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Geography alumnus to receive award and present lecture on data sharing

K-State alumnus Jason Sweet, a project manager for GIS development and analysis projects at Stantec, will be returning to his alma mater to receive the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Geography Department in the College of Arts & Sciences. Preceding the awards presentation, Sweet will deliver a speech titled, “True Data Sharing: National Levee Data.”

The event will be held on Friday, October 16 in the Little Theatre of the K-State Student Union from 3:30-4:30 p.m. and is open to the entire campus to attend.

“This is a great honor,” said Sweet. “I owe the university and the Geography Department a great debt for giving me the tools to build the career I have.”

“The college is excited to have Jason back on campus,” said Peter Dorhout, dean of the College of Arts & Sciences. “We strive to provide students the academic foundation that enables them to go into the world and make a difference, to solve global challenges.”

Sweet earned Bachelor of Science in fisheries and wildlife biology from K-State in 2001 before going on to earn a Master of Arts degree in geography in 2006. In his current position, he works closely with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA, among other organizations. He has more than 10 years of experience in geospatial data coordination, technical support and maintenance of numerous spatial databases, and system design.

“The department looks forward every autumn to the return of the distinguished alumna or alumnus to campus,” said Charles Martin, head of the K-State geography department. “In addition to his fine career in the field of GIS, Jason has made tremendous contributions to the department through his work with our alumni advisory board. His commitment to the annual geography career fair in February of each year has launched the post-K-State career for many of our graduates, helping them secure internships or permanent positions with agencies and companies in the Kansas City area and beyond. My colleagues and I appreciate the unselfish dedication of Jason to the Geography Department.”

In his presentation, Sweet will discuss how data sharing can impact public safety and economic efficiencies at the national level.

“This project could serve as a blueprint for how multiple federal agencies can cooperatively maintain one database, thereby saving time and money,” said Sweet. “The fact it involves levees makes it a very important national safety issue also.”