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A Maryland University of National Distinction
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Department of Geography & Geosciences
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Department of Geography & Geosciences Scholarships

Background

Working from a rock-solid foundation established by the first generation of Geography faculty (1955 -2005), we have experienced remarkable growth and success over the last decade.  Besides the BS in Geography, we now offer a BS in Earth Science as well as a MS in GIS Management.  From a program with 60 majors in the 1990s, we have grown to more than 120 majors and about 20 graduate students.  Each June, we graduate approximately 35 students as well as 5-7 MS students; virtually all of whom are soon employed as professionals in the job market or go on to graduate studies.  We are a nationally recognized program.

Over the next 50 years, our goal is to duplicate and then surpass the accomplishments of the first 50 years, which will take a mammoth effort.  We believe the remarkable track record of the Department has been achieved through our collective efforts, largely due to our alumni success, paving a thruway for each successive generation of students to follow.  You are our product and best spokesperson. Our hope is that we continue to maintain and improve the quality of our programs when our alumni believe in us and help us to educate and train many new generations of excellent geographers and geoscientists to come.    

We ask that our alumni contribute to the next 50 year initiative by considering our request to help us establish undergraduate scholarships in our majors. After years of consideration, efforts and great support of our alumni, the Department is planning to establish scholarships, with an intention to attract more outstanding young people into our programs early.  All prior donations have been held by Salisbury University Foundation in an account reserved for Geography.  Our stewardship of previous donations has now put our Department Foundation account on the threshold of being able to offer small scholarships and some ancillary support. With your help, we wish to establish a continuous set of scholarships each year to attract the most gifted students to our discipline.  

Scholarship Fund Requirement:

In order to establish a self-sustained scholarship, a minimum $10,000 baseline fund is needed for a $500 scholarship each year.

Scholarship Purpose:

The scholarships are designed and intended to honor and support specific scholarly pursuits and needs of our majors, such as

  1. Funding of scholarships for tuition for attracting exceptional students.
  2. Support for international and national field experiences to continue a long tradition of offering these learning experiences and expand this opportunity to more of our majors.
  3. Support for books and supplies for superior students under financial duress.

Scholarship Type:

There are four general types of scholarships by funding sources:

1) Department Scholarship: donation from all the contributions to the Department Foundation account as before and the Department will decide the critical need areas to support.

2) Individual scholarship: donate a minimum of $10,000 in total or a minimum of $1,000 a year for 10 consecutive years.  As soon as $10,000 is accrued, a baseline annual scholarship of $500 will be established under your name or a name of your choice.

3) Group scholarship: It is possible for individuals to donate under an umbrella group, for instance, the Class of 1990. The scholarship will be established under a name of the group’s choice.

4) Other external funding, not from our alumni or the Department.

Current Scholarship Situation:

Two departmental scholarships are in the planning process and are expected to be in place for the 2016-2017 academic year. In addition, the Gerald A. Elkins Award was recently established for geography students

  • J. Chapman McGrew Memorial Scholarship: Professor McGrew unexpectedly passed away, but he left behind his passion and desire for aiding future geography and earth science students by setting up a scholarship. During his long career with the Department, he influenced many alumni. Some of our graduates and faculty have donated to the fund. $500 non-renewable. 
  • S. P. Baker Scholarship: Scott Baker is one of our excellent graduates and has been passionately and consistently contributing annually to the Department since his graduation. This will be the first individual scholarship funded by one of our alumni. $500 non-renewable.
  • Gerald A. Elkins Award: This endowed internship award affords a Geography major who has demonstrated academic success and leadership skills the opportunity to explore a career in urban planning and mapping with the Baltimore City Planning Department.  This award is made in honor of Gerald Elkins, a dedicated planning and mapping professional in the City’s Planning Department for more than 40 years. $1500 non-renewable.

Scholarship Selection Process:

Both scholarships will be awarded to attract outstanding incoming freshman students to our major. They will be awarded by applying to the Department. The selection process consists of three major steps:

1) Department Faculty Review: Review the application materials and give input to the Department Scholarship Committee.

2) Department Scholarship Committee Review: Review applications and make recommendations of scholarship recipients to the Geography Scholarship Board Review.

3) Geography Scholarship Board Review: Make the final selection of awardees. The Board consists of three alumni, a retired Department faculty member, presided over by a senior Department faculty member who will forward the names of the final potential scholarship recipients to the Department Chair. 

4) Department Chair Final Approval: Make a final review and forward the potential recipients’ names to the school and university. 

Scholarship Recipient and Donor Expectation:

To maximize the efficacy of scholarship funding, scholarship recipients are expected to strive for their best, to be exemplary students, and to honor the excellent academic tradition of the Department.

To optimize the spirit of scholarship, donors are expected to continue to be an inspiration and to contribute to the future success of the Department.

 

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