ASU’s geography honor society earns national award

Since 1932, geography students at ASU have had an opportunity to take part in excursions to places all over the state – over the years, trips have ranged from wilderness swimming holes to the Amazon Fulfillment Center in west Phoenix.  These events are organized by the group usually called ‘GTU’ – actually the Theta Chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, an international honor society for geography students.

Last year, the GTU leadership organized a year full of activities:

  • 4 brown bag lunch talks, on topics from hiking Denali to an instider's guide to Chicago
  • Three field trips
  • Assistance at Arizona’s statewide geography bee competition, ASU’s Night of the Open Door open house, and the Tour de Fat bicycle ride
  • End-of-year picnic, organized jointly with URB, the planning honor society

In addition, the chapter leaders, Guanjin (Emily) Chen, Christine McLeod, and Shuyao Hong, registered GTU as an official ASU organization. By doing this, the group received funding that allowed them to provide a lunch buffet at each of the for brown bag talks.

In recognition of these accomplishments, the international Gamma Theta Upsilon awards committee selected ASU’s GTU group as one of a group of just 12 chapters granted the Honors Chapter Award for 2015.

“This is great recognition for all the hard work by the student leadership of GTU over the last couple of years,” said Professor Michael Kuby, who has advised and guided GTU for the last nine years.

Dr. Suzy S. Ziegler, awards committee chair for the international group, wrote, “Your chapter is commended not only for recognizing the superior scholarship of your geography students, but also for planning activities that celebrate and spread the word about geography to your campus and community.  Your chapter's service to geography is remarkable.”

Learn more about GTU at