William Alexander Imperatore, ED.D.



Dr. Richard D. Howe, “William Alexander Imperatore, ED.D.,” Appalachian State University Libraries Digital Collections, accessed June 15, 2024, https://omeka.library.appstate.edu/items/show/48034.

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William Alexander Imperatore, ED.D.


Appalachian State University
Universities and colleges--Faculty


Dr. Richard D. Howe




Biographical sketches


Boone (N.C.)

Spatial Coverage


Temporal Coverage



Professor Emeritus

Biographical Text

Professor Emeritus of Geography and Planning William Alexander Imperatore (October 12, 1936-) was born in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania. He is a 1954 graduate of Lincoln High School (Pennsylvania). After serving a "hitch" in the United States Navy, Imperatore began his academic career at Slippery Rock State Teachers' College (now Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania), where he earned a B.S.Ed, degree in geography in 1961. His M.A. degree in geography was conferred in 1963 at the University of Georgia (Athens). Imperatore and his family then moved to Boone, North Carolina, where he was employed as an assistant professor of geography in the Department of Social Studies at Appalachian State University. Imperatore began work on his doctorate in geographic education at the University of Georia in 1966. While there, as a member of the Research and Development Center in Educational Stimulation, he produced geography teaching materials for use at the K-12 level. Published by the University of Georgia Press, the teaching materials were used in many school systems in the United States. After earning his Ed.D. degree, Dr. Imperatore returned to Appalachian State University and, in 1975, attained the rank of professor. During twenty-seven years of teaching, he taught courses on virtually every topic in geography. He also served as chairman of the department for three years. Dr. Imperatore has authored or co-authored several textbooks, including Panorama of North Carolina (eighth grade), 1987; Horizons of South Carolina (third grade), 1993; North Carolina (fourth grade), 1994; and a Braille Atlas of the World, 1993. He also has authored numerous articles which have appeared in the Journal of Geography, Virginia Geographer, Journal of the North Carolina Geographic Society, The Social Studies, and the Appalachian Business Journal. He also presented a three-hour geography program on the national TI-IN educational network. In addition to being chair of the North Carolina Geographic Society (NCGS) and editor of its newspaper for several years, Dr. Imperatore served on the National Council for Geographic Education's Journal of Geography Awards Committee, the NCGS Committee on Geographic Education, and the National Council for Geographic Education Task Force on Geographic Curricula. Of particular note was his 1987 role in helping start the North Carolina Geographic Alliance. Imperatore was coordinator of the alliance, affiliated since 1987 with the National Geographic Society's efforts to enhance geography. He also administered over $400,000 in grants during his tenure at Appalachian State. In 1991, Dr. Imperatore was appointed to the Academy of Outstanding Teachers, College of Arts and Sciences at Appalachian State University, and he also received the Great Influence Award from the North Carolina Council of Social Studies. Since retiring from Appalachian State in July 1993, Dr. Imperatore's activities have included teaching in the Department of Geography at Northern Michigan University (1993-1999); serving as visiting professor at Georgetown University, which entailed lecturing aboard the Royal Viking Sun, as part of their foreign affairs program, on a cruise from San Francisco to New Orleans; continuing research and publication related to the Hawaiian sovereignty movement; and teaching in the Department of Geography at the University of Hawaii in the summer of 1995. Dr. Imperatore has lectured on cruise ships for Norwegian Cruise Line, the Celebrity Cruise Line and the Holland America Line. He continues to teach, via the Internet, a human geography course which he authored for Northern Michigan University. As a member/officer of the Watauga Amateur Radio Club, he helps provide safety communications for many area events. Joanne, his wife and partner for 48 years, died of pancreatic cancer in February 2007. The comfort care he gave her over the months of her battle against cancer prompted Bill to take a nursing course at Caldwell Community College. He passed the certification exam in July 2007 and is now a certified nurse assistant. Employed by Bayada Nurses, Bill has served several clients. Sources: Appalachian State University files and long association. -Dr. Richard D. Howe

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