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Global Energy Program professor is a “GEM”

October 30, 2012

Global Energy Management Program Professor Michael Orlando was recently awarded the 2012 GEMS (Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences) Alumni Achievement Award from the Alumni Society of Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

“The Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences is very well regarded on a global basis,” Orlando said, “and that reputation is in no small part attributable to their alumni, present company excluded. So I felt it was quite an honor.”

GEM Professor Michael Orlando attended the ceremony with his daughter, Hannah, and wife, Sarah. On the left is Dean Bill Easterlin from Penn State’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

The Alumni Achievement Award is the highest recognition given by the society. Each year the award is presented to an outstanding alumnus who exemplifies the ideals of the College. Part of the reason Orlando was selected for the award is because of his post-undergraduate experience, which shows the diversity of opportunities students may pursue with a degree from the college.

“Most people assume that EMS graduates would remain in careers in the earth sciences,” Orlando said. “I have worked in large oil companies, and maintain a presence in the industry now. But I’ve also worked in government, with the Fed, and a small, high-tech start-up, teach, and started my own business. In my consulting practice, I work in a broad range of industrial applications. So I think they appreciated the diversity and the practical, business orientation I’ve pursued.”

Orlando and his family returned to the University Park campus to receive the award at the annual Obelisk Dinner and Awards Ceremony last month. The college also arranged for Orlanda and his daughter, who has a passion for art and design, to tour Penn State’s Design and Architecture studios.

Orlando also met with students and faculty during his return to State College.

“I was able to spend some time visiting with students and sharing my professional experience,” he said. “I also have close friends on the faculty and in the college office, so it was a pleasure to visit with them.”

Each year, individual departments, Earth and Mineral Sciences administration, and the Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences membership at large submit nominations for the Alumni Achievement Award. The Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences Board of Directors make the selection with final approval by the Dean of the College.

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