recap of the Geography APG networking event

Geography APG holds networking event

Tags: APG

Date: June 18, 2015 - 10:53am

APG online meeting
Jodi Vender (left), coordinator of undergraduate advising and alumni relations, and Beth King (right), assistant program manager for online geospatial education, moderate the discussion.

The Department of Geography Affiliate Program Group (APG) held a networking event and organizational meeting at The Penn Stater Conference Center on June 15, 2015, in conjunction with the Pennsylvania GIS Conference.

An audio recording of the meeting can be accessed here:

The APG was chartered by the Graduates of Earth and Mineral Sciences (GEMS) alumni society in 2013 and has held several networking and social events. The June 15 event attracted more than a dozen in-person participants and twice as many online participants via Adobe Connect. Participants represented alumni, faculty, staff, and students. The discussion was moderated by Jodi Vender, coordinator of undergraduate advising and alumni relations, and Beth King, assistant program manager for online geospatial education.

Participants discussed various options for online networking. Colleen Swetland, associate director of alumni relations for the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, and Ryan Baxter, senior research assistant and instructor in the Dutton e-Education Institute, shared their positive experiences using Brazen Careerist, a text-based online networking platform. Other ideas included partnering with classes to provide project-based learning opportunities, a mentoring program, and providing career advice to students.

“In addition to networking and sharing career information, another purpose of our event today is to discuss a more formal organizational structure,” Vender explained. Since its inception, the APG has been operating with a draft constitution and no formal structure.

Jennie Karalewich (B.S. ’05) is a current GEMS board member, and Brendan Wesdock (B.S. ’95) is ending his GEMS board term. After their experiences on the GEMS board, Karalewich and Wesdock said that they see a real value in having all the Penn State geographers—whether resident or online program alumni—getting connected, promoting geospatial education and careers, and mentoring students. “But we need to get organized and have some committees to do this work,” Wesdock said.

Any alumni interested in getting involved with the APG should contact, call Jodi Vender at 814-863-5730, or fill out the online form at: