This item originally appeared in the Dec. 11, 2003, issue of The Tech Talk.
By RINDY METCALF
John Morris, a 1968 graduate of electrical engineering, was awarded the National Intelligence Medal of Achievement for exceptional service by the Director of Central Intelligence on Nov. 21.
Morris, a Farmerville native, said he attributes his many successes to the education he received as a student at Tech.
After graduation, Morris worked at Texas Instruments in Dallas.
He said at Texas Instruments, Tech students are a sought-after commodity.
"Tech students receive a solid foundation and compete well for jobs with other students from different schools," Morris said.
Morris earned a master's degree in electrical engineering from Southern Methodist University in Dallas in 1970.
Morris was also in the U.S. Air Force, where he gained valuable experience.
He became skilled in space object identification at Keesler AFB in Biloxi, Miss.
Morris learned systems acquisitions management at Brooks AFB in San Antonio, Texas.
He later gained expertise in cryptology and signals intelligence at Fort George G. Meade AFB, Md.
He left the Air Force in 1974 as a captain and has worked in various intelligence positions.
He is currently the Special Advisor to the Director of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency.
Morris travels between his office in Bethesda, Md., and another office in Chantilly, Va.
He said he advises the director and senior leadership team.
Morris said he also makes decisions about policy relating to measurement and signature intelligence, which is otherwise known as MASINT.
He holds the office of president of the Louisiana Tech Engineering and Science Foundation.
He defines agendas at the board meeting and assigns members to committees.
He also communicates with finance and investment committees for the organization, among other things.
Morris said he was very pleased to be honored with the award.
He said the recognition is a reflection of the people around him.
"Any award you receive is also an award that recognizes your team," Morris said.
Bruce Willson, director of development for the College of Engineering and Science, said he and his department "couldn't be more proud of [Morris]."
"It is a significant award and a great honor for anyone to receive," Willson said.
Les Guice, dean of the College of Engineering and Science, and a Jack Thigpen, professor of civil engineering, said Morris is an outstanding representative of the students and faculty in the college.
"[Morris] has earned the respect of important people in the intelligence community."
Guice also said Morris "provides understanding of how organizations within the government function and enables the college to work effectively with those organizations."