5. Community updates

Send your personal and professional updates to us at geography@psu.edu
We want to hear from you!

Faculty and Staff

Clio Andris received an EMS Wilson Research Initiation Grant for her project, “Where do Nittany Lions come from?”
Todd Bacastow was the commencement speaker at the US Army Sergeants Major Academy graduation on June 8, 2015.
Justine Blanford was appointed as an assistant professor with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute.
Justine Blanford and Fritz Kessler received Gladys Snyder Education Grants from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS).
Guido Cervone was named to the Faculty Fellowship Program by the National Center for Atmospheric Research for Summer 2016.
Sarah Chamberlain was named Curator of the PAC Herbarium at Penn State.  The Herbarium is located in Whitmore Laboratory. 
Lorraine Dowler received the Faculty Mentoring Award at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Wilson Awards Banquet.
Christopher Fowler was named as associate faculty with the Population Research Institute and as a faculty member in the graduate program in Demography.
Alex Klippel, together with colleagues from Vanderbilt and Johns Hopkins, received a three-year NSF–Cyber-Human-Systems award for “Improving Wayfinding and Navigation in Immersive Virtual Environments.”
Stephen Matthews is the co-editor of a book (released by Springer): Recapturing Space: New Middle Range Theory in Spatial Demography.
Doug Miller was promoted to senior scientist.
Doug Miller, Rob Brooks, Erica Smithwick and other colleagues were awarded a PSIEE grant for their project: “Mapping and Measuring Forests and Wetlands with a UAS-Based Lidar/Multispectral System.”
Donna Peuquet was awarded Fellow status by The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) at its May 2016 Symposium in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Anthony Robinson was appointed as a tenure-track assistant professor on May 1, 2015.
Sasha Savelyev (’15g), currently a GeoVISTA post doctoral scholar, accepted a tenure-track position in cartography at the Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Erica Smithwick was named director of the EESI Center for Landscape Dynamics.
Alan Taylor received his 25-Year Service Award at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Wilson Awards Banquet.
Brent Yarnal received the Wilson Award for Outstanding Service at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences Wilson Awards Banquet.
Karl Zimmerer received a 2015 Fulbright Specialist Grant for the project “Latin America, Program Evaluation and Design for University Teaching and Joint Research in Environmental Science, Global Change, and Geography in Peru.”


Megan Baumann and Jamie Peeler received Graduate Research Award funding from the Center for Landscape Dynamics.
Jase Bernhardt accepted a tenure-track assistant professor position in atmospheric science with the Department of Geology, Environment and Sustainability at Hofstra University.
Yanni Cao, pictured below with President Barron, was nominated to represent EMS at the Chinese Student Presidential Reception on April 27, 2016.

Penn State President Eric Barron and Yanni Cao

Jenna Christian was awarded a doctoral dissertation improvement grant from the NSF for her doctoral project titled: “Geopolitical Youth: Race, Citizenship, and a School-to-Military Pipeline in Houston, Texas.”
Carolyn Fish won Best Paper in the AAG Cartography Specialty Group Honors Student Paper Competition.
Nathan Frey has accepted a postdoc at the Population Studies and Training Center at Brown University, to begin in September 2016.
Lucas Harris received a NASA Space Grant Fellowship and a Travel Grant to give a paper at the Sixth International Fire Congress.
Russel Hedberg received funding from the NSF for a doctoral dissertation research improvement grant. “Social and Biogeophysical Factors Contributing to Soil Fertility Sustainability in Local and Regional Food Systems.”
Morteza Karimzadeh received a US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation 2015 Doctoral Scholarship.
Eun-Kyeong Kim received grants from KUSCO, KSEA, and Penn State UPAC for the conference she organized “The 1st Symposium on Research Methodologies in the Big Data Era,” May 13–15, 2016 in Walker Building.
Eden Kinkaid received a Critical Language Scholarship from the US Department of State to study Hindi in Jaipur, India, this summer.

