ASU faculty, alumni to be recognized by American Association of Geographers

April 11, 2018

This week, geographers from across the country are heading to New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). Several faculty, students and alumni from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning at Arizona State University will not only be in attendance, but are receiving special recognition during this year’s meeting.

Billie L. Turner is a geographer and human-environmental scientist who has dedicated his career to understanding land change and its implications, from the time of the ancient Mayans to modern-day Phoenix. A Regents’ Professor with the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Turner’s work has taken him to the far stretches of the Earth to investigate sustainability, deforestation and urban land system design. His current work focuses on the creation of a land-use theory to better understand the “why” in relation to land use, specifically in relation to the urban environment and how certain decisions, such as the configuration of a community and green space, may have an impact on urban heat. Patricia Gober (top left), Martin Pasqualetti (bottom left) and Billie L. Turner (right) will all be receiving special recognition from the American Association of Geographers. Download Full Image

In recognition for Turner’s transformative research on the development of land use and cover change science, leadership in integrating geographical sciences with academics and policy, as well as his extensive contributions representing geography on important national and international initiatives, including the National Academy of Sciences, Turner has been selected for the 2018 AAG Presidential Achievement Award. According to the group, the AAG Presidential Achievement Award was established to recognize individuals who have made long-standing and distinguished contributions to the discipline of geography. One of the highest honors bestowed by the AAG, only two geographers are selected each year for this recognition.

Patricia Gober, a research professor and former director of the school, has been selected by the AAG to serve as an AAG Fellow. Gober, who studies water management decisions in the face of growing climatic uncertainty in Greater Phoenix, was selected for this position in response to her significant contributions to advancing geography. Fellows will serve the AAG in addressing key initiatives including advising on AAG strategic directions and mentoring early and mid-career faculty. Gober was previously recognized in 2011 with the AAG Presidential Achievement Award.

Also receiving recognition for his service to the field of geography is Martin Pasqualetti. An energy geographer and professor with the school, Pasqualetti researches renewable energy development, energy and land use, as well as energy and society. At this year’s annual meeting, Pasqualetti will be recognized for his 50 years of membership and contributions to the AAG.  

Alumni from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning are also earning accolades from the AAG. Taylor Oshan, who graduated in 2017 with his PhD, will be receiving the Transportation Geography Specialty Group PhD Dissertation Award. Qunshan Zhao, also a 2017 PhD recipient, was selected by the AAG for the Nystrom Award. Levi Wolf, a 2017 PhD recipient, was awarded the John Odland Award. Emily Skop, a 2002 PhD recipient, will be awarded the 2018 Ethnic Geography Specialty Group Distinguished Scholar Award. Skop has worked on issues concerning migration, refugee movements, community building, and the changing social and cultural landscapes of American urban areas.

The school also has several members of its community presenting their research throughout the annual meeting.

Megan Martin

Manager, Marketing and Communication, School of Human Evolution and Social Change


ASU remains at military education forefront with another gold rating

Military Friendly School rating indicates ASU is one of the top schools surveyed

April 11, 2018

Arizona State University has been designated a Military Friendly School for the ninth consecutive year, university officials confirmed Wednesday.

The designation comes from Victory Media, a leader in helping connect the military community with education and professional opportunities through their G.I. Jobs and Military Spouse publications.   ASU earned a gold rating from Victory Media, placing it at the top of the more than 1,400 universities surveyed about veterans' education. Download Full Image

ASU earned a “gold” rating, placing it within the top of the more than 1,400 schools that participated in the 2018-2019 survey. EdPlus, ASU’s online education arm, also earned separate recognition as a Military Friendly School.

“Helping veterans and other military-affiliated students get access to quality higher education continues to be our driving force in the Pat Tillman Veterans Center,” said Steve Borden, Pat Tillman Veterans Center director. “We place great value on our military and veteran students, which is part of ASU’s larger affinity toward national defense and public service.”

Universities earning the Military Friendly School designation were evaluated using both public data sources and responses from a proprietary survey.  For the first time, student survey data was taken into consideration for the designation. 

“We continually work on innovative ways to make the student veteran’s ASU journey a transformational and not a transactional college experience,” said Michelle Loposky, Pat Tillman Veterans Center assistant director for outreach and engagement. “One of our goals is to help our military students by pointing them toward internships, research, and other opportunities so when they graduate they leave here with a diploma and a broader range of beneficial experiences.”

More than 7,200 military-affiliated students are currently enrolled online and on campus, making ASU one of the largest universities per capita in the U.S. for students earning their degrees with GI Bill and Department of Defense tuition assistance benefits.  

“The support ASU has for veterans is unmatched for public universities,” said U.S. Marine Corps veteran Anthony Lawrence, a communication major with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. “That is because the folks at the Pat Tillman Veterans Center care and work hard to support veterans and to get us involved.” 

Over half of enrolled military students are online. The most popular degree programs for veterans at ASU are in engineering, STEM, as well as those leading to continued community service — such as criminology, criminal justice studies, social work, health programs and teaching.

Methodology, criteria and weightings were determined by Victory Media with input from the Military Friendly Advisory Council of independent leaders in the higher education and military recruitment community. Final ratings were determined by combining the institution’s survey scores with the assessment of the institution’s ability to meet thresholds for student retention, graduation, job placement, loan repayment, persistence (degree advancement or transfer) and loan default rates for all students and, specifically, for student veterans.

“Our ability to apply a clear, consistent standard to colleges creates a competitive atmosphere that encourages colleges to invest in programs to provide educational outcomes that are better for veterans,” Victory Media’s Chief Product Officer Daniel Nichols said.

Get more information about ASU’s student veteran programs and all of ASU’s overall military initiatives.

Jerry Gonzalez

Media Relations Officer, Media Relations and Strategic Communications