Jim Mathews Award and Fellowship for Intelligence Excellence

The Jim Mathews Award, started in 2012 by Aurora WDC and to celebrate the 8th award year in 2019, was created to remember and acknowledge the lasting professional contributions to the field of Competitive Intelligence (CI) made by Mr. James (Jim) Mathews, who passed away in October 2011.

2018 Jim Mathews Award Winners

2017 Jim Mathews Award Winners

Last year’s Jim Mathews Award winners were  Micah Uveges and Holly Schnader. Read a little more about them below!

Micah Uveges is a part-time graduate student at the Georgetown University in Applied Intelligence with a 4.0 GPA and an officer in the U.S. Air Force. He holds an undergraduate degree from Liberty University in International Affairs with a specialization in Strategic Intelligence.

Before beginning my university studies, I did not know exactly what I wanted to be, but I did know that I wanted to make a difference, be part of something bigger than myself, and help others. As an undergraduate student, those passions aligned perfectly with an International Affairs degree that specialized in Strategic Intelligence. That passion was soon rewarded, and before I knew it, I was graduating Summa Cum Laude with a 3.86 GPA. Ever since I began diving into my degree, my long-term goal has always been to work in the intelligence community, but before I could do that I owed a debt to my country. Once finishing college, I commissioned into the United States Air Force and have been working in Air Force Special Operations Command for the last 4.5 years, gaining an intimate knowledge of how military operations are driven by intelligence. Additionally, I have continued my passion for intelligence by applying to a highly competitive Applied Intelligence graduate program at the University of Georgetown, earning a 4.0 GPA in the first semester.

Holly Schnader is a Senior Intelligence Analysis Major at James Madison University with a 3.778 GPA and four (!) minors including: Military Science, Computer Information Systems, and Honors Interdisciplinary Studies.

I grew up on a farm in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It seemed like everyone around me was mostly interested in futures tied to agriculture. However, I wanted something different, I was just unsure as to what that ‘different’ thing would be. A friend encouraged me at the end of my junior year of high school to purse an Army ROTC scholarship. I would be able to work towards something very different than anything I know, as well as the fact that money was extremely tight at home and I would be paying for college entirely on my own. At this point I hadn’t had a chance to look into school’s very much because I didn’t think I would be able to afford it, so I spoke with several people about my interests and a few suggested I attend James Madison University. I put my ROTC packet in with JMU listed as my number one option. After getting into JMU, I attended an event about different majors on campus, where a representative from the Intelligence Analysis major spoke to us. From that moment I knew that it was exactly what I wanted to do! I was intrigued by the combination of research, critical thinking, inventive ideas, and being able to work on a multitude of projects that use similar methodologies, but are on a different topic. Since them, I have excelled in my classes, obtained an internship at Northrop Grumman, and am on track to commission as an Army officer in either the intelligence branch or cyber branch.

About the Jim Mathews Award

Aurora WDC announced its intent of this award in summer 2011, when Jim was still in the industry, with the first awards presented in May 2012 in celebration of Jim’s memory and acknowledgement of his lasting professional contributions to the field of Competitive Intelligence (CI). Sadly, he passed away in October 2011 before the first awards could be bestowed; however, when he heard of Aurora’s intent a few months prior to his passing, he was honored to know Aurora wanted to create a lasting legacy surrounding his industry contributions.

Having known Jim for nearly a decade, we viewed him as exemplifying the “gold standard” in terms of professionalism in the business and competitive intelligence arena. More so, he always loved to speak to students about entering and making a career out of the intelligence profession, and what a noble pursuit it was.

Currently-enrolled university students (undergraduate and graduate level) can compete for one of two (2) awards to allow you to attend the annual RECONVERGE:G2 Intelligence Leadership Symposium as a Jim Mathews Award recipient. As a Mathews medal winner, your registration fee will be covered by Aurora WDC to the Symposium.

Additionally, each of the two award recipients will be allocated a stipend that supports travel-related expenses associated with their participation in the Symposium. Most importantly, students will signify to potential employers their desire to achieve the levels of professionalism in their own careers that Jim Mathews was widely known for.

Thank you for considering this opportunity to advance your Intelligence career and education, and do so in memory and honor of a great and highly-respected professional.

