is MVP of North Carolina's Geography Bowl
State geographer and co-coordinator of the Geography Bowl, Dr.
Neal Lineback presents MVP Christina Whittaker with her plaque.
UNC Pembroke's Christina
Whittaker was named most valuable undergraduate in the North Carolina
Geography Bowl, held October 2 in Greensboro. She is a senior, Social
Students Education major from Manassas, Va., who plans to teach high
school history after graduation.
third overall, competing against many graduate students. Teams came
from UNC Charlotte, East Carolina University, N.C. Central University,
Appalachian State University and UNCP.
Whittaker, who said
she poured over maps of all kinds with her father as a youngster, said
she was nervous about the competition.
students almost made me cry with fear," she said. "They were
all working towards specific geography degrees that seemed so important
and intelligent. In fact, at one point I looked at my teammate Jen Hillman
and told her, 'we're dead.'"
Far from it, as
Whittaker's lifelong love of geography and a timely class paid off.
"I did no studying
for this competition," she said. "What proved to be very helpful
was Professor (Kay) Ehrlich's World Regional Geography class that I
took over the past summer."
The senior said
Geography Bowl was great fun, but it may prove profitable too, she explained.
pulled me aside and handed me some information on their graduate program,"
Whittaker said. "I also had dinner with the former head of the
department who answered my questions and encouraged me to attend their
Whittaker said she
is undecided about graduate school, but she has one date on her calendar
that she will not miss.
In November, Whittaker
will join the North Carolina all-star team, which will compete in regional
competition against teams from nine states. The competition will be
held at the Association of American Geographers Southeast Division meeting
UNCP Geography Professor,
Dr. Tom Ross, who has led teams into Geography Bowl competition for
many years, said Whittaker is one of his best ever.
is a very bright young student," Dr. Ross said. "She held
her own against many students in post graduate geography programs.
"I am very
proud of her and our entire team," he said. "The Geography
Bowl is always a very positive experience for our students, and they
have fun too."
"Everyone is there to have a good time and that is exactly what
happened," she said. "I would encourage anyone who would like
to attend to come next year because they will have a blast!"
Dr. Martin Farley,
Dr. Ehrlich, and Dr. Ross accompanied the team to Greensboro. Dr. Ross
and Ehrlich served as judges, and Farley was a moderator.
Whittaker is the
daughter of Bill and Helga Whittaker, and she has a younger sister,
to University Newswire