Gamma Theta Upsilon

The International Geographic Honor Society

GTU Announcements

April, 2014: Issue 6 of the GTU Quarterly Newletter is now available. Download it here.

February, 2014: Issue 5 of the GTU Quarterly Newletter is now available. Download it here.

August 2013: Scholarship and Chapter Awards Winners have been announced.

November 30, 2012: Our Constitution and Bylaws have been updated.

Now available:
Brochure PDF Gamma Theta Upsilon brochure


Chapter Activity Reports 2013-2014

Once again, Gamma Theta Upsilon chapters have reported on an amazing variety of activities. Of particular note were the many chapters participated in the "Textbooks for Ethiopia" project for which the Chi chapter at Oklahoma State University served as the principal collection site. Geography Bowls were held at Valparaiso University, Northwest Missouri State University, Wayne State College, the University of Toledo, and the University of Richmond. GTU chapters continue to be active in sponsoring Geography Awareness Week activities, spreading knowledge of geography to their campuses and communities. Chapters held workshops, colloquia, and hosted speakers as part of the Visiting Geographical Scientist program. Beta Xi at the University of Missouri for example held a workshops on social media and professional futures, internships, and non-academic writing. Eta Lambda at Villanova University invited recent graduates to talk about their job searches and employment experiences. Lambda Upsilon at Grand Rapids Community College not only hosted a variety of speakers but has also posted videos of the lectures on You Tube. Chapters sponsored trips to conferences, day trips, and long distance field excursions. Delta Lambda at the University of South Alabama attended the AAG meeting in Tampa where they also found time to go to a hockey game and tour the Devil's Millhopper Geological State park. Theta Xi at West Virginia University traveled to Washington DC for a "day on the hill and to visit National Geographic. Several chapters contributed geographical expertise to serve their communities.  Zeta Gamma at Jacksonville State University helped to monitor river water quality in partnership with a local organization. Zeta Theta at Northwest Missouri State collected food at their GeoBowl to donate to a local food bank. Theta Gamma at James Madison University helped to maintain a local elementary school's community garden. I hope that you'll read this year's chapter reports and be inspired to try some new things with your own chapter next year.

Dr. Michael W. Longan
Second Vice President
Gamma Theta Epsilon

Note: If your chapter is not listed here we did not receive an annual report this year.  Please check back in the spring of 2015 for information on submitting a 2014-2015 annual report.

 

See chapter reports from previous years

 

Zeta

Slippery Rock University

Participated in Relay for Life, April 2014

Lambda

Southern Illinois University

The SIU-Carbondale Geographers have had another busy year! GTU students participate in numerous environmental events and various campus activities to promote geography. Much of the GTU activity is linked to our active Geography Club. Students represented geography and GTU at: 1) an information campaign during Geography Awareness Week; 2) campus environmental activities: sustainability day (Fall) and Earth Day (Spring); 3) the campus student organic garden (LOGIC); 4) university Open House events to welcome new students; 5) meetings to promote all Registered Student Organizations; 6) community clean up days in town; and 7) trail maintenance in our near-by Shawnee National Forest.

Chi

Oklahoma State University

The Chi Chapter served as the principal collection point for other chapters that sent books for "Textbooks for Ethiopia." Chapter members sponsored a Geography Awareness Week table near the OSU Student Union. The chapter held a successful initiation with 40 new members. The Geography Club/GTU website can be found at: https://campuslink.okstate.edu/organization/GeographyClub

Alpha Xi

Valparaiso University

The Alpha Xi chapter co-sponsored a geography bowl in concert with geography club. The event was awarded Program of the Year at the University's Student Activities Awards. The chapter inducted new members in fall and spring ceremonies. Traditional cake and punch were enjoyed afterward.

Alpha Pi

East Central University, Oklahoma

No new members were inducted this year and hoping for a larger crop in the near future. Two members graduated last fall and one member graduated this spring.

Alpha Psi

University of Colorado at Boulder

This year, our chapter held 3 social events in the fall semester and 2 social events in spring semester. All events were very well attended and helped contribute to the camaraderie in the Geography Department. Additionally, we arranged for several activities in relation to Geography Awareness Week in the fall semester. Lastly, we began the work to incorporate undergraduates in our department's chapter, which has been a goal of the chapter since its re-establishment 4 years ago. Next year, undergraduates will be fully incorporated!

