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Student Scholarship Awards
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Background

The MN GIS/LIS Consortium offers annual scholarship awards to students from Minnesota institutions with qualifying GIS programs. This program began in 2000; a new student scholarship award winners' competition was begun in 2005.

A special scholarship account supports this program. It is funded by special sales and events, donations from firms and individuals, and the general MN GIS/LIS budget.

Purpose

The program has two purposes. One is to encourage GIS education programs in Minnesota ’s colleges and universities. The second purpose is to recognize and support outstanding students in those programs.

Criteria

There are three aspects of qualification, each tied to one part of the award.

  1. The college or university must have a qualifying GIS program before any of its students are eligible for a scholarship. Qualifications are defined by offering a GIS degree (major or minor) as documented on the student transcript or by offering at least 12 GIS-related credits embedded in another degree. Fourteen post-secondary programs are currently qualified:
    • AA, AS, and AAS Degrees
      • Fond du Lac Community and Tribal College
      • Itasca Community College
      • South Central College
    • BA and BS Degrees
      • Bemidji State University
      • Gustavus Adolphus College
      • Macalester College
      • Minnesota State University, Mankato
      • Minnesota State University, Moorhead
      • St. Cloud State University
      • University of Minnesota , Twin Cities
      • University of Minnesota Duluth
      • University of St. Thomas
    • Graduate Degree
      • Minnesota State University, Mankato
      • St. Cloud State University
      • Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
      • University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
  2. Students must be declared in one of those degree programs and making satisfactory progress to be eligible. For students at community colleges, the student must have completed at least 15 semester credits (or the equivalent quarter credits). For undergraduates, the student must have completed at least 30 semester credits, 45 quarter credits. All admitted graduate students are eligible. Each qualifying post-secondary program is allowed to select one of their best students as their scholarship winner. Students who have graduated since December of prior year are eligible as well.
  3. Scholarship winners may compete for the best presentation at the annual conference. Presentations will be rated on content and style.
    • 2-year College students prepare a poster
    • Undergraduate students give an oral presentation
    • Graduate students give an oral presentation and submit a written paper.

The Award

All Outstanding Student Representatives receive the following:

  • Certificate documenting their award
  • Free conference registration
  • Recognition at awards ceremony
  • Article in MN GIS/LIS News recognizing them
  • Permanent listing on Mn GIS/LIS website

Outstanding Student Representatives who participate in the student competition receive all of the above, plus:

Opportunity to demonstrate ability before a professional audience

  • Potential to win cash prize for best presentation
    • Graduate: $1000 - 1st Place; $500 - 2nd Place
    • Undergraduate: $800 - 1st Place; $400 - 2nd Place
    • 2-year College: $500 - 1st Place
  • $200 cash for all non-winning competition participants

The Process

Schools are contacted in mid-Winter to determine eligibility. Outstanding Student Representatives are identified in late-Spring by their institution. Competition is held at the Fall conference. For questions or more details, contact the chair of the Scholarship Committee at scholarship@mngislis.org.

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