Catherine Lauvaux received a Joint Fire Science Program grant with Alan Taylor on the interactions of land use and climate change on fire and on forest change in the Sawtooth Mountains in Idaho and a Travel Grant to give a paper at the Sixth International Fire Congress.
Emma Gaalaas Mullaney
was awarded Penn State’s Harold F. Martin Outstanding Teaching Award for 2015–2016.
Sterling Quinn accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of geography at Central Washington University, beginning September 2016.
Azita Ranjbar’s proposal “Silence, Silencing, and (In)Visibility: The Geopolitics of Tehran’s Silent Protests” was selected for the Glenda Laws Student Paper Competition Award from the AAG Geographic Perspectives on Women Specialty Group.
Paulo Raposo accepted a tenure-track assistant professorship in GIScience at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, to start in fall 2016.
Nari Senanayake received the Evelyn Pruitt National Fellowship for Dissertation Research from Society of Woman Geographers and the Whiting Indigenous Knowledge Research Award from the Penn State Inter-institutional Center for Indigenous Knowledge Ramzi Tubbeh received the AAG’s Latin America Specialty Group Field Studies Award to support fieldwork for his master’s thesis.
Adrienne Tucker was named as the winner of the Supporting Women In Geography Nancy Brown Community Service Award.
Amanda Young won the Best Student Oral Presentation for her paper at the Ameridendro 2016 conference in Mendoza, Argentina.
Travis Young received an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program Award.


Mark Monmonier (’67g, ’69g) is quoted in a September 2015 news story about the Board on Geographic Names.
Vaclav Smil (’69g) was mentioned in Bill Gates book blog: www.gatesnotes.com/Books/Should-We-Eat-Meat
Anne Mosher (’83g, ’89g) was appointed chair of the double major in Citizenship and Civic Engagement at The Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.
Jeremy Crampton (’87g, ’94g) was appointed director of the Committee on Social Theory for 2016-2019 at the University of Kentucky. The CST was founded in 1989 by J. P. Jones III, Wolfgang Natter and Ted Schatzki as a graduate certificate program and distinguished lecture series in social theory.
Martin von Wyss (’94g) wrote the Practical Cartographers’ Corner column in issue 79 of Cartographic Perspectives.
Michael Hermann (’95)  was interviewed on Aug 26, 2015 on 98.7 FM the FREQ about Penn State Geography being one of the first schools to offer digital cartography.
Susan Lechtanski (’97) was named to the Graduates of Earth and Minseral Sciences Board of Directors.
Elizabeth (Libby) Wentz (’97g) was appointed dean of social sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Arizona State University.
Amy Griffin (’00g, ’04g) is president of the North American Cartographic Information Society.
Sunil Yapa’s (’02), son of professor emeritus Lucky Yapa, first novel, Your Heart Is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, was published in January 2016.
Rachel Headley (’03g) received a $100K grant from the USDA Local Food program to connect local food producers to cafeterias in nursing homes and hospitals in her community.
Tom Auer (’09g) has taken a new job at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology as a GIS developer.
Rob Roth (’11g) had an article in Cartographic, Vol. 50, No.2, summer 2015.
Tim Yuskavage (’11) enrolled in the Master of Arts in the Security Studies program at Georgetown University in January 2016. He is currently employed as an analyst for the US Department of Defense.
Shaunna Barnhart (’12g) is the director of the Place Studies Program in the Center for Sustainability and the Environment at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
Raechel Bianchetti (’14g) had a commentary in The Conversation on expertise in image analysis: “In sea of satellite images, experts’ eyes still needed.”
Ann Myatt James (’14g) accepted a position as senior research analyst at the University of Maryland in Baltimore, Maryland.
Wei Luo (’14g) was elected as a board member for the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences.
Marina Burka (’15) was a 2015–16 Fulbright award recipient.
Greg Milbourne (’15) accepted a position with Vricon in McLean,Virginia, as a 3D geospatial specialist.
Brian Swedberg (’15g) was presented with a US Army Commendation Medal for Valor for his actions during deployment to Afghanistan in 2011.
Britt Eckerstrom (’15) was drafted to the Western New York Flash of the National Women’s Soccer League.
Kimberly Struthers (’15g) received 2nd place at GIS in the Rockies for her poster presentation “Conservation strategy: where it matters most. Integrating demographics, socioeconomic, lifestyle and biodiversity.”