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UFV geographer recognized for exceptional service

Claire Hay wins the J. Lewis Robinson Award for Meritorious Service from geographer’s association
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Claire Hay has worked at UFV since 2002. (Jordon Fernandez/UFV)

Hard work and dedication have paid off for University of the Fraser Valley’s Claire Hay who was honoured with a prestigious award from the Western Division, Canadian Association of Geographers (WDCAG).

She was recognized with the J. Lewis Robinson Award for Meritorious Service. The award recognizes a member of the organization who has provided exceptional professional service over a number of years.

“I was really appreciative of the nomination. Whether I would win or not was kind of irrelevant,” Hay said. “It was an acknowledgement of all the time and energy that I committed to the organization. To me the nomination was the win.”

Hay first attended a WDCAG conference in 1996 as a student and become involved as an executive over 20 years ago. During her time, Hay has been the president, vice-president, past president, sat on the executive committee and edited the newsletter.

WDCAG represents geography education in B.C. and Alberta and corresponds with the national organization. Hay has had the opportunity to build connections across Canada through her involvement.

“Working through this organization allowed me to celebrate geography and spread what it is we do a little bit more broadly,” Hay said.

Hay has been with UFV since 2002. She was a geography professor for 18 years and has now transitioned into the teaching and learning centre as a specialist.

UFV has had the opportunity to host three annual WDCAG conferences during Hay’s involvement. Hay’s expertise in how land is formed, how it changes over time and how humans intersect with land has helped grow UFV’s geography program.

Hay was nominated for the award by a fellow geographer colleague, and it was then voted on by her peers in the industry. The win was a great ending to her time with the organization as she decided to officially step away at the end of her term in March.

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