Tiffany Biagi is a driven young woman, who is the office manager for Advanced Granite Solutions (AGS) in Edgewood, MD. In addition to her job in the stone industry, Biagi is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in environmental management with a minor in natural sciences. She hopes to continue using the resources offered through her employment and through the Natural Stone Institute to further incite her passion and solidify her educational and career direction. Learn more about Biagi in the following interview.

SW: Tell us a little about yourself.

TB: I was fortunate enough to be selected as a recipient of the 2023 Natural Stone Scholarship. I graduated from Harford Community College (HCC) in 2020 with an Associate of Arts degree. While studying at HCC, I worked as an associate with Sterling Jewelers, where I also studied to become a certified diamontologist through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). I’m currently in my last semester of my Bachelor's degree at the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC), and anticipate graduation in the summer of 2024. 

While working with Advanced Granite, I’ve been allowed to test my position fluidity, with the opportunity to act as a sales representative, templator, CAD programmer and sales manager. 

SW: How long have you worked at Advanced Granite Solutions?

TB: I have been with Advanced Granite for nearly six years.

SW: I understand you are going for your Bachelor’s of Science in environmental management with a minor in natural sciences. How has your job helped you with your studies?

TB: I very much enjoy learning about nature and all it has to offer. We only have one planet Earth, and it provides everything needed to sustain life. 

Working with Advanced Granite has allowed me to grow my knowledge surrounding natural and manmade stones, as well as better understand the impact of humans on the Earth, and vice versa. When allowed to select my research topics for coursework, I tailor my selections to better understand my work as well. Because silicosis and radon off-gassing are discussions I have with clients weekly, I have utilized my research opportunities at UMGC to gain as much knowledge as possible to better assist our clients. 

SW: How did you hear about the Natural Stone Institute Scholarship? What are some reasons why you applied?

TB: As a member of the Natural Stone Institute, we receive periodic emails with available learning opportunities. Without the resources provided by my company, I would never have been afforded this opportunity. I believe that knowledge is power, and understanding the world around you is the first step in improving it. 

SW: What does it mean to you that you won?

TB: Honestly, I cannot express my gratitude to the Natural Stone Institute and the Natural Stone Foundation enough. Not only was I given the chance to meet leading industry experts, but I was able to speak with professionals working in sustainability, which is my goal in earning my degree. Not only did this further my educational journey, but it will assist in propelling my professional career. 

SW: What aspects of your work do you enjoy most? Why?

TB: One of my favorite things about my job is the natural stone slabs. The variations in mineral composition that make each slab unique are incredible to me. I truly love being allowed to test the properties of a slab. Being able to determine its contents and durability characteristics are somethings that I find fascinating. 

SW: What are some things you enjoying doing in your spare time?

TB: Being a full-time student and employee, there isn’t much time for hobbies, though I always find a bit of spare time. I enjoy being creative -- painting, crafting and home improvements have been my go-to activities. Additionally, I read daily, mostly fictional fantasy genres, and I enjoy video games.

SW: Is there anything else you’d like to share?

TB: I would like to thank the Natural Stone Institute and the Natural Stone Foundation once again for the incredible honor and experience. The connections and knowledge available through this scholarship are an amazing resource and anyone wanting to apply for this scholarship should go for it!