Travelocity Salutes Excellence in Geography Education

today announced the Travelocity Award for Excellence in Geography Education, which will recognize those whose work has positively impacted the field of teaching people about the world.

Caption: Sam Gilliland
, president and CEO of Travelocity

The $5,000 award, administered by The Geographic Education National Implementation Project (GENIP), will be given to the person or persons who have made the broadest impact on Geography Education in the United States during the previous 12 months.

“There has never been a greater need for Americans to know more about the world in which we live,” said Sam Gilliland
, president and CEO of Travelocity. “Our continued interdependence with other countries and other cultures, as well as the global economy and world events make understanding geography critical to our future. And yet, numerous surveys show that Americans know far too little about the world and its cultures.”

“Supporting Geography Education—a field that teaches people about the cultures and physical makeup of the world—is also vital to the travel business, since it can inspire future travelers to explore the unknown,” Gilliland said. “The travel business breaks down barriers around the world, bringing together people of difference, and we`re proud to be a part of that.”

Winners of the annual prize will receive $5,000 plus recognition at the yearly meetings of the Association of American Geographers in the spring and the National Council for Geographic Education in the fall. The first winner of this new award will be announced in the fall of 2003.


Nomination forms and application guidelines are available on the GENIP
website and must be completed by June 1, 2003.
Both Travelocity and GENIP believe that recognition for excellence in Geography Education is long overdue but comes at an appropriate time.

“Teaming up with Travelocity to create an award for geography education presents an outstanding opportunity for educators and students alike. Fostering better education about world geography is very timely as we continually try to teach students about current events in today`s world,” said Roger Downs, professor of Geography and Geography Department Head at Pennsylvania State University, and Head of GENIP.

Travelocity said it intends to support Geography Education through future initiatives, primarily by promoting volunteer efforts by Travelocity employees

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