Alpha Omega

Western Michigan University

Our chapter had a quiet year as most of our current members are graduate students who were finishing their Thesis. We welcomed several new undergraduate members this spring and look forward to a great new year this coming fall with several field trips and outings already on the books.

Beta Xi

University of Missouri

The Beta Xi Chapter at the University of Missouri (MU) hosted numerous events in partnership with the MU Geography Club, Missouri Geographic Alliance, and MU Geography Department throughout the 2013-2014 year. The following is a list of some of these events:

In conjunction with our routine monthly chapter meetings, these events kept all of our members busy. The Beta Xi chapter is always ready to rise to the challenge of piloting new events and reaching out to others in the name of geography. We look forward to another fun and successful year!

Beta Psi

Kansas State University

Kappa Gamma

Stephen F. Austin State University

Our chapter is arranging to cover the new, higher $40 membership fee for applicants through the Chambers Fund, which is set aside for scholarships for geography majors and is named after William T. Chambers, who came to SFA in 1926 from the University of Chicago. The chapter will also co-sponsor Geography Awareness Week activities, including a fall workshop for pre-service teachers organized in partnership with the Texas Alliance for Geography Education. The only new member currently eligible in our small program will join GTU this fall. We will promote GTU to find another new member at the same time.

Kappa Zeta

University of Northern Colorado

On March 12, 2014 we initiated 8 new student members into GTU. We held a dinner and initiation ceremony at an off campus restaurant. Eight currently faculty members and well as past initiates attended.

Delta Zeta

South Dakota State University

The Delta Zeta Chapter/Geography Club experienced another active academic year with several fund raising events, extracurricular happenings, and operation of the 45th Annual South Dakota State Geography Convention which occurred on 20-21 March 2014. The convention has the distinction of being the longest running, student lead such event in the U.S.
This year's meeting was punctuated by the final appearance of Dr. John Fraser Hart, the unofficial dean of American geography (U of MN), who has given presentations on his research and work at some 40 of the conventions to date. (Prof. Hart is retiring from his position later year.) Uniquely, Dr. Hart never has given a powerpoint show at the convention, always using 35mm slides, and slide projector his has used in recent years has been retired to the Dept. exhibit case, located outside of the main office. In addition to the many fine talks by invited geographers from Tennessee to California, Dr. Julie Winkler (Mich State University), the current AAG president, gave the banquet/annual awards ceremony address. A slate of new GTU/Club officers to serve during the 2014-15 academic year was elected on 29 April. Five GTU initiates will be welcomed into Delta Zeta membership on 2 May, capping out the year's activities.

Delta Lambda

University of South Alabama

A Fall Induction Ceremony brought six new members into the Delta Lambda chapter with the Spring Induction Ceremony adding three members. In November, members participated in a day field trip around the Mobile region to learn about the historical development of the cityscape. In December, we celebrated the end of the semester and the start of the holiday season with a get-together at one of the officer's homes. To continue our tradition of attending at least one conference each year, students elected to go to the AAG's Annual Meeting in Tampa. Students requested and were granted funds from the University of South Alabama's Student Government Association was used to offset the cost of the trip for students. The department also paid for part of the transportation. On the way to the meeting, we drove along historic Highway 98, visiting several sites along the way, including Little St. George Island, where students went to the top of Cape St. George Light. At the conference, students attended 69 sessions and 8 business meetings. During our time there, students also went to a hockey game and the Tampa Bay Hockey Center. We also managed to find time to go on a Ybor City Ghost Tour. On our return trip to Mobile, we visited the Devil's Millhopper Geological State Park and hiked to the bottom of the sinkhole there.

Delta Mu

University of Mary Washington

Collected approximately 35 text books for Ethiopia.

Epsilon Delta

West Liberty State College

After significant growth in the 2012-2013 with 8 new members initiated Epsilon Delta had high hopes for continuing to grow our numbers. Seven invitations were handed out to prospective members but only one student chose to join GTU this academic year. Even though this was a very small class, several active members of GTU remain on campus and we look forward to having a social event in the fall and redoubling efforts to grow our membership once again next spring.

