Alumni Spotlight

Jennifer Gresh (BS ’98, EES) and Victoria Samuelsen (BS ’15, EES): Owls make a connection

When Jennifer Gresh graduated from Temple in 1998 with a geology degree, women in her field were relatively scarce. After graduate school, she started working for Duffield Associates, a geoscience and engineering firm where the reality of working in a traditionally male domain hit home. “When I went on a construction site it wasn’t always easy. Right away, I knew one of my goals would be to help other women succeed in geology,” she says.

As Gresh rose through the ranks from staff geologist to senior consultant to Philadelphia Services Leader, she saw a way to do just that—she joined CST’s Owl to Owl Mentor Program. One of her early protégés was a friend and classmate of Victoria Samuelsen. Samuelsen reached out to Gresh and asked her if she had room for another mentee. “We struck up a friendship and she would reach out to me over the course of her school career and during her first job,” Gresh says. “Eventually we were able to bring her onboard here as a project geologist.”

At Duffield, which provides consulting services for land development and acquisition, Samuelsen currently conducts phase-one and phase-two environmental site assessments, testing groundwater and soil samples. “I get my hands wet out in the field,” Samuelsen says. “It’s a different project every day, so I’m still learning all the time.”

For Gresh, hiring a Temple alum was a win-win. “Temple’s Geology Program is very field-oriented, and it positioned me well for this work. I knew that Tori would be well-prepared,” she says. “I have a strong love for the school, and nurturing these connections is a wonderful investment in the future.” On Samuelsen’s side, the mentorship experience prepared her for the transition to the professional world. “I knew exactly what I was signing up for when I took this job, which is invaluable. It’s been amazing to watch a strong woman like Jen in action, because I have learned so much from her, on the construction site and beyond.”

-Elisa Ludwig