2017 USGIF Scholarship winner applies GEOINT to national security
With an affinity for current events, history, international affairs, and geography, intelligence analysis was a natural career choice for Erin Manth, who is earning a bachelor’s degree in intelligence studies. Manth, a student at Mercyhurst University in Pennsylvania, is one of 26 recipients under USGIF’s 2017 Scholarship Program.
“Winning the USGIF Scholarship is a great honor and opportunity,” Manth said. “USGIF offers the unmatched opportunity to be part of a wide network of GEOINT professionals. I appreciate the chance to further my understanding of GEOINT through the opportunity to attend the GEOINT Symposium. The scholarship will aid in funding my final semester at Mercyhurst and contribute to other scholastic experiences as I move toward graduation.”
Manth’s interest lies in applying GEOINT to national security and humanitarian response, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa. In spring 2017, Manth studied abroad in Morocco, where she was able to improve her Arabic language skills and cultural understanding.
“It allowed me to see the human element in a diverse society and achieve better understanding of the people that live in the different regions I study,” Manth said.
Manth has participated in various activities on campus related to her studies. She is a member of the National Security Club and a student volunteer for Mercyhurst’s Anti-Human Trafficking Intelligence Cell, which works with a non-governmental organization to provide analysis and research. Manth also works for the university’s Center for Intelligence Research and Training, a research arm of Mercyhurst’s intelligence program. Her team is working on a project for the U.S. Army War College examining Syria’s stability through map creation.
This summer, Manth completed a second internship with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) as an imagery analysis intern. At NGA, Manth improved her GEOINT skills as well as her intelligence writing and briefing skills. The mentorship while at the agency was one of her favorite aspects of the experience.
“Throughout my internship, I was fortunate to have multiple amazing mentors who have encouraged, inspired, and guided me throughout my professional development in GEOINT.”
Manth graduates in December and hopes to get her first job in the Intelligence Community.
Photo Credit: Erin Manth