By Gail Hairston
(Oct. 14, 2015) — The University of Kentucky’s Department of Geography celebrates its inaugural Distinguished Alumni Lecture Series and Award Friday, Oct. 16. The premiere honoree is professor of geography and development Vincent del Casino Jr., University of Arizona’s vice provost of Digital Learning and Student Engagement and associate vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management.
Del Casino will deliver the department’s premiere Distinguished Alumni Lecture at 3 p.m. Friday in the William T. Young Library Auditorium. A generous gift earlier this year formed the Harrison and Eva Lewis Bailey Alumni Lecture Series in Geography Endowment Fund. Harrison graduated from UK in 1949 in geography and Eva 1948 in psychology. She is deceased, and he still lives in Louisville.
“Our graduate program has international status, and our doctoral graduates are in important and productive positions across the globe,” said Professor and Department Chair Richard Schein. “We are proud of them, and of our role in producing such a distinguished cohort, and wanted to make sure that the community spirit that pervades our department is maintained.”
An active teacher, researcher and author, Del Casino also oversees programmatic and curricular development for online learning and leads the expansion of digital learning experiences on campus. In addition, he oversees the University of Arizona’s 100 Engagement initiative. Before taking his post as vice provost, Del Casino was associate dean in Arizona’s College of Social and Behavioral Sciences and chair of geography at California State University, Long Beach.
Del Casino's interests include social and cultural geography, health geography, geographic thought and history, sexuality studies, HIV/AIDS, and sexual and health politics in Southeast Asia and the United States. His projects have included studies of the relationships between HIV prevention programs and drug use, the politics of the body and biomedicine, cartographic and representational theory, tourism studies, and the interconnections between transportation, mobility, and homelessness.
He has collectively published five single-authored, co-authored, and edited books as well as over 30 articles and book chapters. He has held grants from the Metrans Transportation Center of the University of Southern California and the university-wide AIDS Research Foundation of the University of California and has been part of collaborative research funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services administration (SAMSHA). He is currently co-PI on an Arizona Workforce Development Grant. He has held a Visiting Research Fellowship at the Australian National University and given numerous conference presentations and invited lectures at a number of national and international venues. He is currently on the editorial boards of Social and Cultural Geography and Dialogues in Human Geography.