Department Newsletter, Fall 2019

Message from the Chair
Department Spotlights
Department Kudos
Alumni Updates/Class Notes
Donor Recognition

Message from the Chair

Hello from Samson Hall!  

We had another very good year and this newsletter shares a few of the highlights.

Our students are engaged and accomplished. Several undergraduates presented papers, completed innovative research and received awards. A team of graduate students continued field research in the long-standing NSF-funded project in Alaska. Graduate students also presented their research at several forums including the annual AAG Conference in Washington, D.C.

Our alumni continue to change the world. Geographer and storyteller Kaitlin Yarnal was featured in GW Alumni News for her work at the National Geographic Society. She is just one among our many alumni who are making a difference. Recent alumni are working in the Peace Corp, at the Death Penalty Information Center, at the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, Deloitte Consulting, ESRI and the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Our faculty have achieved excellence in research, teaching and mentoring. This year, faculty published three books and 24 articles, and secured four externally funded grants that totaled $2,225,000! We also taught more than 2,400 GW students. Congratulations are in order as well to Dr. Michael Mann, who received tenure and promotion to associate professor, and to Dr. Nikolay Shiklomanov, who was promoted to full professor. In addition to these highlights, GW Geography faculty have been making an impact beyond campus. As part of the New York City two-day American Geographic Society Conference, our faculty trained 50 AP human geography teachers from across the United States on the basics of open data and open mapping. 

Unfortunately, I end this update on a sad note. Our dear friend and colleague, Professor Joseph Dymond, passed away on January 18, after a seven-month battle with leukemia. He was 53 years old. Joe began teaching geography at GW in 2002. He was a legendary teacher, who won every teaching award he was eligible for and was greatly admired by all. His death was a huge loss for both our faculty and students. We have established the Joseph Dymond Scholarship Fund. As of September 1, 2019, more than $27,000 has been raised, a tribute to the significant impact that Joe had on so many students.

Lisa Benton-Short

Department Chair

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Department Spotlights

In Memoriam: Joe Dymond

Geography Professor Joe Dymond
Geography Professor Joe Dymond

Geography Professor Joe Dymond

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Joe Dymond, a beloved geography professor. “Joe was a legendary teacher, respected scholar and an unwavering mentor to his students,” said Paul Wahlbeck, CCAS interim dean. “This is a huge loss for the college and our Department of Geography.”

Read the Article


Mapping Gentrification's Impact

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Gavin Derleth

Luther Rice Fellow and senior geography and political science major Gavin Derleth spent his summer break analyzing gentrification in Washington, D.C., to shed light on potential ways to mitigate its negative impact on communities.

Read About His Research

Support Networks, Mentoring Key to Immigrant Youth Success

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Ivana Mowry-Mora

Geography major and Cisneros Scholar Ivana Mowry-Mora is combining her passion for geography and Latinx issues as part of an undergraduate research project on young immigrants. She is studying the impact of support networks and mentorship on immigrant youth pursuing higher education.


Read About Her Work


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Department Kudos

Ryan Engstrom was quoted by NPR in the article “After Hurricane Dorian, The 'Wikipedia Of Maps' Came To The Rescue.

Drs. Melissa Keeley and Lisa Benton-Short published their book Urban Sustainability in the US: Cities Take Action. The book analyzes the sustainability plans of over 50 U.S. cities, using them as a lens to understand how U.S. cities conceptualize, plan and implement sustainability.

Dan Malouff authored the articles, “Maryland and Virginia’s commuter rail look great together on one map” and “In the 1970s, the National Mall was a literal parking lot” for Greater Greater Washington

Michael Mann was quoted by KQED-FM, San Francisco, in the article “Wildland Development Escalates California Fire Costs.” and by Sinclair Broadcast Group in the article “California's wildfires are getting bigger and deadlier. This is why.

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Class Notes

Georgios Anagnostopoulos, BA ’19, is a policy analyst at APPRISE, a research institute focusing on energy efficiency and assistance programs for low-income households.

