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WKU GIS student awarded Connected Nation scholarship

Connected Nation awarded Tiffanee Lang of Las Vegas, Nev., a geographic information systems (GIS) scholarship last week during the WKU Department of Geography and Geology’s Honors Night ceremony.

The scholarship is specific to WKU’s GIS program and marks the inaugural year of the scholarship by Connected Nation for WKU’s GIS program students. Applicants had to answer questions describing their area of interest in GIS and discuss how GIS can expedite the decision-making process in a variety of fields specific to spatial problems and geographic challenges.

“I was very excited to hear about Connected Nation providing a yearly scholarship opportunity for our GIS students at WKU,” said Kevin Cary, GIS Director at WKU. “This complements our GIS program in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology and we look forward to future GIS endeavors with Connected Nation.”

Connected Nation began in Bowling Green in 2001 as The Center for Information Technology Enterprise at WKU and quickly became ConnectKentucky in 2004.  ConnectKentucky primarily focused on mapping broadband accessibility in Kentucky in an effort to identify areas that lacked Internet access as part of the “No Child Left Behind” initiative. Due to its success, neighboring states in 2007 were quick to follow and ConnectKentucky transitioned into Connected Nation as the parent organization.

Six graduates from WKU’s GIS program are working as part of the GIS team at Connected Nation.  In 2009, WKU’s GIS program was awarded the Exemplary Systems Award by the Kentucky Association of Mapping Professionals.

“As part of our corporate mission, we are always looking to give back to our community,” said Connected Nation President and COO Tom Ferree. “We use GIS every day in our efforts to bridge the digital divide and enhance lives, so it’s appropriate that we do what we can to support future GIS professionals.”

Dr. David Keeling, head of the Department of Geography and Geology, noted: “GIS is transforming our ability to map and understand human activity and interaction from the most basic patterns to the most complex locally and globally. Connected Nation’s support of our students’ endeavors is vital to our goal of preparing citizens for the 21st century workforce, where geo-technologies are playing an ever-growing role.”

For information about applying for next year’s Connected Nation GIS scholarship, or about GIS, WKU’s GIS programs and GIS applications in business and industry, contact Kevin Cary in WKU’s Center for GIS at (270) 745-2981 or kevin.cary@wku.edu.

Contact: Kevin Cary, (270) 745-2981.

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