On Tuesday at GEOINT 2018, the 2018 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence was presented to Justin Hoesman, special agent in training for the National Nuclear Security Administration; Daniel W. Steiner, owner of Orion Mapping; and Ericka L. Sterns, deployment manager for a telecommunications company.

“Dan, Ericka, and Justin were selected for the 2018 Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award for their outstanding performance as team leads for a graduate research seminar regarding ‘Comparative GEOINT Education Between the U.S. and UK,’” said Stephen Handwerk, assistant teaching professor of GEOINT at Penn State.

The Murphy Award is named for Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy, a distinguished Penn State alumnus. Murphy was killed June 28, 2005, by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission in Afghanistan. For his selfless leadership and courageous actions, he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. The Murphy Award recognizes achievement by a Penn State graduate who is serving or has served in the U.S. Armed Forces or the Intelligence Community.

A summary of the winning team’s work can be found in the article, “Individual Core Geospatial Knowledge in the U.S.: Insights from a Comparison of U.S. and UK GEOINT Analyst Education,” which was published in USGIF’s 2018 State and Future of GEOINT Report.

Hoesman is a former reconnaissance marine and scout sniper with multiple combat deployments. He also has 12 years of experience as a federal security and intelligence professional performing sensitive multi-intelligence collections and counterterrorism operations. He completed his master’s degree in homeland security GEOINT at Penn State in 2017.

Steiner served in the U.S. Army for seven years with assignments in Germany; Ft. Stewart, Ga.; and as a combat engineer company commander in the 24th Infantry Division (Mech) during Desert Shield and Desert Storm. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point and is enrolled in the Penn State master’s degree program in geographic information systems with a GEOINT focus.

Sterns resides in Rochester, N.Y., and earned a bachelor’s degree in GIS from the State University of New York College at Cortland. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree in GEOINT at Penn State, which she will complete in August.

“We at USGIF are proud to have been engaged with our partners at Penn State, the DigitalGlobe Foundation, and others since the inception of this award, given in honor of Lt. Michael Murphy,” said USGIF CEO Keith J. Masback. “His selfless actions in support of his team serve as an inspiration to everyone in the GEOINT Community. We must never forget that every day, here at home and around the globe, men and women are in harm’s way depending on accurate, timely geospatial intelligence to safely accomplish many diverse missions.”

The generosity of USGIF, the DigitalGlobe Foundation, and faculty, staff, and friends of Penn State contributed to endowing the Murphy Award.

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Posted by Lindsay Tilton Mitchell