Geography professor wins two prestigious national awards

Contact: Mark Schwerin
Photo of Dr. Joseph Stoltman.


KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A Western Michigan University professor of geography has won two prestigious awards, recognizing him as being among the best and brightest in geography education.

The National Council for Geographic Education has awarded Dr. Joseph Stoltman both the Distinguished Mentor Award and the Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award.

The awards

The Distinguished Mentor Award is presented to college and university professors whose guidance and influence is significant for students becoming geographers or classroom teachers. Only two professors were presented the award this year, the other coming from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The Higher Education Distinguished Teaching Award recognizes and celebrates excellence in higher education geography teaching and leadership. A total of five educators were singled out for that award, with the others coming from Wayne State College in Nebraska, the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, the University of South Florida in Tampa, and the University of Colorado, Denver.

Awards will be presented at a special ceremony during the 2017 National Conference on Geography Education July 27-30 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

For over 100 years, the National Council for Geographic education has worked to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning at all levels of instruction. Through its awards program, the council recognizes excellence in geography teaching, mentoring, research instructional design and service.

'Custom designed'

"It is an honor to present professor Joseph Stoltman these very special awards," says Zachary R. Dulli, the council's CEO. "The Distinguished Mentor Award is given for mentoring future geographers and geography educators, and the Distinguished Teacher—Higher Education Award is given for demonstrating excellence in teaching and leadership at the post-secondary level. I think anyone who knows Joe would agree that these awards sound custom designed for Dr. Stoltman. It is hard to imagine anyone who has been more welcoming and encouraging to future geographers and geography educators than Joe, and his excellence in teaching and leadership are exemplary and beyond reproach."

The National Council for Geographic Education is a nonprofit membership organization with a mission stretching back to its founding in 1915 to strengthen the quality and effectiveness of geography teaching and learning. The council provides a global forum for educators at all levels to exchange ideas and engage in professional learning opportunities to improve geography teaching practice.

"In our increasingly interconnected world, it is more important than ever to help our students understand their place in it," Dulli says. "Joe has added immeasurably to that mission.

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