The First Layer 1: Inspiring Undergraduates to Geography

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Undergraduate Student Affinity Group, Geography Education Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2020
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Silver, Sheraton, IM Pei Tower, Majestic Level
Organizers: Sarah VanSchoick, Kaitlin Stewart
Chairs: Kaitlin Stewart

Call for Submissions

Already submitted an abstract for another session? Looking for other ways to get involved? While the AAG limits attendees to one abstract, you can still participate in panel sessions! The Undergraduate Student Affinity Group of the AAG is hosting a PANEL session dedicated to showcasing the value of undergraduate geography.

Do you mentor undergraduate researchers from other disciplines? Pilot programs that incorporate undergraduates into geography? Are you an undergraduate or graduate student who changed your major to geography due to an outreach program, event, or mentor? The Undergraduate Student Affinity Group seeks participants for a panel session on how geographers are inspired during their undergraduate degrees: entitled, “The First Layer: Inspiring Undergraduates to Geography.” The path to geography varies; and geography graduate students often come from non-geography backgrounds. This session offers a platform for you to share about how you’ve inspired undergraduates to geography or how you’ve been inspired as an undergraduate!

Panelists will be asked to introduce themselves and their role in undergraduate education, we will open the floor with the following questions, then allow audience questions if time permits:

For faculty: What approaches to recruiting undergrads have you found most effective, and least effective?
How can undergraduate research benefit the students?
What do undergraduates bring to your research? How do they benefit science as a whole?
For students: Name a key program, person, or moment that made you change your mind about your major or made you decide
to take on research?
How do you feel undergraduate research has benefited your academic career?
What can universities/colleges do to make undergraduate research more accessible?

To participate in this session, please send an email to Sarah VanSchoick at with the subject "The First Layer"

A brief introduction of yourself, along with your PIN

Please note the following deadline:

January 31, 2020 (by 5pm) - Session submission (PIN and introduction)


The Undergraduate Student Affinity Group is pleased to host a new panel session!

In "The First Layer: Inspiring Undergraduates to Geography," we will explore the multi-faceted world of undergraduate recruitment, retention, and inspiration of future geographers.

Hear from faculty mentors who recruit undergraduates to the Geography major and learn about approaches they take to do so. Listen to students (both graduate and undergraduate) reflect on who or what changed their mind to pursue Geography. Find out about programs and opportunities that can help you encourage undergraduate students to take on research.

Undergraduates truly are "the first layer," in the academic world!


Type Details Minutes
Panelist Luis Martinez Jr. Texas A&M University 15
Panelist Jeffery Roth Stephen F. Austin State University 10
Panelist Cassie Conklin Frostburg State University 10
Discussant Hilary Hungerford Utah Valley University 15
Discussant Sophia Alhadeff Macalester College 15
Discussant Amanda Suzzi University of Massachusetts - Amherst 10

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