National Council for Geographic Education



April 8, 2015




Celebrating the nation’s best geography educators of 2015

WASHINGTON DC – For 100 years the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) has worked to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning at all levels of instruction.  Through its awards program, the NCGE recognizes excellence in geography teaching, mentoring, research, instructional design and service. 

The National Council for Geographic Education is pleased to announce the following 2015 Award Winners :

GEORGE J MILLER AWARD: Our highest award for lifetime service to geography education goes to:

Dr. Barbara Hildebrant – Educational Testing Service, Stewartsville, NJ


DISTINGUISHED MENTOR AWARD: This award for mentoring future geographers and geography educators goes to:

Dr. Sarah W. Bednarz – Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Dr. William Reese Strong – North Alabama University, Florence, AL

Dr. Robert W. Morrill – Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University/ Virginia Geographic Alliance


OUTSTANDING SUPPORT FOR GEOGRAPHIC EDUCATION AWARD: This award for outstanding contributions to geographic education outside the formal classroom goes to:

Dr. Patricia Bennett Solis- Texas Tech University, Murphy, TX

Mr. Andrew Mink – Mink'ED, Chapel Hill, NC

Mr. David Hunter – Zombie-Based Learning, Seattle, WA


WOMEN IN GEOGRAPHIC EDUCATION AWARD: This award to a female graduate or undergraduate student who has made significant contributions to geographic education goes to:

Ms. Stephanie Bradshaw – Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI


SALVATORE J. NATOLI DISSERTATION AWARD: This award to encourage dissertation research in geography teaching and learning goes to:  

Dr. Lynn Moorman – The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada

"Children’s use of Google Earth as a knowledge enabler”

1st Runner Up: Dr. Larianne Collins – University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

"Tradition or technology?: The impact of paper versus digital map technology on students’ spatial thinking skill acquisition”


DISTINGUISHED TEACHER- HIGHER EDUCATION: This award for excellence in teaching and leadership at the post-secondary level goes to:

Dr. Andrew Milson – University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX

Dr. Gillian Acheson – Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwardsville, IL

Dr. Micheline van Riemsdijk – The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Dr. Christina Dando – University of Nebraska at Omaha, Omaha, NE


DISTINGUISHED TEACHER- K-12: This award for excellence in teaching and leadership at the K-12 level goes to:

Mrs. Amy Stalker– Fleming Island High School, Orange Park, FL

Ms. Christine Esposito– Walker Upper Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA

Ms. Erica Varites–Brookside Elementary School, Newark, DE

Mr. Greg Sherwin– Adlai E. Stevenson High School, Lincolnshire, IL

Ms. Jane Sparr Morgan–Corona del Sol High School, Tempe, AZ

Ms. Katelyn Brown–Gunning Bedford Middle School, New Castle, DE

Mr. Kevin Turner–Spanish River Community High School, Boca Raton, FL

Mr. Kevin Witte–Kearney High School, Kearney, NE

Ms. Lynn Tilley– Comanche Public Schools, Comanche, OK

Ms. Melissa Thom– Renzulli Academy, Hartford, CT

Ms. Nicole Eshelman–Manheim Township High School, Lancaster, PA

Mr. Richard Katz –Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA

Ms. Sharon Shelerud -Metcalf Junior High School, Burnsville, MN

Ms. Sonia Saunders- Brandywine Springs School, Wilmington, DE

Ms. Susan Smith-Eisenhower Middle School, Lawton, OK

Ms. Tama Nunnelley-Guntersville Middle School, Guntersville, AL



Awards are given to published articles in four categories:

BEST ELEMENTARY EDUCATION ARTICLE: “Pupils’ perceptions of geography in Dutch primary Schools: Goal, outcomes, classroom environment and teacher knowledge and performance”

Mr. Gert Jan Bent- Reformed University of Applied Science, Grasdorpstraat, Netherlands

Dr. Anouke Bakx- Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Rachelsmolen, Netherlands

Dr. Perry den Brok- Eindhoven University of Technology, Den Dolech, Netherlands


BEST SECONDARY EDUCATION ARTICLE: "Promoting teacher adoption of GIS using teacher-centered and teacher-friendly design"

Dr. Jung Eun Hong – University of West Georgia, Carrolton, GA


BEST COLLEGE/UNIVERSITY ARTICLE: "Beyond representation: Film as a pedagogical tool in urban geography"

Dr. Thomas Sigler– University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Dr. Roberto I. Albandoz– Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA


BEST ARTICLE FOR GEOGRAPHY PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT: "Technology integration in K-12 geography education using TPACK as a conceptual model"

Dr. Aaron Doering –University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Dr. Susan Koseoglu- University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Dr. Cassie Scharber – University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Ms. Jeni Hendrickson- University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Dr. David Lanegran- Macalester College, St. Paul, MN



Awards are given to published articles in two categories:

BEST CONTENT ARTICLE: “Navigating Maps to Support Comprehension: When Textbooks Don’t have GPS”

Dr. Kathryn L. Roberts –Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Dr. Kristy A. Burgar – University of Oklahoma Norman, Norman, OK


BEST LESSON PLAN“Map Skills, Oceans Currents, Pollution, and…A Rubber Duck?”

Ms. Danielle Hance- Lake Murray Elementary School, Chapin, SC

Dr. Jerry T. Mitchell- University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC


GEOGRAPHIC EXCELLENCE IN MEDIA AWARD:  “Jamestown to Appomattox: Mapping US History with GIS”

Mr. Chris Bunin- Virginia Geographic Alliance and Carte Diem Press

Ms. Christine Esposito- Virginia Geographic Alliance/Walker Upper Elementary School, Charlottesville, VA


E. WILLARD AND RUBY S. MILLER GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION RESEARCH GRANTS: This award provides financial assistance to advance the frontiers of geographic education by supporting and promoting innovative research in theory, practice, and application.

Dr. James B. Howell, University of Southern Mississippi

Dr. Lamont E. Maddox, University of North Alabama

"The Bridging Divides Project: Using Geography to Develop Civic Competence"


Award recipients will be honored during a ceremony held at the 2015 National Conference on Geography Education on August 8, 2015 at the JW Marriott in Washington, DC.

For more information about the NCGE award program and application process, visit

About The National Council for Geographic Education: The National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) is a nonprofit organization, chartered in 1915 to enhance the status and quality of geography teaching and learning.  NCGE supports geography teaching at all levels—from Kindergarten through University. Our members include U.S. and International teachers, professors, students, businesses, and others who support geographic education. Visit to learn more.