VOL. LIV, NO. 102
California State University, Long Beach April 15, 2004


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. News  

Professor receives award for research on social issues

By Nicole Lavaud
On-line Forty-Niner

Vincent Del Casino, Jr., an assistant professor in the geography and liberal studies departments at Cal State Long Beach, was the first recipient of the Glenda Laws Award. Casino received the award from the Association of American Geographers at the 2004 AAG Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

The award focuses on researchers who have received their Ph.D. within the last five years and contributed to geographic research in the area of social issues.

Members of the Institute of Australian Geographers, the Canadian Association of Geographers and the Institute of British Geographers all endorsed the award. The award was named after Glenda Laws, a geographer who was know for her energy and enthusiasm in her work on social justice and social policy. Laws died suddenly in 1996 at the age of 37.

Del Casino explained how Law focused on the importance of health care and creating solutions for equality. She was most concerned about how to deal with and improve changes.

"Research is out there day-to-day, but people are out there [looking] to make changes," Del Casino said.

Del Casino studies the areas of social justice and social policy, specifically, the social and medical geography of HIV/AIDS in Thailand and Southern California, the social geography of sex tourism, feminist geography and the social construction and impacts of mental maps.

Del Casino's associates described him as a "prolific researcher" and "passionately committed." Christine Rodrigue, professor and chairwoman of the CSULB geography department, and Dennis Fisher, psychology professor and director of the CSULB Center for Behavioral Research and Services nominated Del Casino for the award.

"More than simply researching these social issues as an academic pursuit, he is passionately committed to action in the world to ease the suffering of people with AIDS and HIV and help in the prevention of these diseases, especially in the marginalized and vulnerable communities in which they are making the most rapid headway," Rodrigue and Fisher wrote in their nomination letter.

Del Casino currently teaches a class for future elementary school teachers in the liberal studies program, as well as a social geography class and a Learning Alliance class focusing on home life. He earned his bachelor's degree from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Penn., and his master's degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, in addition to his Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky.




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