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Geospatial Researcher, Fine Arts Student Earn Recognition

Accolades is an occasional News Center feature that highlights recent accomplishments of The University of Texas at Dallas faculty and students. To submit items for consideration, contact your school’s communication manager. 

Professor Receives International Spatial Research Award

Dr. Daniel A. Griffith

Dr. Daniel A. Griffith, Ashbel Smith Professor of geospatial information sciences (GIS) in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, is the recipient of the International Spatial Accuracy Research Association’s (ISARA) 2020 Peter Burrough Medal for outstanding contributions to spatial uncertainty research.

The medal is ISARA’s highest award for senior scientists, given in recognition of sustained outstanding contribution to the measurement, modeling and management of uncertainty in spatial data. It is named in honor of the late Peter A. Burrough, considered one of the founding fathers of GIS.

“I am very honored and flattered to be the third recipient of this award, in recognition of my career contributions to studying and publishing about spatial data accuracy and uncertainty,” Griffith said. “This medal gives me a strong sense of professional and personal meaning as well as to my geospatial information science career.”

Griffith is a renowned scholar in spatial statistics and quantitative geography. His research has contributed to a better understanding of positional inaccuracies in areas such as GPS locations. He also helped to improve spatial model predictions, such as the COVID-19 epidemiological model forecasts. Additionally, Griffith’s research has contributed to a better understanding of satellite images and the geographic spread and distribution of diseases.

Griffith will be honored in 2021 at the Spatial Accuracy Conference in Buffalo, New York.

MFA Student's Photography Featured in New York Times

Nitashia Johnson

The work of Nitashia Johnson, a graphics designer in the Office of Communications and a graduate student in the School of Arts, Technology, and Emerging Communication, is represented in a photo essay published June 19 in The New York Times.

In “Sources of Self-Regard: Self-Portraits From Black Photographers Reflecting on America,” essayist Debra Willis describes the photos as “deeply insightful storytelling” that express identity in a time of global pandemic, unemployment and protests to end police brutality.

Johnson was invited to submit photos by Times staff whom she had met during Sony Corp.’s six-month Alpha Female Creator-in-Residence Program in 2019 when she had exhibits in New York and Los Angeles.

“I've crossed paths with many people this past year. I believe those connections are what made this happen,” Johnson said.

Johnson said she selected photos that represent her documentation of the ways in which she was able to amplify Black voices as an artist and also to find rest and peace during the COVID-19 pandemic and recent racial protests.

“I didn’t want to go the commercial route and pick photos that were polished. These photos spoke to the core of human identity and emotions. They’re black-and-white images that show the loneliness we feel right now but that still include a sense of peace and healing,” she said.

Johnson, who is working on a Master of Fine Arts in creative practice, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Woman’s University and a Master of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design. She is the creator of “The Self Publication,” a photographic book series that combats stereotypes of the Black community. She also teaches part time at One River School of Art + Design in Frisco, Texas, and is building a startup called The Smart Project, an after-school program for North Texas teens in need of creative workshops.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].