Distinguished Judges

We would like to thank the following professionals for their participation in judging Jim Mathews Award entries:

  • Babette Bensoussan (Australia, CI Fellow)
  • Andrew Beurschgens* (UK, CI Fellow)
  • Phil Britton* (USA)
  • David Blenkhorn (Canada)
  • Robert (Bob) Fowler* (USA)
  • Martha Gleason (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Kelsey Hare (USA)
  • Rostyk Hursky (Canada, CI Fellow)
  • Terry Kerby (USA)
  • Judith Leavitt (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Dan Mulligan* (USA)
  • Ellen Naylor* (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Clay Phillips (USA)
  • Fred Wergeles (USA, CI Fellow)
  • Sheila Wright* (UK, CI Fellow)

*Served multiple times.

Submission Instructions

The following are the qualifications you must meet to in order to be eligible to apply for the Jim Mathews Award. In your submission, submit a cover page with your application that provide your contact details and also clearly indicate how you meet or exceed each of the following:

Minimum:

  1. Be a currently enrolled (full or part-time) student at any accredited secondary (high school) or post-secondary institution of higher learning (e.g., college, polytechnic, university) – and provide (unofficial or official) student’s proof of registration in either the current semester (Summer or Fall, 2018 and/or Winter/Spring, 2019 term)
  2. Minimum 2.6 GPA (or 75 on a 100 scale) overall – be able to provide us a (student’s, unofficial) copy of the educational institution’s record indicating cumulative GPA

Important additional elements:

  1. Have a demonstrated interest in pursuing a career in business, competitive, (commercial) economic, and/or market intelligence
  2. Articulate a strong appreciation for ethics & professional values
  3. Demonstrate leadership qualities within student or extra-curricular, community and/or professional organizations
  4. Display high levels of curiosity and persistence in your coursework and assignments.

A group of between 4-6 highly experienced and veteran CI practitioners from around the globe, all of whom have achieved success and hired practitioners during their careers, will review and rank all of the submissions. Your probability of winning is dependent on the number and quality of applications submitted. The last 3 iterations of this competition have averaged thirty applications from students and institutions around the globe.

Please select one (1) of the following four (4) essay questions. Prepare a 1000-2000-word essay, which can and also should include any illustrative exhibits you wish to refer to from within your text. If they are not text-based, these will NOT count against your word limit – so use those visual aids smartly, as your response. You will be judged on writing and presentation quality, as well as your essay’s content and persuasiveness.

As in most educational assignments, please be sure to cite (using endnotes or footnotes) or reference any direct uses of others’ IP or expertise. Past winners have typically had at least ten of these in their responses – and many have had more, which also do NOT count against the word limit. On a separate (cover) sheet submitted with the essay response, please also be sure to note how you meet each of the six qualification criteria on the prior page, as well as providing your full contact details, essay word count, & any relevant documentation of your qualifications.

 

  1. Computers, automation, software, the cloud, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are all growing in prominence in the world of business organizations. As such, they also impact their intelligence units/practitioners. a) Describe how you think these technologies will impact intelligence work in the next decade – what will they affect? Where will they be significant in changing current work streams? How will this affect job prospects for individual’s intent on choosing intelligence careers? b) Choose one particular technology that you feel will have the biggest impact on CI practice in the next decade (i.e., the 2020s). Please explain why you think it will have such a big impact, describe how it will change practice, and suggest to corporate executives what they should be doing now to take advantage of this impending change.
  2. For decades, skills or traits like curiosity, persistence, critical thinking, and analytic capability have served intelligence practitioners well, but some observers think that newer or emerging traits, like humility, computational thinking, cross-cultural competency, social intelligence, or virtual collaboration, might serve their organizations better in the next decade (-s). a) Please describe at least six (6) new skills, knowledge, abilities, traits or experiences (aka, competencies) that you believe will be significant to an intelligence practitioner’s success in the 2020s and beyond. Illustrate how each of these competencies is being or would be utilized in real-world business contexts. b) Choose what you view to be the most important of these traits you listed (and explain why you picked this one over the others) and make a powerful case for how it can be developed, what practitioners should be doing now to acquire/enhance it, and how it might be measured and assessed.
  3. Many members of the general public are mostly unaware that there is even a discipline known as “intelligence” that is practiced by business persons and corporate groups. In the view of some veteran intelligence professionals, new venturers or entrepreneurs who are launching new businesses, or intrapreneurs who are trying to launch new products/services from inside their existing businesses can especially derive benefit from intelligence. a) Offer a strong argument for why and how intelligence practices and processes can be beneficial, if not essential, to both 1) entrepreneurs and 2) intrapreneurs.  b) Develop an innovative plan to help educate entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs about the criticality of intelligence practices and processes. In your plan, please offer a “campaign,” including marketing communication (an elevator pitch) about an educational or learning program that can raise awareness.
  4. Gathering and analyzing data/information in order to generate insights has always been a challenging, and potentially rewarding endeavor. One of the most “protected” and secured targets of intelligence is the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe (aka, MCU) fourth edition of its Avengers offering. As of October 2018, no one knows with any confidence what its title is, or what the major plot elements may be (spoiler: At the end of Avengers 3, half of the universe, including major characters/superheroes, apparently were eliminated by the villain, Thanos). Think about how you might employ (ethical and legal) intelligence practices and come up with a plan to develop insights about these two intelligence questions (i.e., title and main plot elements). a) Illustrate, using detailed descriptions and methods, how you would apply HUMINT (primary research) practices to generate insights. b) Illustrate, using detailed descriptions and methods, how you would apply secondary methods, and/or use employ emerging technologies to generate useful insights.