Epsilon Kappa

Macalester College

Members served a judges at the Geographers Fair.

Epsilon Psi

Colgate University

The Colgate chapter of GTU organized the following events in the academic year of 2013-14:

Zeta Gamma

Jacksonville State University

This academic year (2013-2014) , we inducted 7 new members into the society. The organization met monthly teamed up with our Geography Club to volunteer at a Civilian Conservation Corp Museum at DeSoto State Park in Alabama. In addition, members of our chapter got involved in a new organization, the Jacksonville River Monitors, which is responsible for measuring water quality (chemistry and bacteriology counts) to the Alabama Water Watch. We conducted a fundraiser that generated several hundred dollars, which was partially used to fund our induction banquet.
The banquet coincided with the Jacksonville State University Alumni Shrimp Boil picnic, promoting our GTU organization with leaders of the university as well as with our alumni who now serve as professionals in a variety of local industries.
Our branch is continuing to grow and generate geography awareness.

Zeta Upsilon

University of Arizona

This year the chapter had several meetings throughout both semesters where we discussed current course offerings in Geography as well as the plans of our graduating seniors. Several GTU members were involved in a November peer session of graduate and undergraduate students to workshop graduate school essays and applications. This was very fruitful for those involved. In the fall semester we were sad to see longtime GTU member, Forrest Treanor graduate but happy to see him decide to stay in the Tucson area and maintain an active presence as a GTU alumni. GTU member Sophia Jones also graduated with departmental honors.
The spring semester was full of recruiting activities as well as preparations for our 5 graduating GTU members. We were happy to welcome 5 new inductees (Juan Canez, Kali Kennedy, Logan Lazalde, Carly Nichols and Dominic Martinelli) into our GTU chapter in a lovely May initiation ceremony that was emceed by our faculty sponsor, Professor Yool. Professor Chris Lukinbeahl, another faculty GTU member co-led the event. There was a very fruitful discussion between faculty and students over our mutual appreciation of all things geographic and potential future opportunities. An article was authored and featured on the departmental website to recognize those in attendance. In addition, all 5 graduating seniors opted to wear the GTU honors cords while walking in the commencement ceremony at both the College and University-wide ceremonies. At the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences convocation ceremony Dr. Yool announced our graduates names and was able to include the distinction of GTU member as he read their names. All GTU members were very pleased that this was done.
Michelle Coe, former GTU scholarship winner, and several of our new inductees are planning a GTU event for the Annual Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG) Meeting which is being held at University of Arizona this September 2014 and is hosted by the School of Geography and Development. Prof. Lukinbeahl is co-leading the organizing committee and has offered to help create a GTU sponsored lunch on the Saturday of the conference to serve as a networking event for all GTU members in attendance. This summer several GTU members will be organizing and advertising this event. We look forward to what 2014-2015 academic year has in store for our chapter and hope to recruit many budding and bright young geographers in the next 9 months.

Zeta Theta

Northwest Missouri State University

The Zeta Theta Chapter held its initiation ceremony in February of 2014 inducting four new initiates. The Geography faculty, members, as well as the initiates shared a very nice dinner prepared by the standing officers after the ceremony.
In November 2013, our chapter hosted a GeoBowl activity where teams who brought canned and non-perishable food items participated in geographic trivia games. We collected the food items and sent them onto Harvesters which is the regional food bank serving the greater Kansas City area.
In April 2014, our chapter devised a geocaching activity in which regional Girl Scouts participated in an outreach event sponsored by Northwest Missouri State University. Five scouts participated and were able to earn another badge based on their ability to navigate our course on campus.

