Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Congrats to the GIS Class of 2016!

Our seniors are heading off to bigger and better things, and they are certainly going to be missed at the GIS lab. Their hard work and dedication for the GIS Program is greatly appreciated and we are certain that each and every one of them will go on to do great things in the future!

A special congratulations to Josh Hyde and Stephen McFall, who will be starting their careers at Booz Allen Hamilton after graduation. The two interned there over the summer and dazzled the company. Read more about it here.

Our 2016 Seniors

Josh Hyde is an Anthropology Major and a History Minor. Hyde worked on the Maryland Highway Safety Office grant, focusing on traffic records improvement as a programmer. He worked on updating and testing an ETIX Geocoder that “can update location data and geospatial data for a given dataset. Once updated, this tool could be used on a county by county basis, significantly reducing the time students spend geocoding data.”

Stephen McFall is an Anthropology Major and has worked at the GIS lab for all four years of his college career. McFall has worked on the ECI Project, where he helped build a 3D model of the Eastern Correctional Institution in Google SketchUp. By adding textures in from Autodesk 3DS Max and importing the model into Unity, he created a virtual version of the prison to help prison guards organize and access important information.

Brian Gicking, a Mathematics Major, has worked at GIS since fall of 2014. The majority of his time at the lab was working for the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) grant doing crime mapping. He quickly became a huge asset to the GOCCP grant, completing all of the reoccurring projects, like Safe Streets, and supervising other students. He fell in love with being a crime analyst so much from working at the lab that after graduation he plans to pursue that career path. Gicking also developed a huge time saving method for student timesheets, converting all time to be entered digitally on an Ipad, thus saving many trees as well as saving the GIS office manager, Kelsey Newcomb, hours of time when processing student time sheets.

Brad Janocha is an International Studies Major with a Near Eastern concentration. Janocha has managed many projects for the lab, such as the Megacities project and mapping opiate use in Maryland’s Mid-Shore Region. Janocha also was one of the leaders for the training academy for the first year students who were interested in learning about GIS. After graduation, Janocha is considering signing up for the Peace Corp and in the future hopes to own his own business. Janocha was a finalist for Student Employee of the Year because of all his work at the lab.

Jeff Sherwood, an International Studies Major with a concentration in Peace and Conflict Studies, worked on the Governor’s Office of Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP) grant, as well as on the Washington’s World and Megacities projects. In 2015, Jeff won the USGIF Scholarship for excelling in both academics and GIS work. Sherwood also was one of the leaders for the training academy put on for the first year students who were interested in learning GIS.

Koppany Jordan started his GIS internship on the GOCCP grant. After studying abroad for a year in Morocco, he came back to the lab and was able to also work on the MHSO grant at the lab, creating statistical analysis on crash and citation data, as well as creating crash hotspot maps on demand for many agencies throughout the state. As an Economics and Political Science/Religion major, he had an interest in economic and business development through the lens of GIS. Jordan plans to work this summer here at the GIS lab before heading off to California to graduate school.

Jessica Gough is an Archaeology and Spanish Major and a Music Minor. During her time at GIS, Gough worked on the George Washington Atlas Project, which was a collaborative effort with Mount Vernon to assess Washington’s Southern Tour. She also was very involved in the back end of Geoworkshops, GIS’s professional development program.

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Hannah Ruff is an Art/Art History and Computer Science Major, and was the go-to person for web design and Photoshop. Ruff taught web design to the METS Guild students and also assisted in web development for other non-crime projects. Read more about Hannah here.

Leon Newkirk is an International Studies Major with a concentration in East Asia. Newkirk typically worked on general map requests as well as domestic violence, sex offender/daycare co-location, and homicides and shootings.He has worked on both the GOCCP grant and the Vehicle Theft grant. Newkirk also was a part of the team of students working on the Chesapeake Conservancy project.


Sean Emerson is a History and Political Science Major. He has worked on many projects during his time at the lab, including 3D projects and the Vehicle Theft grant where he worked on the monthly maps. Through his hard work and passion of GIS, Emerson was able to move up the guild and become a Journeyman Leader. Emerson is interested in using GIS for a career in national security. Read more about Sean here.

Hjordis Lorenz is a four year international student from Germany who majored in Clinical Psychology and minored in Spanish. For the past two years, she has been working at GIS on various crime mapping assignments (ArcMap) under the Governors Office of Crime Control and Prevention Grant (GOCCP) such as mapping locations of domestic violence, homicides and shootings or of recently released offenders. She has also worked on the Maryland Highway Safety Office (MHSO) Grant, focusing on DUI mapping and analysis. Lorenz was interested in working at GIS because it combines criminal behavior she learned about in class with real world data. For her future she is very interested in the interplay of crime and psychology.

Congratulations to our class of 2016! Thank you for all your hard work and good luck in the future!


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