UMass Geography Graduates in Academic & Research Positions as of 2015 -- former students of Richard Wilkie

A number of my former geography students with degrees from our undergraduate and graduate programs are worth noting. This list of former students does not include many that I worked with in one way or another, but only those for whom I directly chaired or mentored. They are listed in reverse chronology, beginning with Nicolas Chrisman (BA, 1972)--the first undergraduate student at UMass declaring geography as a major. The geography BA/BS degrees began in 1970, and Chrisman was in the first graduating class. The geography Master’s program began a decade later in 1980, with the first completed degree in 1983. Geography students in the Ph.D. program began in the 1990s under the Geosciences umbrella.
NOTE: This list does not include most of the 36 students for whom I chaired Master’s committees in geography. It does include at the end three Geography Ph.D. students on whose committees I served in Geography and UMass and two Geography Ph.D.’s at Clark University who have academically related careers.
In addition I was the UMass outside Ph.D. committee member on 42 PhD, 39 Master’s and 11 Honor’s degrees in 12 other departments and programs on campus and at Clark University (2 PhD). They are listed separately at the end:


Chrisman (Laval Univ.), Gould (Universidad Jaume I, in Madrid, Spain )
Purkayastha (Univ. of Connecticut), Millette (Mount Holyoke), and
Wright (New Mexico State)

Marcus (Towson State University)

SENIOR LECTURER (1) (EUA system: same as an Associate Professor):

Blankenship (Hobart & Wm.Smith Colleges)

Fitzgerald (Westfield State Univ. & UMass), Sluter (UMass, Geosciences)

Bartlett (City College of New York), Bonin (Rhode Island College)
Coleman (West Texas A&M), Fabel (Polymer Sci & Engineering, UMass),
Furguson-Cope (English Univ.), Gaffney (Univ. of Zurich, Switz.)
Kolnicki (Framingham State Univ.), Lindsay (NASA and U of Maryland),
Roberson (UMass)

Colleen (Kelley) Coughlin (Cape Cod Community College and Lecturer, Westfield State University)

RETIRED: Newman (was Associate Professor, Southern Connecticut State)


20. Hwang, Leo, Ph.D. in Geosciences (Geography) finishing in late 2015
Dissertation: Rethinking the Creative Economy: Participatory Action Research with Artists and Artisans
in the Greater Franklin County
Currently: Dean of Humanities, Greenfield Community College (MA)
Rethinking the Creative Economy, Community Economy of Artists and Artisans,
sense of place, literary geography

19. Blankenship, Jeffrey, Ph.D. Geosciences (Geography), 2011
Ph.D. Dissertation: Reading Landscape: Mid-Century Modernism and the Landscape Idea
Finalist for the Graham Foundation’s Carter Manny Award
Currently: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Art and Architecture
Hobart & William Smith Colleges, Geneva NY
Cultural geography, evolution of cultural landscapes, sense of place in design

18. Kelley-Coughlin, Colleen, MS Geography UMass. 2009, Ph.D. candidate UMass
Non-thesis M.S. Projects
Currently: Academic Counselor, Cape Cod Community College;
Lecturer, Westfield State University

17. Marcus, Alan, MS Geography UMass. 2003, Ph.D. UMass 2008
Ph.D. Dissertation: The Contrasts and Consequences of Brazilian Transnational Migration Processes
An Ethnic Geography in Two Countries
Ph.D. dissertation Prize from the Association of American Geographers
Currently: Associate Professor, Dept. of Geography & Environmental Planning,
Towson State University (Maryland)

16. Roberson, George, MS Geography UMass 2004, Ph.D. UMass 2008
Ph.D. Dissertation: Worlds of Tangier, Morocco: Experiential, Narrative, and Place-Based Perspectives
Senior Scholar Fulbright Fellowship Morocco 2009
Currently: Adjunct Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geosciences, UMass, and recently
ended a one-year Senior Fulbright Research Scholar Award to Morocco

15. Sluter, Donald, MS Geog. UMass 2005, 2nd MS candidate Geosciences, UMass
MS Project in Geography: The Historical Geography of Whately, Massachusetts
Currently: Lecturer and Research Associate Dept. of Geosciences, UMass:
Teaches a computer mapping course each semester and a practical GIS course for

14. Bonin, Jennifer, MS Geography UMass 2006 (Ph.D. Mississippi State Univ., 2011)
MS Thesis in Geography:
UMass Awards: Geography Graduate Student Teacher of the Year 2006
Currently: Adjunct Professor of Geography, Rhode Island College

15. Mirela Newman, Ph.D., Geosciences (Geography) UMass 2002
Ph.D. Dissertation: Dutch Green Urbanism: Planned Development and Urban Form in Almere New
City, the Netherlands
Currently: Retired
Previously: Associate Professor, Dept of Geography, & Coordinator, Urban
Studies Graduate Program, Southern Connecticut State University
Cites & planning, sustainable green urban development, Europe, environmental

12. Gaffney, Chris, MS Geography UMass 2001, [Ph.D. University of Texas, 2005]
MS Thesis in Geography: Soccer and the Geographic Construction of Identity: A New England Case
Fulbright Fellowship Brazil 2009-2010
Currently: Senior Researcher, University of Zurich, Switzerland;
Editor, Journal of Latin American Geography
Cultural geography, geography of sports, urban spaces, mega-sports events, stadiums and sense of place

