Gamma Theta Upsilon 2009-2010 Chapter Annual Reports
Note: If your chapter is not listed here we did not receive an annual report this year. Please check back in the spring of 2011 for information on submitting 2010-2011 annual reports.
Delta Lambda, University of South Alabama
Faculty Sponsor: Carol Sawyer
President: Sherall Cornwell
Vice President: Michelle Holloway
Events: The Delta Lambda Chapter currently has 19 members with eight new initiates joining us this academic year. Nine members graduated in May 2010, and one member graduated last fall. We started out the year unveiling a new club website, which lists upcoming activities and officer email addresses, allowing better communication and participation with the members. The club, which operates alongside the Geography Club, voted to and began collecting local dues, which helped fund several activities held throughout the year. In addition, the two clubs held four fund-raisers this academic year to raise money for club events, including field trips and cookouts.
In August, during JagFest (the university’s new student orientation day), we distributed polyhedron globes to attendees to draw attention to Geography as a major. In September, club members participated in the 22nd Annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup by removing litter and debris from the local waterways. In October, the club, along with the University of Southern Mississippi’s GTU chapter, hosted Dr. Jay Gatrell (Indiana State University) as part of the AAG Visiting Scientist Program. His talk was entitled, "Spatial Ecology: Investigating Human-Environment Interactions & Applied GIScience" and was well attended by Geography students, as well as students and faculty from other disciplines.
At Christmas, we collected donations of health and beauty aids, toys, etc., for the University of South Alabama’s Pediatric Infectious Disease and Cogburn Midtown Nursing Home. The club, in concert with the Geography Club, organized and participated in several field trips this year.
In October, we traveled to Baton Rouge, LA, to attend the Applied Geography Conference, with one of the members presenting a poster on his research he completed with a faculty member last summer.
In November, we went to Fall Creek Falls State Park, TN, for several days to hike the trails, explore the area, and geocache. To help pay for the trip, GTU and the Geography Club officers applied for and received funds from the University of South Alabama’s Student Government Association (SGA).
In March, we explored a university’s nature trail to assess the accuracy of current trail map, condition of the trails (for future repair), and to geocache several sites located along the trail. A cook-out was held afterwards. In April, students designed and sold club t-shirts for the first time in the several years.
At the end of the year, the club members voted to create two awards to honor students who were exceptionally active in the clubs during the past year. The clubs selected a senior and a sophomore and presented them with monetary awards at the Department of Earth Sciences Awards Ceremony at the end of April.
Delta Zeta, South Dakota State University
Faculty Sponsor: Donald J. Berg
President: Jesse Lapsley
Vice President: Lauren Miley
Secretary: Chris Pope
Treasurer: Nick Luetzow
Events: Delta Zeta Chapter with its associated Geography Club conducted a full menu of events during the 2009-2010 academic year. These included the Spring and Fall social activities (Spring Picnic and Christmas Banquet), bowling nights, wii nights, and conducting raffles. During the Spring Picnic four candidates were initiated into regular GTU membership.
The Chapter/Club’s principal focus during the year was the production of the 41st Annual South Dakota State Geography Convention, the longest running student organized and managed meeting in the U.S. The convention occurred on 25/26 March 2010 with seven invited presenters from across the nation, including AAG President Carol Harden, along with student paper and poster presentations, a geo bowl competition, and an awards banquet at which several Delta Zeta members were recognized for their scholarship. Chapter members have already begun to raise funds for next year’s convention.
Epsilon Beta, University of West Georgia
Faculty Sponsor: Georgina DeWeese
Events: During the Fall 2009 semester, we focused on two activities: our department’s annual pig roast and pictures with Santa. The annual pig roast is meant to bring alumni, faculty, and current students together. “Pictures with Santa” was a new activity for GTU. We purchased a Santa suit which can be used every year. By charging $5 for each picture with Santa, we made enough money to pay for the suit and some profit.
We attracted 4 new members this semester. The Spring 2010 semester concentrated on Earth Day festivities. This year we scheduled events for everyday leading up to Earth Day with guest speakers and Earth-related movies. On Earth Day itself, we hosted a river clean up, tree planting, lead weight pick up, and the Mr. and Ms. Earth Day Pageant. We graduated one member this semester.
Epsilon Phi, California State University at Northridge
Faculty Sponsor: James J. Hayes
Events: The Epsilon Phi chapter and CSU, Northridge was reactivated this Spring semester (April, 2010). The chapter plans to initiate new members in the 2010-2011 academic year and form an executive committee. We have 17 new members!
Eta Alpha, University of Vermont
Faculty Sponsor: Lesley-Ann L. Dupigny-Giroux
President: Samuel Werbel
Vice President: Katherine Jones
Secretary and Treasurer: Benjamin Posner
Events: Thirty-one undergraduates who fulfilled the GTU selection criteria were invited to join the Eta Alpha chapter in October 2009. Twenty-four accepted the invitation and were initiated at a special luncheon in their honor during Geography Awareness week in November 2009. This is the largest cohort of eligible undergraduates ever inducted into the Eta Alpha chapter, exceeding the 2008 record by four additional students. GTU members were very proactive in Geography Awareness Week activities holding them in high visibility areas on the University of Vermont campus. Events included a map-based dart throwing competition, geography quiz, a book display and a PowerPoint presentation of geography students in action during various field courses.
At the Geography Department’s annual Appreciation Banquet on 8 April, 2010, 20 graduating GTU seniors were presented with their GTU cords. As in previous years, the Outstanding Senior award and two of the four Globe awards (for either academic excellence or service to the department) presented by the Department during this Banquet were won by graduating GTU seniors. Another GTU graduate won the Glen Elder Award in recognition of her work on social justice, sexuality, South Africa or political geography.
