UNCP students Eric Williamson of Laurinburg and Jenny Bruns of Fayetteville helped North Carolina win the Southeastern (U.S.) Division of the Geography Bowl.
Eric Williamson, left, and Jenny Bruns are congratulated by Dr. Roger Brown, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs for winning the regional geography bowl.
The UNCP pair teamed with four other North Carolina college students to defeat 10 teams in the competition.
Bruns, a junior mass communications major from Fayetteville, N.C., was the top overall undergraduate competitor. Earlier this semester, she was named the top undergraduate competitor in the state Geography Bowl.
Williamson, a junior religion major, finished 5th among undergraduates and 7th overall.
The event was sponsored by the Association of American Geographers and was held in Biloxi, Miss.
Back at UNCP, the pair were awarded a commemorative desk clock by Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Dr. Roger Brown. Dr. Brown congratulated the pair and noted that UNCP was the only university from North Carolina with two participants.
“This is a wonderful achievement by two of our best students,” Dr. Brown said. “In an age when all of us need to become more award of our planet and our impact on it, Jenny and Eric are great role models for increasing global awaremess.”
Williamson and Bruns participated in the state Geography Bowl at UNC Greensboro in October. Because of their outstanding performance, they were invited to become members of the North Carolina team, with members from East Carolina University, UNC-Charlotte, North Carolina Central University and Appalachian State University.
UNCP geography Professor Dr. Tom Ross invited Williamson to try out for the team. He enjoyed the competition.
“I really was not aware that geography included such diverse topics as weather, climate, soils, vegetation, landforms, population, race, religion, and many different approaches to studying the earth until I got involved with the Geography Bowl,” he said. “It has been a truly invaluable educational activity that I hope my sons will be able to experience some day.”
Bruns, a native of Winnipeg, Canada, is a military wife and has traveled widely. She said the regional competition was keen.
“It was sharp and fast on the buzzer,” Bruns said. “There was a question about the bodies of water surrounding Italy. I lived there for six years, so it was hilarious when they read the question. It helped us make it into the final round.”
Both students recently won UNCP Student of the Month awards, in part, because of their accomplishments with the Geography Bowl.