As a candidate for a Jim Mathews Award, you are expected to deliver the following to the review committee. Please send all submissions through via the automated submission system, or e-mail them to Dr. Craig Fleisher at Craig.Fleisher@AuroraWDC.com. In either case, you should receive a timely confirmation of our receipt of your application materials.

  • No later than January 15, 2019 (Tuesday): all submissions due by 17:00 EST
  • Week of Feb. 11, 2019: Short interviews (by phone) take place with award finalists
  • March 4, 2018 (Monday): Final selections and notification to award recipients

The winners will be present at G2 Annual Conference, a CI leadership symposium being held this year at the Fluno Executive Center at the University of Wisconsin in downtown Madison, Wisconsin, USA from April 22-25, 2018. Mathews Award winners will get to present their award-winning essays and gain exposure not only to leading CI-related speakers, workshops and practices, but also interaction with a network of veteran CI practitioners. We look forward to seeing all of our applicants, and particularly the two winners, for an outstanding exchange of ideas and time! For more about RECONVERGE:G2, please see: http://g2.reconverge.net/

Jim Mathews Award and Fellowship

The submission deadline for 2019 is January 15, 2019.

Past Award Winners

2012 JMA Winners

2012

Bridget Finn (Mercyhurst U.) & Shawn Ruminski (Mercyhurst U.)

2013 JMA Winners

2013

Nita Heeg (Algonquin C., Ottawa) & Mary Kate Daley (Mercyhurst U.)

2014 JMA Winners

2014

Sarah Stokes (Mercyhurst U) & Selina Zhang (Algonquin C., Ottawa)

2015 JMA Winners

2015

Lisel Douglas (Algonquin C., Ottawa) & Monica Perez (Mercyhurst U.)

2016 JMA Winners

2016

Nhi Tran (Mercyhurst U.) & Joshua Bailey (James Madison U.)

2017 JMA Winners

2017

Thomas Hamby (Mercyhurst U.) & Connor Hamel (James Madison U.)

Biographical Sketch of James E. Mathews

James E. (Jim) Mathews spent more than 30 years in the Defense Industry, and the last 14 in Competitive Intelligence (CI) and Price-to-Win (PTW). His whole career was centered on winning new business and he was the Lead CI Professional and/or PTW leader/co-leader on some of the largest winning proposals his company had engaged in in his last years of practice. His resume wins included the realignment of NORAD and Cheyenne Mountain (ISC2), the Joint Strike Fighter (The F-35), Coast Guard Deepwater (Recapitalization of all Coast Guard’s assets), High Altitude Airship, the Littoral Combat Ship (fast fighting ship for the shallow waters of the littorals), War Fighter Focus (Live, Virtual, and Constructive Training for the Army for the next 10 Years), and a multitude of Service Jobs and Classified Projects. Jim was medically retired from the US Air Force where, at one time, he was an Airborne Voice Controller for the Apollo program for NASA.

Jim received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of Florida and a Master of Science Degree in Contract and Acquisition Management from the Florida Institute of Technology. Following a successful career at Lockheed Martin, he retired early in 2003, and joined Raytheon for just over three years as Director of Deal-To-Win, followed by Northrop Grumman TASC for 5 years as Director of CI/ Position-To-Win before joining Booz Allen Hamilton in December 2010 as a Principal on their GO Team.

He and his wife Bonnie resided in the McLean, Virginia area, and were die-hard Florida Gators fans. Jim had a passion for seeing young people succeed in their careers, and was always a willing mentor to professionals of any age who had a desire to learn.

Jim Mathews

Jim Mathews Award Application

Prefer to submit via email instead of online? Download our hard copy application.