December 15, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Chair’s Message | Department Happy to Have New President as Geography Faculty

Dr. Dorothy Sack , close-up portrait

Dr. Dorothy Sack

By Dorothy Sack
Professor & Chair of Geography

Dear Friends,

I hope this finds you well! I became chair of the Ohio University Department of Geography on July 1, when Jim Dyer completed his second three-year term in that position. It’s been a pretty steep learning curve for me, but Jim has been very helpful as has our administrative specialist, Patti Malloy. I appreciate their assistance and patience, and that of the faculty as a whole while I’ve been learning the ropes of the position over the last few months. On behalf of the entire department, I want to thank Jim for his dedicated service as department chair for the last six years.

President M. Duane Nellis, shown with 21st president logo

President M. Duane Nellis

The department is very proud to have an accomplished geographer and experienced university leader Dr. Duane Nellis as the new president of Ohio University. President Nellis and his wife, Ruthie, arrived on campus in June and have enthusiastically embraced the university, the Athens community, and the department. Their energy and optimism are contagious, and we look forward to a healthy and sustainable future under President Nellis’ leadership. Although they came here from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, the President and first lady are very familiar with the rich cultural and physical environment of our region, having spent many years previously at West Virginia University in Morgantown.

I want to give a special thanks to all of our alumni, friends, professors emeriti, students, staff, and colleagues who helped make Hugh Bloemer Day on Nov. 17 a wonderfully successful and special event. The event celebrated the late geography professor on the occasion of the USGS Board on Geographic Names approving the official label Bloemer Berg for a summit adjacent to Hugh’s former home. Several alumni also participated earlier that day in Geography JobQuest panels, which students found very helpful and informative. If you weren’t able to return to campus for Hugh Bloemer Day, we hope you will be able to do so for a future event, or that you can stop by the department if you are passing through Athens. We are always pleased to hear from you, even if it’s just in a quick email. Or you can share your story via our online form.

Alumni have another opportunity to come back to Athens on Feb. 1 for the Alumni & Student Networking Reception during the second annual College of Arts & Sciences Career & Networking Week. There are several ways to get involved including resume review, roundtables, panel discussions or simply attending the reception and networking with our students. If you’re interested, RSVP for the networking reception.

It has been a very active Fall Semester in Clippinger! Here are a few highlights from this semester:

  • The department hosted several colloquium speakers, including renowned human geographer Judith Carney and current AAG president Derek Alderman.
  • The department hosted two alumni, John Maximuk (1992) and Mike Kukral (1982) who were in town to receive Notable Alumni honors from the College of Arts & Sciences
  • On Nov. 17, the campus community joined Geography alumni, faculty and students for Hugh Bloemer Day activities in honor of the late professor of Geography.
  • The department introduced a new online certificate designed for professionals using geospatial technologies.
  • We continue to post updates on departmental news and events on Facebook and Twitter (@OUGeography). Be sure to follow/join!

Please see the rest of this issue of the Geogram for more information on recent departmental events, student accomplishments, alumni news and other updates. Have a safe and happy holiday season, and I wish you the very best for the New Year.

All best wishes,



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