Germanna Community College’s (GCC) main campus is located in Spotsylvania county, and the college also serves the City of Fredericksburg and counties of Caroline, Culpeper, King George, Madison, Orange, and Stafford. GCC has a total enrollment of all full- and part-time students of 9,583 and serves an ethnically and gender diverse population of students. Faculty from GCC have been key participants in previous GeoTEd-UAS projects. GCC is committed to building pathways in sUAS and geospatial technology and to integrating sUAS, geographic information systems (GIS), and geospatial technology into courses in many different disciplines.
Dr. Shawn Shields Lyons (Co-PI), Professor of Chemistry and GIS, Science Department Co-Chair, is a member of the leadership team. Dr. Shields Lyons will develop new courses and modify existing ones in geospatial technology and sUAS in collaboration with the team. She will co-develop an online FAA Part 107 course and support the training of other faculty. Motivated by her participation in prior GeoTEd-UAS projects, she has completed graduate coursework at Northeastern University and Virginia Tech to obtain the credentials required to teach geospatial technology and sUAS coursework. She obtained her FAA Remote Pilot Certificate while a participant in the previous GeoTEd-UAS project.
Diana Merkel, Associate Professor and Department Chair of Information Systems Technology/Cybersecurity/Computer Science will co-lead GCC’s partnership in the project. Merkel will develop and implement the new sUAS and geospatial technology content in IT and computer science courses. Merkel led GCC in earning the designation as a Center of Excellence in Cyber Defense by the National Security Administration and the Department of Homeland Security. Both Dr. Shields Lyons and Merkel will support faculty institutes by providing coordination, instruction, and mentoring following the institutes. They will support other participating GCC faculty as they integrate content and SSL projects across the curriculum. They will consult with local and state industry, government agencies, and other organizations in the development of new pathways and SSL projects.
Ben Sherman, Business and Career Coordinator will support the project as subject-matter expert and facilitate connections between GCC’s prior successful workforce development efforts in sUAS to the project goals. Sherman will build on experience working with local high schools, with sUAS events as part of local air festivals, and strong industry and partner relationships. He will facilitate interactions with business and industry in the service region.