Geography’s Undergraduate Research Award Winners

Congratulations to undergraduates Alexandria Ferguson and Christine Woodward for winning  UW Library Research Award prizes.


Christine Woodward (Geography & Latin American Studies)
Faculty Advisor: Jose Antonio Lucero, Jackson School of International Studies
Senior Thesis: Viva a Revolução/Sent from my iPhone: Politics, culture, and the Fora PM movement





Alexandria Ferguson (International Studies)
Faculty Advisor: Tish Lopez, Geography
White Demon Sophistry: the Gates Foundation’s Control over the Production of Knowledge of Women of the Global South

In this paper I conduct a discourse analysis of the Development paradigm to understand how aid workers control the production of knowledge around women of the Global South. In exploring how the development apparatus depicts women, I analyze the representations of women in real marketing materials from the Seattle-based NGO, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This paper draws on critical development theory and post-colonial feminism to deconstruct how the discourse of the Gates Foundation functions as an important factor defining the relationship between the Global South and the Global North. I argue that the Gates Foundation constructs reductive images of women through their roles as mother and farmers, without specificity, credible evidence or historical context, thereby reducing the agency and the complexity of the everyday lives of women from the Global South. These simplistic interpretations have real effects by informing the policy of development workers on the ground.

Geography Undergrad Holly Candage Awarded Bonderman Travel Fellowship

Holly Candage, a senior double majoring in Geography and Comparative History of Ideas (CHID), has been awarded the Bonderman Travel Fellowship. This fellowship enables UW graduate students and undergrads in the honors program to engage in independent exploration and travel abroad. The Fellowship is intended to introduce students to new cultures, peoples, and areas of the world.

Holly is  interested in how spirituality overlaps in people’s everyday lives and how this manifests itself in arts, politics, religious practices, agricultural practices, or in the way people cook and eat together, communicate and commune with each other, and relate to or experience the environment and other species.  With the Bonderman Fellowship, Holly will be spending ten months traveling in: Mexico, Central America, Spain, Morocco, Sicily, Lebanon, Greece, the Balkans, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, and ending my travels in India, where I will travel by train from the South to the North.

Details about the fellowship are below. Congratulations Holly!

The Bonderman Travel Fellowship offers University of Washington graduate students (including those in the Law and Business Schools and other graduate and professional programs) and undergraduate students in the University Honors Program (Interdisciplinary, Departmental or College Honors) and in UW Tacoma’s Global Honors Program an opportunity to engage in independent exploration and travel abroad.

Bonderman Fellowships enable students to undertake independent international travel to explore, be open to the unexpected, and come to know the world in new ways. Because Bonderman Fellowships are intended to foster independence, Fellows may not participate in a program or organization, engage in formal study at a foreign university, conduct research or other academic projects, or travel with an organized group while carrying out the obligations of the fellowship. Bonderman Fellowships are intended to introduce students to cultures, peoples, and areas of the world with which they are not familiar. Preference will be given to candidates without extensive international travel experience.

The Bonderman Travel Fellowship program was created in 1995 through a gift from David Bonderman, who earned his undergraduate degree in Russian from the University of Washington in 1963. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he received a Sheldon Fellowship that allowed him to travel internationally, an experience that had a profound impact on his life. Now a successful investment adviser, Mr. Bonderman provides opportunities to current UW students for similarly transformative travel experiences through this fellowship program.

Geography Undergrad Sam Nowak Selected for NSF Summer Research Experience

Geography undergrad Sam Nowak was selected to participate in the highly selective Georgia State University Community-Soil-Air-Water Research Experience for Undergraduates, funded by the  National Science Foundation. This is a unique research training experience, focusing on community geography, university-community partnerships and participatory methodologies. This research project examines community housing, urban green spaces, and urban environmental quality. More details about the research project can be found below. Congratulations Sam!

Participation in the 2012 Georgia State University CSAW Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program funded by the National Science Foundation <>

The Georgia State University Community-Soil-Air-Water (CSAW) Research Initiative is proud to host the Summer 2012 Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site funded by The National Science Foundation Award #1156755, the Georgia State University Honors College, and the University of West Georgia.  The REU Site: Addressing Social and Environmental Disparities through Community Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a multi-disciplinary program that brings together 16 outstanding undergraduate students from around the country to Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA) for a 6 week intensive research program.  With an explicit focus on community geography, university-community partnerships and participatory methodologies, the research training program is the first of its kind for undergraduates in the United States.  Undergraduate researchers, working in one of three research tracks <> , will quantitatively and qualitatively examine neighborhood change, property markets, air and soil quality, urban green spaces, and neighborhood visioning in partnership with neighborhood residents and community groups.
REU Research Track 1: Mapping property dynamics in South Atlanta with Charis Community Housing.  Leaders:  Katherine Hankins, Timothy Hawthorne, Kate Derickson, GSU geography; Andy Walter, University of West Georgia (archival work in consultation with Joe Hurley, GSU library sciences)

REU Research Track 2: Mapping green spaces in the Lakewood neighborhood with Trees Atlanta. Leaders:  Leslie Edwards and Timothy Hawthorne, GSU geography (archival work in consultation with Joe Hurley, GSU library sciences)

REU Research Track 3: Mapping urban environmental quality in the neighborhoods of Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh, Summerhill, Adair Park, and Peoplestown with SAFE (South Atlanta for the Environment).  Leaders:  Dan Deocampo, GSU geology; John Steward, GSU Institute of Public Health; and Katherine Hankins, GSU geography

Student Selection & Compensation: Selection for the 2012 CSAW REU site was based on a competitive, nationwide search of 204 highly-qualified undergraduate students. The selected CSAW Community Scholars share the following traits: a deep interest in engaged, community-based research; an inquisitive and creative mindset; and a desire to contribute to new directions in community geography scholarship.  As part of participation in the program, each CSAW Community Scholar receives a competitive funding package, including: a $3000 stipend for participation in the six week program, up to $250 in travel support to/from Atlanta, up to $750 for conference presentations at a major national meeting, free room and board at Georgia State University, and 3 required texts.