General Elections – 2020 Bio-sketches

Vice President

Paul McDaniel
Kennesaw State University

Paul McDaniel (PhD, University of North Carolina at Charlotte) is an Associate Professor of Geography in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at Kennesaw State University, in metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia. Paul has served the SEDAAG community as a moderator for the Southeastern World Geography Bowl, held at the annual SEDAAG meetings, and as a reviewer for Southeastern Geographer, where he also recently joined the Editorial Board. In other service to geography, he has been a board member, newsletter editor, and chair of the dissertation proposal award committee for the Ethnic Geography Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers, and is also a member of the AAG’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He has also served as a moderator for the national World Geography Bowl at the AAG annual meetings, and is a chapter faculty advisor for the Gamma Theta Upsilon geography honor society. Paul is a co-founder of the Georgia Immigration Research Network (GIRN) and the Local Immigration Scholars Network (LISN), and a founding member of the Receptivity, Integration, and Settlement In New Gateways (RISING) research group. He was the planner and organizer for the 2018 Georgia Immigration Research Network annual conference, and was recently a member of the program planning committee for the 8th annual Atlanta Studies Symposium. His research as an urban geographer focuses on processes of immigrant settlement, integration, and receptivity in cities and metropolitan areas and ways in which cities respond to changing populations, particularly in the southeastern U.S. Paul has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, including Southeastern Geographer, Geographical Review, Papers in Applied Geography, Journal of Urban Affairs, Journal of International Migration and Integration, and Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies, among others, as well as book chapters, and reports and other pieces for a general audience. He regularly teaches Introduction to Human Geography, Research Methods in Geography, Urban Geography, Population Geography, Geography of North America, and Geography of Europe, and has taught geography in summer study abroad programs in Italy and Spain. Prior to joining Kennesaw State University in 2015, he was a research fellow at the American Immigration Council in Washington, DC. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Paul holds a PhD in Geography and Urban Regional Analysis from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, MS in Geography from the University of Tennessee, and BS in Geography from Samford University.

Jennifer Rahn
Samford University

Jennifer Rahn (PhD, University of Florida) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Sociology at Samford University in Birmingham Alabama.
Dr. Rahn has served the SEDAAG community as a member and current chair of the Education Committee, as the State Representative for Alabama, and as a member of the local arrangements committee. She has chaired the Coastal and Marine Specialty Group of the American Association of Geographers. Her research connects to the larger themes of cultural justice and Black Geographies in the Caribbean and U.S. South where she has conducted extensive ethnographic fieldwork. In addition to professional service, she maintains an active research and teaching program focusing on the coastal geomorphology of the Caribbean, and the student field experience. Dr. Rahn has been a member of SEDAAG for nearly 20 years and she has lived in three of the ten SEDAAG states, Florida, Virginia, and Alabama.

Craig Ramseyer
Virginia Tech University

Dr. Ramseyer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Geographic Science from James Madison University, and Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Geography from the University of Georgia. Dr. Ramseyer’s primary area of research focuses on tropical hydroclimatology and climate change impacts on drought and flooding. His other published research has examined weather impacts on football player mortality, climate change impacts on severe convective environments, and moisture impacts on Greenland ice melt. His publications have appeared in Climate Dynamics, Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, International Journal of Climatology, and Science of the Total Environment. Dr. Ramseyer first became a member of SEDAAG in 2011 as a graduate student where he competed in the Graduate Student Honors Paper Session. He is also an active member American Association of Geographers, the American Geophysical Union, and the Climate Specialty Group of the AAG.

Georgia State Rep
Eric Spears
Columbus State University
Dr. Eric Spears is an associate professor of geography at Columbus State University (CSU) in Georgia. He also served as a geographer professor at Georgia College and Mercer University over the past twenty years. Dr. Spears has been involved with SEDAAG since 1989, when he was an undergraduate at Marshall University (and studied under Dr. Peggy Gripshover). Following his B.A. at Marshall, he earned his master’s degree in international political economy at The University of Warwick in England and his doctorate in geography at West Virginia University. Dr. Spears is currently the chair of the SEDAAG Honors Committee and many years ago served on the Teller’s Committee. Dr. Spears has been active with SAGE (Stand Alone Geographers Affinity Group) for two decades. He regularly met with other SAGEs at SEDAAG and collaborated with Dr. Amanda Rees (Columbus State University) by submitting a chapter in her edited book, Thriving as a Stand-Alone Geographer: A Handbook (2014). Dr. Spears is currently the national SAGE chair with the AAG. In addition to being a geographer, Dr. Spears is the endowed chair of international education at CSU and chair of the University System of Georgia’s Asia Council.
Mississippi State Rep

