Applications are now being accepted for the young professional initiative within URISA.

The Vanguard Cabinet (VC) was launched in 2011 to engage young GIS practitioners (35 and under), increase their numbers in the organization and better understand the concerns facing the future leaders of the GIS community. The mission is to collaborate with URISA’s Board of Directors and various committees in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals.

Comprised entirely of passionate young members selected from different geospatial disciplines, the VC aims to position URISA as the center of opportunities for creative young professionals who are committed to improving URISA and the geospatial profession via innovation, collaboration, networking and professional development. 

Ashley Hitt, GISP, was a part of the inaugural Vanguard Cabinet. After her VC term, she was elected to the URISA board of directors in 2013. Now, she serves as the URISA board secretary.

“Being on the Vanguard Cabinet was so valuable for me. It allowed me the opportunity, especially as an introvert, to meet and work with people I might not have had the chance to otherwise,” Hitt says. “It really is the people involved with URISA that makes it such a great organization to be a part of, learning from those who have been around GIS for a number of years while also working with my new young professional network to address challenges that we face as well." 

Young professionals are not only increasing in number within URISA, but they are also leading and initiating important programs, says Clare Brown, GISP, advisor to the Vanguard Cabinet. “From student outreach to professional practice development, the VC is making its mark and being noticed,” Brown says. “I encourage all young GIS professionals to learn more about the Vanguard Cabinet and apply to become a part of this great group of future leaders.”

Applications are due by Nov. 30.