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WE ARE proud of the unique contributions, talents and skills of our faculty and students.

Recognition and Awards

Our faculty and students are often recognized for their important contributions to the field, from winning academic awards to publishing papers in prestigious journals. 

Suarez and Gaertner award

Geography professors Suárez, Gaertner named TRELIS Fellows

Marcela Suàrez and Brandi Gaertner are among 15 female academics from across the United States chosen to attend the 2022 Training and Retaining Leaders in STEM-Geospatial Sciences (TRELIS) workshop. The four-day workshop focuses on building leadership capacity and skills to address career development, communication, conflict resolution and work-life integration. 

Anthony Robison

The research for this paper, SensePlace2: GeoTwitter analytics support for situational awareness, was led by Alan MacEachren, professor emeritus of geography and information science and technology, who retired in June 2022. Other co-authors include Anuj Jaiswal, Anthony Robinson, Scott Pezanowski, Alexander Savelyev, Prasenjit Mitra, Xiao Zhang and Justine Blanford.

Beth King

2021 UCGIS Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award: Beth King

Beth King, Associate Teaching Professor and Assistant Program Manager for Online Geospatial Education, received the 2021 Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award from the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) in June 2021. This award recognizes an individual who demonstrates exceptional mentoring abilities and practices. Ms. King advises students in the MGIS and MS in Spatial Data Science programs, working with them throughout their time in the program to help plan coursework and match them with advisors for their capstone research projects.

Karen Schuckman

New Executive Director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing: Karen Schuckman

Karen Schuckman, Assistant Teaching Professor and lead faculty for the Graduate Certificate in Remote Sensing and Earth Observation, has been named Executive Director of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS). The executive director is the senior operating officer and reports directly to the society’s board of directors. Ms. Schuckman has been actively involved in ASPRS since 1990, has been elected previously to numerous positions, and received the ASPRS Outstanding Service Award in 2018.

Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award

Named in honor of Lt. Michael P. Murphy, USN, a Medal of Honor recipient and distinguished Penn State alumnus, this award recognizes achievement by a Penn State Online Geospatial Education Master’s degree student who has served in the U.S. military or with the geospatial intelligence community and demonstrated exceptional contributions to the discipline.

The Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence is sponsored by the DigitalGlobe Foundation, USGIF, Todd and Barbara Bacastow, Alan W. Scaroni (dean emeritus of the Penn State College of Earth and Mineral Sciences), and Richard DiEugenio, former special assistant to the president for governmental affairs in Penn State’s Office of Governmental Affairs.

Lt. Michael P. Murphy

Lt. Michael P. Murphy was a member of Penn State’s class of 1998 and the first University alumnus to be awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States’ highest award for military valor. A Navy SEAL, Murphy received this singular distinction posthumously for his courageous actions in 2005 during the war in Afghanistan.

Missouri CPT Michelle Kokoski

2022 AWARD RECIPIENT: CPT Michelle Kokoski

As an Active Duty U.S. Army Engineer Officer working in the Training & Doctrine Command (TRADOC) Proponent Office – Geospatial (TPO-Geo) at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, CPT Michelle Kokoski serves as a Capability Developer in support of the Army Geospatial Enterprise. Key components of her assignment include coordination and experimentation for 3D Data collection highlighting Dense Urban areas.

Since starting the MPS program, CPT Kokoski worked closely with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the U.S. Army Engineer Research & Development Center (ERDC), Army Geospatial Center (AGC), and other government agencies to assist in Army Modernization efforts and integration of 3D Geospatial Products and Services across the force. She published a professional article highlighting a case study focused on how high resolution 3D Geospatial data could impact Army operations, which subsequently led to more visibility and participation from Geospatial industry partners. Her Penn State courses improved her ability to communicate Geospatial needs across a variety of agencies and enabled the TPO-Geo office to increase vendor participation and allow the office to study multiple LiDAR aerial and terrestrial remote sensing packages that ultimately helped shape equipment requirements to build future Geospatial systems for use across the military.

Previous Lt. Michael P. Murphy Award Recipients

The Lt. Michael P Murphy Award has recognized many talented students in recent years. Previous recipients are listed below. 

Daniel Selik
2021 Recipient: Daniel Selik
Lauren Maloney
2020 Recipient: Lauren Maloney
Katherine Meckler
2019 Recipient: Katherine Meckler