May 12, 2017

Geography-Environmental Resources students honored

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Students in the Department of Geography and Environmental Resources at Southern Illinois University Carbondale received year-end awards last week during a pre-finals reception. The scholarships and honors are the most prestigious the department awards. 

Here are some highlights: 

Kayla Newsome’s “Analysis of Polystyrene Foam Food Containers in Downtown Carbondale,” helped her earn the David and Carol Christensen Award for Undergraduate Research. Christensen, professor emeritus, established the award to encourage research on the relationship between the Earth and people. Newsome is from River Grove, Ill. The honor includes a $500 cash prize. 

Aleesandria Gonzalez, a graduate student from Philadelphia, Pa., accepted the David G. Arey Memorial Award, presented to a student engaged in innovative environmental thesis research. Gonzalez’ thesis is “Evaluating the Cognitive Drivers and Deterrents of Adaptation in the Iowa-Cedar Watershed.” She is interested in a career in environmental consulting and dual enrollment education. The award includes a $1,000 cash award. 

Two students won the Benedykt Dziegielewski Scholarship: undergraduate Luca Palasti, from Szeged, Hungary, and Mark Healy from Carmi. The scholarship honors the emeritus professor, well-known in his field for his contributions to water resources research. The scholarship winners will both receive a cash award of $1,000. 

Katherine O’Keefe, a senior from Cantrall, Ill., accepted the Priscilla Anne Moulton Award, presented to an outstanding senior in geography. The award includes $1,000 and, like many of the department’s awards, inclusion on a plaque kept in the department bearing the names of previous winners. 

Several students received Geography Scholastic Achievement Awards of $750 each. They are: Andrew Foy (senior, Elkhart, Ind.); Taylor Rich (junior, Mattoon, Ill.); and Holiday Wagner (junior, McHenry, Ill.). 

Two students earned inaugural Graduate Student Teaching Excellence Awards, each with a $500 award. They are Kemar Jones, from St. Philip, Bridgetown, Jamaica; and Julia Sanabria from Deerfield, Ill.

Here are the Geography Outstanding Student Award winners, listed by hometowns:


Bartlett: Beverly Dial, senior

Cantrall: Katherine O’Keefe, senior

Carbondale: Julia Castle, freshman; Nora Jacobs, junior; Jonathan Nelson, senior

Chicago: Mia Boatright, senior

Grafton: Katelyn Toigo, sophomore

Gurnee: Connie Kaniewski, sophomore

Lisle: Brittni Wagner, senior

Marion: Courtney Nichols, senior

Mattoon: Taylor Rich, junior

McHenry: Eric Jamnik, senior; Holiday Wagner, junior

Morton Grove: Noah Scalero, senior

Neoga: Anna Frailey, senior

Peoria: Kathyn Parrish, sophomore

Prospect Heights: Jeremy Schultz, junior

River Grove: Kayla Newsome, senior

Roscoe: Makenzee Loft, sophomore

Trenton: Jordan Henss, senior

INDIANA – Elkhart: Andrew Foy, senior

WISCONSIN - Eu Claire: Emily Bethke, junior

INTERNATIONAL - Szeged, Hungary: Luca Palasti, junior