Zeta Lambda

University of New Orleans

Zeta Lambda chapter initiated one new member this academic year and transferred the faculty sponsorship to Juana

Zeta Xi

University of Toledo

The Zeta Xi Chapter of GTU engaged in a number of outreach activities, social events, and professional development opportunities. This year we continued the "open mike" forum for the GTU meetings to encourage greater student and faculty participation in the organization. For each meeting, a student volunteered to discuss either an internship completed, travel experience, or their research interests. In addition, the Department of Geography and Planning celebrated its 50th anniversary, and hosted a number of events. For example, the East Lakes region of the Association of American Geographers was held in our department in October 2013. GTU members helped with organization, registration, and other aspects of the regional meeting. For outreach and professional developments, students engaged in "Clean Your Streams," cleaning a stretch of the Ottawa River that runs through campus and eventually to Lake Erie in Fall 2013.
In regards to social events, we had two rounds of Geopardy in association with our GTU initiation ceremonies. At the Spring 2014 initiation ceremony, we invited alumni from the department as well as GTU members from Owens Community College and their faculty sponsor, Scott Deaner. In Spring 2014, several of our chapter members attended a Toledo Mudhens baseball game.
We also created and maintained a Facebook page for the Zeta Xi Chapter:

Zeta Omnicron

Worcester State University

GTU had a relatively quiet year on campus. GTU sponsored a talk with other honors societies delivered by George Woodwell, one of the founding scientists of the Woodshole Oceanographic Institute as well as a keynote address given by the activist/environmentalist Sandra Steingraber.
In addition to these higher profile events GTU members met twice during the year to attend to the memorial garden on campus for a former student in our department who was a tragic victim of violence. The local GTU chapter has over seen this responsibility for nearly a decade.

Zeta Pi

Utah State University

We initiated 3 new members. We have no other activities to report. Student activities largely occur through another interdisciplinary student group; while our GTU chapter functions only to provide academic honors to qualifying students.

Eta Theta

Auburn University

Inducted 1 new member in Fall 2013 and 3 new members in Spring 2014.

Eta Lambda

Villanova University

On 20 February 2014, our chapter sponsored a talk titled, A Bold New Vision of the Schuylkill Riverfront, by Joseph Syrnick, President and Chief Executive Officer, Schuylkill River Development Corporation. The talk focused on the redevelopment of the blighted riverfront in Philadelphia.On 20 March 2014, our chapter hosted an Alumni panel session on employment. We brought back five recent graduates who are working in Geography, GIS and Environmental jobs to explain to our current students the ups and downs of their job searches and what their jobs are like.

Eta Chi

Northern Michigan University

Northern Michigan University's Eta Chi Chapter of GTU was very productive during the 2013–14 academic year. Eleven new GTU members were initiated into Eta Chi during Fall 2013, and eleven new GTU members joined in Winter 2014. Our active, enthusiastic student leaders helped our chapter reach new heights.
Activities this year that were new for the Eta Chi chapter included hosting Dr. Antoinette WinklerPrins through the Visiting Geographical Scientist Program; increasing the visibility of Eta Chi GTU through a Facebook page; organizing and hosting a career day for students in the Department of Earth, Environmental, and Geographical Sciences at NMU; staffing a booth with hands-on activities for youth at a community-wide Kaleidoscope Fair; collecting five boxes of books for universities in Ethiopia.
GTU students hosted the annual "Graduate School Interest Night" during fall semester to help students think about whether graduate school was in their futures and if so then what they could do to prepare. Three geography faculty members served on a panel for this informational session.
A GTU initiation ceremony and dinner in April convened many new and current GTU members and faculty for pleasant conversation and celebration…in spite of the raging blizzard that closed campus in the early afternoon. GTU officers have been elected for Fall 2014 to help carry the momentum forward into another exciting year.

Theta Gamma

James Madison University

During the 2012-2013 academic year the James Madison University chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon by the name of Theta Gamma, worked to further establish their organization, increase their membership base, and further promote geography awareness at JMU and beyond to the greater community.  Foremost in this GTU worked with faculty and students to establish a peer mentorship program specific to the geography department. This program, through faculty support, gained an online interface within the student faculty web oracle. Creating a space where any geography student can ask questions regarding any aspects of human or physical geography and/or geospatial technologies and gain answers. This is where students currently within GTU have access to the interface and answer any geography related questions as they come in. This program has been well received by both students and staff and is expected to continue to gain momentum over the next academic year. Aside from this, Gamma Theta Upsilon has also started a membership campaign, by creating flyers and posters, updating available information, and giving short talks in rudimentary geography classes. As a result, GTU is expecting to see a jump in membership during the fall 2014 semester. This past year also lead to the further development and update of Gamma Theta's constitution, to provide a more rigorous chapter and involved member base.
GTU also participated in several service projects this past year which included helping maintain a local elementary school's community garden and a community based forest trail clean-up project. The chapter also met with Virginia Information Technologies Agency Regional Coordinator, to discuss the potential for GTU to serve as a connection point between students and internship and job opportunities with Virginia geospatial technology companies. The development of this connection is seen as highly valuable to GTU and the JMU geography department and is expected to develop further over the next year. Aside from all of the above, GTU worked this past year to create more opportunities for students and faculty to connect, to create and partake in both social and academic events specific to JMU's department of geography. GTU also worked to promote geography awareness within the university but also to the greater community.

