I am a recent graduate of the master’s in Geospatial Information Science and Technology program at North Carolina State University. Prior to my master’s degree, I obtained a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems, also from NC State. While completing my master’s degree, I served as a teaching assistant for a graduate level course in Advance Geospatial Analytics for three terms. My primary research interest is in how geographic information and visualization can be used as tools to inform public policy decision making and encourage citizen engagement, particularly as it relates to environmental and land use policy issues. I’m excited by the rapid growth of web technologies, mobile applications, and data mining as tools for governments and organizations to develop more robust geospatial inputs. I have a diverse background which has included political activism, community outreach, and public relations, as well as work in web development, environmental science, urban planning, and local economic development. Although broad, these experiences have prepared me well for tackling problems which emerge at the cusp of research and policy.
Prior to coming to NC State, I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Political Science and a minor in Environmental Science & Studies, which included a semester of research and study at the Institute for the Environment’s field site at the Highlands Biological Station. I also engaged in related undergraduate and graduate level coursework in the Department of City & Regional Planning. Professionally, I worked for the past few years in the marketing department of Weaver Street Market, where I coordinated public relations, outreach, events, and member services at various points in my tenure. During my time at Weaver Street, I served as the principal administrative staff to their board of directors, and provided representation to a number of community business organizations. In this capacity, I was unanimously elected to a one-year term as chair of the Downtown Merchants of Historic Hillsborough, and was active in local economic development efforts in all three towns in which Weaver Street Market operated. I also led a number of side projects, including their entry into the realm of social media, and the design and implementation of several changes to their web presence.
I recently served as co-chair of the Orange County Friends of Transit, where I helped lead a bi-partisan coalition of elected officials, community and business leaders, social and environmental activists, students, and ordinary citizens in a campaign resulting in the successful passage of a permanent five million dollar annual funding source for public transit in Orange County, North Carolina through a ballot referendum.
I’m also currently in my fifth year as an appointed member of the Chapel Hill Planning Board, and was recently re-elected the executive board of the Orange-Chatham Sierra Club. I have previously served as a member of the Chapel Hill Transportation Board, as the student government representative to the UNC Advisory Committee on Transportation, on the Orange County Local Revenue Options Education Advisory Committee, as a member of Chapel Hill’s Comprehensive Plan Initiating Committee, as a local issues columnist for the Daily Tar Heel, and as a member of the editorial board of the award-winning local political blog OrangePolitics.org.