Students returning after a research trip

Undergraduate News & Awards

Departmental Awards

Ellen Churchill Semple Award

This award is given to an outstanding graduating senior geography major. Award is based primarily on student’s academic achievements. Consideration should also be given to professional and community achievements, independent research activities, publications and consulting.

2015: Michino Hisabayashi
2014: Michelle Andrews and Lucas Earl
2013: Joseph Danko
2012: Dylan Broderick
2011: Alicia Cavanaugh
2009: Jaclyn Green-Stock and Christopher MacAlpine-Belton
2008: Daniel Desantis and Laura Merner
2007: Timothy Currie
2004: Shana Retherford
2003: Diana Huffaker
2002: Ethan Frost and Josephine Shagwert
2001: Kathryn Machud
2000: Marguerite Andrews
1999: Lori Bohne and Naoko Kubo
1998: Megan Williams
1997: Michael Coles
1996: Erin Fitzpatrick
1989: Christopher Davis
1988: Michael Brown

Global Environmental Studies Outstanding Student Award

This award is given to a Global Environmental Studies graduating senior, recognizing academic excellence within the Global Environmental Studies program.

2015: Gabrielle Kent
2014: Chi Le and Mikaela Monous

IDRISI Excellence in Geographic Information Science Award

This award is given to an outstanding Geography major who shows excellence in the field of Geographic Information Science. This award is given by Geography but funded by IDRISI.

2015: Rebecca Chapman
2014: Sean Cunningham
2013: Yelena Finegold
2012: Parker Edmonds
2011: Andrew (AJ) Shatz
2009: Jenner Alpern and Albert Decatur
2008: Alina Taus
2007: Joseph Fortier

Linda Roth Memorial Activist Scholar Award

Linda Roth was a graduate of the Geography Ph. D. program at Clark and was a life-long Social Justice and Environmental activist a well as a very accomplished award-winning forest Ecology scientist. This award is given to an outstanding Global Environmental Studies major who embodies the principles of scholarship and activism that she demonstrated during her life, from the U.S. to Nicaragua, Belize, and the Dominican Republic.

2015: Selena Shabot, Rebecca Liebman and Rebecca E. Miller
2014: Sharon Bort
2013: April Herleikson
2012: Serena Galleshaw
2011: Callista Perry

The Marcia V. Szugda-Emani Memorial Environmental Scholarship Award

This award is given to award is given to an outstanding junior or senior in Geography who shows the passion for the environment in their education and research that Marcia Szugda-Emani exhibited in her support of environmental education at Clark University. Designated use is to help to cover expenses associated with advanced research projects related to geography and the environment, with a preference for research and/or projects related to the environment and its relevance to human well-being.

2015: Julia Groenfeldt (Global Environmental Studies, '15)
2014: Elliot Altbaum (Geography, '14)
2013: Emily Sturdivant (Geography, '13)

NCGE Excellence in Scholarship Award

The Excellence in Scholarship Award is given in recognition of outstanding scholastic performance in the field of geography. This award is co-sponsored by the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers.

2015: Joey Hersh
2014: Zoe Ritter
2013: Lauren Ziemer and Martha Ziemer
2012: Andrew (AJ) Shatz
2011: Angela Marshall
2009: Marie Anselm
2008: Joanna Plunkett
2007: Andrew Cummings, Annya Djachiachvili, Niluka Gunawardena, and Elizabeth Waste
2006: Allan Breed, Ryan Frazier, Jaime Huber, Emma Klein
2004: Daniel Pomerleau
2003: Patrick Morris
2002: Stephen Aldrich, Jonah Vitale Wolf

Strabo Award

This award is given to a junior in recognition of intellectual leadership, exploration, and creativity. It is named for the Greek Geographer, Strabo, whose seventeen-volume encyclopedia, Geographica, changed the known world of his time.

2015: Eric Pasay (Earth System Science, '16)
2014: Joey Hersh (Geography, '15)
2013: Zoe Ritter (Geography, '14) and Lucas Earl (Geography, '14)
Tatiana Baglioni (Geography, '13)
2011: Dylan Broderick (Geography, '12)


Peter J. Condakes Summer Research Fellowship

This fellowship is made possible by a generous gift from Peter Condakes, an alumnus and Geography major from the Class of 1978. To be considered for this award (which is open to sophomores or juniors studying Geography, Global Environmental Studies, and Earth System Science) students must submit a research proposal alongside a faculty mentor to be conducted during the summer months. Applications are posted on the Careers and Internships page annually when available.

2015: Yuka Fuchino (Geography, '16)
2014: Rebecca Chapman (Geography, '15) and Alexander Hayes (Geography, '16)
2013: Zoe Ritter (Geography, '14) and Gabrielle Kent (Global Environmental Studies, '15)
Yelena Finegold (Geography, '13) and Holly Jones (Geography, '12)
2009: Claire Griffen (Geography, '10)
2008: Marie Anselm (Geography, '09)
2007: Michelle Bozeman (Geography, '09)
2003: Daniel Pomerleau (Geography, '04)
2002: Denise Lavallee (Geography, '05)
2001: Rachel Regeczi (Geography, '01)
2000: Michael Staton (Geography, '02)

Additional Undergraduate News


  • Michino Hisabayashi (Geography, '15) received a Marsh-Mosakowski NOAA Fellowship. See here for the article
  • Michelle Andrews (Geography, '14) received a scholarship from the ASPRS (American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing). The purpose of this award is to encourage students who have an exceptional interest in pursuing scientific research or education in geospatial science or technology related to photogrammetry, remote sensing, surveying and mapping to enter a professional field where they can use the knowledge of their discipline to excel in their profession. See the ASPRS website for more information about the scholarship.
  • Tatiana Baglioni (Geography, '14) was a co-recipient of The Paul P. Vouras '51 Social Science Award. This award is given out annually by the university.


