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Who’s Who: Kevin Mickey

unnamedIn the movie Father of the Bride, Steve Martin’s character says, “Who presents this woman? This woman? But she’s not a woman. She’s just a kid. And she’s leaving us. I realized at that moment that I was never going to come home again and see Annie at the top of the stairs. Never going to see her again at our breakfast table in her nightgown and socks. I suddenly realized what was happening. Annie was all grown up and was leaving us.”

“I think all fathers feel pretty much that way,” said Kevin Mickey. “Here’s this beautiful, adult woman—my little girl—getting married! It seems like only 5 minutes ago, her mom and I were marveling over the new life we had created.”

Kevin’s daughter, Jessica, tied the knot with her love, Aaron Kamp, on May 1. The ceremony, held at Avon Gardens, was exceptionally beautiful with lush foliage from all the rain Indy had been experiencing. It was a big day on several levels. For instance, Kevin actually took some vacation time!  “It was a great day,” he said. “Lots of excitement leading up to THE DAY. And, a day to recuperate from all the festivities and changes was a treat. I’m still getting my head around the fact that I didn’t lose a daughter but gained a son!” (Kevin and his wife, Karmen, have two children. Jessica is the oldest, followed by Jeremy, age 24, who is a student in the IUPUI graduate geology program.)

Most of us in the office only know Kevin as director of professional development and geospatial technologies education. And, he travels a lot on the job. Kevin travels so much because he teaches staff members with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and Homeland Security across the country how to best use various GIS advanced technologies for risk assessments, analyses, emergency management, and multihazard loss estimation.

He serves as chair of the Multihazard Mitigation Council for the National Institute of Building Science (NIBS) based in Washington DC and has testified before Congress several times in that role. Kevin is a very active board member with the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) as well as the new chair-elect of URISA’s Professional Education Committee and is co-chair of the education committee for the Indiana Geographic information Council (IGIC).

Kevin also works closely with Tarek Rashed, geoinformatics director, on various disaster mitigation/emergency management projects across the country and they are developing a competency-based curriculum to better serve our audiences in the mitigation/emergency management fields.

Oh, and did I mention he is teaching a class here at IUPUI?  This summer, Kevin is teaching Mapping & Analysis for Public Safety, a graduate course in SPEA. “I know it’s a lot, but I get so much out of teaching,” he said.  “I learn as much from the students as they do from me. It actually energizes me.”

Kevin is as busy off the clock as he is on. During his “spare time,” he enjoys nature and hikes every chance he gets. He plays the acoustic guitar. He volunteers for the Boy Scouts and Wheeler Mission. And, he appreciates their two “ancient but adorable” cats.

“I’ve been pretty lucky,” Kevin said.  “I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some interesting spots including Singapore, Ireland, France, England, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, South Korea, and all over the US.  I’ve met a long list of experts in my field and politicians. I love my job. I like all my projects. The coolest project ever was the Electronic Cultural Atlas Initiative. Because I was exposed to a lot of different cultures, it significantly influenced how I view and work with people who have different customs, ideas, and opinions.”

Up next on this busy guy’s calendar? “Finishing my book,” he said. “The book is about using GIS to assess the social and economic impacts of floods. I had hoped to complete it last December; but, there was a lot going on.  I’m hoping to submit it this fall? Maybe I’ll be the James Patterson of flood risk assessment.”


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