Eta Eta, University of Wyoming
Faculty Sponsors: John Patrick Harty and Carl Legleiter
President: Savannah Nuefer
Vice President: Brandon Combs
Secretary: Courtney Carpenter
Treasurer: Daniel Ervin
Events: Highlights for Fall Semester 2009 include: Geography Awareness Week that included: 1) the Geography Bowl in which teams of students competing a number of different donated prizes including atlases, t-shirts, and ‘meats from around the world’, 2) GIS Day at WyGISc (Wyoming GIS Center) series of talks, career panel, and open house, 3) Student Union information table, and 4) a Keynote Address by Kenneth Foote from the University of Colorado on memorials as contested landscapes. The chapter also designed new t-shirts.
Highlights for Spring Semester 2010 included movie nights in which geographically themed movies were shown with pizza for students. Members helped with the National Geographic State Geography Bee. End of the year Spring Banquet in which eight new GTU members were inducted and new officers were introduced. Plans were put into place for summer and fall outdoor activities.
Eta Gamma, State University of New York at Geneseo
Faculty Sponsor: Jennifer Rogalsky
President: Ashley Tinney
Vice President: Alicia Dezik
Secretary: Christopher Laue
Treasurer: Christopher Bartell
Events: Inducted six new members.
Eta Kappa, Salem State College
Faculty Sponsor: Laurence E. Goss
President: Marcos Luna
Vice President: Steven Silvern
Secretary: Patricia Whynott
Events: The Eta Kappa Chapter inducted into membership 13 undergraduate students and one graduate student at the Department’s Geography Day event on April 9, 2010. Over 90 people attended this ceremony. Student members were encouraged to make presentations at the NESTVAL and national AAG conferences. One graduate student member, Moumita DuttaGupta, received a first place award in the illustrated poster competition from the Cartography, Remote Sensing and GIS Specialty Group at the national AAG conference in Washington DC in April. With the retirement of Dr. Laurence Goss in June, 2010, the new Faculty Sponsor for the chapter will be Dr. Marcos Luna.
Eta Lambda, Villanova University
Faculty Sponsor: Francis A. Galgano
President: Keith Henderson
Vice President: Angela Bagnasco
Secretary: Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins
Treasurer: Justin Stephens
Historian: Caitlin O’Donnell
Events: The most notable event was that we revived the Eta Lambda Chapter after what was nearly a decade of inactivity. Villanova University reconstituted its Geography program as the Department of Geography and the Environment during the fall of 2007. We finally matured to the extent that we had sufficient students that met the induction criteria.
The department held its indication ceremony on 18 March, during which we inducted 17 students for regular membership and eight faculty for honorary membership. Given that we now have a population of students in our reactivated chapter, we anticipate a full suite of chapter activities during the coming years.
Eta Omicron, George Mason University
Faculty Sponsor: Barry Kronenfeld
President: Zachary Bray
Vice President: Tom Gertin
Secretary: Lawrence Jefferson
Treasurer: Christopher Hill
Historian: Katarina Doctor
Events: The Eta Omicron chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon had somewhat of a slow start during the fall 2009 semester. The first activity that was held was an informational meeting run by the faculty advisor Dr. Barry Kronenfeld which took place in late September. It was a general interest meeting with the purpose of encouraging new membership and electing an executive board. None of the previous e-board members were running for re-election, so the new e-board had to spend some time figuring out the procedures and protocol of running a club at George Mason University. After a brief hiatus in organized activities during the transition of power, the new e-board organized the following events for the remainder of the fall semester. The first event was another meeting which was an opportunity for potential new members to meet and greet the new e-board and to submit the required dues.
On November 15th during geography awareness week Eta Omicron had two different booths set up at the George Mason men’s basketball game. Since 2007, George Mason athletics hosts one home basketball game that is called “World Ball Night”. The geography department in collaboration with the athletics department had created basketballs printed with a world map so they resembled globes. One of the booths we set up was informational with an e-mail signup sheet and brochures, but the second was a giveaway booth where correct answers to geography trivia earned participants a world basketball. For GIS day on November 18th Eta Omicron was given the opportunity to sponsor the student presentations portion of the event. E-board attended and President Zachary Bray gave a brief introduction and some information about GTU to the audience before the first presentation began.
The final event during the fall 2009 semester was a social get together which was held at a restaurant on campus called the Mason Rath Skellar. The event was titled “Pack the Rath” and we reserved a small section of the restaurant for GTU members to watch a George Mason men’s basketball game on TV. We also encouraged attendance by using a small portion of our club funds to purchase some appetizers for members that came.
During the spring 2010 semester we focused on increasing our undergraduate membership. Eta Omicron is dominated by graduate students, and we thought one way to increase attendance at events would be to have more undergraduate members. Members of the e-board went and visited various upper level undergraduate geography courses and gave short presentations to spread the word about joining GTU. One of our members, Maurice White, who was not on e-board but wanted to get involved with Eta Omicron took it upon himself to plan two different GTU sponsored “how-to-do seminars” with the help of the vice-president Tom Gertin. The first seminar was held on February 26th and was designed to offer a department perspective on the topic of dissertations as a number of geography department faculty gave their advice and observations on the dissertation process. The second seminar was held on April 9th and this time faculty gave their advice on how to get your papers published.
At the conclusion of the spring semester we held our annual initiation ceremony on April 30th. The chair of the Department of Geography and Geoinformation Science, Dr. Peggy Agouris, gave a brief speech at the beginning of the ceremony. After the new members were initiated the graduating seniors in the chapter were recognized, and two e-board members were re-elected for next year. The current treasurer, Christopher Hill, was elected as president and the current secretary Lawrence Jefferson was elected as vice-president for 2010-2011.
