While the challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic complicated our chapter’s normal operations and traditions, our two wonderful 2020-2021 GTU co-Presidents managed to engage our department community in meaningful ways, old and new:
- Circulated monthly newsletters to students, faculty, staff, and alumni of the Geography department. Newsletters featured capsules about ongoing student scholarship (capstones and honors theses), staff/faculty updates, event advertisements and recaps, photo collages, GTU recruiting information, social media content promotions, letters from GTU co-Presidents, and more.
- Celebrated Geography Awareness Week with social, academic, and recreational events for the department community. Integrated into the week was the department’s yearlong Speaker Series, a student social hour, and Trivia Night.
- The co-Presidents coordinated with department faculty to plan our annual Lanegran Days festivities. These centered around virtual visits from Dr. Lindsay Naylor of the University of Delaware. Dr. Naylor presented her research, Fair Rebels? Solidarity and Fair Trade in Movement, and joined a lunch with students to discuss scholarly interests, graduate school applications, and post-grad life.
- Presented GTU news and planned fun activities for department-wide gatherings at the end of the fall and spring semesters.
- Hosted prospective majors events for first-year and sophomore students interested in learning more about the department. These included panel discussions with several geography majors of varying co-curricular paths and experiences.
- The co-Presidents offered a GTU report at biweekly faculty meetings and provided input and guidance when solicited by the faculty group.
- Held student “Tea Time” events each quarter for majors/minors to discuss their experiences, answer questions, and connect with faculty.
- Inducted 22 new GTU members to our chapter, the largest induction class in five years. 20 of these members were students and two were faculty memberships.
- Worked with department faculty and Admissions staff to connect with prospective Macalester students through department information sessions and personal conversations.
- Planned and hosted a virtual version of MUGS (the Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium) in April. The event featured 46 student presenters from seven different colleges/universities around the Midwest and over 100 total attendees from across the country.
Despite the disappointment of having to cancel some of our big events in the spring semester of 2020 due to the COVID pandemic, our 2019-2020 GTU co-presidents did a fantastic job this year of programming events to promote Geography across campus, and to strengthen community within Geography.
Some of our Epsilon Kappa highlights include:
- Beautiful monthly newsletters that featured an events calendar, news, field trip and event
summaries and photos, faculty profiles/facts/news, student profiles, study away profiles,
and GTU membership info
- Daily programming during Geography Awareness Week, including button making,
watercolor map making, a faculty presentation by Dr. Xavier Haro-Carrión on “Land-Cover
and Vegetation Change at Regional and Local Scales in Ecuador,” a showing of the movie
“Anthropocene,” and a Friday night “Seniors at the Tap” outing to a local pub with staff
- Programming for our annual Lanegran Days event in February, including hosting one of
our GTU alumni, Dr. Anne Brown (now an Assistant Professor at the University of Oregon)
for a keynote presentation on “Can Ride-Hailing Deliver Equity? Lessons for New Mobility
Policy.” In addition, GTU hosted a student lunch with Dr. Brown, and organized a
Geography bowling night.
- Hosted an extremely exciting and successful version of Macalester College’s “Mac@Nite”
series. GTU’s event was called “Maps@Nite,” and students from all over campus showed
up on a Saturday night in February for fun activities that combined art and maps, including
dymaxion globe folding, Nat-Geo earrings, watercolor cartography, and gunpowder
- Hosted an informational lunch for first year and sophomore students interested in
- Hosted five local GTU alumni back on campus for a “Pathways in Geography” dinner and
conversation about their post-grad pathways and adventures.
- Planned and were scheduled to host in April the annual Midwestern Undergraduate
Geography Symposium (MUGS) for geography departments around the Midwest,
including securing funding for Dr. Lindsay Naylor of the University of Delaware to be our
keynote speaker through the Visiting Geographical Scientist Program. Unfortunately, the
conference was cancelled due to COVID restrictions.
- Three of our senior students were scheduled to present their Honors theses at the April
Annual Meeting of the AAG in Denver that was also cancelled. They have deferred their
presentations until next year’s meeting in Seattle.
- We inducted 9 new members in the Spring of 2020. GTU Honors cords and certificates,
along with a personal note from the Geography department, were physically mailed to our
new inductees in time for Macalester’s virtual commencement.
- Organized a field program for Lanegran Day
- Helped organize Macalester’s participation in the Midwest Undergraduate Geography Symposium
- Geography Awareness Week programming
- We held a geography career night
- Brought to campus six professional geographers to discuss career paths for geography majors
- We held a geography career night
- Held a geography open house for students who might be interested in taking a geography course or developing a geography major
- Three students presented paper/posters at geography conferences
- Epsilon Kappa Chapter inducted 17 new members
Geography Awareness Week (trivia night, button making, tea with GTU presidents, Geography t-shirt day).
– David Lanegran Day (tour and presentation of Reconnect Rondo, Geog dept bowling (and trivia) at Ran-Ham Alley, with spectacular prizes).
– We <3 Geography Valentine’s Day party (cookie decorating and valentine making in the lounge).
– Study Abroad Lunch (recent returnees present on their experiences).
– Sophomore Lunch (GTU presidents answer questions and offer advice to sophomore geography students).
– (coming) Senior skit at the Spring supper.
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Twenty members served as judges of the Geographers’s Fair Co-sponsored by the Minnesota Alliance For Geographic Education and the Science Museum of Minnesota.
Hosted the Midwest Undergraduate Geography Symposium which was attended by 120 geography students from Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Attended the exhibit “The Suburbs at the Minnesota Historical Society”.
Sponsored a range of programs during Geography Awareness Week including a geo contest.
No report filed
Members served a judges at the Geographers Fair.
Faculty Sponsor: David A Lanegran
President: Agata Miszczyk
Vice President: Lora Hlavsa
Twelve members served as judges of the Minnesota Geographers Fair. The Fair is an event for elementary and middle school student to exhibit project created in their geography classes. It is sponsored by the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education and the Science Museum of Minnesota where it is held.
Members held geography trivia contests in the student union during Geography Awareness week.
The chapter went on a field trip to the visit special collection of historic maps and books written between 1450 and 1800 in the James Ford Bell Library of the University of Minnesota.
Three members worked with boys from a local Cub Scout on their Geography Belt Loop requirements.
The Presidents Co-Chair the Midwest Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Students from 6 colleges presented a total of 50 papers and posters at this event. The also hosted a GTU/NCGE visiting Scholar Owen Furuseth who gave the Symposium Keynote Address.
Five members presented research papers at the Los Angles Meeting of the AAG.
Four members presented research papers at the Meeting the West Lakes Division of the AAG.
All GTU Chapter Activity Reports can be found on the Gamma Theta Upsilon website.