Theta Epsilon

Florida Atlantic University

We had a well-attended initiation ceremony in October.

Theta Xi

West Virginia University

We had 9 new initiations in fall 2013, and will actively recruit again this coming fall. In conjunction with the Geography Club, our GTU chapter helped organize Geography Awareness Week in November and Geography Movie Night in April. They also made a trip to Washington DC for a "day on the hill" and to visit National Geographic.

Lambda Zeta

Wayne State College

For our Geography Awareness Week activity, Lambda Zeta chapter sponsored the Third Annual Geography Bowl on campus. Eight teams of two students each competed in a single elimination format to determine a champion. Raffle drawings were held between rounds and a variety of geography-related donated items were given away. Over 100 persons were in attendance and the event was filmed to be later shown on the campus TV channel.
Our GTU chapter held two initiation ceremonies this past academic year, with two new members coming aboard in November 2013 and seven new members taking the pledge in April 2014.
Lambda Zeta sponsored a speaker during the Spring 2014 semester. Our GTU chapter brought in Mr. Dan Becker, GIS Manager for Vernadero Group in Lincoln. He gave a talk entitled, "A Career in Geospatial Technology" describing course work, internships, and networking that helped him land his current position in the industry.

Lambda Upsilon

Grand Rapids Community College

The Lambda Upsilon chapter at Grand Rapids Community College began the 2013/2014 academic year with news that it had been selected as one of the eight Honors chapters of GTU, which was indeed a pleasant surprise, for this was an award that was not anticipated. Over the course of the next several months, the GRCC chapter continued to do as it had in past years by making efforts to pursue academic excellence while also contributing to Geography and humanity.
As a sponsor of a symposium that commemorated the founding of the United Nations, UN 2013, Grand Rapids, the chapter hosted GTU Past-President Leon Yacher, who delivered a plenary lecture on journalism in post-Soviet Central Asia, which generated substantial interest and much conversation (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X9PIEFqu9ts). Dr. Yacher also was interviewed for the Conversation with a Geographer oral history series (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21quxD3Dvok). Lambda Upsilon's immediate Past-President, Alyson Mabie, worked tirelessly as an intern for the United Nations Association, which also served as one of the event's sponsors, by assisting in the organization of the symposium and acting as a liaison for local colleges and universities. The conference provided the chapter with a venue for raising money to send girls to school in East Africa. The fund-raising proved to be effective; at the end of the Fall semester, $1000 was sent to the Campaign for Female Education (CAMFED) to support the education of three girls. The chapter also directed efforts toward the Textbooks for Ethiopia project.
In March 2014, Lambda Upsilon served as one of the sponsors of the GRCC Annual Conference on Race, Ethnicity, and Identity by hosting the Visiting Geographical Scientist, Caroline Faria of Florida International University, who spoke on the geography of the beauty trade in South Sudan (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpeXawN3p1s). Her lecture captivated many, for more than 150 people attended her talk, including students and faculty as well as leaders in the academic administration and Board of Trustees. Dr. Faria also met with students at nearby Aquinas College, and she too was interviewed for the Conversation with a Geographer oral history series(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3HBYG8c98I).
Collaboration with the World Affairs Council also brought numerous students to the Great Decisions Lecture Series, which included speakers such as NPR Counterterrorism correspondent Dina Temple-Raston and Atlantic Monthly writer James Fallows. Moreover, the distinguished scientist, Richard Leakey of Kenya, delivered a lecture on the impact of climate change, with special reference to African wildlife, and the Lambda Upsilon chapter awarded him a GRCC Geography Field Cap, which is an honor reserved for those that have contributed to the advancement of Geography through fieldwork, exploration, research, teaching, publication, or exemplary service. VGSP distinguished speakers and selected alumni also are among those that have been given the award, as well as the feminist Africanist, Alicia Decker, and AAG Senior Researcher Niem Huynh.
The Lambda Upsilon chapter participated in the annual meeting of the California Geographical Society in Los Angeles, which was again made possible through the generous support of the GRCC Office of Student Life. The chapter President, Gary Farris, presented a paper on online course instruction in Geography, which was well-received and sparked a number of positive comments, as well as discussions on effective pedagogy. In addition to learning about various matters geographic by attending conference presentations, field trips throughout the counties of Los Angeles and Ventura also took place.
In essence, the 2013/2014 academic year was little different than years previous. At GRCC, a small, but dedicated, group of geographers---and those aspiring to be geographers---sought to make solid contributions to the discipline, as well as to humanity. And that they did.

Mu Delta

University of Richmond

The Mu Delta chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon of the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Richmond continues to make steady progress. In this fourth year of existence, the Mu Delta chapter is made up of 6 members. Due to our relatively new major, small size, and high percentage of students studying abroad in their Junior year, we continue to have only one officer, a President. However, this year we established a Geography club which provides a larger framework within which we situate our honors society. This year we had an event in addition to our induction ceremony and celebration, as GTU-Mu Delta and the Geography club combined to organize a popular Geography bowl which was attended by 60 odd students. Now that the Geography club is incorporated within our University system of student organizations, we can access more funds to organize other geography related events. Andrew Valenski, our new President, will ably lead these efforts.

Mu Eta

Mississippi State University

Members had another successful polo shirt sale. This year they added "Geographers know where it's at" T-shirts to the sale. This fundraiser has contributed about $100 to the club each year. The members have begun to take new initiates out for their initiation dinner. The fall initiation dinner was held at the faculty sponsor's house and consisted of Mediterranean foods. The spring initiation dinner was held at a Thai restaurant. The current members very much appreciate a diversity of ethnic foods and think a geography organization is a good thing to take advantage of them. Activities included a hazards related movie night and a welcome-recruitment lunch and presentation. The main issue facing the club is how to recruit members who will be active participants in activities. The current officers have been with the club almost from the beginning and will be graduating this year. It is important to find more than 1 or 2 new members who will be interested to take on leadership roles.

Mu Lambda

University of Colorado at Denver

Mu Lambda had one induction ceremony in 2013-14: April 2014. Advertising, marketing, and meet-and-greet activities were conducted at the annual Fall Fest and Spring Flings events for the Auraria campus, and the Chapter participated in the "Sustainability Fair" this past spring. The Chapter also instigated the ever-popular "Geography, Environmental Science, and GIS Career Symposium" for the Auraria Campus, drawing over 50 students who came to network and hear panelists speak about job opportunities. Panelists included representatives from USGS, ESRI, a local recycling company, Digital Globe, Forest Service, and an oil and gas consulting service.

Mu Nu

Normandale Community College

We inducted one new member. We are proud to have sent several members off to major in Geography at 4-year programs in the last few years.

Mu Rho

Owens Community College

In October 2013 approximately 15 Owens geography students attended the joint ELDAAG/CAGONT meeting held at the University of Toledo. This was the first professional conference experience for many of our students and I heard extremely positive feedback afterwards. The students enjoyed attending paper presentations as well as networking with students at other colleges and universities in the region.
We inducted two new members into the Mu Rho chapter on April 7, 2014. Faculty, students, and administrators were in attendance for the event and reception. As part of the reception I hosted a round of Geography-themed Jeopardy (an idea that I got from Dan Hammel and Beth Schlemper at the University of Toledo).
Zeta Xi chapter (University of Toledo) invited us to attend their induction reception on April 21, 2014. Two students and myself attended that event. Special thanks for Beth Schlemper and Zeta Xi for welcoming us and Dan Hammel who has set an extremely high standard for excellence as a "Geopardy" host.

 

 

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Previous years:

Chapter Reports 2012-2013

Chapter Reports 2011-2012

Chapter Reports 2010-2011

Chapter Reports 2009-2010

Chapter Reports 2008-2009 (PDF)

Chapter Reports 2007-2008 (PDF)