Thursday, April 28, 2011

Graduate Student Awards for Academic Year 2010–2011; Department of Geography, University of Tennessee (part 1)

Before the ceremony

Dr. Harden, Interim Chair, commences the ceremony

Undergraduate Student Awards
Outstanding Graduating Senior
David White is the department’s Outstanding Graduating Senior.  He will be recognized as such by the college at the graduation ceremony.  David’s involvement with the work of the department was extraordinary.  He worked with Micheline on her research on the recruitment and retention of IT specialists in Bangalore.  He wrote a paper about talent recruitment, “The Creative Metropolis in America” that won a prize at the recent Eureca conference last month. David is a joint major in geography in political science.  He will be entering the planning program at the University of Minnesota in the fall.   Well done and good luck David!

Michelle Pfeffer Award
This is an award from the department’s heart.  It’s named after Michelle, one of our majors, the first recipient of the award.  She was a fine student and an extraordinarily giving person.   She was diagnosed with a fatal illness in her November of her senior year and she died in February.  She left a journal in which she recorded her thoughts in those final weeks.   How anyone so young and with so much to live for could have faced death with such calm courage was beyond me then.  It’s beyond me now.   Putting a student’s name on her plaque in the hall is the greatest honor we can bestow. This years winners are Scott Basford and Sarah Jones.
Scott Basford
Quote from Dr. van Riemsdijk:  “I’m truly impressed with Scott's critical thinking skills and his eagerness to learn.  He asks high-level questions and he analyzes problems from various angles. He effortlessly integrates theoretical concepts into his reasoning and he is a good writer. His fact-finding is top-notch and he critically thinks about the data that he collects.” Scott also presented at the Eureca conference and also cleaned up with his study of the expansion of Church’s Chicken in India.  His poster, along with David’s and Sarah’s is on display on the third floor of  BGB.  Check it out.
Sarah Jones
As for Sarah, she’s a dynamo.   Her accomplishments is startling. From Dr. Grissino-Mayer: Sarah has been o Dean's List every year from 2007 to 2010 (and likely again in 2011), and sixteen items later, he finishes with:  Participant in the 21st North American Dendroecological Fieldweek, Blacksburg, Virginia, 2011.
Sarah is also a Eureca prizewinner.  In 499 Sarah and Sean Baskin gave a presentation on their dendro work in New Mexico last summer. With the help of Henri and Bruce Ralston they extended it into their winning Eureca presentation, “The Spatial Dynamics of Ponderosa Pine.  El Malpais NM, New Mexico”.  Congatuations, Sarah.

Extraordinary Service to the Department Awards (undergraduate division)

Kelsey Vaughn & John Buerhaus
They share the award for their leadership of Club Geography. In Ron Kalafsky’s words: Kelsey Vaughn and John Buerhaus made great efforts to revive Club Geography and maintain student interest in the club throughout the year.  They leave Club Geography well placed to continue its momentum through next year and beyond.  They deserve special thanks for  the successful t-shirt sale and for the donut sale, also a  success in spite of dreary weather. We thank both of them for all of their efforts and wish them success in the future.”

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