Gamma, Sam Houston State University
Faculty Sponsor: John Strait
President: Holly Stover
Vice President: Haley Hanson
Secretary: Tiffany Hall
Events: Reformed the chapter after several years of inactivity, responsible for the rebirth of GOSH (Geographers of Sam Houston), a student led organization comprised of geographer majors and minors across the university, organized and scheduled a visit by David Dignum of ESRI, who discussed the mission of ESRI and introduced opportunities that this organization offer graduates of the geography program, organized campus visit by Dr. Derek Alderman, Associate Professor of Geography (East Carolina University) via the Visiting Scholar Program sponsored by the Association of American Geographers. Dr. Alderman made three presentations, two of which were open to the entire campus, organized and scheduled the Meet a Geographer Series. This involved the scheduling of a series of presentations by departmental faculty and alumni of the geography program. The purpose of these presentations is to foster collegiality among faculty and students and to allow students to “get to know” faculty outside of the regular classroom environment. It also provides opportunities for alumni to inform current students of potential opportunities in industry and within the academic world. This series has been effectively utilized as a means to attract new majors into the program.
Iota Gamma, Northern Illinois University
Faculty Sponsor: Andrew J. Krmenec
President: Bradley Broughton
Vice President: Daniel Abbott
Secretary and Treasurer: Carrie Cunningham
Historian: Trevor Edmonson
Events: The Iota Gamma chapter was formally reactivated in October 2009 with induction of 11 new members, five undergraduates and six graduate students. During the 2009-2010 academic year, chapter members organized and participated in a variety of activities with the Geography Club and the NIU American Meteorological Society Student Chapter. Those activities included: sponsoring a hospitality “coffee & snack bar” at the department’s annual Career Day, developing decadal dynamic maps of NIU geography and meteorology graduates, displayed throughout the department’s annual Career Day, organizing student-to-student telephone calls to high school students applying to NIU with the intent to major in geography or meteorology, collaborating on community advertising activities in support of the department’s GIS Night, geo-caching expeditions around the De Kalb area as well as creating new geo-caches on the NIU campus, collaborating with faculty on authorship of an Instructional Improvement grant to purchase several GPS units for use in geography field courses and by Iota Gamma chapter and Geography Club members, participating in the university’s First Annual Undergraduate Research Day, serving as volunteer weather observers for the NWS-NIU Cooperative Weather Station, attending the Midwest Severe Storms Conference, attending the fall and spring meetings of the Illinois GIS Association, graduate student members presenting their MS research to fellow students, faculty, and university colleagues at Department of Geography colloquia. Iota Gamma chapter members celebrated completion of their BS and MS degrees at a Graduation Reception hosted by faculty of the Department of Geography.
Iota Rho, UMass-Boston
Faculty Sponsor: David E. Tenenbaum
President: Charter Williams
Vice President: Zachary Shark
Secretary: Dawn Bertino
Treasurer: Christopher Maio
Historian: Ann Bouchard
Events: This year, Iota Rho initiated 10 new members, continued to promote awareness of Geography at UMass-Boston through supporting gatherings of GIScience students (featuring pizza and soda), sought and received recognition from the University as an official student organization, and petitioned (unsuccessfully, unfortunately) for funds from the University’s Student Activities budget to support a field trip to Nantucket.
Kappa Kappa, University of South Florida
Faculty Sponsor: Mark R. Hafen
Events: Inducted five new members (one in Fall 2009, four in Spring 2010).
Kappa Lambda, St. Cloud State University
Faculty Sponsor: Gareth E. John
President: Jessica Rosier
Vice-President: Jenna Holm
Secretary: Travis Genty
Treasurer: Rupak Shrestha
Events: The academic year 2009-2010 was one of the most active and geographically vigorous in GTU Kappa Lambda Chapter’s history. We inducted 14 new GTU initiates in our annual Geography Banquet on April this year. The chapter was successful to sustain its organizational objectives by maintaining bi-weekly meetings where the officers and the members would interact and plan geographic events and other activities of much importance in academia.
In addition to our bi-weekly meetings, we aided in organizing Geo-odyssey lecture series. Geo-odyssey lecture series are given by visiting guest lecturers or geography professors. It is the goal of these talks to raise geographic awareness and relate geography to our current world. We strive to bring in a variety of speakers. For example, last semester topics ranged from Phytolith Research in Alaska by Dr. Mikhail Blinnikov to The Situation in Jerusalem by Daniel Koski to The Future of Tourism in our World by Dr. Alvin Yu to The Normal Way: Exploring the Career Paths of Early Women Geographers by Dr. Janice Monk. We advertise these events by designing posters, PowerPoint presentations, and notifying campus media (through the university calendar and the campus TV system) about the presence of these marvelous geographic opportunities. Furthermore, we reserve rooms for this speaker session through our Student Union and order refreshments and snacks for the students, faculty, staff and the community. Furthermore, our chapter sponsored the Annual Geography Photo Contest this year as well. The competition was open to all student, staff and faculty of St. Cloud State. Three categories were available for entry: International, National, and Regional. Participants were charged a small entry fee and prizes were awarded for first, second, and third places. We solicited prizes from local area restaurants and recruited judges from academic and media departments on campus. The university will distribute a press release to the campus community detailing the winners in near future that will not only promote the photo contest but also the significance of GTU in the campus community.
Two GTU officers, President Jessica Rosier and Treasurer Rupak Shrestha, along with the chapter sponsor Dr. Gareth John accompanied Dr. Janice Monk from the University of Arizona on a historical-geography research trip to the archives at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Reading through journals and browsing through old black & white photographs, the group served as Monk’s research assistants. Furthermore, our GTU chapter designed geography t-shirts and sweatshirts to sell which served as a small fundraiser for the club. We received a huge positive response from the students and faculty and the merchandise sold out in good amount. The t-shirts read “Geography Takes You Places” and sold for $10 each.
Also last semester, GTU members volunteered to teach a geography lesson at a local elementary school. Visiting a third grade classroom, they presented an interactive lesson on oceans and continents. Also National Geographic wall maps were given out as prizes during a quiz game that we made the kids to participate in. In addition to that, we organized outings for the chapter such as snowshoeing, geocaching, and hiking at local parks. Also, we are currently planning a camping trip for our members to Apostle Island National Lakeshore in Wisconsin in September of this year. GTU members participated in Geography Awareness Week last fall, working at a booth on campus and playing geography-related games with students and faculty. One such game asked participants to locate countries on a wall map. They were awarded candy for answering correctly. Another event that GTU was involved in during the Geography Awareness Week was the Passport to the World event in the St. Cloud State University campus. In the event, Rupak Shrestha, Treasurer for Kappa Lambda, spread geographic understanding to children ranging from elementary school to high school through maps, ethnic music quizzes and other geographic learning tools. The event was visited by approximately 600 guests, the majority of whom were from the Greater St. Cloud community.
Another event of importance that GTU members volunteered in was at the Minnesota State Geography Bee in April of 2010. The members and officers volunteered as preliminary round time-keepers and gate-keepers. It was a wonderful event that all volunteers enjoyed a lot. In addition to these, many GTU members and officers received scholarships during the 10th Annual Louis E. Liepold Banquet, sponsored by the Department of Geography and the Kappa Lambda Chapter of GTU. Treasurer Rupak Shrestha received the prestigious Ruben L. Parson Geography Scholarship Award; Secretary Travis Genty was awarded the Robert O. Bixby Scholarship; President Jessica Rosier received the GTU Service Award; and member Phil Kinter was awarded the National Council for Geographic Education Award. Finally, we reiterate that geographic awareness is a very crucial part of knowledge that every human being should possess.
Gamma Gamma, University of Colorado, Boulder
Faculty Sponsor: Tim Oakes
President: Abby Hickox
Vice President: Adam Williams
Secretary: Karen Weingarten
Treasurer: Preston Cumming
Events: 2010 saw a fresh start for the long-dormant CU Boulder GTU Chapter. We hosted two introductory meetings for department graduate students and faculty. We took 2nd place in the CU Boulder graduate trivia competition, and hosted kickball at the department’s Spring term barbeque. We began collecting national dues and have made plans to increase membership in Fall 2010.
Gamma Omega Alpha, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Faculty Sponsor: Brian Okey
President: Zachary Norwood
Vice President: Joshua Steiner
Secretary: Heather Nunn
Treasurer: Amber Snavely
Events: The tradition of “Wiener Wednesday” hot dog sales continued in the basement of Leonard Hall, raising substantial funds for the group’s activities. Most notably, eight members made the trek to the AAG meeting in Washington, D.C. in April. The trip featured many highlights, including a belly dancing performance at a local restaurant. Our annual banquet was held on April 29 in IUP’s former ski lodge. The featured speaker was Alex Graziani, Executive Director of the Smart Growth Partnership and current President of the Pennsylvania Chapter of the American Planning Association. His enlightening presentation highlighted regional smart growth challenges and career opportunities for graduates. Following plates of catered lasagna, new members were introduced.
The chapter accepted 12 new members into its ranks during the year, while saying goodbye to only four. This growth portends good things for the 2010-2011 year, and is a reflection of the high caliber of students in our geography and planning major programs. Among our graduates were Zachary Norwood and Joshua Steiner, chapter President and Vice President, respectively. They, along with member Eric Nystrom, were honored with Outstanding Senior Awards at the Department of Geography & Regional Planning graduation ceremony.
Lambda Mu, U.S. Military Academy at West Point
Faculty Sponsor: Rick Wolfel, William Clark and John Culpepper
President: Nicholas Lewis-Walls
Vice President: Matthew Wasilewski
Secretary: William Clark
Treasurer: Marie Hokenson
Historian: Augustin Paulo
Events: On 6 and 7 November 2009 GTU sponsored eight cadets to represent the United States Military Academy in the Regional Geography Bowl Competition at the Middle States AAG Conference in New Paltz, NY. The eight cadets, all undergraduate students, split into two teams for the competition and won one match as part of the competition. All other competing teams had graduate student representation. The students also had the opportunity to interact with students from other universities and listen to a series of academic papers presented at the conference. On November 4, 2009, GTU hosted its annual Fall Luncheon for all members and faculty, as well as all Geography and GIS majors. The guest speaker, LTC Steven Oluic, PhD, spoke about his recent deployment to Iraq and work with Border enforcement. He explained how being a geographer gave him a unique perspective when conducting military operations and emphasized the importance of understanding the physical and cultural landscape. From 13-18 April 2010, GTU sponsored two cadets to travel to the AAG national conference held in Washington, DC. The cadets were members of the Middle States Geography Bowl Region Team. Both cadets were able to attend many paper and panel sessions, getting a first hand look at what a national level professional conference is all about, as well as enjoying some of the amenities of Washington, DC. Three cadets also attended the annual Geography Program Breakfast, visiting with emeritus faculty, former visiting professors and friends of USMA Geography.
On 20 April 2010 the Lambda Mu chapter of GTU held its annual induction ceremony and luncheon, initiating 8 cadets and 3 faculty members. The guest speaker was Dr. Stephen Houston, Chief executive of the Sustainable Development Group of Weston Solutions, Inc. Dr. Houston spoke of the link between geography, sustainability and infrastructure redevelopment. He linked physical geography, cultural geography and urban development to several different regions and made these issues relevant to the cadets’ near future as Army officers.
