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‘Outstanding’ award for Augustana geography student

May  15, 2013

A senior at Augustana College, Scott Fick, is one of 10 college seniors statewide to be selected as 2013 Illinois Geographical Society Outstanding Senior Geographers.

The designation puts Fick in the company of students from other prestigious colleges and universities in the state, including the University of Chicago, Northwestern and DePaul universities, and the University of Illinois.

“It suggests that the graduates of our program are definitely in the mix of any senior geography student in the state,” said Dr. Norman Moline, who holds the Edward Hamming Chair in the Department of Geography at Augustana. “And when reviewing the kinds of graduate schools our students get into, we know that our program is one of the top programs in liberal arts schools, not only in our state, but in the Midwest.”

The location of Augustana College is a huge asset for geography students, Fick said. “The nation’s greatest river is literally a walk away from campus,” he said, adding that the Rock River is also nearby. “My field trips and other experiences have fostered a great appreciation for the two great rivers of our community.”

Fick, from Aurora, Ill., was recognized for work that included research projects on flooding along the Rock River and mussel populations in the Mississippi River, as well as a mapping project in the city of Rock Island.

He also completed an internship with field officers in Lane Cove National Park in Sydney, Australia, following a trend in which more than half of Augustana’s students study abroad before graduating. Many of them, like Fick, use partial funding through Augie Choice, which provides students up to $2,000 to defray the cost of their trip.

Fick is also the recipient of the $5,000 Hasselmo Prize for Academic Pursuit at Augustana College, given to one student each year who is likely to pursue an academic career. Fick plans to pursue a master’s degree in urban planning, and said he eventually hopes to move into teaching at the college level.

In selecting Fick and the other top senior geographers in the state, the Illinois Geographical Society looks for outstanding academic achievement and contributions to their community, their school and the discipline of geography. The society also promotes scientific research and teaching, and publishes the society’s peer-reviewed journal, Illinois Geographer.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu