Professor Bertolas' Background Page

Return to Professor Bertolas' home page.

Professor Bertolas was born and raised in the perpetually frozen North Woods just south of International Falls, Minnesota.  He attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth and was studying geography in his dorm room the night the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.  Subsequently, he earned graduate degrees in Geography from the University of Vermont in 1982 and from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1995.  (Click to see Professor Bertolas' Curriculum Vitae)

Shovel Point on Lake Superior's North Shore. 
Considered by
Professor Bertolas to be the most beautiful place in the United States.

Between degrees he worked as a Washington D.C. security guard, coached wrestling at both the collegiate and prep levels, and taught high school math and earth science.  Dr. Bertolas got married to the most important person in his life on December 31, 1985 in Colchester, Vermont.

Professor Bertolas is interested in a wide variety of topics including human, political, physical and regional geography.  During the early 1990s, he conducted field research on wilderness perceptions among the Cree Indians of northern Quebec.  Current interests include the geography of recreation, tourism, and sports and the geography of hazards and disasters.

Judging the Nebraska State Geography Bee at UN-Omaha.

Keeping actively involved with students and their interests is also very important to Dr. Bertolas.  He currently serves as the faculty advisor to four campus honor societies: Pi Gamma Mu (social sciences), Gamma Theta Upsilon (geography), Phi Alpha Theta (history), and Phi Kappa Phi (multidisciplinary).  In 2003, Dr. Bertolas founded the Explorers Club on campus to spark interest in regional field trips among geography, history, and other majors.  In 2004, he became co-coordinator of the Geographic Educators of Nebraska, an alliance of persons concerned about the status of geographic education in Nebraska and determined to improve the teaching of geography at all levels of education.  

Professor Bertolas also takes students to conferences, leads class field trips, and involves geography majors as workers each spring at the finals of the Nebraska State Geographic Bee.  Teaching geography at WSC since 1995, Professor Bertolas is taking his wise father’s advice: Get a job you love doing and you’ll never work a day in your life!

WSC Spring 2004 graduation ceremonies (with new grad Josh Murtaugh). 

Professor Bertolas' motto:
    "When the student is ready, the teacher appears."  --Buddhist proverb
What does Professor Bertolas think of as being interesting?
    Try out his High Culture Section.
What is Professor Bertolas up to lately?
    Check out his Current Daily Schedule.

How to contact Professor Bertolas via the usual routes:
    E-mail him at

Phone numbers:
402-375-7018  (Bertolas' office in Connell Hall Room #237)
402-375-7292  (School of Natural and Social Sciences office in Connell Hall Room #101)
800-228-9972  (Toll-free to WSC--ask for Professor Bertolas)
402-375-5456  (Bertolas' home; if no answer leave message on machine)

Surface Mail:
Dr. Randy Bertolas 
History, Politics, and Geography
Wayne State College
1111 Main Street
Wayne, Nebraska  68787

For general information about Wayne click here: