GSO Teaching Fellow: Max Barczok

Meet Max Barczok, a graduate student orientation (GSO) teaching fellow and doctoral student studying applied geology. Read on to learn more about his favorite places in Kent, what he enjoys doing in his free time and what advice he has for incoming graduate students.

GSO teaching fellow Max Barczok hiking in Sweden

Where is your hometown?

Ulm, Germany

Why did you decide to come to Kent State?

The research performed in the areas of environmental science and climate change in the Geology Department here at Kent State University is exactly what I wanted to do. In addition, the department has excellent instrumentation and faculty. The city of Kent was a welcome change from Columbus, Ohio, and I really enjoy the smaller town lifestyle.

What is your favorite place in Kent?

My two-year-old daughter and I enjoy the parks around the Cuyahoga River. I also enjoy hanging out with the rest of the Geology Department at Ray's Place in downtown Kent.

Do you have any advice for new graduate students?

My first piece of advice is to join an organization or sport club – especially if you are from out of town. It is a great way to make friends, particularly when looking to socialize outside of your department. Secondly, don't be afraid to ask for help. While it is expected that you work through problems on your own, asking for help is part of that if you are stuck on a problem. It is not a sign of weakness or that you don't belong if you don't have an answer right away. The majority of scientists work in teams and rely on input and help from others. I could have saved weeks of my research had I asked for help sooner.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I enjoy going to the park with my daughter, playing and watching soccer, playing video games with friends and reading books.