I came to the department (of Geography and Regional Planning) almost by accident. After fumbling through an undergraduate Economics degree, I knew that banking and finance were not for me. In the late '80s, job prospects were not great, so I enrolled into the graduate program to wait out the job market. This turned out to be one of the smartest decisions I've ever made. I was lucky to come to the department around the same time that many of the current faculty began at IUP. Drs. Begg, Bencloski, Buckwater, and Sechrist were still very new in their stay at IUP and brought a huge amount of energy into their coursework and advisement. I was given the opportunity to work closely with many of the professors on projects outside of class and have fond memories of many of these projects. The internship with Penelec still stands out as a highlight. How many people get to tour a nuclear power station as an intern?

After leaving IUP, I started a career in digital cartography that has ranged from staff cartographer to GIS manager. I have developed software to support GIS implementation in some of the largest communities in Virginia that is still in use today. I have digitized telephone cables on the nightshift while employed at a data conversion firm. Presently, I am serving as GIS manager for one of the fastest growing cities in Virginia. The skills that I obtained at IUP while participating in the Geography and Regional Planning program have taken me places of which I could not have dreamed.

Bob Oblinsky
MS (1991): Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Current: GIS Manager, City of Suffolk, Virginia