  • Michino Hisabayashi '15 was selected as the 2013 Mosakowski HERO Fellow
  • Gaia Khairina '15 was named the 2013 O'Connor HERO Fellow
  • Yelena Finegold '13 was accepted for a prestigious Forest Futures summer internship in Rome with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN FAO). Yelena worked with the UN FAO Forest Resource Assessment (FRA) team to predict and analyze forest change from 2010 to 2030 and 2050.


  • Andrew Hostetler '13 was named the 2012 O'Connor HERO Fellow
  • Andrew (AJ) Shatz '12 received 1st prize in the RSSG/GISSG/CSG Student Illustrated Paper Competition for his poster titled, "Characterizing the Distribution of the Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) in Worcester County, Massachusetts using Mahalanobis Typicality."


  • Abigail (Abby) Kaminski '11, a dual Geography and Economics major, received the 2011 Paul P. Vouras Social Science Award


  • Kristin Travis '10 received 1st prize for her poster presentation for the session Topics in Environment and Water Resources at the annual AAG conference in Washington, D.C. April 14-18th, 2010.
  • Abby Kaminski ('11, Economics and Geography) and Andrew (AJ) Shatz ('12, Geography) were chosen as HERO fellows for the summer of 2010
  • Blaize Denfeld ('10, Earth Systems Science, Geography) and Cassandra Volatile-Wood ('12, Earth Systems Science) were selected for the summer 2010 Polaris Project, which brought them to the Northeast Science Station in Cherskiy, East Siberia. Cassandra was a first-time participant, and Blaize was selected as a returning student.


  • Claire Griffin ('10, Geography major, ES minor), Blaize Denfeld ('10, ESS major, Geography minor), and Boyd Zapatka ('10, Geography major, ES minor) were selected for the summer 2009 Polaris Project.
  • Katherine Willis, Boyd Zapatka, and Karen Frey were mentioned in the Worcester Telegram and Gazette for their work with the Polaris Project.
  • Kelsey Herrington '09 was named a Mosakowski HERO Fellow. Read more.


  • Laura Merner received a first place Norb Psuty Student Paper Merit Award (sponsored by the Coastal Marine and Specialty Group) at the 2008 AAG Conference.
  • Joseph Fortier (Accelerated MA student) received third place in the 2008 AAGs Remote Sensing Specialty Group Paper Competition in Boston, MA.
  • Claire Griffin, Boyd Zapatka, and Katherine Willis were selected to participate in The Polaris Project during Summer 2008. The Polaris Project is a National Science Foundation-funded field experience for undergraduates to take place in Cherskij, East Siberia, focusing on impacts of climate warming on carbon cycling in the Arctic.
  • Paula (Kiviranta) Zimmerman was co-recipient of the 2008 Paul P. Vouras Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement in the Social Sciences.


  • Paula (Kiviranta) Zimmerman was selected as the 2007 Maxfield Scholarship winner by Gamma Theta Upsilon, geography's national honor society.
  • Paula (Kiviranta) Zimmerman has been awarded the Jefferson Prize for outstanding Junior entering Senior Year.
  • Kate Del Vecchio won 1st Place in the Applied Geography Specialty Group's Undergraduate Paper Competition at the 2007 AAG Convention in San Francisco, CA.
  • Joe Fortier won 1st Place in the Remote Sensing/Cartography & GIS Specialty Group's Student Illustrated Paper Competition at the 2007 AAG Convention in San Francisco, CA.
  • Dawn Gedenberg and Nagraj Rao won 2nd Place in the Water Resources Specialty Group's Undergraduate Illustrated Paper Competition at the 2007 AAG Convention in San Francisco, CA.
  • Troy Hill won 1st Place in the Applied Geography Specialty Group's Graduate Paper Competition with his B.A. honors paper from last year's graduation at the 2007 AAG Convention in San Francisco, CA.
  • Paula Kiviranta-Zimmerman won 1st Place in the Applied Geography Specialty Group's Undergraduate Paper Award, presented by the Urban Geography Specialty Group, at the 2007 AAG Convention in San Francisco, CA.
  • Alina Taus, Joanna Plunkett, and Paula Kiviranta-Zimmerman were elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
  • Laura Merner has been awarded an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates, sponsored by NSF) in Integrated Environmental Science at the Environment Science Institute, University of Texas.
  • Tim Currie has been awarded and NSF Doctoral Fellowship.
  • Paula Kiviranta-Zimmerman won the Urban Geography Specialty Group Glenda Laws Undergraduate Paper Competition for her paper "Social Justice in the Multi-Ethnic City: What is the Urban Reality for Immigrants in Sweden".

Photography © Chris Linder