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At the Annual Geography Awards Ceremony on Friday evening, May 8, 2020, undergraduate and graduate students gathered virtually through an online video conference with family, friends, faculty, and staff to honor those students who had distinguished themselves by their scholarship and their service to the community. The awards night included the induction of new members into the the geography honor society as well as individual awards, including three cash scholarships, for academic performance and service.
Eleven undergraduate geography students and two graduate geo-information science students were formally inducted into the Gamma Theta Upsilon International Geographical Honor Society (GTU) - Eta Kappa chapter. GTU undergraduate candidates must be in their junior or senior year, have performed in the top third of their class at Salem State, and maintained a 3.3 GPA in at least four geography courses. Graduate GTU candidates must be among the top three students in the Geo-Information Science program. The inductees pledged an oath to advance geography and were presented with certificates of membership along with a pin (alas, no secret handshake).
Undergraduate GTU Inductees
- Felicia Beaton
- Larkin Canuel
- Jillian Danton
- Victoria DiBenedetto
- Alisha Guglielmi
- Jack Olson
- Mary Raker
- Caroline Robitaille
- Jonathan Schuster
- Shannon Sheehy
- Matthew Swindell
Graduate GTU Inductees
- Kayla Dorey
- Layheab Ly
Following the GTU induction ceremony, individual students were called forth to receive specific awards for outstanding scholarship and service:
- Felicia Beaton received the James J. Centorino Award for superior academic achievement in geography
- Angelina Dimauro received the National Council for Geographic Education Award for outstanding academic achievement in geography
- Zachary Serino received the J. Michael Ruane Award for excellence in digital cartography
- Jackie de Haan received the Dr. John George Memorial Award for scholarship and service in geography
- Joey Wolongevicz received the Dr. John George Memorial Scholarship ($2,000)
- Jillian Carr received the graduate student award for excellence in geo-information sciences
- Joey Wolongevicz received the Ken Saro-Wiwa Climate Justice Scholarship* ($500)
- Alice Hurst-MacDonald received the SSU Social Justice Scholarship* ($500)
The geography department is appreciative of the John George family which has consistently funded the John George Memorial Scholarship for the last two decades and for their reliable support of the geography department and its students. Thanks also to the Centorino family for their reliable support and participation.
* Salem State was awarded $57,000 by the Multi School Fossil Fuel Divestment Fund following its full divestment from fossil fuels in May 2018. Two endowed student scholarships were established as a result: Ken Saro-Wiwa climate justice scholarship and the SSU Social Justice scholarship.
The “climate justice” award was named after Nigerian environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa. Ken Saro-Wiwa led a peaceful movement for the environmental and human rights of Nigeria’s Ogoni people whose oil-rich land has been exploited by multinational oil companies. The Nigerian government executed Saro-Wiwa in 1995. Ken Saro-Wiwa’s life has provided a legacy of great inspiration for human rights and environmental activists around the world. The award was established with permission of Ken Saro-Wiwa's family.