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The AAG bestows an annual award recognizing an individual geographer, group, or department, who demonstrate extraordinary leadership in building supportive academic and professional environments and in guiding the academic or professional growth of their students and junior colleagues.

Dr. Susan Hardwick has, throughout her long and meritorious career, served as primary mentor or advisor to countless graduate and undergraduate students, as well as supporting K-12 geography teachers in Oregon, Texas, California and elsewhere. Through her service within the AAG and other professional organizations, she has also contributed greatly to the mentoring of junior faculty members and graduate students outside her departments.  Young scholars and faculty from across the US and overseas have contacted Susan for advice on career planning, life-work balance, tenure and promotion processes and she gives constructive, valuable advice to each of them. She does so tirelessly, with energy and great humor.

Her thoughtful interactions often inspire in her students, advisees and junior colleagues a commitment to follow her example. She has helped many young people enter into and pursue rewarding paths within our discipline.

Dr. Hardwick has been an especially valuable mentor to women in geography. Besides directly mentoring individual women in the discipline, she has also worked to raise awareness of the experiences of women as they seek to become successful in their careers as geographers. Furthermore, she is highly committed to diversity in the discipline and works for greater inclusiveness within the AAG and other professional organizations.

For these reasons the AAG presents Susan Hardwick with the AAG Excellence in Mentoring Award.