Pasadena Lapidary Society (PLS) is proud to announce that member Paolo Sanchez of Burbank has been awarded the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies’ (CFMS) Robert O. Deidrich Memorial Fund Scholarship for school year 2020-21. This award was established some fifty years ago by the late Melba Deidrich in memory of her husband Robert. The recipient of the $2,000 award must be an Earth Sciences major entering his/her junior or senior year at either UC Berkeley or Stanford University. Pasadena Lapidary Society is one of many member clubs in the CFMS.
Paolo became interested in Earth Sciences as a kindergartener, developing an affinity for rockhounding through the years by reading geology field books and old textbooks, then applying that knowledge in the domain. He joined PLS as a Junior member at the age of 12 and since then he has given lectures about geology at PLS’ monthly program meetings, led educational rock and mineral identification seminars, and authored/coauthored numerous geological and mineralogical articles in the monthly PLS newsletter Rockhound Ramblings, among numerous invaluable contributions he has made to the Club. As part of Pasadena Lapidary Society’s community outreach, Paolo has taught basic geoscience to local elementary school students, along with providing hands-on teaching techniques with self-collected rock and mineral specimens.
As Filipino-Americans, Paolo’s parents Debbie and Ferdie trained and worked hard to establish themselves in the U.S.’s medical industry, and through their dedication and experience—as well as wonderful support from his older brother Joshua and younger sister Danielle—Paolo has been able to obtain a first-generation, U.S.-college education at UC Berkeley. With this he plans to continue his passion in the geosciences, working his way up to a PhD and possibly obtaining a career as a professional researcher. He is in his third year of double majoring in geology and geophysics and is developing a research project involving the chemistry of molten glasses (tektites) formed during the meteor impact that killed the dinosaurs (a.k.a. the K-Pg Impact) 66 million years ago.
Prior to UC Berkeley, Paolo interned at Cal State Northridge for a year, doing research for the Geological Sciences Department. At present he is a Research Assistant at both the Berkeley Geochronology Center and at the UC Berkeley Earth and Planetary Sciences Dept. Paolo is also an editor and contributor to the popular non-commercial online mineralogical database mindat.org.
Along with his family, Pasadena Lapidary Society shares great pride in Paolo’s accomplishments, congratulates him at winning this prestigious award, and wishes him much success in his future endeavors.
The Pasadena Lapidary Society was established in 1946 and serves to educate its members and the community in mineralogy, earth sciences, and training in the lapidary and jewelry arts – while promoting a policy of sound mineral resource stewardship based on environmental awareness and ethical behavior. The Society fulfills its mission year-round which may include field trips, lapidary workshops, outreach presentations to schools, public mineral displays, an annual show, and our monthly informational meetings which are open to the public. Visit pasadenalapidary.org for further information. The California Federation of Mineralogical Societies represents over 100 gem and rockhound clubs statewide, as well as a few clubs in Nevada and Arizona. Visit cfmsinc.org for further information.