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Patrick McHaffie Receives the Dahlberg Distinguished Achievement Award

January 23, 2013

Dr. Patrick McHaffie was selected by the Illinois Geographic Information Systems Association (ILGISA) as the recipient of its 2012 Dahlberg Distinguished Achievement Award. Named after the late Dr. Richard Dahlberg of the Geography Department at Northern Illinois University, the honor is presented by the ILGISA to individuals who have shown extraordinary service to the GIS community by making a significant contribution to the development and advancement of geographic information systems in Illinois. Prof. McHaffie is the first DePaul Geography faculty member to receive this honor.

McHaffie joined DePaul University in 1996, after a series of positions including coordinator of the Kentucky Mapping Program, and academic appointments at West Virginia University and Dartmouth College. By 1997-98 he had established a three course sequence in GIS at DePaul that formed the basis of the Geography BA concentration in Geotechnology and the undergraduate GIS Certificate, both of which McHaffie was central to devising and teaching. The GIS Certificate has been taught continually since 1997, predating many national GIS certification agencies and providers. Since McHaffie’s arrival at DePaul, more than 100 GIS Certificates have been awarded and fifteen BA degrees in Geotechnology (about 13% of all Geography BAs awarded since 1995). In 1997, McHaffie received a $44,000 National Science Foundation grant to establish an on-campus GIS Collaboratory. Since 2000 McHaffie has taught GIS to almost eight hundred DePaul students.

On receiving the honor in Fall 2012, McHaffie expressed his deep gratitude to his colleagues who have supported his work: “Early in my career, as a state mapping administrator in Kentucky, I met and worked with Dick Dahlberg. I was rather green behind the ears and more than once he mentored me with intelligence and kindness. I am humbled to be honored in this way.”

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