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SUNY Potsdam Alumni Name Erin E. Wagner '13 a 'Rising Star'

July 21, 2017

SUNY Potsdam President Kristin G. Esterberg presents the 2017 Rising Star Award to Erin E. Wagner ’13.

The SUNY Potsdam Alumni Association recently honored Erin E. Wagner ’13 with the 2017 Rising Star Award at the College’s Reunion Weekend.

The Rising Star Award is presented to an alum who has demonstrated outstanding professional achievement in the first decade following graduation. Wagner was recognized for her outstanding accomplishments so early in her career, as well as her generosity and leadership.

About the recipient:

Erin E. Wagner ’13 is an exceptional alumna and young scientist within the field of geology. She has continually proven her dedication to her field, her community and her alma mater. Wagner attended SUNY Potsdam thanks to support from the Mt. Emmons Scholarship. Her intelligence, willingness to take on any challenge, and ability to perform under stressful and physically challenging conditions impressed all those around her. She also served as a member of the Bears Women’s Volleyball team for three years. In the summer of 2013, Wagner was selected as one of 16 students nationwide to take part in the Geological Society of America-ExxonMobil Bighorn Basin field trip, where she distinguished herself through her presentation skills, ability to work in and lead a group, and skill in defending her interpretations.

As a result, she was selected for an internship with Exxon-Mobil following her graduation in December 2013, and was ultimately offered a full-time position as a petroleum geoscientist, making her one of only 25 Exxon-Mobil geoscience hires that year worldwide. As a geoscientist, Wagner works on the offshore Gulf of Mexico, where she solves complex geologic problems, in order to recover natural resources both cost-effectively and safely.

In addition to working on geologic problems, Wagner participates in partner relations with other companies with a shared interest in assets, as well as looking at scientific questions with the corporation’s business strategy in mind. She is also an active participant in the ExxonMobil Women’s Network, which provides resources, networking and support for women in the company. Wagner is also passionate about giving back and promoting STEM careers for other young women.

In 2015, she established the Erin Wagner ’13 Field Camp Experience Scholarship, making her the youngest major donor in SUNY Potsdam’s history. Recognizing that field camp work is often financially out of reach for many students, she said, “It seems to be almost daily that I call upon methods and information I learned in my time at SUNY Potsdam. By creating this scholarship, I hope to give geology students at Potsdam the same positive experience that I had, and that ultimately led to my post-graduation achievements.”

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Alumni Association, visit

Founded in 1816, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America’s first 50 colleges—and the oldest institution within SUNY. Now in its third century, SUNY Potsdam is distinguished by a legacy of pioneering programs and educational excellence. The College currently enrolls approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its challenging liberal arts and sciences core, distinction in teacher training and culture of creativity. To learn more, visit

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