USC Spatial founds new Gamma Theta Upsilon chapter

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A New Era for Geography at USC:
USC Spatial founds Nu Theta Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon

On April 5, 2018, the Spatial Sciences Institute founded the Nu Theta Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU), the international geographical honor society recognizing geography’s next generation of leaders. Founded in 1928, Gamma Theta Upsilon became a national organization in 1931, and recognizes superior scholastic achievement in Geography and related studies.

The goals of GTU are:

  • to further professional interest in Geography by affording a common organization for those interested in the field;
  • to strengthen student and professional training through academic experiences in addition to those of the classroom and laboratory;
  • to advance the status of Geography as a cultural and practical discipline for study and investigation;
  • to encourage student research of high quality, and to promote an outlet for publication;
  • to create and administer funds for furthering graduate study and/or research in the field of Geography; and
  • to encourage members to apply geographic knowledge and skills in service to humankind.

USC students receive the honor of GTU membership based upon recommendation from the Spatial Sciences Institute faculty and staff, recognizing the top graduating students in each of the Spatial Sciences Institute’s academic programs. Honorees are invited to an annual ceremony presented by the Institute, at which students participate in the initiation into the GTU society and receive their certificate of membership.

The 2018 initiates from the USC M.S. in Geographic Information Science and Technology Program are:

Jonathan Alfonso
Quentina Borgic (*previously inducted)
Adlin Botkin
Drew Cover
Keith Darby
Trevor Denson
Nicholas Gliserman
Robert Grotefend
Alexandra Motyka
Matthiew Munoz
Shannon Prescott
Carrie Steves
Neil Stone
Holly Torpey
Katherine Wright
Alvin Yeung

The 2018 initiates from the USC Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology Program are:

Austin Anderson
Allen Branch
Monika Burchette
Rolando Gutierrez
Pamela Hathaway
Elliott Ingram
Cass Kalinski
Trey Lee
Spencer Mitchell
Jung Ho Park
Joseph Rosenbery
Julee Wardle
Benicia Zahrani

The 2018 initiates from the USC Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence Program are:

Francis Chan
Alexandra Olivier
John Pedersen
Kyle Weaver

The 2018 initiates from the USC M.S. in Spatial Informatics Program are:

Hanyoung Cho
Yi Liu
Yuhao Liu
Tejal Patted
Yubin Ren
Hao-Wen Tan
Xinyue Wang
Yuanchang Zhang

The 2018 initiates from the USC B.S. in GeoDesign Program are:

Alex Chen
Izabela Hamilton
Natalie Millstein
Nicole Remy                                                                                                                                            Haoshi Joanna Wang
Richard Windisch

The 2018 initiates from the USC Minor in Spatial Studies are:

Monica Finnstrom
Alejandro Schugurensky

This year’s initiates, their guests, and the USC Spatial community are cordially invited to the USC Nu Theta Chapter 2018 Induction Ceremony on Tuesday, May 1st, 4 – 5 pm, in the Spatial Sciences Institute Collaborative Classroom, AHF 145D. The keynote speaker will be COL [R] Steven D. Fleming, Ph.D., Professor of the Practice of Spatial Sciences and GTU member. Please RSVP to Ken Watson, Academic Programs Director, at

“On behalf of the USC Spatial Sciences Institute, hearty congratulations to all of the 2018 Nu Theta initiates,” said Dr. Jason Knowles, Lecturer of Spatial Sciences and president of the Nu Theta Chapter. “We commend you on your academic accomplishments and contributions to the spatial sciences, of which geography is a central discipline,” Knowles added. “You also hold a special place in Nu Theta Chapter as its founding initiates. Welcome to GTU!”

The Spatial Sciences Institute faculty who hold Ph.D. degrees in Geography and who are founding members of the Nu Theta GTU Chapter are:

Dr. Jennifer M. Bernstein
Dr. Steven D. Fleming
Dr. Karen K. Kemp
Dr. Jason Knowles
Dr. Su Jin Lee
Dr. Andrew Marx
Dr. Katsuhiko Oda
Dr. Darren M. Ruddell
Dr. Elisabeth Sedano
Dr. John P. Wilson.

Spatial Sciences Institute students who have received the GTU honor and who are participating in this year’s Commencement programs can order Gamma Theta Upsilon member pins, honor cords, and stoles online to wear with their Commencement robes.

For more information about the USC Nu Theta Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon and GTU benefits, please contact Susan Kamei, Managing Director, at

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