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  May 13, 2002

Female Engineer is First to Receive
Ph.D. in Geography from UConn
By John Wray

Julie Annino, a senior transportation engineer with the Connecticut Department of Transportation, is the first person to receive a doctorate in geography at UConn.

Annino holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics and government from Clark University and a master's in civil engineering from UMass-Amherst. She began studying geography at UConn in 1993 and was accepted into the new UConn Ph.D. program in 1995, the first year it was offered.

Class of 2002

The UConn Ph.D. program in geography is the only one of its kind at a public institution of higher education in New England, says Robert Cromley, a professor of geography. The program currently has 10 other Ph.D. candidates.

"Julie fit our program profile to a tee," says Cromley. "She is from Connecticut, received her degrees from New England institutions , and has been employed full-time by the Connecticut DOT throughout her seven-year pursuit of her doctorate."

With a busy work schedule, her Ph.D. studies, her teaching schedule as an adjunct faculty member at UConn's Avery Point campus, where she teaches a course in world regional geography, and her love of travel, "Julie has had a very full plate," says Cromley.

He praises Annino for her professionalism and hard work.

"Julie has been an outstanding student and wrote an excellent thesis on 'Intelligent Transportation and Travel Behavior'," Cromley says. Her research used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to study the effects of variable message traffic control signs and Internet traffic alerts on motorists' behavior.

Annino is an avid world traveler. She has so far explored the U.S. National Park System, Scandinavia, Central and Western Europe, and the Mediterranean. Later this year, she plans an excursion to Australia and New Zealand. And she hopes to write a book about her travel experiences.

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