On 29 April 2010, GTU sponsored the annual projects day in which four honors students presented their theses to a group of faculty and cadets. Projects were very diverse and included a regional analysis of emergency relief centers on Cape Cod, MA; an economic, and geopolitical analysis of cobalt mining in Congo; climate change and environmental security in Pakistan; and an in depth assessment of the motivations and identities of Jewish Americans who volunteer to serve in the Israeli Defense Force. GTU sponsored the Geography club’s two cultural awareness trips to New York City. The trips were open to all cadets at the academy with the intent of showing how the discipline of Geography can be both educational and fun. Cadets participated in a walking/eating tour of NYC where they experienced different foods and also gained knowledge on the different ethnic enclaves within Manhattan. The second trip involved a scavenger hunt in which cadets had to navigate to different points within the city collecting geographical clues along the way.
Finally, GTU sponsored a Graduation Awards Ceremony and Reception for all our graduating seniors and their family and friends. The program recognized the overall top graduate as well as the top performer in our two majors, Human Geography and Environmental Geography. Additionally, the top cadet in each elective course received recognition in the form of book selected and inscribed by the instructor of the course.
Lambda Phi, Millersville University
Faculty Sponsor: Angela Cuthbert
President: Steve Sherman
Treasurer: Kim Bergmann
Events: As a small department we continue to combine our efforts with the well-established Geography Club. Many of the current members are also members in the Geography Club. The two organizations engaged in the following activities this past academic year: 1) attended the Middle States Division of the American Association of Geographers annual conference, 2) attended the PA Planners Association conference, 3) attended the AAG, 4) rock climbing, 5) habitat restoration project, 6) two fundraising activities, and 7) end of semester (December and May) dinners at Dr. Cuthbert’s house.
Lambda Pi, California State University at Los Angeles
Faculty Sponsor: Killian Ying
President: Michelle Olivarez
Vice President: Jeff Duong
Secretary: Owen Bin Mo
Treasurer: Robyn Braus
Historian: Morgan Chew
Events: The officers of Lambda Pi chapter spent most of the September through March recruiting new members. Not only have we recruited nine new members (we are a very small department with only about 30 majors), we have also re-established relations with previous members. The Lambda Pi chapter also helped to reinstate the CSLA Geographers Student Club whose purpose is to help unite all the students together and become more involved with the department over all. We have held meetings opened to all students to help address concerns and issues they might have and to hear opinions and ideas on what they wish to see the club bring. We held our first ice breaker which was a Korean BBQ event where all members were invited to join. It was a tremendous success!
We are now working along with the CSLA Geographers Student Club to provide a lounge for the geography students as well as organizing guest lectures for them. Overall it has been an incredible fast year. With the reinstatement of Lambda Pi Chapter our officers are learning quickly how the system works to provide activities, academic lectures, and field trips to the student body.
Lambda Psi, Ohio Northern University
Faculty Sponsor: David R. Smith
President: Harry J. Wilson
Events: In our second year we continue to see interest in geography grow at ONU. Attendance in geography courses is up and more students are taking advantage of our geography minors. Given student response, we will soon be offering majors in geography. In the meantime, we are initiating nine more students into GTU this weekend.
Lambda Upsilon, Grand Rapids Community College
Faculty Sponsor: Mike DeVivo
President: Amanda Colegrove
Vice President: Nathan Krings
Secretary: Brandi Glaske
Treasurer: Cadey Segard
Historian: Joseph Walderzak
Events: Lambda Upsilon members took part in numerous events devoted to advancing the spirit and purpose of geography during the 2009-2010 academic year. A high level of participation, ranging from conducting field studies and attending special lectures to sponsoring workshops and presenting papers at conferences, characterized much of the chapter's activities.
For example, in October 2009, students participated in a field study concerning wastewater in Michigan, focusing largely on the treatment of sewage in the City of Grand Rapids. The chapter's membership also was represented on an organized field trip concerning viticulture in Michigan. Vineyards and wineries on the Leelanau and Mission Peninsulas were explored and examined with regard to climate, soils, and landforms in relation to the varietals of wine produced. On the other end of the spectrum, they pondered social geography vis-à-vis gender and sexuality while attending a Grand Rapids symposium in November. Moreover, two members presented papers at the annual meeting of the West Lakes Division of the Association of American Geographers; Ben Gerlofs delivered a well-received paper on NAFTA, and Amanda Colegrove made her first professional presentation on factors associated with human trafficking in Latin America. Incidentally, Ms. Colegrove was awarded a community college travel grant from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) to present a paper on government policies in Latin America concerning human trafficking at the society's Washington DC meeting (in April 2010).
In January 2010, the chapter membership was well-represented at a special lecture offered by the Gerald R. Ford Museum: "Inside the Cold War: CIA and KGB Perspectives." Former operatives from the rival intelligence agencies provided accounts of their experiences, and following the event, discussion took place concerning the need for sound geographical analysis in defense intelligence.
In February, Lambda! Upsilon made arrangements for Marie Price to serve as an invited Visiting Geographical Scientist; she delivered highly informative lectures at both Grand Rapids Community College (GRCC) and Grand Valley State University on immigrant communities in a number of cities across the world and "thinking with maps." Dr. Price's lectures were well-attended (standing room only), and students, faculty, and the Administration found her to be most insightful. Also in February, the chapter membership participated in the annual symposium on immigration and ethnicity, and many sessions proved to be valuable; for example, much discussion took place concerning the experiences of individuals of different ethnic backgrounds living under different Communist regimes, and how these experiences shaped their individual worldviews.
