Texas State University’s Department of Geography honored Esri education manager Joseph J. Kerski, PhD, with the school’s Outstanding Support from the Business Community Award. The award commends Kerski’s exemplary dedication to the scientific community and the advancement of geographic information system (GIS) technology in education.
“Joseph Kerski has been a longtime supporter and friend of Texas State—Geography as a resource for countless students and faculty through his blog and willingness to respond to questions,” said Alberto Giordano, PhD, professor and chair of the Department of Geography.
“With his good nature, humor, competence, passion for geography and GIS, and willingness to share his story with students and faculty, Joseph is an excellent ambassador for Esri and the ideal winner of the Outstanding Support from the Business Community Award.”
Kerski most recently met with Texas State students and faculty in February to discuss how to enhance GIS skills and spatial thinking. In addition, the former US Geological Survey and US Census Bureau geographer led discussions at Austin Community College; University of Texas, San Antonio; and the Texas Alliance for Geographic Education. He encouraged participating faculty, students, and workshop attendees to think of GIS not only in terms of geography but also in other arenas such as marketing, commerce, health analysis, and beyond.
“I am honored to receive this award from a department whose faculty I have long respected, but I want to acknowledge that it is a team effort,” Kerski said. “The education outreach team at Esri is committed to supporting and partnering with GIS instructors at all levels of education. Together, we foster skill development, geographic perspectives, and career pathways among students.”
Thanks to Esri president Jack Dangermond’s commitment to making GIS technology accessible and affordable to students and faculty at all levels, Esri’s education team has worked closely with Texas State since 1998. The company, in conjunction with President Barack Obama’s ConnectED Initiative, launched a program in 2014 to offer the ArcGIS Online platform to every K–12 school in the United States.
With more than 750 students and 35 faculty members, Texas State University’s Department of Geography is the largest of its kind in the United States. It enables the institution, its scholars, and the community to remain on the forefront of advances in geography studies.