Dr. Thomas Ross, a geography professor at UNC Pembroke, was named Outstanding Educator of the Year by the North Carolina Geographical Society.
Dr. Ross has served the Geographical Society in many capacities, including vice president and president. He received the award at their annual meeting in Wilmington, N.C.
The society promotes the study of geography, particularly the geography of North Carolina. Dr. Ross said the honor places him in very distinguished company across the state.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by my colleagues for this highly prestigious honor,” Dr. Ross said. “Outstanding geographers have won this honor before me, and I’m proud to join their ranks.”
Dr. Ross has published numerous books including “American Indian of North Carolina,” and “A Cultural Geography of North American Indians” in addition to atlases for Robeson, Richmond and Moore counties. He is also a nationally recognized expert on Carolina bays, which are shallow depressions in the landscape of the Coastal Plains of the Southeastern U.S.
Dr. Ross has advised UNCP’s highly successful Geography Bowl teams since 1980, and he said he never tires of the teaching and learning process.
“It’s a great job, the best job in the world,” Dr. Ross said. “I have the opportunity to work with bright students and great faculty.”
A UNCP faculty member since 1969, Dr. Ross twice won Adolph Dial Awards for Scholarship and was named Distinguished Professor in 1988. He said that the support of the University administration at UNCP greatly facilitated his work.
“This is a great place to work because the administration has been very supportive of my outreach activities, which is what this award is all about,” he said.
A West Virginia native, Dr. Ross was a Lumberton resident for many years.