Dept. of Geography News & Events this Week - 1/13/15

January 13, 2015

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Coffee Hour with Jaime Alves | Alums in the news | January events and more!


MGIS students, famlies, and faculty

MGIS students, families, and faculty at University Park in December for Commencement.


Congratulations to online MGIS students who graduated at December 2014 Commencement:  Ryan Davis, Amanda Dulin, Monique Everson, Casey Finedell, Matt Gill, Erin Goodnough, Lance Hackelton, Jerry Hayes, Joel Irish, Lindsey Kiesz, Kristina Kwiatkowski, Ryan Lamar, Sarah McCabe, Justin Novak, Steve Perrine, Mark Rozmarynowski, Josh Ryan, Nathan Scott, Mike Shaffer, John Shinsky, Marnie Sippel, Pete Telek, Susan Williams. While not everyone could attend commencement in person, everyone deserves recognition for their accomplishments.


Alex Klippel was successful in working with the graduate school to complete final approvals for the Ph.D. dual-title graduate degree program in African Studies. We have that degree in place starting next year for interested geographers.


January 16 Coffee Hour

Jaime Alves “On deaf ears: police terror, black protest and the making of the white polis”

This presentation explores the racialized dimensions of policing practices in Brazil. To do so, we look not at the police, their administrative organization, and practices, but rather, we examine the modes of sociality reflected in and produced by police violence. Drawing from a statistics-based analysis of the social and political outcomes produced by the state in its preparation of mega-sporting events – evictions, incarceration, and police violence, for example – we identify a nexus between, on the one hand, racialized violence against black bodies, and on the other, white loyalty to the state, despite, or precisely because of, a specific type of violence perpetrated by the state on white bodies.

  • 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour To Go

Next week:

January 23 Coffee Hour Peter Wilf “Patagonian Fossil Floras: Keys to the Origins, Biogeography, Biodiversity, and Survival of the Gondwanan Rainforest Biome”


In memoriam

We learned of the passing of some colleagues:

Deadlines approaching for key University Awards

Follow the links below for submission requirements.

From Campus Technology

6 Alternative Social Media Tools for Teaching and Learning

Social media has changed the way people communicate and share information in their personal and professional lives. It’s a safe bet that most students in any college classroom have used or are familiar with sites like Facebook and Twitter. Yet surprisingly, some instructors have felt resistance from students when they try to incorporate common social media tools into the classroom.

“For a lot of them, it’s their friends on Twitter, and they don’t really want to share their homework or talk with their teacher on Twitter,” said Seth Dixon (Ph.D. ’09), an assistant professor of geography at Rhode Island College.



Turns Out the Internet Is Bad at Guessing How Many Coins Are in a Jar

By Erik B. Steiner  (M.S. ’01)

A few weeks ago, I asked the internet to guess how many coins were in a huge jar (below). For more than 27 years, my parents had saved their spare change. My mother recently trucked the whole load to a bank to cash in, and in so doing finally learned the stockpile’s actual value, or at least the value as calculated by that particular coin-counting machine. The update from Mom got me wondering: Might someone be able to guess that amount? What about our collective estimate—is the crowd really as wise as some say it is?


The last dog  of 2014 was Viviana, 3-year-old German Shepard mix and companion to Kathy Cappelli, undergraduate student and public relations intern in the Department of Geography. Send your answer and/or a photo of your dog to for our mystery dog of the week!