Mary Washington Geography – Past time for an Update

by Stephen Hanna ~ March 22nd, 2012

Such a busy winter, but now our early and very warm spring has taken root and it is past time to up date you on what Mary Washington Geographers are up to.

Our current crop of students are, as always, garnering well-deserved recognition.  Ethan Battone (2014) and Brian Brown (2012) each won a Writing Center Award for their seminar papers last month.  In addition, Brian was selected for an internship at the National Geographic Society – continuing the tradition Mary Washington geographers getting this highly competitive positions!  And, as just posted on Mary Washington’s homepage, Ethan was awarded a trip to the Association of American Geographers’ Annual meeting in New York because of his stellar performance at the SEDAAG Geography Bowl. 

Recent graduates have good news to share as well.  Sarah McNeal (2011) now has a position with the Bank Information Center where she does research and writes reports on IMF and World Bank programs in Asia.  Meanwhile, Kristen Cutler was admitted and awarded funding to the geography graduate program at Syracuse University.

Faculty are busy too.  Next year we’ll launch a new minor in Urban Studies (thanks to Melina Patterson’s hard work!) and we’ve received support form both the Administration and faculty for our proposal to start a Masters program in GIS.  Assuming the program is approved by the state and we receive the funding for the new faculty we’ll need to ensure that the new program will only enhance our undergraduate programs, we hope to enroll the first masters students in Fall 2014.  Finally, the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research (CeSAR), established by Brian Rizzo, has several students working on projects for the Virginia Department of Mines and Minerals and Marstel-Day, an environmental consulting firm located in Fredericksburg.  Another CeSAR project funded by the National Park Service will start soon as well.

The Department’s annual Spring Symposium and Banquet will be held on April 18.  As always, all Mary Washington Geographers are welcome!  Contact me ( or Jackie Gallagher ( for more information.

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