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Gritzner, Charles F.
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Charles F. "Fritz" Gritzner was born June 6, 1936 in Fremont, Michigan. He graduated from Mesa, Arizona, High School in 1954. He received in Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from Arizona State University in 1958. He received his graduate degrees in geography and cultural anthropology at Louisiana State University. He began college teaching at East Carolina University in 1960, and has taught at Louisiana State University, the University of Montana, Oregon College of Education, and the University of Houston prior to joining the South Dakota State University faculty in 1980. Gritzner taught many undergraduate and graduate courses in geography at South Dakota State University. He has served as thesis or research paper advisor to many successful Master's degree recipients. Throughout his career he has pursued many interests in geographic education. He has conducted several hundred workshops, short courses and institute for in-service educators. He also served as coordinator of the South Dakota Geographic Alliance and the State Geographic Bee. Additionally, he has served as the Geography Consultant, author, and editor for the Core Knowledge Foundation and as Consulting Editor and Frequent author for the Chelsea House Publishers book series on Modern World Nations. Gritzner's research interests include a variety of themes in folk and popular culture and geographic education. He has authored or co-authored several books, and many of his works have appeared as chapters in edited volumes, as well as many refereed publications appearing in numerous professional journals. He also was contributing editor to the "Panorama" feature in the Journal of Geography. Gritzner has served as both Executive Director (1977-1980) and President (1986) of the National Council for Geographic Education, in 1997, he received their highest honor, the George J. Miller Award for Distinguished Service. He also is a recipient of the National Council for Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award and the Council's Distinguished Mentor Award for his work with students at the graduate level. Gritzner also received the 2004 Distinguished Teaching Honors Award from the Association of American Geographers. At South Dakota State University, Gritzner has received both the University and F.O. Butler awards for Excellence in Teaching, and in 1993 he became the South Dakota State University's sixth faculty member to be recognized as a Distinguished Professor by the South Dakota Board of Regents.