Professor Christopher Fowler

 About the Team: In Fall 2018 Penn State's GEOG 421, led by professor Christopher Fowler (shown here), worked hard to figure out what PA voters (including fans at Penn State football game, friends and family members) valued in terms of representation. We tried our best to convert these values into our maps.  And we had some fun doing it. These are our team members: Erin Arndt, Marianne Black, Hope Bodenschatz, Joseph Brett, Bryce Buck, Troy Collins, Grace Daigle, Jarrett Gulakowski, Lauren Hile, Jacob Kaminski, Ian Kennedy, Alexander Nawn, Matthew Plummer, William Repasky, Nicole Rivera, Courtney Rome, Andrew Yoder.

To qualify for the state championship, Team 421 took 2nd in Higher-Ed, Central Region

Judges' statement

In their extensive outreach to fellow Penn Staters and others, the students in Chris Fowler’s Geography 421 class lived up fully to DTL’s hopes for how mappers might engage with their communities. This group embodies the goal of Draw The Lines: to encourage Pennsylvanians to understand and engage in the legislative redistricting process and foster open discussion and debate about the competing values at play. The class began by assessing their own values, then created a survey and website to assess those of other students. They went to football games and other events to promote the survey, resulting in an impressive 247 responses from nearly every Pennsylvania county. The data showed that the respondents most value competitive districts and the class began to map with this as its to priority. The students presented their results in a nicely produced video essay, which candidly covered their failures, their strategies for dealing with urban vs. rural balance, and the impact of racial makeup on a district’s competitiveness. This winning entry demonstrates a top-notch collaborative and grassroots process, combined with a very decent map.

Personal statement (VIDEO)

We made a video you can review here.  (You'll need a good Internet connection.)

Thanks for this contest, we had a great experience pulling this together.