The American Association of Geographers (AAG) selected Lakeland's Geography and Geospatial Technology department as the recipient of its "2020 AAG Award for Associates Program Excellence."
The selection committee was impressed with the department's development of strategic local partnerships since its inception in 2011 which included receiving external grant funding from the Cleveland Foundation Fenn Fund, the Dominion Foundation and the Ohio Space Grant Consortium/NASA CCStars program. Other strong and productive relationships are forged among area stakeholders, K-12 schools and public/private sector employers, of which many serve on the program's advisory board. Advising on the current trends in the field, the board has ensured that students learn on multiple formats and software platforms that are used by professionals in the geographic information systems (GIS) industry.
Additionally, the service component of the program stood out, notably service learning courses that students completed with the City of Euclid, and the Greater Cleveland Food Bank, among others.
"We integrate traditional instructional methods with practical and experiential learning that often puts students together with nonprofit and other organizations in the region," said Dr. Adam Cloutier, dean for arts and sciences.
Profile raising events and collaborations were also key contributors to the program's recognition, such as the annual "GIS Day" event, involvement with the area's North Coast Drone Alliance, Geospatial Professional Network, and having taken the lead to engage alumni and local professionals in a Women in GIS organization.
For program information, contact Bobby Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org.