Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Internationally Known

     Hjordis Lorenz, an International Student from Stuttgart, Germany, became interested in GIS after meeting Stew Bruce at a meeting for International Students. She decided to stop by the GIS lab to see if she could learn any more, and her visit turned into a job.

      Hjordis is a freshman, majoring in Psychology, with a minor in Spanish, and she hopes to eventually work in the field of criminal psychology. Although she has never considered herself to be very tech-savvy, she feels that the GIS program has many practical applications in criminal psychology, and is eager to learn how to use the technology.

      Despite not having a background in computer technology, she has learned a lot through hard work and perseverance. She says, “Through many hours of online training I learned how to make maps with ArcMap and have to admit, that I was quite proud when my first practice map was finished.” Although she feels that she still has a lot to learn, Hjordis says that she enjoys working with GIS more and more as she acquires new skills. “It is quite amazing what you can show with the right map.”

     Hjordis is motivated by more than just a desire to do well in her career. She has become interested in creating maps using information on domestic violence, such as police reports and locations of offenders’ residences. She hopes this work can both help raise awareness about the problem, and also create practical solutions by helping law enforcement officials visualize the problem and know exactly which areas require their attention.

      After graduation, Hjordis would like to pursue a career in criminal psychology. She is interested in helping victims cope emotionally with their experiences, and also in understanding why criminals behave the way they do. She feels that her knowledge of Geographic Information Systems will help her in achieving these goals. “My work at the GIS lab has given me a greater awareness of crime-related issues, and I am eager to apply this knowledge in a way that will help others around me.”

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