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Blinn students win regional geography research competition

College’s Geographic Society wins top honors over six university teams

April 8, 2014

Blinn College students Three Blinn College students placed first at the recent Geography Student Research Symposium for their probe of a local historical site.

Bernice Alvarado (Hutto), Michael Brooks (Tuscola) and Moises Ortiz (Bridgeport) of the Blinn College – Bryan campus Geographic Society topped six undergraduate teams from Sam Houston State University, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and Texas State University with their research poster, “Geographic History of Washington on the Brazos.”

“I am so proud of these students,” said Susan Slowey, Social Sciences professor and Geographic Society advisor. “They were competing against upperclassmen who have participated in the symposium before and they still placed first.”

Slowey founded the Geographic Society 15 years ago so Blinn students could supplement their coursework with hands-on experience. Members attend field trips to study local geography, conduct research and learn from visiting speakers and professors.

Eighteen students are in the club this semester. The club president, Ortiz is a second-year student on track to transfer to Texas A&M University’s technology management program.

“I became involved after I took one of Slowey’s classes and really enjoyed it,” he said. “It’s about so much more than winning or making my resume look good—we actually enjoy what we do. It’s a great thing to be a part of.”

Students also competed in a “GeoBowl” quiz competition during the regional conference at Texas State University, placing third behind teams comprised of professors and graduate students.

“I think the conference made them feel proud and part of a community,” Slowey said. “They realize what they what they are learning can be used beyond the classroom. That’s what’s truly important.”
To learn more about the Geographic Society’s research, visit

Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit:

PHOTO – Under the guidance of Social Sciences Professor Susan Slowey (second from right), Blinn College students (from left) Michael Brooks, Bernice Alvarado and Moises Ortiz placed first in the recent Geography Student Research Symposium hosted by Texas State University.