Mattoon, IL -(Effingham Radio)- Lake Land College Geography/Earth Science Instructor Mike Rudibaugh, Charleston, has received a prestigious achievement award from the Illinois GIS Association (ILGISA) for his groundbreaking work in geographic information systems (GIS).
Rudibaugh will receive the 2018 Hilton Distinguished Collaboration Award during an awards banquet on October 23 in Naperville. This award is presented to an individual who has provided extraordinary service to the GIS community in the advancement of coordination between GIS professionals.
Organizations in virtually every field are using GIS to make maps that communicate, perform analysis, share information and solve complex problems around the world according to esri.com.
In announcing the award, the ILGISA said about Rudibaugh: “His enthusiasm is contagious, he is a true champion of GIS in the state of Illinois and beyond. Such is evidenced by his deep involvement with the National Science Foundation and numerous grant awards through the years promoting GIS education across the nation’s community college system through the GeoTech Center.”
Rudibaugh said his success is not all his own but is shared with industry partners (i.e., EJ Water, Coles-Moultrie Electric Cooperative and Coles County Regional Planning) and his instructors, specifically his recently passed mentor at Eastern Illinois University, Dr. Alan Baharlou.
“This is like a lifetime achievement award however, it’s really as much about the partners we have at Lake Land College to make it happen,” Rudibaugh said. “The credit extends to partners such as Eastern Illinois University and industries we have partnered with to promote GIS across the state of Illinois.”
The ILGISA announcement states Rudibaugh has made significant contributions to promote cooperation within the GIS community and the people the organization serves as illustrated by his extensive involvement in numerous multidisciplinary GIS projects. He has taught GIS for more than 20 years in Illinois and in addition to his teaching loads he currently serves as an external NSF grant evaluator at SCATE, Inc. In this organization, his work includes monitoring and working with teams to develop grant objectives, outcomes and site visits for GIS projects/programs at Lake Land, Kaskaskia and Parkland colleges in Illinois. His previous work as a grant director for Kaskaskia College involved the direction and management of project budgeting, curriculum coordination, STEM teacher training and overall project management for the southern Illinois region. This project evolved into establishing an introductory GIS class to count as general education for all colleges and universities in Illinois. He is also a past ILGISA Board Member.
Lake Land College Math and Science Division Chair/Biological Sciences Instructor Ikemefuna “Ike” Nwosu, said “Mike has accomplished a lot of groundbreaking work with GIS collaboration cutting across industries as well as different departments on campus. I have had the privilege of a front row seat to some of his collaborative projects and I sincerely believe his work is truly deserving of this recognition.”
Co-educational committee member of ILGISA and director of the GIS Center at Western Illinois University Chad Sperry said that Rudibaugh was dedicated to making GIS more accessible to students and professionals alike. “Mike works hard with interns to get them relevant experience and placed in the job market,” said Sperry. Sperry also mentioned how instrumental Rudibaugh was in establishing regional meetings to bring ILGISA content to members that weren’t as able to travel to the annual spring meeting.
The Illinois GIS Association is the only statewide organization of GIS/geospatial professionals in Illinois. Rudibaugh is the education committee chair for ILGISA.
ILGISA advances the understanding, communication, and effectiveness of geospatial technology in Illinois. ILGISA connects more than 500 members working in local, regional, state and federal government, higher educational institutions and private industries. ILGISA programs include an annual conference, regional meetings, training events and webinars that address the ever-evolving geospatial technologies, applications and standards.
Lake Land College offers a certificate in Geospatial Technology through the Math and Science Division. The certificate can be earned simultaneously with several other majors on campus. The courses provide training in a valuable, marketable skill. According to bls.gov, jobs as surveying and mapping technicians are expected to grow nationally by 11 percent through 2026.