In March, the chapter sponsored screenings of the "The Future of Food," and organized debates about genetically modified cultivars.
In April, members of the chapter raised funds through donations and institutional grants to travel to Washington, DC in order to participate in the AAG annual meeting and begin production of a film on "What Geographers Do;" several academic geographers were interviewed on camera. Additionally, the chapter continued to raise funds for the "GEOGRAPHY LIVES! Field Studies Scholarship Award," which is intended to assist GRCC students in need of funding. Perhaps one of the most significant activities carried out by any GRCC student organization in the Winter and Spring of 2010 was conducted by Lambda Upsilon. Picking up on Amanda Colegrove's research concerning human trafficking, the chapter organized several information sessions and workshops on human trafficking. These sessions were especially successful in developing awareness and sparking assistance in combating this world-wide problem. GRCC had arranged for noted social justice activist, Brigitte Cazallis-Collins, to talk about "The Front Lines of the War against Child Sex Traffickiing," and Lambda Upsilon members were involved in the discussion. Given her efforts in fostering awareness and attempting to ameliorate human trafficking, Amanda Colegrove was honored with the Global Citizenship Award at the annual GRCC Student awards banquet. Academic Service Awards were presented to Brandi Glaske, Nathan Krings, and Megan Hornyak.
In essence, throughout the 2009-2010 academic year, the members of Lambda Upsilon worked tirelessly to promote the discipline by not only engaging in field study and scholarship, but by also developing a high level of public awareness concerning the importance of geography, and the discipline is better for it.
Lambda Zeta, Wayne State University
Faculty Sponsor: Randy Bertolas
President: Jacob Mathieson
Vice President: Becky Hafer
Events: During the Fall 2009 semester Lambda Zeta chapter members: 1) participated in the annual Students vs. Faculty Bowling Challenge among the social sciences departments, 2) participated in the Festival of Trees fundraiser to purchase and deliver holiday gifts for Wayne County children from low income families, and 3) initiated 5 new GTU members on December 3. The Lambda Zeta chapter also sponsored two invited speakers during the Spring 2010 semester including Dr. Charles Gritzner of South Dakota State University who gave a talk entitled “Tacky Landscapes of Popular Culture” and Dr. Michael Peterson of the University of Nebraska-Omaha who gave a talk entitled “Global Perspectives of Geospatial Technology”.
Our chapter also sponsored a campus ‘Geography Festival’ designed to make Wayne State College students aware of Geography internship experiences, graduate school requirements, and employment opportunities. Current and past GTU members who are majoring in (or who majored) in Geography were invited to give public presentations. Lambda Zeta chapter members also participated in hosting and sponsoring events for the annual Social Sciences Day at Wayne State College. Activities included helping with initiation ceremonies for social sciences honor societies including Gamma Theta Upsilon, a student awards and recognition ceremony including presentation of the GTU Award of Excellence, and the annual Social Sciences Banquet.
Mu Alpha, DePaul University
Faculty Sponsor: Euan Hague
President: Alexandra D. Maties
Vice President: Darcy Lydum
Events: The Mu Alpha Chapter was initiated on May 21, 2009. By June 1, 2010, 38 members had been inaugurated. The chapter also awarded two honorary memberships to an Emeritus Faculty member and a retiree who together host monthly Geography lectures on DePaul's campus under the auspices of the DePaul Geographical Society.
In addition to holding two social meetings per quarter, GTU members worked with the Geographic Society of Chicago to host an information table at the finals of the Illinois Geography Bee and also promoted the Department of Geography on DePaul's campus during events for undecided students and Earth Week (April 17-25, 2010). Chapter members worked to increase the profile of Geography by working with the faculty sponsor to participate in on-campus talks and presentations by visiting speakers.
Omicron, Shippensburg University
Faculty Sponsor: Timothy Hawkins
President/Historian: Kaja Spaseff
Vice President: Patrick Moulden
Secretary: Aaron Grove
Events: The year started off with the initiation of four new members bringing the total membership to 25. Socially, a geographic themed dinner was organized during the fall. We hope to make this an annual event between members and faculty.
On campus, we continue to strive to meet the department’s tutoring needs and committed over 130 hours to tutoring during the past academic year. During the spring semester, we ran a booth at Shippensburg University’s annual Children’s Fair. We also participated with the annual community clean-up day and removed litter, debris and tires from Burd Run, which is a tributary to the Susquehanna River. Some members attended the Annual Association of American Geographers Meeting in nearby Washington D.C. We hosted the department’s Annual Awards Banquet where many of our members were honored for their strong academic achievement and many others shared their research posters.
This year we were honored to have Dr. Don Zeigler, the National President of Gamma Theta Upsilon and Shippensburg Alum, attend and share some of Shippensburg University’s geographical history at the banquet. The year came to a close with our annual spring picnic with students and faculty at Dr. Hawkins’ house.
Theta Beta, Keene State College
Faculty Sponsor: Christopher Cusack
President: Katie Bills
Vice President: Scarlett Silver
Secretary: April Buzby
Events: Attendance of GTU members at NESTVAL conference and participation in the associated Geography Bowl competition. Students also participated in the 'Source to the Sea' river clean up of the Connecticut River watershed. In this volunteer effort, students helped to clean a local waterway that eventually feeds into the Connecticut River. In the Spring, GTU was active in hosting a very well-attended guest lecture by Dr. Ron Eastman of Clark University on the topic of climate change. Likewise, another big Spring event was attendance of several GTU student members at the AAG conference in Washington, D.C. During the Spring induction ceremony, 5 new members were inducted into Gamma Theta Upsilon.
