Esteban Gazel, assistant professor of geosciences in the College of Science at Virginia Tech, has been selected by Costa Rica’s El Financiero newspaper--that nation’s leading business newspaper--as one of 40 people under 40 who have positively influenced the region.

Gazel, a native of Costa Rica, is the first geoscientist to receive the honor in the 19-year existence of the publication which focuses on in-depth coverage of issues related to economics, finance, business, and technology issues similar to that of The Wall Street Journal in the United States.

“If you are on this list in the fields of business, economics, industry, or policy, it’s a really big deal,” Gazel said. “And being the first geoscientist to make the list, makes this special for me.”

The paper cited Gazel’s rising trajectory in science from receiving the National Science Award of Costa Rica in 2009, to earning a prestigious postdoctoral fellowship at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University for 2009-2011, through his current role at Virginia Tech.

Gazel’s recent research includes measuring the content of volatile elements within volcanoes and its implication in violent volcanic activity. In 2013, he received a three-year, $353,097 grant from the National Science Foundation GeoPrisms Program to work a James Madison University researcher to study volcanic activity in Virginia.

Gazel received his bachelor's degree from the University of Costa Rica and a Ph.D. from Rutgers University.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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