Funding Academic Excellence

The USGIF scholarship program continues to expand thanks to generous donors


Fall is one of the most exciting times around USGIF. As our staff is hard at work planning USGIF’s autumn programming, such as our annual series of events in St. Louis and GEOINT Community Week in Northern Virginia, our annual scholarship winners head off to their respective campuses to continue their GEOINT-related studies. While we’re proud to provide myriad opportunities for education, training, professional development, and networking, the annual scholarship cycle certainly has a special place in our hearts.

Among our 2018 scholarship winners are budding environmental scientists, machine learning experts, geophysicists, intelligence analysts, data scientists, GIS specialists, marine biologists, national security gurus, and more. In recent years, the USGIF Scholarship program has expanded to include new awards thanks to the generosity of USGIF Organizational Members and individuals.

In 2016, USGIF introduced the first-ever Ken Miller Scholarship for Advanced Remote Sensing Applications in partnership with USGIF Organizational Member Riverside Research. This year’s winner—the third individual to receive this award—is Joshua Turner, a former U.S. Air Force geospatial analyst and NASA DEVELOP program participant.

At GEOINT 2018, USGIF presented the first Stu Shea Endowed Scholarship to Sanghui Han, a former U.S. Army intelligence officer pursuing her Ph.D. in imaging science at Rochester Institute of Technology. This $15,000 annual scholarship, named for one of the founders of USGIF and the first executive chairman of the Foundation, is made possible thanks to an anonymous individual and members of USGIF’s Board of Directors.

This year, we proudly introduce the first recipient of the RGi Scholarship for Geospatial and Engineering, made possible by USGIF Organizational Member Reinventing Geospatial, Inc. The inaugural recipient is David Runneals, a geographic information science major at Northwest Missouri State University.

In 2018, USGIF presented $141,000 in scholarships, and our scholarship program has generated more than $1.2 million in awards since it began. This would not be possible without the support of USGIF Members. If you or your organization is interested in funding or helping to fund an award, please reach out to us to begin the conversation.

Also in this issue, you’ll find an article on the Five Eyes intelligence partnership among the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. In September, USGIF had the unique opportunity to host a GEOINTeraction Tuesday event featuring GEOINT liaison officers based at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. This issue’s cover story, penned by trajectory stalwart Matt Alderton, takes a deep dive into the Five Eyes alliance, exploring each country’s efforts to foster closer collaboration and better common security.

Thank you, as always, for your dedication to and support of USGIF. None of our programs would be possible without our members, attendees, sponsors, supporters, and partners. I look forward to seeing you soon around our offices and/or at our upcoming GEOINT Community Week events. I encourage you to consider participating in USGIF’s 2018 EdGEOcation Giving Campaign to support our burgeoning K-12 engagement efforts. 

As we head into the 2018 holiday season, on behalf of our entire team, I send the best to you and your families, and wish you all a healthy, happy, and prosperous 2019.

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