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Above: President Paul Hennigan, Ed.D., with Lauren Gerlowski '18 at the 2018 Outstanding Student Awards

Lauren Gerlowski — who graduated magna cum laude from Point Park University this past Saturday with bachelor’s degrees in both global cultural studies and dance — recently presented a research paper at the American Association of Geographers 2018 Annual Meeting in New Orleans.

Based on her senior thesis, Gerlowski’s paper was titled “What and Where is Art’s Space in the Neoliberal World: A Look at Artists During the New York City Fiscal Crisis of the 1970s.”

Pictured is Lauren Gerlowski in a Point Park dance studio. Photo by Annie Brewer.“I chose this topic because it allowed me to address aspects of both my majors. I was able to take my understanding of different global processes including neoliberalism, capitalism, gentrification and deindustrialization and apply it to my knowledge about art and artists that has largely stemmed from my time in the dance department,” Gerlowski explained.

“I really enjoyed meeting and networking with professors and students from across the nation. It is inspiring and humbling to see the amazing research happening in geography right now. I am very grateful for the opportunity to attend and present at the conference,” she said.

According to Robert Ross, Ph.D., associate professor of global cultural studies in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, “This is the most important conference in the discipline, where prominent scholars from around the world share their research.”

Another recent achievement for Gerlowski was winning Point Park’s Distinguished Student Award from the Alumni Association at the 2018 Outstanding Student Awards.

“I am so grateful for the recognition. It truly made me realize how much I have grown and how much I have accomplished while at Point Park. I could not have done any of it without my inspiring peers and the wonderful faculty at this University,” Gerlowski said.

During her time at Point Park, Gerlowski served as co-chair of Point Park’s Dance Club and was a member of the University’s Honors Program and the Undergraduate Student Affinity Group of the American Association of Geographers.

In 2015, she played a key role organizing World Cultures Dance Week.

As a new alumna, Gerlowski plans to stay in Pittsburgh and continue teaching dance, developing choreography and working with solidarity organizations. Additionally, she would like to eventually pursue graduate studies in geography.

Gerlowski added: “I am passionate about education, teaching and art and hope to use all three in efforts to create positive change.”

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