Award-Winning Geography Department!

Mary Washington has long had a very strong Geography Program, with excellent professors and students. Founded in 1959, we celebrate our founders and our award-winning faculty and students.

Students winners of Geography Bowl competition pose with award plaques and silver bowl

SEDAAG Geography Bowl 2022 winning team pose with their trophies

The program itself was recently recognized as the Featured Department of the Cultural Geography Specialty Group of the AAG, in the 2019 edition of their newsletter, Place and Culture.  We believe that this honor reflects our graduates’ success in a broad range of professional careers as well as in graduate programs and the academy.  We also know that any recognition we receive for the department’s current accomplishments is possible because we built onto the strong foundation we inherited from the talented faculty who preceded us.

Our students have won the Southeastern World Geography Bowl Competition SIX times since 1990 (1991, 2009, 2015, 2018, 2019 and 2022).

A number of our faculty have won major awards, from UMW and other institutions:

Dr. Dawn Bowen

  • 2009: Henry H. Douglas Award Distinguished Service Award for the Research, Publication, and Teaching of Material Culture, Pioneer America Society: Association for the Preservation of Artifacts and Landscapes
  • 2012: University of Mary Washington, Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
  • 2013Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2016: University of Mary Washington, Mary W. Pinschmidt Award

Dr. Stephen Hanna

  • 2016: University of Mary Washington, Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award
  • 2017: Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers, Research Honors Award
  • 2018: American Association of Geographers’ Fellow
  • Dr. Hanna is currently Cartography Editor of the American Association of Geographers (AAG). He approves all maps, diagrams and images that are published in the three journals produced by our national organization.

Dr. Caitlin Finlayson

  • 2018: University of Mary Washington, Outstanding Young Faculty Award

Dr. Jackie Gallagher

  • 2019: University of Mary Washington,  J. Christopher (Topher) Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award

Awards won by Geography Department Faculty and Students, 2019