11. Sean Fitzgerald, MS Geography UMass 2001, presently: Ph.D.candidate, Geosciences-(Geography), UMass
Ph.D. Dissertation:
Currently: Lecturer, Dept. of Geography, Westfield State University (MA)
Geographic education, natural disasters, mapping and GIS
[He taught 20 plus courses at UMass]

10. Francis Lindsay, MS Geog., UMass 1992 [Ph.D. University of Maryland, 1998]
MS Thesis in Geography:
Currently: Director of the ACCESS Research Program at NASA
NASA Science Mission Directorate, Earth Science Division (DK),
NASA Headquarters, 300 E. Street SW, Mail Stop 3B74, Washington, DC 20546
ACCESS = Advancing Collaborative Connections for Earth-Sun System Science

9. Paul Coleman, MS Geog, UMass. 1991
MS Thesis in Geography: The Geography of Ideology: A Case Study of Liberal Change in the
American South, 1947-1989
Currently: University Librarian, West Texas A&M University
Architecture, political geography, land-use planning

8. John Fabel, MS Geography UMass. 1990
MS Thesis in Geography:
Currently: Adjunct Faculty Member, Dept.of Polymer Science & Engineering,

7. Sheridan Bartlett, MS Geography UMass. 1990 [EdD. UMass, 1996]
MS Thesis in Geography: Neighborhood and Imagination
Currently: Managing Editor, Environment and Urbanization (City Univ. of
New York) Human development, children in cities, sense of place

6. Bandana Purkayastha, MS Geography UMass 1987 [PhD Uof Connecticut,1991]
MS Thesis in Geography: A Sense of Place in the Act of Imagination
Currently: Head and Professor of Sociology Univ. of Connecticut
Migration, adjustment of migrants into new environments, sense of place

5. Michael Gould, BA Geography, UMass, 1985 [Ph.D. NYU, Buffalo, 1994]
Currently: Global Head of GIS Education for ISRI and
Tenured Professor, University “Jaime I” (Castellon, Spain)
GIS Web-based systems, 3-D GIS, emerging spatial data infrastructure

4. Dale Ferguson Cope, MS Geography UMass 1983 [Ph.D. Clark Univ., 1988]
MS Thesis in Geography: British Approaches to Assessing Need for Public Transport in Rural
Areas and Implications for United States Practice
Fulbright Scholar to England 1989-90
Currently: Geography Professor in England, initially at Oxford University
Land use planning, transportation planning, sense of place

3. Thomas Millette, BS Geography UMass 1978 [Ph.D. Clark University, 1989]
Currently: Professor & Director, Center for Environmental Education
GIS, remote sensing, environmental analysis and planning

2. John (Jack) Wright, BA Geography UMass 1973 [PhD UCalif.,Berkeley,1990]
Currently: Professor, New Mexico State University
Environmental analysis and planning, land tenure

1. Nicholas Chrisman, BA Geography UMass 1972 [Ph.D. Univ.of Bristol, England, 1982]
Currently: Professor, Université Laval (Quebec, Canada)
GIS, Historical Cartography, Quantitative Methods, History of Geography


GEOGRAPHY GRADUATES CURRENTLY (2015) ON WHOSE Ph.D. Committees R.WILKIE SERVED -- Listing the Current ACADEMIC and MAJOR RESEARCH related positions:
[In reverse order, but numbered as to their original year of graduation]

5. Kolnicki, Robin, Ph.D. in Geosciences (Geography), 2012
Ph.D. Dissertation:
Currently: Visiting Lecturer, Dept. of Biology, Framingham State University
Biogeography, Evolution in lemurs and bats, Concepts in Human Biology
Note: Dr. Kolnicki worked with Dr. Lynn Margulis until Lynn’s death in 2009. I
served as her geography mentor and on her dissertation committee in Biogeography.

4. McGowan, Eileen, Ph.D. in Geosciences, 2012 check
Ph.D. Dissertation:
Currently: Professor of Environmental Science , Springfield College [MA]
I served on her Ph.D. examination committee and served as an unofficial mentor/
supporter of her research.

3. Healy, Steven, Ph.D. in Geosciences (Geography) 2006 UMass-Amherst
Ph.D. Dissertation:
Currently: Assistant Professor, Dept. of Geography, Worcester State University

2. Belsky, Eric, Ph.D. Geography 1988, Clark University
Ph.D. Dissertation:
Currently: Director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, The
U.S. Federal Reserve Board, Washington D.C. / Formerly: Managing Director of
the Joint Center for Housing Studies, Harvard University and Lecturer in Urban
Planning and Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
I served as outside member of Eric’s Ph.D. Dissertation at Clark University.

1. Howatt, Benjamin, Ph.D. Geography 1989 Clark University
Ph.D. Dissertation: Central Place Theory and Spatial Behavior in the Ambato Region of Ecuador
Deceased: January 26, 2015 at age 78
Previously: Professor of Geography at Paul Smith’s College for 20 years.
I served as the outside member of Ben’s Ph.D. Dissertation at Clark University.