Clémentine Andre, BA ’17, is a monitoring expert with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center and the Norwegian Refugee Council in Geneva analyzing, compiling data, and mapping disaster and conflict induced displacements of populations in West Africa and the Caribbean.

Danielle Barlow, BA ’17, is a GIS specialist at Trimble MAPS. She is finishing the final semester of her MA program in GIS at Pennsylvania State University.

Kaimana Malie Brummel, BA ’07, was named to Pacific Business News’ “40 Under 40” list for Hawaii for her role as community engagement lead for Blue Zones Project, a community wellness program that makes healthy choices easier.

Keming Chen, BA ’17, works at Yangtze Delta Institution at Tsinghua University in Zhejiang, China.

Damon Coppola, BS ’97, published three new textbooks this year: Introduction to International Disaster Management (4th ed.), Introduction to Emergency Management (7th ed.) and Introduction to Homeland Security (6th ed.). 

Samuel Guilford, MS ’18, is living in D.C. and working in GIS and cartography at the National Geographic Society. He recently got a rescue puppy named Olive.

Virginia Hetrick, Ph.D. ’74, retired from being her position as dean at DeVry University's SoCal campus in 2007. Since then, she has enjoyed being a patient advocate at UCLA, USC, and City of Hope.

Christopher Kibler, BA ’14, recently earned his MA in geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He will be staying in Santa Barbara to begin work on his PhD in geography.

Siri Knudsen, BA ’19, recently moved to Mexico City to work as a statistical analyst at a stevedoring company called SSA Mexico. She hopes to return to the United States. in the fall to start her MA program in geography.

Clare Lewis, BS ’17, is using satellite remote sensing and photogrammetry to analyze and create models of landslide probability/hazards in Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand.

Deirdre O’Leary, BA ’91, celebrated 15 years with SAIC/Leidos. She is pleased to see the growth and depth in the Geography Department in the years since she has graduated.

Maeve Pinto, BA ’05, recently returned to the United States after living abroad in Haifa, Israel, for the last six years. She is a research librarian for the New Jersey State Legislature.

Andrea Tennison, BS ’99, was promoted to senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton in McLean, Va. She manages the Business Assurance Office within Security Services.

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Donor Recognition

The Geography Department would like to gratefully acknowledge the following generous donors who made a gift to the department from July 1, 2018 – June 30, 2019.

+ Faculty/Staff | # Parent | ~ Student | * Friend

Joseph Altenau, BA ’08

Claire August, BA ’17 

Kirsten Anne Berg, BA ’95  

Joseph Chestnut, BA ’15, MS ’17 

Catherine Cooper, MA ’99  

Lara Ellen Crampe, BA ’98, MA ’01 

Eleanor Davis, BA ’16 

Delaney Duff, BA ’19 

Camille Galdes, MA ’12 

Paula Halicek, BA ’09, MA ’11 

Gretchen Hasse, BA ’70 

Jarrod Hendricks, BA ’19 

Frederick Hoeschler, BA ’95 

Robert Huston, Jr., AA ’53, BA ’58  

Benjamin Hyman, BA ’10 

Jhovae Irving  ~ 

Jacob Kania, BA ’19  

Stanley Kidwell, Jr., BA ’51 

Siri Knudsen, BA ’19 

Murray Kent Lee, AA ’49, BA ’51 

Antonia Magalhaes, BBA ’19 

Alecia Manning, BA ’76 

Tara McAllister, BA ’19 

Monica Miller, BA ’85 

Deirdre O'Leary, BA ’91 

Janna Paramore, BA ’19 

Bernard Peters, BA ’68, MA ’73 

Michael Riccio, BA ’08 

Eleanor Rubin ~

Kyle Salkin, BA ’09, MA ’14

Samuel Salkin, BA ’08 

Evan Shaver, BA ’15 

Andrew Wiseman, BA ’02 

Mahmoud Zawawi, BA ’68, MA ’70 

Anna Zhu, BA, BS ’19

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