Stofan receives Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence

Kevin Stofan, a  student in the master of geographic information systems program at Penn State's World Campus, recently received the Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence at the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation GEOINT 2010 Symposium in New Orleans, La. Stofan, an Army veteran of Afghanistan, was recognized for his exceptional work estimating the rural population in Afghanistan.

The Murphy Award honors the memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy, a distinguished Penn State alumnus, who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest decoration, for his valiant acts in Afghanistan as a Navy SEAL. Lieutenant Murphy, from Patchogue, N.Y., was killed in action by enemy forces during a reconnaissance mission on June 28, 2005. He was leading a four-man team tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in mountainous terrain near Asadabad, Afghanistan, when they came under fire from a much larger enemy force. Mortally wounded while exposing himself to enemy fire, Lieutenant Murphy knowingly left his position of cover to get a clear signal in order to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, he calmly provided his unit’s location and requested immediate support for this element. The heroic war fighter returned to his position of cover to continue the fight until finally succumbing to his wounds.

Stofan, a human terrain analyst for CENTCOM, has more than 20 years of experience as a geographer, geospatial analyst and GIS developer. His work has included developing environment, business and defense applications for private, state and federal government agencies.

Stofan also served as an engineer officer in the Army, deploying in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2007 as an infantry platoon leader, where he led a joint force of more than 90 Afghan, Romanian and U.S. soldiers conducting counterinsurgency operations in Zabul Province, Afghanistan. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and is currently completing his degree at Penn State, where he also received his Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Intelligence.

The Murphy Award recognizes achievement by a Penn State graduate student who is serving or has served in the U.S. armed forces or with the U.S. intelligence community and demonstrated exceptional contributions to the discipline. The Murphy Award in Geospatial Intelligence was made possible by the gracious gifts of SPADAC, the U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, and Dr. and Mrs. Todd S. Bacastow. The endowed award is being given with the consent of the Murphy family, and will be given in perpetuity in the names of the donors.

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Last Updated March 21, 2011