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Professor wins Southeastern division award

TAMPA, Fla. -- Assistant professor of geography, Jennifer Collins, Ph.D., recently was honored by winning the 2010 Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers (SEDAAG) Excellence in Teaching Award.

The organization, a division of the Association of American Geographers that has more than 550 members, selected Collins for her exceptional record of teaching.

Once Collins knew she was a nominee, she was asked to submit the following: her classes syllabi, examples of assignments, letters from current and former students, student course evaluations and awards that she and her students have received among other criteria, she said.

The focus of Collins research is hurricanes.

"I’ve always found extreme hazards fascinating," she said. "On my birthday in 1987, we had a storm in England which everyone incorrectly referred to as a hurricane. It certainly was a powerful storm of hurricane storm strength but it was not a hurricane. We don’t typically get extreme weather in England, so it really fascinated me, and I wanted to learn more."

Collins' fascination of hurricanes and the unlimited possibilities are what drew her to move to Florida. Among Collins' experience is flying with the Hurricane Hunters into Tropical Storm Kyle during the 2008 season.

Her courses include Meteorology, Climatology, and Weather, Climate and Society. Her hope is that her students leave class with a passion for meteorology. USF also has helped Collins to excel.

"Participation in [the] Hurricane Research Experience for Undergraduates program allowed me to join an interdisciplinary research team which has further allowed me to build new collaborative research opportunities," she said.

Collins is no stranger to receiving awards.

"I was formerly recognized by USF and was awarded the 2007-2008 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award and the Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award," she said.

Collins will receive her award at the SEDAAG annual conference in November.


Filed under:Arts and Sciences School of Social Sciences Geography, Environment, and Planning   
Author: Amanda Stone