Theta Nu, University of California-Santa Barbara
Faculty Sponsor: Richard Church
President: Zach Chehayeb
Vice President: Jamie Donaldson
Secretary: Ileana Romero
Treasurer: Jake Sopher
Events: The Following is a list of events and actives hosted by the Gamma Theta Upsilon Geographical Honor Society, Theta Nu Chapter. The chapter was established and conducted its first meeting of the year. The chapter established three main goals that included: to increasing interest and understanding of Geography as a discipline; to promote the social interaction between chapter members and members of the Geography department (faculty, staff, and students) by hosting social events geared toward for this purpose, and to increase funds through fund raisers. To help achieve these goals, the chapter also established that there will be weekly meetings. The chapter hosted a hiking event locally. The event resulted in 24 attendees ranging in class standing between undergraduates and graduate students.
The chapter launched an email list serve that is constantly being used to coordinate spontaneous and planned events including: study groups, hikes, among other social events. The chapter scheduled a baking event and meteor shower viewing at a private residence near the beach. The baking event was planned to assist the club in preparing for Geography Awareness booth. The chapter hosted a Geography Awareness booth on campus in a high traffic zone. The event consisted of members of the chapter informing curious passerbys about the discipline of Geography. This was accomplished by hosting a booth, where poster boards explained the discipline and its various concentrations. The posters along with selling sweets and beverages helped to attract passerbys. The members sparked interest in the passerbys and encouraged them to retrieve further information from an array of sources. The event resulted in fundraising of $90.00. The chapter assisted the Geography Outreach Committee in hosting a Geocaching competition. The club went geocacheing on campus and around the local community. The club also created a geocache (courtesy of Nick Santos) that is still active as of May 21, 2010.
The club hosted a cook-off, open to the public, between Zach Chehayeb and Nick Santos. The event succeeded in promoting social interaction among group members and department members. The club hosted an event open to public that consisted of going whale watching with a local sailing service. The event resulted in nearly 15 participants and was helped promote interaction between members and public. The chapter hosted another information and fundraising event in a high traffic region on campus. These events raised $120.00, as well as promote the integrity of Geography as a discipline of study and interest. The Geography Club visited the Allosphere on the local campus. The Allosphere is a 3-D visualization sphere environment at the California NanoSystems Institute at University of California, Santa Barbara. The sphere is used to visualize multi-dimensional data. The members of the chapter, in participation with the department, represented the field of Geography to nearly 10,000 perspective students at Spring Insight. Spring Insight is an annual event hosted by the University that informs incoming students about majors, clubs, and local activities. The chapter assisted in representing the major of Geography, as well as hosting a booth to display GTU. The club hosted an initial ceremony for new GTU members. The initiation ceremony was followed by a celebration reception hosted at a local members home. May 2, 2010 - The chapter has organized a field trip for members to attend the California Geographical Societies annual conference at California State University, Fullerton. Approximately 10 members to attended. The chapter is assisting in cleaning and restoring a local beach in participation with Coastal Cleanup, a local office on campus. Ten members attended a three-hour cleaning session. The chapter hosted Rockband/Guitar Hero tournament to which all members of the department and public were invited to attend. The event resulted in about 60 attendees. Free food and snacks were provided courtesy of the club. The club scheduled a BBQ at a local beach park. The club went hiking at Seven Falls Trails, a popular hiking trail in the Santa Barbara area. The club scheduled an event to a local drive-in movie theatre to watch Shrek 4 and Robbinhood.
Theta Xi, West Virginia University
Faculty Sponsor: Karen Culcasi
President: Steven Thorp
Vice President: Lindsay Deel
Secretary: Jonathan Phoenix
Treasurer: David Grubesky
Events: After four years of inactivity, we are happy to announce that WVU's GTU chapter is up and running again. We had eight new initiates as of December 2009, in addition to about a dozen existing members. We met four times since mid fall semester, during which time we worked through the logistics of getting the chapter re-established. We also had one focused session on finding a job, during which a career councilor spoke to the group about resumes and interviewing.
Upsilon, Bowling Green State University
Faculty Sponsor: Karen Johnson-Webb
President: Seth Brehm
Vice President and Secretary: Amanda Dobias
Treasurer: Whitney Foreman
Events: Beginning in 2009, Bowling Green State University formed their first chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon. We conducted a survey of interest to determine who was interested in applying for membership. After running applicant’s credentials through the College of Arts & Sciences, five people were accepted into GTU. An induction ceremony was held for the five new members. It was attended by the Geography Department Chair and other faculty of the department. Each member took an oath for GTU, and received their certificates of membership, pins, and membership cards.
At a later meeting in 2010, officers were elected out of the five new members. Chapter activities were discussed for the 2010-11 school year. Research was conducted by the members to find a community service/volunteer activity. Areas of interest that were investigated were volunteer activities at the Wood County Parks and a Findlay, Ohio soup kitchen. Two members created a bulletin and poster for the BGSU chapter of GTU to help attract new members on the internet and in the halls.
Near the end of the 2009-10 academic year, an email was sent to all Geography majors at BGSU to engage the interest of more students in joining the BGSU GTU chapter. An immediate response drew at least two new applicants for membership who were seeking approval by the college to join. This process will be repeated at the beginning of the next school year.
Zeta Omicron, Worcester State College
Faculty Sponsor: Stephen Healy
President: Stephen Roberts
Vice President: Nicholas Charette
Treasurer: Maureen Carroll
Events: The Zeta Omicron chapter of GTU at Worcester State College had a busy year inducting many new members and getting involved with campus educational initiatives as well as organizing social events. The GTU collaborated with the Environmental Advocacy Group to organize a showing of videos related to climate change as a campus wide event in December of 2009. In the spring semester we had a very successful outing in Boston, touring the aquarium as well as its Italian North End.
