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Southeast Division wins 2016 World Geography Bowl

Southeast Division Team Takes
2016 World Geography Bowl Title

AAG President Sarah Bednarz, 2016 World Geography BowlAAG President Sarah Bednarz presented a National Geographic atlas to Middle Atlantic Division team member Kean McDermott, of George Washington U., for being a co-MVP of the tournament. (Photographs by Becky Pendergast)

The Southeast Division team won first place in the 2016 World Geography Bowl, an annual quiz competition for teams of college-level geography students representing the AAG’s regional divisions. This was the 23rd year for AAG hosting during its annual meeting.

On April 1, nine teams, each representing an AAG regional division, competed at the Hilton hotel in San Francisco. All nine regional divisions were represented by a team: East Lakes, West Lakes, Great-Plains Rocky Mountains, Middle Atlantic, Middle States, New England-St. Lawrence Valley, Pacific Coast, Southeast and Southwest Divisions. A spoiler team comprised of students present at the competition was added to round out the brackets. 

At the beginning of the exciting competition AAG President Sarah Bednarz addressed the crowd with an uplifting message and at the end presented the winners with prizes.

The winning Southeast Division team’s roster was:

  • Andrew Berens, Georgia State
  • Steven Fernando, U. Mary Washington
  • Hannah Gunderman, U. Tenn-Knoxville
  • Zuri Gurganious, NCCU
  • Robert Jessee, Concord U.
  • Alejandro Molina, UNC-Greensboro
  • Dawn Drake, Missouri Western State U., coordinator

The first runner-up Pacific Coast Division team’s roster was:

  • Brendan Gordon, U. of Idaho
  • Devin Lea, U. of Oregon
  • Jesse Minor, U. of Arizona
  • Daniel Phillips, UC-Santa Barbara
  • Laura Sharp, U. of Arizona
  • Tina White, Cypress College, coordinator

The second runner-up Middle Atlantic Division team’s roster was:

  • Andrew Boch, Frostburg State
  • Kean McDermott, George Washington U.
  • Patrick Nahhas, George Washigton U.
  • Rachel Sapienza, Salisbury U
  • Jaimie Shiplet, Towson U.
  • Spencer Trusckouski, Frostburg State
  • Tracy Edwards, Frostburg State U., coordinator

The top five individuals with best personal scores were awarded an MVP prizes. Listed in order of most points earned:

  • Brendan Gordon, U. of Idaho (tied for first place)
  • Kean McDermott, George Washington U. (tied for first place)
  • Dmitriy Tarasov, UConn
  • Daniel Phillips, UC-Santa Barbara
  • Jason Ridgeway, Texas A&M

Thanks to 2016 WGB prize donors and volunteers 

Organizers of the World Geography Bowl would like to express thanks to the countless volunteer question writers, team sponsors/coaches, moderators, judges, and scorekeepers who make the competition possible, and to the many students who competed throughout the country. We would like to recognize the volunteers this year as: Patrick May, Plymouth State U.; Angela Rogers, Penn State U.; Rob Edsall, Idaho National Laboratory; Suzanne Struve, Blinn College; Jodi Vender, Penn State U.; Richard Deal, Edinboro U; Shawn Hutchinson, Kansas State U.; Crystal English, UC-Santa Barbara & San Diego State U.; Dawn Drake, Missouri Western State U.; Helen Hazen, U. of Denver; Steven Ericson, U. of Alabama; Melvin Johnson, U. of Wisconsin at Manitowoc; and Zia Salim, California State U. at Fullerton. In addition, we acknowledge question writers: Richard Deal, Edinboro U.; Zia Salim, California State U. at Fullerton; Tom Bell, Western Kentucky U., U. of Tennessee; Peggy Gripshover, Western Kentucky U.; Dawn Drake, Missouri Western State U.; Rob Edsall, Idaho National Laboratory; Jamison Conley, West Virginia U.; Lee Ann Nolan, West Virginia U.; Wesley Reisser, George Washington U., U.S. Department of State; Jeffrey Neff, Western Carolina U.

2016 World Geography Bowl donations tableWorld Geography Bowl organizers thank its supporters who generously donated atlases, books, mugs, gift certificates, software, and MVP awards – National Geographic; AAG; Esri; Edward Elgar Publishing; Avenza Systems, Inc.; The University of Georgia Press; MaxQDA; University of Chicago Press; Google; Penguin Publishing; Stanford University Press and Guilford Press – who recognize the important role the competition plays in building a sense of community and generating excitement around geographic learning. Your continued support is truly appreciated.

Niem Huynh, AAG liaison to the World Geography Bowl receives thanks from coordinator Jamison ConleyNiem Huynh, AAG liaison to the World Geography Bowl receives thanks from coordinator Jamison Conley.

Before the final round, Jamison Conley recognized long-time AAG liaison Niem Huynh for her dedication to the competition. Her hard work helping to organize the sponsors, prizes and other administrative aspects has contributed to the success of the event. Niem has now tranisitioned her responsibilities to AAG's Ed Ferguson. 

2017 World Geography Bowl – Boston

The 28th annual World Geography Bowl competition will be held in Boston in April, 2017. Regional competitions typically occur during the fall at respective AAG regional meetings, where regional teams for the national competition are usually formed. For more information on organizing a team or sponsoring the event and donating prizes, contact Kelsey Taylor, AAG World Geography Bowl liaison or Jamison Conley, (West Virginia U.), the World Geography Bowl executive director.

Middle States Division Geography Bowl teamMiddle States Division team
Great Plains/Rocky Mountain Division Geography Bowl teamGreat Plains/Rocky Mountain Division team
 Pacific Coast Regional Division teamPacific Coast Division team
 East Lakes Division Geography Bowl teamEast Lakes Division team
New England-St. Lawrence Valley (NESTVAL) Division Geography Bowl teamNew England/St. Lawrence Valley Division team
Southeast Division Geography Bowl teamSoutheast Division team
Middle Atlantic Division Geography Bowl teamMiddle Atlantic Division team
Southwest Division Geography Bowl teamSouthwest Division team
West Lakes Division Geography Bowl teamWest Lakes Division team
Spoiler Geography Bowl teamSpoiler team


 Note: This post was edited to reflect that it was the 23rd annual event. A previous version erroneously stated it was the 27th annual event.