one I saw in person...the first one I actually got to walk on...slip on...and sink knee deep into the ooze."

    Sikorski has seen many more glaciers since then, but that has done nothing to dampen her enthusiasm. "Once I started getting up close, seeing and touching real glaciers, it hooked me even more."

    Video clips

    Gulkana Glacier
  • Watch Janelle fighting her way through the alders in Alaska. (1.8 MB)
  • Janelle explores an ice cave at 27-Mile Glacier. (1.6 MB)
  • Multiple scenes from Janelle's Alaskan adventures. (5.9MB)

    Part two of Janelle's story: Her senior thesis project in the Southern Alps of New Zealand.

    Profiles archive: Meet other UC students, faculty and staff.

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