Our most successful outing occurred in our own backyard. GTU members attended an edible walk in the woods with geomorphologist and lifelong naturalist Douglas Frink. Boyton Park lies just on the edge of Worcester State campus. These wild lands have a storied history having been hard scrabble farm land in the not too distant past. At first glance it looks like a typical re-growth mixed deciduous forest. On closer inspection evidence of the lands past and twelve edible species were readily identifiable in early spring.
In addition to fun, social activities the Zeta Omicron chapter continued to maintain the Candace Scola memorial garden dedicated in 2003 to commemorate the Candace, a student of our department who was tragically murdered.
Zeta Pi, Utah State University
Faculty Sponsors: Claudia Radel and Ann Laudati
Events: The USU GTU chapter (Zeta Pi) started the 2009 academic year with three current student members. These members participated actively in the September 2009 Great Plains/Rocky Mountains Regional AAG Meetings, hosted by Utah State University. However, apart from this, the chapter was essentially inactive. The previous faculty sponsor had retired in Spring 2009.
In response to a Spring 2010 email from the national GTU office, we identified 13 eligible students (12 undergrad and one MS) and seven of these (six undergrad and one MS) chose to join the chapter and were initiated in April. Of the then 10 GTU members, three graduated in May 2010. The new faculty co-sponsors are looking forward to working with the students to organize chapter activities over the next academic year. We are excited to work towards raising the profile of Geography within our College of Natural Resources (which has no Geography Department).
Zeta Xi, University of Toledo
Faculty Sponsor: David J. Nemeth
President: Jeffrey Kodysh
Vice President: Weronika Kusek
Secretary: Jaerin Chung
Treasurer: Tammy Armstrong
Historian: Jessica Kelley
Communications/Public Relations: Leah Mullen
Events: A few students and supportive faculty members only began to discuss the revival of the Zeta Xi chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon at the University of Toledo in the spring and summer months of 2009. The organization had remained dormant for years, and even in its active phases, struggled to maintain a consistent level of participation, commitment and enthusiasm. Fortunately, with GTU - Zeta Xi’s formal initiation of its first officers/student members this fall, the chapter has been able to offer myriad opportunities for engagement and interaction and even recruit an impressive number of new student members!
As the summary of events and accomplishments below indicates, Gamma Theta Upsilon – Zeta Xi deserves to be commended for not only returning the organization to a functional state on UT’s campus, but also for “hitting the ground running.” The chapter has had to contend with the challenge of establishing itself at an institution that requires copious amounts of paperwork and stipulates that student groups follow strict policies and procedures in nearly every aspect of their operation. Most organizations, if they remain in existence after their founding semester, spend at least a year just learning the ropes.
We are, therefore, both proud and privileged to be able to offer the Scholarship Committee the following account of our activities. Throughout the academic year, the chapter encourages student to attend the Bi-Weekly Colloquium Series that the Department of Geography and Planning hosts. The series features presentations by geography professionals on their research. Colloquium topics include environmental, transportation, cultural, and economic geography. Specifically, the Colloquium Series exposes geography students to research methodology through example, introduces the students to our local geospatial professionals, illustrates the diverse career potentials a degree in spatial sciences merits, and encourages dialectic and discussion through a question and answer session on the presentation. Thus, the chapter has established a schedule of meeting times that corresponds with the departmental colloquium schedule. This is both more convenient for students and raises awareness of the opportunities for extracurricular involvement related to the discipline.
Our chapter holds these regular meetings in the conference room of the Geography and Planning Department office. Each meeting generally includes time for the discussion of interesting facts and/or stories about a particular region of the world (theme) as well as time for organizational items. Meeting times are included in the following list of events and activities. Friday, October 9th – Meeting: Focus on Asia – Students from South Korea, China and India shared their experiences with other meeting attendees as well as answered their questions regarding the region, its culture and its history. Faculty also contributed to the discussion. Friday, October 16th – The chapter became officially active again with the induction of student officers. We held the ceremony outside near the “Pursuit of Excellence” Waterfall and celebrated the occasion afterward by sharing lunch together. Friday, October 30th – Welloween Health Fair – The organization spent the morning tabling at this annual, campus-wide event held in the Student Recreation Center on campus. Young and old alike enjoyed viewing maps, learning about the diverse range of interests that geography can appeal to and, of course, playing with the thermal imager and point-and-shoot thermometers. Friday, October 30th – Meeting: Focus on Europe – Our faculty adviser related some especially interesting information on Albania. Our vice president, who is from Poland, told us all about her country of origin. She even brought pictures, fact sheets and chocolates to share! Friday, November 20th – Meeting: Focus on Africa – Our chapter welcomed a guest, a student from Eritrea studying pharmacy at UT, to the meeting. He openly conversed with us about his homeland, its history and the incredible challenges they still face. Our treasurer, recently returned from a trip to South Africa, gave a presentation in which she incorporated a slideshow of photos, crafts, clothing and artwork. Needless to say, while this meeting lasted a little longer than scheduled, the number of people in the room only seemed to grow as the time passed! (Note: This is not usually the case with any meetings I have ever attended for other student organizations, even when free food is available.) Friday, December 11th - GTU - Zeta Xi traveled to the Toledo Zoo's world famous "Lights Before Christmas" display. The event was open to the entire department, and some even went out for dinner following the visit. Wednesday, January 20th – The chapter had a table at the Student Activities Fair to publicize its activities and the department. Once again, those in attendance enjoyed looking at the maps, books and other materials we had to share. Wednesday, February 10th – Our chapter also had a table at Major Palooza, an event hosted by Career Services and Quest Gateway Programs on campus.