University News

Sutton Named Geography Department Chair

October 16, 2002

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Photo of Christopher Sutton.

Christopher Sutton.

MACOMB, IL - - Western Illinois University alumnus Christopher Sutton, who returned to his alma mater in 1998 as an assistant professor in geography, was named chair of Western's geography department, effective Sept. 1.

He succeeds Lawrence Lewis, who returned to teaching this fall before retiring in December.

"I am pleased to welcome Christopher Sutton into the College of Arts and Sciences administration," said Phyllis Farley Rippey, college dean. "Dr. Sutton previously served as the geography department's graduate committee chair. His experiences and knowledge of the department, college and University will serve our students and faculty well.

"We are very appreciative of the leadership provided by Larry Lewis," Rippey added. "Dr. Lewis effectively moved the department even further along in the development of the GIS Center and guided significant curricular changes, leaving the department well positioned for new leadership."

Among Sutton's administrative goals are to attract more majors, expand opportunities in the meteorology and GIS (geographic information systems) programs and increase the visibility of the department.

"I want to help students realize that geography has ties to anything they study," Sutton said. "Geography provides students with broad perspectives on environment and society that carry over to a variety of fields from business to land use planning to law and to medicine."

Sutton, a bachelor's (1988) and master's (1991) geography graduate of Western, earned a doctorate (1995) from the University of Denver. He taught and served as geography program coordinator at Northwestern State University of Louisiana from 1995-1998, where he twice was named professor of the year by the student government association.

Sutton is a second-generation teacher at Western; his father, Robert Sutton, is a professor of history.

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