Inspiring the Next Generation

Young professionals discuss GEOINT with summer program students


Young professionals speak to students in George Mason University’s Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program on careers in GEOINT.

What do a mechanical engineer, an Air Force special tactics veteran, an emergency responder, and an entrepreneur have in common? They are all members of USGIF’s Young Professionals Group (YPG) working in the GEOINT Community.

These four individuals spoke to approximately 50 students in George Mason University’s (GMU) Aspiring Scientists Summer Internship Program (ASSIP) June 23. Their goal was to introduce the students to GEOINT and its many career possibilities.

“We are truly grateful the young professionals donated their time to generate awareness of geospatial intelligence and share their remarkable journeys,” said Amy Adams, ASSIP coordinator and GMU’s scientific outreach and education program manager. “They are inspirational role models.”

The panelists were Chris DeMay, cofounder and chief operating officer of HawkEye 360; Justin Franz, volunteer engagement manager and YPG lead for USGIF; Victoria Pugliese, GIS analyst for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); and Isaac Zaworski, vice president of Vricon.

Each spoke about their background and lessons they’ve learned thus far in their careers.

“Get out of your comfort zone, find a mentor, and try new things—you might discover something new you like you didn’t realize before,” Pugliese said.

Additionally, the panelists spoke about careers in GEOINT, from the more traditional jobs in government and military to the growing use of GEOINT in commercial industries such as business/marketing, gaming, agriculture, and many others.

ASSIP is in its tenth year and is a competitive program that provides high school and undergraduate students with an interest in STEM the opportunity to gain real-world, hands-on experience with GMU researchers. Topic areas range from geoinformation science to bioengineering to medicine.

Throughout the seven and a half week program students work with researchers to learn about their field of interest, explore new technologies, and develop a research project which they present to their peers and GMU faculty in the last week.

Photo Credit: George Mason University

Posted in: Education, Young Professionals   Tagged in: Education


From Intern to Researcher: Learning to Present on a Global Stage

At the 2023 International Cartographic Conference in South Africa, Lyndsey Hofmann was invited to share her work on Northern Virginia housing trends

USGIF Announces 2023 Scholarship Awardees

Representing 20 different schools, this year's scholarship recipients share a driving desire to use GEOINT to address critical national security issues, solve complex global issues, and serve their communities.


The USGIF Internship Experience

We caught up with five former USGIF interns to learn more about their time with the Foundation and how it led to where they are now.