Chair’s Corner: Fall 2018
Welcome to Annual Update from the Chair
We have had an exciting past 12 months – we hired 2 new tenure-track faculty: Dr. Esther Mullens and Dr. Kevin Ash, in Climatology & Meteorology and GIS & Hazards, respectively. In addition, we hired a full-time Grants and Contracts manager: welcome Alex! Finally we hired an Assistant Research Professor in Medical Geography, Dr. Michael Norris, to join the growing MedGeo Program here at UF. We ran our first Study Abroad Program in South Africa to great success and look forward to offering it again in May/June 2019. Our Department rose to 5th in the college in terms of research dollars raised, behind only Biology, Chemistry, Psychology and Physics, and the physical space renovations have continued. We now have 2 renovated computing labs [a laptop lab and a flipped classroom space], new computers in the Poehling Graduate Lab, a redesigned main office and general improvements in faculty and student offices is underway this Fall. All in all we are starting another busy and productive year and continuing to build on the success of previous years!
According to Academic Analytics we are now considered a Top 10 Geography Program in the United States! While we have all felt we are a major contender for a while now, it is rewarding that the rankings are now reflecting this. In addition, we are one of the largest programs in the US in terms of our Medical Geography Program. Our new programs and certificates in (1) Climate and Meteorology, (2) Geographic Information Technology and (3) Medical Geography in Global Health are all up and running and going well, all with increasing enrollments. Our new Medical Geography in Global Health Program is proving most popular, with 50% of admitted UF undergraduates coming into Geography declaring MGGH and overall our undergraduate enrollments have increased by 20% over the last year. The upcoming year, looks to hold even more promise!
This Fall semester we will continue with our physical space improvements, we will host our 2nd Annual ‘Celebration of Excellence in Geography Event’ on Thursday November 8th 2018. At this time we will also honor Dr. Stephen Golant and Dr. Abe Goldman, both of who retired this past year. In addition, all annual award winners will be recognized. So hold the date and more information to follow. Finally, we have a very busy year ahead in terms of hiring with 4 new faculty lines – in the areas of Spatial Networks, Human Geography (Economic & Political), Environmental Change and Medical Geography. Phew! We appreciate the growth and investment from the College and we can all look for more programs to be offered in the future!
To keep in touch you can follow the Department on Facebook (including the UF Geography Club and UF Geography Alumni), Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, and as always you can email us as we would love to hear from you.
Looking forward to the coming year with great anticipation
Dr. Jane Southworth