Published on November 26, 2012  

Samford’s Geography Department fielded a large group of majors at the Southeastern Association of American Geographers Conference in Asheville, N.C., on Nov. 18-20. One student brought home top honors in her category.

Nine geography majors presented research projects ranging from mapping historic cemeteries to using Google Earth to understand the conquests of Genghis Kahn, and from 21st century Protestant mapping to patterns of homelessness in Birmingham, Ala.

Meghan McCollum, a senior geography major from Buford, Ga., won the undergraduate poster competition with her work on “Dune Vegetation on Dauphin Island.” The project was funded through the Arts & Sciences Program for Independent Research (ASPIRE) student research grants.

Most of the projects were designed and completed as part of geography professor Jennifer Rahn’s Advanced Geographic Information Systems course. Several projects represented the work of seniors who are completing their “capstone” project for their geography major.

“For a department as small as ours to have nine participants in the undergraduate competition is extraordinary,” said geography professor Jennifer Speights-Binet, who accompanied the group to Asheville. “We had the most participants of any other university in the Southeast region, including very large departments at some prestigious universities."

Participating Samford Students
Bob Barnett, “The Least of These: Exploring Homeless Ministry in Birmingham, Alabama”
Zach Brumfield, “History of the Town of Arkwright, Alabama”
Kyle Duncan, “Ever Changing Streets: The Geographic and Human Migration of the Homeless in Birmingham, Alabama”
Meghan McCollum, “Dune Vegetation on Dauphin Island”
Anna Morrison, “Christian Mapping in the 21st Century
Shannon Moore, “Puerto Supe: An Environmental History of a Coastal Peruvian Town”
Austin Storms, “Mapping Shelby County’s Historic Bailey Cemetery”
Cameron Yaw, “Bailey Cemetery: History and Spatial Distribution of Grave Sites”
Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.