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Awards & Recognitions


Congratulations to the 2024 Betty Leahy Travel Award winners: Chris Impellizeri, Erin Koster, and Lacy Wright. The award sends recipients, senior and junior GEO majors, to the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers, to be held this April in Honolulu, Hawaii.​​

Leahy winners
2024 Betty Leahy Travel Award recipients (L-R): Chris Impellizeri, Erin Koster, Lacy Wright
WLAAG 2023

L-R Sage Katwala, Lily Baird, and Chris Impellizeri

Congratulations to GEO Seniors Lily Baird, Chris Impellizeri, and Sage Katwala for their award-winning presentations at the 2023 Annual Conference of the West Lakes Division of the American Association of Geographers, hosted by the DePaul Department of Geography & GIS in October. Respectively:  

·         Lily Baird was awarded the AAG Council Award for Outstanding Presentation by an Undergraduate Student at the 2023 West Lakes Divisional Conference of the American Association of Geographers (Hosted by the Department of Geography & GIS from October 19-21st at the Loop Conference Center). Lily’s presentation was entitled: ‘Beyond Barbie: Feminist Geography and the Evolution of American Dollhouses’. The award will pay Lily’s travel and registration expenses to attend and present her paper at the 2024 national conference of the AAG, to be held in April in Honolulu, HI.

·         Christopher Impellizeri was awarded second place Undergraduate Student Paper Presentation at the West Lakes Meeting described above. Chris’s presentation was entitled: ‘Trash to Treasure: An Exploration of Class, Culture, and Modernization through the History and Reoccupation of Chicago’s Alleyways’

·         Sage Katwala was awarded third place Undergraduate Student Paper Presentation at the West Lakes Meeting described above. Sage’s presentation was entitled: ‘Microgeographies of Hindu Nationalism: Violence and Placemaking in a Post-Partitioned Landscape of India’


Congratulations to Sage, Chris, and Lily and to all of the Department’s student presenters!


bomba award
DePaul GEO senior, Owen Bomba, accepting the 2023 Outstanding Senior award at the Illinois Geographical Society awards banquet in Springfield, IL

Congratulations to GEO Senior, Owen Bomba, Recipient of the Illinois Geographical Society's Outstanding Senior Geography Major Award.










Congratulations to Lily Baird, Nils Berglund, and Alexey Chekanov, Recipients of the 2022-23 Betty Leahy Travel Scholarship
With the scholarship, Lily, Nils, and Alexey will travel to the Denver, CO for the annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers in March 2023. 

Leahy Winners


2022 West Lakes-East Lakes AAG Divisional Conference. Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville. October 20-22, 2022.

AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation:
Owen Bomba - Zombies and Ghosts: The critique of modern urban development with apparitional language

Undergraduate Research Paper Presentation:

First Place, Nils Berglund - Private promotion on public space: Examining public-private partnerships in existing Chicago parks

O and N
Owen Bomba (left) and Nils Berglund

2021 West Lakes-East Lakes AAG Divisional Conference. University of Toledo (online conference)

AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Presentation:
Jenni Nguyen - Chronic Illness & Energy Negotiation: Revisiting Cultural Ecology in Exploring New Avenues for Disabled Geographies

Undergraduate Research Paper Presentation:
First Place, Sammy Curley - Dog Parks and Gentrification on Chicago’s south side

Second Place, Jennifer Ovist - “Fantasy Landscapes”: Rural Cemeteries as Placemaking and Social Reform

Third Place, Luigi Cutolo - La città della Monnezza: The story of waste, mafias, politics, and environmental justice in Naples, Italy

2020 West Lakes AAG Divisional Conference (online)

AAG Council Award for Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Michael Cullen - Skateboarding, Urban Public Space, and Identity​

Undergraduate oral presentation 
3rd place, Annalise Sedlacek - COVID-19 and Gentrification in New York City

Undergraduate poster​ 
2nd place, Kevin Stock - Monitoring Nauset-Monomoy Barrier Islands and Sediment Processes along Chatham, Massachusetts using Remote Sensing Techniques​​

3rd place, Evan Breedlove - Wealth Creation in Redlined Lincoln Park​


American Association of Geographers Award for Bachelors Program Excellence (2016)

The Department of Geography at DePaul University received the inaugural AAG Award for Program Excellence, which was established to recognize excellence in undergraduate geography programs at U.S. colleges and universities. This award honors non-PhD granting geography programs that have significantly enhanced the prominence and reputation of geography as a discipline, and demonstrated the characteristics of a strong and engaged academic unit.


AAG award



Stuhlmacher, Michelle (2023)  Congratulations to Dr. Michelle Stuhlmacher co-PI (with Dr. Kimberly Quinn, Department  of Psychology) on the successful NSF grant proposal entitled: ‘Healthy & Equitable Public Spaces’  ($750,000). The project explores responses to public spaces among diverse residents in three U.S. cities. The project leverages a mixed-methods approach, using qualitative indicators and quantitative data from surveys and experiments to identify features of public spaces that are associated with psychological restoration and well-being, and to document similarities and differences in the experiences of marginalized and non-marginalized individuals.  Mapping emotions: Researchers to track psychology, equity of public spaces | Campus and Community | Sections | DePaul University Newsline | DePaul University, Chicago

Winifred Curran (2022), recipient of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences’ 2022 Cortelyou-Lowery Award. On the recommendation of the College Awards Committee, this award is given annually to an outstanding faculty colleague who has demonstrated sustained excellence in the College and University.  

Cassie Follett (2020) GIS coordinator, received both the Suchar Innovation award for  her GIS work in the Dominican Republic as well as the Staff Recognition Award. The Suchar Innovation Award is given to individuals who lead staff projects that support innovation and development. The project, which was put forth in support of Howard Rosing’s Dominican Republic study abroad trip, taught DePaul students GIS so that when they traveled to the mountainous region of the Dominican Republic, they were then able to train others in GIS. In turn, the students learned about agriculture. 

Nandhini Gulasingam (2020) Spirit of DePaul Award. The award also seeks to personally honor and recognize diverse members of the DePaul Community for their leadership and service in the spirit of Saint Vincent de Paul.

Max Samson (2020) DePaul Liberal Arts and Sciences Excellence in Teaching Award for Contingent Faculty.

Alex Papadopoulos (2019) The AAG Harm J. de Blij Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Geography Teaching

Euan Hague (2019) The Barbara A. Holland Scholar-Administrator Award. The award that recognizes the growing need for research-informed leadership in higher education.