Thomas “Tommy” Patterson
University of Southern Mississippi
Tommy Patterson is an assistant professor of geography in the School of Biological, Environmental, and Earth Sciences at the University of Southern Mississippi. Prior to landing at Southern Miss, he completed his Ph.D. in geography at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2017 where he specialized in tree-ring science. Tommy has participated in SEDAAG since beginning graduate school and has not missed an annual meeting since Savannah, Georgia (2011). Aside from presenting his research each year, Tommy has competed in numerous Geography Bowls, cover-photo contests, and student paper competitions. Additionally, he has four publications in the Southeastern Geographer and is currently serving on the Editorial Board. Tommy will represent geography and geoscience programs in the state of Mississippi and looks forward to serving his colleagues for the next two years.

Brian Williams
Mississippi State University
I am an Assistant Professor of Human Geography in the Mississippi State University Department of Geosciences. As a broadly-trained human geographer, my work brings together political ecology, environmental justice, critical race scholarship, cultural geography, geographies of food and agriculture. My research traces the political, cultural, and ecological dimensions of agricultural and environmental change in the South, examining the role of racism and movements for justice and abolition democracy in the formation and contestation of southern agrarian landscapes. I have been a member of SEDAAG since 2012. SEDAAG was my first academic conference, and has been central to my professional and intellectual life as a
geographer ever since!
North Carolina State Rep.

Sarah Praskievicz
UNC Greensboro
Sarah Praskievicz (Ph.D., 2014, University of Oregon) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). She is a physical geographer with specializations in hydrology, fluvial geomorphology, and water resources, with a regional focus on the Southeast. Her current research interests include flood-inundation modeling, urban streams, and interactions between physical and biological processes in river systems. She has published over 20 papers in leading geography and discipline-based journals. Currently, she is serving on the editorial board of The Professional Geographer. Her past SEDAAG service includes serving on the Honors Committee from 2018 to 2020 and co-organizing and co-chairing three special sessions on Floods, Floodplains, and Fluvial Systems over the past few years. She has attended every SEDAAG meeting since 2015 and is excited for the opportunity to become more involved with SEDAAG.

Maggie Sugg
Appalachian State University
Dr. Maggie Sugg is an Assistant Professor in Geography and Planning at Appalachian State University. Her research investigates the relationship between climate and public health. She completed her Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2015.
Tennessee State Rep

Ingrid Luffman
East Tennessee State University
Ingrid Luffman is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geosciences at East Tennessee State University. Originally from Canada, she immigrated to Tennessee in 1997. She received her PhD in Geography from the University of Tennessee in 2013. Her research interests include gully erosion, citizen science, watershed restoration, karst hydrology, and spatial modeling. Ingrid serves as vice-President of the Boone Watershed Partnership, a local watershed alliance that works with local stakeholders and regulators to identify and address water resources issues in the Tri-Cities, TN region. Ingrid’s very first peer-reviewed publication was in Southeastern Geographer, and she has participated in SEDAAG meetings regularly since 2008. She is a long-standing scorekeeper for the Geography Bowl, and helped organize the 2018 SEDAAG meeting in Johnson City, making up 1/3 of the local arrangements committee.
Virginia State Rep
Anamaria Bukvic
Virginia Tech
Anamaria Bukvic is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and an Associate Director of the Center for Coastal Studies at Virginia Tech. Her research is focused on coastal adaptation, resilience, vulnerability, security, population displacement, and migration. Anamaria is further interested in whether relocation can serve as a viable adaptation strategy to sea-level rise in coastal communities, and what opportunities could emerge from this process. She uses mixed-methods qualitative and quantitative approaches to study complex emerging issues in coastal urban and rural settings related to flooding. Anamaria’s current projects are funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Virginia to study impacts of chronic and episodic coastal flooding on coping capacity, resilience, and population mobility in coastal communities. She is also a Fellow of 2019 Early Career Innovators Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and co-organizer of the Rotating Resilience Roundtables events designed to facilitate interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers and stakeholders on different coastal resilience themes.