GRCC Geography program honored by American Association of Geographers

April 29, 2020 GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. A national organization is recognizing Grand Rapids Community College’s Geography program for its record of instructional excellence and student success.

The American Association of Geographers named GRCC’s program its sole honorable mention for the 2020 AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence. 

“This is a big honor for GRCC,” said professor Michael S. DeVivo. “The honorable mention recognition, in essence, recognizes GRCC with the distinction of having one of the top two community college geography programs in the U.S.”

GRCC’s Geography program offers both an Associate of Arts and Associate of Science. The curriculum, which combines writing-intensive courses as well as lab and field work, is offered in-person, online or a combination of in-class and online. Students have made presentations at academic conferences and have conducted research in the United States, Latin America and Africa.

The Geography Department runs a speakers series and sponsors a chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geographical honor society.

DeVivo said a measure of the program’s quality can be found in the number of GRCC students who have received Aquinas College’s Hruby Scholarship. Named in honor of Norbert Hruby, Aquinas’ second president, the scholarship is awarded to stellar transfer students who demonstrate a history of service and leadership through volunteer work. Three GRCC students have received the prestigious award during the past four years.

“Geographers are important in decision-making that affects people and the environment in communities across the globe,” DeVivo said. “Geography is a rewarding and fascinating career, for it challenges one to attempt to conquer complex social and environmental problems, and make significant contributions to humanity.”

Grand Rapids Community College offers learners of all ages opportunities to gain credits for degrees or transfer and in-demand career skills leading to rewarding careers. GRCC was established in 1914 – Michigan’s first community college -- and offers affordable classes on weekdays, evenings, Saturdays and online at locations throughout Kent and Ottawa counties.

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