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Jason Dittmer named GSU’s top professor

    Jason Dittmer was presented with the Wells/Warren Professor of the Year Award at the Georgia Southern University 2007 Honors Day Convocation held at the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, April 4.

            Dittmer is an assistant professor of geography in the Department of Geology and Geography. He joined the University’s faculty in 2003.

            “This award means a lot to me because I know how many outstanding professors there are here at Georgia Southern,” Dittmer said. “In particular, I appreciate that this comes from the students, and it’s nice to know that they feel the same way about me that I feel about them.”

            Dittmer has experience in teaching world regional geography, human geography, geography of Europe, urban geography, cultural geography, introduction to research methods, and political geography.

            Dittmer is also very active in the University’s Study Abroad program. He has taught in France and Russia, and he is scheduled to

visit Italy this summer.

            “When preparing to teach, I try to remember that the social connections that I teach in my geography classes are just as important at the scale of the classroom,” Dittmer said. “Getting students to

connect to the material means opening yourself up as an instructor to the students, their concerns and their ideas.

            “It’s very gratifying to know that they feel that connection, too.”

            The winner of the Wells/Warren Professor of the Year Award is selected annually by the University’s students. Members of the Gamma Beta Phi honor society interview the department heads of the finalists and look at student evaluations of the professors.

            The group then conducts a blind interview of the finalists before selecting the winner of the award, which is endowed by former Gamma Beta Phi advisors J. Norman and Rosalyn Wells. The award is named in honor of their parents, Nolan and Audrey Wells and Hartwell and Lucile Warren.

            A native of Jacksonville, Fla., Dittmer graduated from Jacksonville University with a B.A. in political science and international studies. He later earned an M.A. in international affairs and a Ph.D. in geography from Florida State University.

            Dittmer’s main area of research is political geography, especially the fields of popular geopolitics and regional identity construction. He has given invited lectures at the University of Georgia’s Department of Geography, the Florida State University World Affairs Program, and the Claude Pepper Institute for Aging.

            Dittmer is a member of the Allen E. Paulson College of Science and Technology Excellence in Research Committee. He has served on the Geology and Geography Scholarship Committee, the departmental curriculum committee, and a faculty search committee.

            In addition, Dittmer is a member of the Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education.

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