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Honors in Action: Linnea Ryan Wins Conference Poster Competition

Congratulations to Linnea Ryan (history ‘19) for winning the poster competition at last year’s meeting of the SouthEastern Division of the Association of American Geographers (SEDAAG)! Ryan also has a minor in geography, and under the guidance of Dr. Amy Potter and Dr. Meimei Lin, professors of geography on the Armstrong Campus, she conducted research on historical markers in downtown Savannah.

Savannah is a popular destination in the southeastern United States, with its historic districts and a particular draw. In her presentation for the SEDAAG conference, Ryan focused on the historic markers around downtown Savannah and their underrepresentation of women. When asked about what she would like to see come from her research, Ryan noted the importance of shining a light on this finding. “Bringing recognition to this lack of representation is the first step in forging a path to a landscape in which the accomplishments of all people are celebrated, no matter their gender, race, or sexual orientation,” Ryan said.

Dr. Potter and Dr. Lin both have glowing praise for Ryan and her dedication to this research. “I’m incredibly proud of Linnea. With some guidance from myself and my colleague Meimei Lin, she was incredibly proactive in developing her project. She took the initiative and ran with the topic,” Dr. Potter said.

Dr. Lin, who has worked closely with Ryan on her research, says Ryan put in a great deal of time and effort into building a geodatabase and creating the map for her presentation, showing her dedication and work ethic. “I think the best part of this is that she was able to relate and apply what she learned in the classroom to study real-life problems,” Dr. Lin added. “Throughout the process, she was actively engaged in the learning process.”

Ryan is grateful for the many opportunities her professors and her geography research have provided her, from getting to experience the SEEDAG conference and meeting others in the geography field to working with Geographic Informational Systems (GIS), a tool that integrates a variety of data that can be used to determine geospatial patterns and solve geographic problems.

Ryan said her research leading up to the conference presentation “solidified my love for geography, a field I never expected to work in.” She also did not expect to win the poster competition, but she is pleased to be putting the award money toward a study abroad trip to Russia this summer.

Ryan is an Honors Ambassador at the Armstrong campus and an active participant in the program’s social and community service events. She was also one of three Armstrong State University students to participate in the Honors Consolidation Panel at the Southern Regional Honors Conference in 2017.


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