Dr. David Keeling, University Distinguished Professor of Geography and Department Head of Geography and Geology, recently completed a 25,000-mile Cape to Cape expedition representing WKU and the American Geographical Society.
The expedition visited United Kingdom (London), Portugal (Madeira Island), Burkina Faso (Ouagadougou), South Africa (Cape Town and Cape of Good Hope), Namibia (Swakopmund), Brazil (Rio and Iguazu Falls), Argentina (Buenos Aires), Chile (Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn), and Nicaragua (Granada), with a primary focus on urbanization, economic change and socio-historical development.
Dr. Keeling gave lectures along the way on the West African economy, world city development and mega-events like the World Cup and Olympics in Brazil, the historical development of Latin America, global climate change, and the role of transportation and infrastructure in developing regional economies.
“Understanding how infrastructural development is changing global economic relationships requires two important ingredients,” Dr. Keeling said. “First, societies must recognize the importance of connecting economies to each other and, second, there must be a meaningful local and global rationale to the development of transport and other basic infrastructure.”
Dr. Keeling said expeditions like the one he has just completed helps WKU to build its international reputation and leads to study opportunities for faculty and students in a variety of practical ways, including research, study abroad, scholarships and internships.
Among the 60 participants from across the United States were former university presidents, CEOs of Fortune 50 corporations, heads and members of philanthropic institutions and foundations, WKU alumni, and other leaders in higher education, business and industry.
“By becoming aware of WKU as an institution, as well as understanding more about geography and society, these proven leaders learn about WKU’s goals and ambitions, and thus become more likely to give philanthropically to WKU or to other universities,” Dr. Keeling said. “They are also more likely to identify WKU students and faculty as worthy awardees for grants, scholarships and other types of support. Outreach on these expeditions helps to raise WKU’s international profile and moves us closer to our institutional goal of being recognized as a leading American university engaged in ‘meaningful’ international reach.”
Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555.