USGIF Announces First K. Stuart Shea Endowed Scholarship Recipient

USGIF Announces First K. Stuart Shea Endowed Scholarship Recipient

April 23, 2018

Monday morning at USGIF’s GEOINT 2018 Symposium, Sanghui Han was awarded the first ever $15,000 K. Stuart Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship. Han is pursuing a Ph.D. in imaging science at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, N.Y. USGIF Chairman of the Board The Honorable Jeffrey K. Harris presented the award to Han on stage.

The USGIF Board of Directors announced the creation of this new scholarship at the GEOINT 2017 Symposium in honor of K. Stuart Shea, one of the founders of USGIF and the first chief executive and chairman of the organization. The scholarship will be annually awarded to a Ph.D. student studying cartography, geography, or imaging science.

“Being a single mom and a student is challenging, especially financially,” Han said. “What this scholarship means to me immediately is some breathing room in my finances, which enables me to better conduct my research. Another facet to this scholarship are the recognition and networking opportunities, which would expand opportunities after I graduate and throughout my career by opening up possibilities for collaboration between organizations that have congruent missions. I hope the connections I make will empower me to bring together my experiences in the military and research at RIT to contribute to the advancement of geospatial intelligence.”

Han earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Colorado, and upon completion was commissioned as a U.S. Army intelligence officer. She began pursing her master’s degree in imaging science through RIT while deployed to Afghanistan and continued her studies throughout her Army tenure. She completed her master’s degree toward the end of military career and then began pursing a Ph.D. in imaging science full-time. Han’s research develops a framework for predicting utility of spectral images to facilitate the design of imaging systems. She hopes this research can help build simple, flexible systems optimized for various information requirements.

“Developing advanced tradecraft is a priority for the Foundation and the USGIF Board is very pleased to award the first K. Stuart Shea USGIF Endowed Scholarship to Sanghui,” Harris said. “Her career trajectory has an important connection to the GEOINT mission having served with the U.S. Army as a Joint Reconnaissance Officer in South Korea. This hands-on experience provides an excellent opportunity to help ensure that her research in improved precision image modeling can translate directly into positive GEOINT mission impact. Recognizing the substantial contributions to USGIF by former chairman Stu Shea, this scholarship reaffirms his leadership principal to actively build the community.”

This scholarship is part of the overall USGIF Scholarship Program. The full list of 2018 scholarship recipients will be announced this summer. Learn more about the USGIF Scholarship Program here.

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