WMU professor awarded Haenicke Institute’s 2021-22 Global Engagement Award

Contact: Jennifer Townsend

Headshot of Gregory VleekKALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Haenicke Institute for Global Education has awarded the 2021-22 Global Engagement Award to Dr. Gregory Veeck, professor in the Department of Geography, Environment and Tourism and affiliated faculty member in the global and international studies program.

Veeck, who first joined Western Michigan University in 1999 and recently retired, noted the award was “a complete surprise, and the honor is a wonderful way to cap off the in-class teaching portion” of his career.

For more than 30 years, Veeck has conducted field study in economic geography, agriculture, and rural environmental and development issues in the United States, Japan, Korea and China, where the majority of his work has taken place. Veeck travels to China every year and has lived there for a cumulative total of seven years.

Research conducted by Veeck has, as noted by colleagues, greatly contributed to and expanded understanding of China in particular, but other areas of the world as well. Veeck’s contributions to teaching, service and promotion of the importance of global engagement throughout his career were deciding factors in his receiving the Global Engagement Award.

Throughout his career, Veeck earned funding from the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (Rural Development Institute), the Japanese government, National Geographic Society and the Fulbright Research Fund, among others. More than 50 magazines and books have featured his work.

Veeck is continuing work on “several research projects now related to Chinese agriculture and the rural economy” and said he anticipates continuing this work for the foreseeable future. Veeck said he “especially wishes to note how honored (I) was that Professor David Huffman of chemistry asked if (I) wanted to be considered for the award and did all the portfolio work to make this wonderful award possible.”

The award comes with a $1,000 stipend.

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