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School of Geography

Congratulations to the class of 2015

QMUL Geography class of 2015
QMUL Geography class of 2015

More than 100 students from the School of Geography threw their hats to the air and celebrated in the sunshine last week at Queen Mary University of London’s graduation.

The Class of 2015 were reunited as they gathered at the university’s People’s Palace to receive their degrees in geography, environmental science as well as those with joint honours in business management too.

Family and friends joined the celebrations afterwards in the university’s historic old library – the Octagon – and the Pimms Tent was welcomed back to Geography Square.

QMUL Geographer Georgie Baker with the Tavana family
Georgie Baker with the Tavana family

Each year, the School of Geography gives a number of awards in recognition of exceptional academic achievement. Recipients from the graduating third year included:

  • Georgie Baker who received the Michael Alexander Jones Memorial Award for the best overall performance in the third year and the Simon Tavana Writing Prize for creative writing in human geography third year coursework.
  • Cheryl Briars who received the A.E. Smailes Prize for the best dissertation and the Mark Landskroner Prize for a first-class dissertation in physical geography or environmental science.
  • Zeenat Parker who received the Roger Lee Prize for the best dissertation in the fields of economic geography, development geography or geography of social justice
  • Gabriel Streich who received the MSci Outstanding Performance Prize
QMUL Geography award winners with Professor Alison Blunt. L-r: Hui Ying Wong, Gabriel Streich, Zeenat Parker, Georgie Baker and Will Johnstone.
QMUL Geography award winners with Professor Alison Blunt. L-r: Hui Ying Wong, Gabriel Streich, Zeenat Parker, Georgie Baker and Will Johnstone.

BA Geography graduate Georgie Baker from Suffolk won the Simon Tavana Writing Prize for a 17,000-word field trip diary she wrote during the Los Angeles field trip which is part of the ‘Urban Futures’ module. "We wrote about our reflections of the city every day when we were away. I’ll always remember halfway through the trip we went up to the Griffith Observatory which is right by the famous Hollywood sign. You can see what you think is all of LA, but having been on the trip and already been to places like Skid Row which has a large homeless community, I knew it wasn’t the whole story, and this economic divide is what the field class is all about,” Georgie explained.

BSc Geography graduate Cheryl Briars from Oxfordshire won awards for her independent geographical study – an appraisal of a river restoration and flood alleviation scheme in south east London. “When river sediment builds up, it doesn’t only pose a flood risk, but it traps heavy metals which can cause other environmental problems,” she explained. “I did a lot of lab work at QMUL analysing samples and reviewing data and found that the water and sediment quality had improved during the ten-year period of the scheme.”

QMUL Geographer Cheryl Briars
Geographer Cheryl Briars

Her supervisor, Professor Geraldene Wharton, said it was wonderful to see Cheryl’s enthusiasm and hard work rewarded. “During the past year Cheryl has excelled in her independent research work and her first class independent geographical study is currently being prepared for formal publication which is really excellent news.”

Graduates from the School of Geography were also recognised for overall top academic achievement in their final year by Queen Mary University of London:

  • Gabriel Streich and Zeenat Parker were both awarded the Draper’s Company Prize
  • Will Johnstone and Hui Ying Wong were both awarded the Principal’s Prize

Head of School Professor Alison Blunt said she and colleagues were delighted to celebrate the success of QMUL Geography’s students. “Our graduates should feel very proud of all they have achieved in terms of their hard work, their enthusiasm for the subject, and their contributions to the life of the School,” she said. “It has been a pleasure to teach them during the past three years, and we wish them the very best for the future. We look forward to welcoming back those students who are returning to study for a Masters degree and to keeping in touch with everyone else via our alumni networks.” 

QMUL Geographers Imogen Nayager-Stafford, Alice Howarth and Zinnia Pourdad

  • For more pictures from Graduation day 2015, please take a look at our Flickr page
  • Were you at the event? Please share your pictures with us @QMULGeography on Twitter or email them to
  • Inspired to join us? Find out more about studying with us in 2016 by taking a look at our new undergraduate brochure. The next Open Day is on 10 October 2015 – come by and say hello




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