USGIF Selects 2020 Scholarship Winners

The 2020 scholarship winners demonstrate the multidisciplinary nature of the field of GEOINT

Herndon, Virginia (August 31, 2020)—The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) awarded $103,000 in scholarships this year to individuals studying geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) and related topics. The recipients chosen this year by our dedicated scholarship committee demonstrate the multidisciplinary nature of the field of GEOINT. These students come from all walks of life: geography/geospatial technologies and analytics, computer science, meteorology, ecology, geosciences, law and diplomacy, nuclear submarine warfare experts, and speakers of Mandarin and French. But they are guided by a common goal: thirst for knowledge.

Since the USGIF Scholarship Program began in 2004, the Foundation has awarded more than $1.3 million to students with aspirations in GEOINT to further the advancement of the geospatial tradecraft.  USGIF is dedicated to assist promising students studying GEOINT, geospatial sciences, and related fields.  It also recognizes the achievements of graduating high school seniors, undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students.

USGIF offers $5,000 scholarships annually to outstanding doctoral candidates, graduate students, and undergraduate students as well as $2,000 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. The Stu Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship, which was awarded earlier this year, recognizes a Ph.D. student studying cartography, geography, or imaging science.

In addition, USGIF offers two awards funded entirely by USGIF Organizational Members: RGi Scholarship for Geospatial and Engineering: USGIF and Reinventing Geospatial, Inc. (RGi) partnered in 2018 to offer this award, $10,000, to one undergraduate student who has an interest in both the engineering and geospatial disciplines and also demonstrates financial need; Ken Miller Scholarship for Advanced Remote Sensing Applications: USGIF and Riverside Research partnered in 2016 to create this award, named after Kenneth W. Miller who is known as a founding father of measurement and signatures intelligence, the Ken Miller Scholarship is a $10,000 scholarship awarded to a master’s student working in or planning to enter the defense and/or intelligence workforce.

“It is in these particular moments that we need to encourage imagination, discovery, and innovation, and promote education as those who know how to learn will also learn easily how to change. In a year of sacrifice and economic uncertainty, students interested in GEOINT careers had an even bigger incentive to secure their ticket to education,” said USGIF Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professional Development Dr. Camelia Kantor. “I welcome this year’s scholarship cohort and wish them strength, resiliency, responsible rebelliousness, curiosity and imagination!”

The 2020 USGIF scholarship winners are:

Stu Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship:

  • Wendy L. Zeller Zigaitis, Pennsylvania State University*

RGi Scholarship for Geospatial and Engineering:

  • Beth Wiberg, Ohio State University

Ken Miller Scholarship for Advanced Remote Sensing Applications:

  • Tyler Susa, Johns Hopkins University*


  • Clare Gaffey, Clark University
  • Chelsea L. Cervantes de Blois, University of Minnesota
  • Megan Coffer, North Carolina State University
  • Ian McGregor, North Carolina State University


  • Evelyn Burch Jones, Johns Hopkins University *
  • Samantha Hubner, Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy
  • Grayson R. Morgan, University of South Carolina*
  • Sam Carani, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


  • Brandon Staple, University of Colorado – Denver
  • Addison Scufsa, University of Minnesota
  • Alex Chrvala, University of Mary Washington
  • Paul Lin, University of Pennsylvania

Graduating High School Seniors:

  • Landry Wells, Central Magnet School, Tn; now attending University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • Maureen Theresa Howard, Fairfax High School, Va; now attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington*
  • Aidan Smith, BASIS DC, Dc; now attending George Washington University
  • Elisa Luckabaugh, Fairfax High School, Va; now attending the University of Mary Washington

*These institutions are accredited by USGIF to award GEOINT Certificates along with their degree programs.

Learn more about the USGIF Scholarship Program at

USGIF is a nonprofit educational foundation dedicated to promoting the geospatial intelligence tradecraft and developing a stronger GEOINT Community among government, industry, academia, professional organizations, and individuals who develop and apply geospatial intelligence to address national security challenges. USGIF achieves its mission via its strategic pillars: Build the Community | Advance the Tradecraft | Accelerate Innovation. For more information, please visit and follow USGIF on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.