Thursday, October 11, 2012

WC’s Program in Computer Mapping Earns Prestigious Foundation Award at Conference


Students Steve McFall and Mariah Perkins join Stewart Bruce on
stage to received the award from USGIF president Keith Masback.
ORLANDO, FL—The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation has awarded the Washington College geographic information systems (GIS) program its 2012 Academic Achievement Award. Program director Stewart Bruce and two of his GIS students, senior Mariah Perkins and freshman Steve McFall, accepted the award on stage October 10 at the annual GEOINT Symposium in Orlanda, Fla.

The award announcement summed up the Washington College GIS Program this way:

“The GIS Program at Washington College, part of the Center for Environment and Society, is exploring radical and disruptive innovations to get youth interested in and excited about the geospatial intelligence tradecraft. They have developed programs such as youth summer camps and after-school programs that are combined with undergraduate experiential learning opportunities. The GIS Program currently employs over 45 undergraduates working on a wide variety of funded GeoInt related projects. While the program is established and operated as an entrepreneurial microenterprise, their number one mission is the experiential learning opportunities for their undergraduate students and the outreach mission they have to engage K-12 youth. And all of this has one purpose: to place these youth on clear paths to become productive members of the future geospatial intelligence workforce.”

GIS program director Stewart Bruce, Assistant Director of the Center for Environment & Society, says his team is “very honored” by the award, which he views as “recognition of the dedication and hard work of our talented team of Washington College students, and the professional staff that guides their experiential learning.” He adds that GIS applications are being used increasingly throughout the liberal-arts curriculum at Washington College. “I often remind people that back in the late 1700’s when the College was founded, we taught our undergraduate students navigation, surveying, geography, ancient geography, and yes, even globemaking.  These skills were considered very important skills for the future leaders of our country then and now that the world is even a more dangerous place, these are skills that our future leaders need to master as well.”

Also honored at the symposium were George Mason University’s Center for Geospatial Intelligence, which earned the Academic Research Award, the U.S. State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit (Government Award), U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, (Military Award), and DigitalGlobe and the Satellite Sentinel Project (Industry Award).

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