2015-16 Annual Geography Awards
The following is the transcript used by Geography Chair Dan Montello while presenting the annual awards during the Department’s final Colloquium on June 2, 2016:
The department gives five major graduate student awards:
- Excellence in Teaching
- Excellence in Research
- the Leal Anne Kerry Mertes Scholarship Award
- the David S. Simonett Memorial Award
- the Jack & Laura Dangermond Graduate Fellowship
They all come with cash prizes, but the amounts vary because the funding for the awards comes from different sources. Those funded by department money vary depending on our account balance each year. This is unfortunate, to my mind, because the status of each award (all of them represent notable achievements) has little or no relationship to the size of its cash prize.
Excellence in Teaching:
The annual Department of Geography Excellence in Teaching award is given to a graduate students who has an outstanding teaching and TAing track record, in terms of both quality and quantity. This award is made annually to a graduate student who has a record of receiving outstanding course evaluations, outstanding written comments from students, outstanding evaluations of their TA work by the course instructor, and/or outstanding design of course, section, or lab syllabi or activities. This year’s award, including a $500 prize, goes to Crystal Bae.
Excellence in Research:
The Department of Geography Excellence in Research award goes to a graduate student who has an outstanding research track record, in terms of both quality and quantity. The award is made annually to a graduate student who has a record of outstanding national and international conference presentations, publications, and/or lab or field studies. This year’s award, including a $500 prize, goes to Yingjie Hu.
The Leal Anne Kerry Mertes Scholarship Award was established to award an undergraduate or graduate scholar in natural or social sciences for conducting outstanding field research. The Scholarship is awarded to talented and deserving students enrolled in any UCSB department where fieldwork is an integral component of research training. For the purpose of this scholarship, “field work” is defined as studying, sampling, observing, and/or measuring natural or human phenomena in the environments in which they normally exist. The funds support both the scholarly activities and expenses associated with the fieldwork (for example: stipends, travel expenses, research supplies, research preparation costs). This year, the Leal Anne Kerry Mertes Scholarship goes to Kevin Mwenda in the amount of $1,908 and Kate Voss in the amount of $1,000 (both from the Department of Geography).
The David S. Simonett Memorial Award was established in memory of David S. Simonett, Professor of Geography at UCSB from 1975 until 1990. A world-renowned authority in remote sensing, Simonett was a founding director of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA), and the UC Board of Regents renamed UCSB’s division of the NCGIA in honor of him. The award is given to a student with a long track record of service to the department and the discipline of Geography, and outstanding academic progress and accomplishment. The recipient for this award is someone who best exemplifies the values that David Simonett established for the graduate program at UCSB. The student selected to receive this award, including a $1,000 prize, is Fernanda Henderikx-Freitas.
The Jack and Laura Dangermond Graduate Fellowship is awarded to a outstanding graduate student in Geography studying within the area of Geographic Information Science. The recipient will hold the title “The Jack and Laura Dangermond Fellow” in residence for 2016-2017 and will receive a stipend of $5,000, allowing its holder to devote more time to imaginative and creative research. Jack and Laura Dangermond are the co-founders, and President and Executive Vice President, respectively, of Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI). ESRI is a major industrial supplier of software in the field of GIS. This year, the Jack and Laura Dangermond Graduate Fellowship is awarded to Blake Regalia.
Now, we have three Undergraduate awards we would like to present. Most of the undergraduate awards are normally handed out during our Geography Graduation ceremony in Buchanan quad, which will be on Saturday, June 11th, this year, but these three award winners will not be attending that ceremony, so we celebrate their accomplishments today.
The Jack and Laura Dangermond Undergraduate Fellowship – Jack and Laura Dangermond have also established a fellowship award for a promising undergraduate geography student enrolled in the Geography BA with an emphasis in Geographic Information Science. This year’s outstanding student in GISci and recipient of the Dangermond Fellowship, including a $2,000 stipend, goes to Meilin Shi.
The Nicholas Bourdakis Memorial Award – The Bourdakis Fund was established after the tragic death of Nicholas inFebruary 2001, struck by a car while walking in Isla Vista. He had just declared Geography as his major. This fund helps keep Nick’s memory alive by supporting future generations of outstanding undergraduate Geography students at UCSB. This year’s award, including a $1,000 prize, goes to Nolan Pieper.
Akella Family Scholarship in Geography – The Akella Family Scholarship supports undergraduate students with high academic achievement and compelling family/personal circumstances, such as re-entry/non-traditional students, extended family responsibilities, and the like. The award is available to all Geography majors at any time during their academic career. This year’s award, including a $1,000 prize, goes to Sylvia Garcia.
Finally, we have some additional Departmental Acknowledgements
Faculty Awards and Acknowledgements
Departmental Outstanding Faculty Teaching Award – Joe McFadden
Departmental Outstanding Faculty Research Award – Oliver Chadwick
Departmental Outstanding Mentor Award – Krzysztof Janowicz
Finally, we would like to acknowledge one of our favorite long-time staff members who worked tirelessly and competently for us a few years ago, first as an assistant to Reg Golledge and then as our Graduate Program Assistant. In fact, he was a graduate student in our department during the early 90s. Whatever he did, he did with fine manners and a cheerful disposition, with elegance one might say. We are so happy to greet him today, and in his honor, we award the first to the man himself, Jose Saleta. Let’s warmly applaud a fine man we have been so lucky to know.