Announcing the 2023-24 MSU Geography Award Recipients

May 20, 2024

2024 Awards ceremony program

The Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University congratulates all of our 2023-2024 GEO Award recipients in recognition of their academic achievements.


Jessica Davis and Ryan Shadbolt
Jessica Davis and Ryan Shadbolt. Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

College of Social Science - Outstanding Senior in GEO | Jessica Davis

The Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences at Michigan State University proudly announces that Jessica Davis was named the MSU College of Social Science Outstanding Senior in Geography.


Ryan Shadbolt and Kylie Hunter; Katie Brown, Amber Pearson, and Ashton Shortridge. Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

 James Potchen Awards in Geography for Graduate and Undergraduate Students (Undergraduate and Graduate Student of the Year) | Kylie Hunter and Katie Brown

The E. James Potchen Award was established in 2008 by Harm de Blij to fund yearly cash awards for one outstanding graduate and one undergraduate student who has demonstrated exceptional leadership and service to the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences. The students will have shown remarkable professionalism and leadership skills in activities within both the department and the campus community. This year's winners are Kylie Hunter (Undergraduate Student of the Year) and Katie Brown (Graduate Student of the Year).


Memet Eroglu and Laurie Sommers
Mehmet Eroğlu and Laurie Sommers. Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

Marjorie and Lawrence Sommers Geography Graduate Fellowship for International Research & Travel | Mehmet Eroğlu

The Marjorie and Lawrence Sommers Geography Graduate Fellowship is awarded annually to Master's or Ph.D. students to support international research and travel within the next 12 months. Congratulations to Mehmet Eroğlu, the 2024 recipient of this award.


2024 Graff Award
Randy Schaetzl and Chris Baish; Meicheng Shen and Kyla Dahlin. Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

 Michael A. Graff Dissertation Completion Award | Chris Baish and Meicheng Shen

Graduate students at the Ph.D. level in Geography who have successfully defended their proposals are eligible to apply for this award. The award is meant to provide financial support towards the completion of their dissertation research. Congratulations to our recipients, Chris Baish and Meicheng Shen.


Lifeng Luo and Xin Lan
Lifeng Luo and Xin Lan. Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

Owen Gregg Endowment for Global Climate Change Research | Xin Lan

The Owen Gregg Endowment was established in 2012 to support global climate change science research in the MSU Department of Geography. Undergraduate majors or graduate students in Geography pursuing studies that make significant progress toward understanding climate change, its causes, and impacts are eligible to apply. Congratulations to this year's recipient, Xin Lan.


Isabelle Ernest and Ryan Shadbolt
Isabelle Ernest and Ryan Shadbolt. Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

The de Blij Geography Scholars | MacKenzie Brady and Isabelle Ernest

Instituted in 2013 by Harm de Blij and supported by other major donors, the de Blij Scholars awards scholarships to promising first-year students who choose to major in Geography at Michigan State University. Congratulations to our newest de Blij Scholars, MacKenzie Brady and Isabelle Ernest.


2024 GTU Initiates
Henri Radosevich, Theresa Braga-Henebry, and Xin Lan. (Not pictured: Xiumin Cai) Photo: Jackie Hawthorne

2023 Gamma Theta Upsilon Initiates

Congratulations to our newest Gamma Theta Upsilon members: Theresa Braga-Henebry, Xiumin "Mia" Cai, Xin Lan, and Henri Radosevich. Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) is an international honor society in geography. Gamma Theta Upsilon was founded in 1928 and became a national organization in 1931. Members of GTU have met academic requirements and share a background and interest in geography. GTU chapter activities support knowledge of geography and awareness.