Kansas Association of Mappers

The John Cowan Memorial (JCM) Scholarship

Please note: Applications for this award are accepted from January 1 to April 15 each year. Any application received outside of this date range will not be considered.

Photo of John Cowan

K. John Cowan was one of the most respected members of the Kansas Association of Mappers. He had been a member of the Kansas Association of Mappers since 1986, served on the Board of Directors in 1991 and as President in 1992. He received his KM (Kansas Mapper) Designation and his IAAO (International Association of Assessing Officers) Certification in 1988. John also received KAM’s Outstanding Mapping Project Award in 1988, and was voted KAM’s Most Valuable Member in 1990, 1991, and 1994. He attended Topeka High School, and earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from Kansas State University. He also attended graduate school to continue his studies in architecture. John began working for Riley County, Kansas in the Appraiser’s Office in 1984. He became the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Coordinator of Riley County’s GIS Department in 1999. John passed away in February 2010 in Manhattan, Kansas, after a battle with cancer.

John was passionate and outgoing about the importance of geographic knowledge. The JCM scholarship was established in January 2012 to symbolically carry on his enthusiasm by providing financial assistance to those pursuing higher education in Geography. The winner will receive a $1,000 scholarship.

Award Eligibility

Qualified applicants for the JCM Scholarship must:

    1. Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a post-secondary educational institution within the State of Kansas;
    2. Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in a Geography-based profession; and
    3. Demonstrate that Geography or a Geography-related career is the major focus of their higher education goals.

The following qualifications are desirable, but not mandatory.

    1. Have a grade point average of 3.25 or higher;
    2. Have had employment or an internship in a Geography-related field; and/or
    3. Have demonstrated a need for financial assistance.
Students who have won a JCM Scholarship in a previous year are allowed to reapply for consideration in successive years as long as they still meet the mandatory requirements listed above.

Application Process

Prior to filling out the application, candidates should assemble all of the following information and supporting documentation.

    1. Applicant Information. Provide your name, address, email, and phone number.
    2. Education. Provide your level of educational attainment (high school, undergraduate, and graduate school attendance, including GPAs for each); provide a list of Geography courses that you have completed; and upload supporting documentation of your achievements (such as unofficial transcripts, awards received, or letters of recommendation)
    3. Activities and Memberships. List your academic achievements, extracurricular activities, and memberships in academic, social, and professional organizations.
    4. Goals. Provide answers to each of the following three questions:
    • Why do you want to be a geographer or pursue a career in Geographic Information Systems?
    • How do you intend to use this scholarship money?
    • Please add any comments you feel will help us choose your application over others. You may include financial need considerations as well as your personal goals and achievements.
Please note: The web application does not allow you to partially fill out an application, save it, and return later to complete it. As such, we ask that you prepare all of your documentation prior to starting your application. Incomplete submissions will be discarded.

Award Conditions and Disbursement

The KAM Executive Board will review all completed applications and select the winner by a consensus vote. The winner will be notified via e-mail and will receive the $1,000 scholarship as soon as they have:

    1. Sign the Terms of Acceptance for the scholarship; and
    2. Provide proof of enrollment in a post-secondary educational institution within the State of Kansas. High school seniors who have not yet enrolled for classes may provide proof of acceptance at a qualified institution.

Additionally, the scholarship recipient is strongly encouraged to:

    1. Accept a complimentary one-year student membership to the Kansas Association of Mappers.
    2. Use a complimentary one-day registration for the annual KAM Conference (generally held in October).
    3. Present at the annual KAM Conference and/or submit an article for publication in the KAM Metes & Bounds newsletter during the year of award acceptance.
    4. Maintain academic achievements and complete all coursework during the semester of accepting the award.

If you have questions or need assistance completing the application, please contact the Kansas Association of Mappers at KAMappers@gmail.com.


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