ST. CLOUD, Minn. - Former St. Cloud State University Professor of Geography Kenneth Wong has received the Earl J. Fennell Award for his accomplishments as leader of the university’s Land Surveying and Mapping Program. The annual award from the American Congress on Surveying and Mapping (ACSM) is given to one leader across the United States and Canada in recognition of educational contributions to the surveying and mapping profession. He will be accepting the award at the annual ACSM convention in Salt Lake City in February.
Wong, who retired in December 2008 after 8½ years at St. Cloud State, has returned to Canada.
During Wong’s tenure as director of the St. Cloud State Land Surveying Program, he revitalized the program by increasing the number of surveying majors from about 25 to nearly 150, and increased the scholarship money available to surveying students from a few thousand dollars to $28,000. Wong also developed the “2 + 2.5” model that allows students to complete two years of preparatory work at partner vocational technical colleges, then transfer to St. Cloud State to complete their four-year degree.
As a result of the steps he took to enlarge the surveying curriculum and enhance the academic rigor of the program, St. Cloud State surveying graduates have one of the highest passing rates on the national Fundamentals of Surveying Examination of any university in the country. He also led the successful effort to achieve accreditation from the Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology, with the result that St. Cloud State has the only accredited surveying program within a geography department (as opposed to a civil engineering program) in the United States.