headshot of Dawn BowenDawn Bowen

B.A., Mary Washington College; M.A., University of Maine; Ph.D., Queen’s University
dbowen@umw.edu; Monroe 311.

Dawn Bowen is fascinated by people and places. She teaches classes in the regional geography of Eastern and Western North America, Latin America, and Geography and Development. She also takes students to Guatemala each spring. Her current research focuses on cultural landscape evolution in Montana and Aruba, heritage tourism in Labrador, and empowerment education among young indigenous women in Guatemala. Current CV (PDF Format)

Winner of the 2012 Grellet C. Simpson Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
Winner of the 2016 Mary W. Pinschmidt Award


Caitlin Finlayson

Associate Professor
B.A., Winthrop University; Ph.D., Florida State University
cfinlay@umw.edu; Monroe 322.

Dr. Finlayson is on sabbatical during the Fall 2023 semester.  Caitlin Finlayson teaches classes in World Regional Geography, Quantitative Methods, Environment and Society, and the Geography of Religion.  Her research focuses on the emotional experiences of people within sacred spaces and the ways in which sacred spaces are created. Current CV (PDF Format). Winner of the 2018 Alumni Association Outstanding Young Faculty Award


Jacqueline Gallagher

Associate Professor
B.Sc., University of Wales, College of Swansea; M.Sc. Memorial University of Newfoundland; Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles.
jgallagh@umw.edu; Monroe 313.

Jackie Gallagher’s interests include Quaternary science and geomorphology, particularly the evolution of landscapes over time, as well as field methods, biogeography and the geography of natural hazards. She also teaches  mobile geographic information systems and GPS. Current CV (PDF format). Winner of the 2019 J. Christopher (Topher) Bill Outstanding Faculty Service Award


Stephen Hanna

B.A., Clark University; M.A., University of Vermont; Ph.D., University of Kentucky
shanna@umw.edu; Monroe 312.

Stephen Hanna’s teaching and research interests include critical cartography and GIS, and the interactions of race and memory in the production of tourism destinations. He teaches courses in globalization, cultural landscapes, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses in cartography and geovisualization. Current CV (PDF Format). Winner of the 2016 Waple Faculty Professional Achievement Award.


Marco Millones Mayer

Assistant Professor
B.A., Catholic University of Peru-PUCP; M.A., University of Miami; Ph.D., Clark University
mmillone@umw.edu; Monroe 113B.

Millones teaches GIS, spatial analysis and remote sensing at graduate and undergraduate levels. His work focuses on applications of geospatial analysis for the study of human-induced landscape change, spatial accuracy, spatio-temporal modeling, and public policy. Examples of these applications include: map accuracy  measures, geospatial impact evaluation of land tenure programs, locational error and its impact on spatial modeling; using food flow data to measure regional sustainability; and, exploiting remotely sensed time-series to describe environmental trends and abrupt changeCurrent CV (PDF Format)

Dr. Joseph W. Nicholas

Joseph W. Nicholas

Associate Professor
B.A., Bemidji State University; M.S., University of North Dakota; Ph.D., University of Georgia
jnichola@umw.edu; Monroe 314.

Joe Nicholas’s teaching and research interests include Alpine Periglacial Geomorphology, Quaternary Environments, Climatology, and Biogeography. His principal research area has been the La Sal Mountains of southeastern Utah, where he has studied rock glaciers and other talus landforms for clues to Holocene climate change. Current CV (PDF Format).

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Melina Patterson

Associate Professor and Department Chair
B.A., Pitzer College; Ph.D., Rutgers University
mpatters@umw.edu; Monroe 324.

Melina Patterson’s research and teaching interests in urban and political geography include the patterns and persistence of racial and economic inequality and struggles for social justice, the intersections of urban and natural processes and spaces, public space, and theories of the modern world economy. Current CV (PDF Format).

Farhang Rouhani photograph

Farhang Rouhani

B.A., University of California; M.A., Ph.D., University of Arizona
frouhani@umw.edu; Monroe 323.

Farhang Rouhani’s teaching and research interests encompass several significant aspects of political, urban, and cultural geographies, including the cultural and political dimensions of globalization; nationalism, transnationalism, and state formation in the Middle East; the geography of telecommunications;and the socio-spatial politics of everyday life. Current CV (PDF Format).

Dr. Ping Yin

Ping Yin

Associate Professor
B.E., Tsinghua University; M.E. Tsinghua University; Ph.D., University of Georgia
pyin@umw.edu; Monroe 113C.

Ping Yin specializes in Geographic Information Science as applied to health geographies, web-mapping, and spatio- temporal modeling.  He teaches both undergraduate courses in GIS and several courses in the Masters of Science in Geospatial Analysis (MSGA) program. Current CV (PDF Format).

Adjunct Faculty

Nick Rogers, AICP, CZA

B.A., Mary Washington College; M.U.R.P., Virginia Commonwealth University
Nick is a city planner who teaches Introduction to Planning and Planning Seminar. In his 14+ year career, he has worked as a planner throughout Virginia, specializing in Virginia zoning law, current planning/development review, zoning administration, and community engagement. Nick holds certifications with the American Institute for Certified Planners and the Virginia Association of Zoning Officials and has been active throughout his career as a member of and on the Board of Directors for the American Planning Association’s Virginia Chapter.

Steven Schaffer

B.A. and M.S., University of Mary Washington

Steven is the Lead Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Analyst for John Snow Inc.  In his 25+ year career in geospatial analysis, he has worked in city and regional planning and public health. His health systems related focus is on the analysis and methods for provider accessibility and assisting federal support programs to define physician shortage areas.  Steven teaches the Introduction to GIS course.

Retired Faculty

Dr. Donald N. Rallis

Donald N. Rallis

Professor Emeritus
B.A., B.Sc (Hons) University of the Witwatersrand; M.A., University of Miami; Ph.D., Penn State University

Donald Rallis currently resides in Cambodia where he teaches at the American University of Phnom Penh.  In addition, he continues to teach World Regional Geography and other courses for UMW online. He blogs on and edits the You Tube channel, Journeys, People, Places where he maintains a photograph collection, and posts videos and short classes.

Brian Rizzo

Brian R. Rizzo

Associate Professor Emeritus
B.A., M.A. University of Western Ontario; Ph.D. University of Virginia.

Dr. Rizzo retired at the end of the spring 2023 semester. While an undergraduate geography major – decades ago, Brian became involved with a new area of geography that would evolve into Geographic Information Systems (GIS). In the 20+ years since, he has been involved in developing GIS data structures and applications to address a wide range of issues. Brian’s research focus’s on global climate change as it relates to the biogeographic distribution of vegetation and Infrastructure management within a GIS framework. Current CV (PDF format).