Student Profile

Risa Hiser

One of the greatest aspects of working for SCG was the hands on experience and opportunity to learn from community based projects. As a community initiative, all projects addressed concerns of local organizations which meant you were not only applying GIS learned in the classroom but you were also learning new GIS skills and research techniques in addition to how the organization provided services for residents, the problems the organization encountered and potential solutions to these problems. While interning for SCG I developed relationships with the local government through the GIS tutorials we developed and offered for municipal employees. These workshops lead to a summer internship in 2011 as a GIS specialist for the City of Syracuse. I applied the skills I had learned at SCG and developed a central database for the City and continued to train municipal employees in GIS. The internship turned into a full time position in 2011 where I held the position of GIS administrator and neighborhood planner. I oversaw 12 city employees who worked with GIS, and researched neighborhood development and growth through spatial analysis, and maintained the central spatial database. In the fall of 2012, I had the opportunity to co-teach a housing policy and neighborhood planning course at Syracuse University with the Housing Commissioner, where I taught GIS labs and neighborhood planning to 15 undergraduates, directly applying the GIS knowledge I had gained while working for SCG. In May 2013 I moved to Boston to begin research in land conservation for The Trust for Public Land, a national not for profit. At my current job, I continue to apply skills learned at SCG in spatial analysis, research, data mining, and graphic design.