Student Profile

Amory Hillengas

I learned about SCG by interviewing Jonnell (the Community Geographer) for my senior
thesis in which I mapped the Syracuse Food Desert. It was a perfect match with
my interests in GIS and social justice. One of my favorite projects was
creating a community garden parcel candidate map. This map provided a planning
tool that ultimately resulted in a new garden that would have a long term
effect on the community; it had a direct result which is what I enjoyed most. I
learned practical skills like GIS and research methods to make improvements locally.
Additionally, I gained experience collaborating with other community leaders
and a better understanding of how to apply spatial analysis to social issues. Since
then, I have worked at a couple of community development corporations and
nonprofits which lead me to further my education. Currently, I am working to
obtain my Masters of Urban Spatial Analytics at the University of Pennsylvania
which specifically focuses on GIS in application to an urban content area of
one’s choosing. My experience at Syracuse Community Geography was the kick-off
to my career path and also the confirmation I needed to go down it.

2015 Update: I am currently a Geospatial Analyst for the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Public Health. I work primarily on the Get HealthyPhilly initiative which focuses on nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco cessation. I attended the University of Pennsylvania for graduate school and obtained a Masters of Urban Spatial Analytics, a program which couples spatial analysis skills (GIS) with knowledge in an urban content area of one’s choosing. After graduating, I completed Azavea’s Summer of Maps fellowship which provides GIS student analysts the opportunity to perform geospatial analysis for local and national non-profit organizations.