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WKU student serving as intern at international GIS conference

For the 10th consecutive year, a student from WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology is serving as an intern for a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) international conference.

Matt Payne, a senior from New Albany, Ind., received a scholarship to participate in this week’s 31st Annual Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) International User Conference in San Diego.

Students are selected by ESRI, the world leader and pioneer of GIS, from a pool of international applicants for the competitive scholarships that support 60 graduate and fourth-year undergraduate students from universities and colleges throughout the United States and around the world. The scholarships require students to work half-days at the conference in exchange for their conference registration, workshops, meals and lodging.

“For WKU’s GIS program to place at least one student each year, when competing with many Research I institutions, is a credit to our program,” said Dr. David Keeling, head of the Department of Geography and Geology. “WKU is fast becoming a national leader in the GIS arena. Moreover, the high quality of WKU’s GIS program has resulted in several students being hired by ESRI for a variety of positions over the past seven years.”

Payne’s name will be added to that list after this week’s conference. “Matt was offered a position with the company based on his GIS skills and knowledge that ESRI hiring personnel noted were substantially higher than other students in the intern program,” Dr. Keeling said.

ESRI, the largest organization and vendor of GIS software in the world, hosts the international conference for GIS users to share ideas and gain knowledge about GIS technology.

“GIS is fast becoming the dominant spatial analytical technique globally, with business, planning, transportation, resource, military and exploration applications,” Dr. Keeling said. “Congratulations to our GIS teaching team of GIS Director Kevin Cary, Dr. Katie Algeo, Dr. Jun Yan, Debbie Kreitzer, Amy Nemon, Pat Kambesis and Scott Dobler who offer a very high level of instruction.”

Contact: David Keeling, (270) 745-4555.

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