Land and Energy Management alumni make history

Headshots of Morgan Mallett and Chas Miller

Alumni Morgan Rich Mallett ’18 and Charles (Chas) E. Miller IV ’17 recently made Marietta College history.

According to Assistant Professor Tina Thomas, Mallett and Miller are the first Marietta Land and Energy Management graduates to pass the Registered Professional Landman Exam (RPL). The College added the major in 2014.

RPL is the second level of certification for a landman,” Thomas said. “In addition to other requirements, it requires five years of land work experience but one of the benefits of graduating from an AAPL accredited institution like Marietta is that you get two years of credit toward the experience requirement.”

Mallett, who was a finalist in 2019 for the American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) Outstanding Graduate, wanted to pass each section of the three-part exam in one day.

“I bought the RPL/CPL study guide several months in advance and read all the content,” she said. “I also viewed the online review videos provided by AAPL, and worked through example conveyancing problems.” 

While taking the exam, she also discovered that her time at Marietta College played a key role in her preparation.

“I am very thankful for my time at Marietta College. Each course I was required to take to fulfill my degree in Land and Energy Management, was essential to the success I recently had passing my RPL Exam,” she said. “I felt as if I was simply taking a final in Professor Thomas’ Land and Leasing course and being quizzed on all the very important portions of the AAPL’s Code of Ethics and Standards of a Practice in her Ethics course.” 

Miller had planned to take the RPL Exam earlier in 2020, but the test was canceled because of COVID-19. He didn’t learn about the new test until three weeks before it was scheduled to be administered in mid-November.

“I basically had three weeks to apply, prepare and take the exam,” he said. “I finally received the study material with a week to go before the exam, and began studying immediately. But I came to the conclusion that I either knew it or I didn’t.”

Miller was determined to pass the RPL exam because he knows it is respected across the industry.

“The American Association of Professional Landmen plays an effective role in the industry. When you become a member of the AAPL, you are committing to the highest of ethical standards and professionalism,” he said. “Becoming a Registered Professional Landman (RPL) is a huge accomplishment because it enhances your credibility in the industry and is an indicator that you are competent, proficient and a professional.”

Miller works as a Landman supporting the Pennsylvania operations for Diversified Gas and Oil Corp., an established, independent owner and operator of producing natural gas and oil wells that are concentrated in the Appalachian Basin.

He also credits much of his success to what he learned from Thomas and Milton Friedman Professor of Economics Greg Delemeester in the College’s Department of Business & Economics.

“I wouldn’t be in the position I am today if it weren’t for the introduction of the Land and Energy Management program at Marietta College,” Miller said. “I think that my education at Marietta College provided me with the knowledge and readiness for the exam and my current position at Diversified by being able to manage my time, holding myself accountable and a willingness to learn. At Marietta, I treated my time there as a job. I learned to manage a course load in a timely manner and ensure that I was going to get the job done. Throughout all that, I had to be willing to put in the time to learn because I quickly realized that I didn’t know everything.”

Mallett has experience as a Land Technician, a position she held with Montage Resources. However, she was laid off following Montage’s merger with Southwestern Energy.

“I really grew professionally and learned so much from the hands-on experience with Montage,” she said. “I am very grateful for how well rounded of a land professional that the role made me and am very excited to continue my search for the next step in my career. … I hope that the RPL will help me to stand out in my current job search and, more importantly, represent my willingness to always further myself professionally.”

Thomas is extremely proud of her former students’ accomplishments.

“Both Chas and Morgan were students passionate about learning all they could about land management and they had a great work ethic,” Thomas said. “Morgan and Chas earning their registered professional landman (RPL) credentials further substantiates the quality program we offer at Marietta College preparing students for a career in the land management industry.