MGIS Student 2021 Awards and Recognition

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Congratulations to our ten students who graduated with their MGIS degrees in 2021!  Due to COVID-19, we held a Virtual Graduation Celebration on May 13 followed by a small in-person celebration at the Campus Club where graduation gifts were distributed. Our Fall 2021 graduates were able to celebrate in-person at our May 2022 MGIS Graduation Reception. Visit the job placement page to see the current positions of these accomplished graduates.

Megan Marsolek has been awarded a Science, Mathematics and Research Transformation (SMART) Scholarship-for-Service. The program is one of the Department of Defense's STEM initiatives that combines educational and workforce development opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students in STEM programs to build technical skills and experience to support national security. The program covers full tuition costs and provides a stipend and summer internship opportunity for Megan in Summer 2022. 

Rongxuan (Ronnie) Zhu and Emily Cavazos both received a Minnesota Population Center (MPC) Diversity Fellowship for summer 2021. Ronnie worked on a research project that examined COVID-19 and childhood obesity while Emily worked on a project led by Eric Shook and Tracy Kugler. This fellowship supports undergraduate and graduate students to work with MPC affiliated faculty and staff on demographic research projects or IPUMS data infrastructure projects.

Although the pandemic continued to deny our students the opportunity to secure Esri UC Student Conference Assistantships and other awards, Adam Null was named the 2021 UMN Esri Innovation Program Outstanding Student of the Year.

Lucas Rosen is the graduate student recipient of the 2021 UMN Minnesota GIS/LIS Student Scholar Award for his project Using Interpolation and Spatial Autocorrelation to Measure Soil Health in Potato Fields; Bryan Runck is his adviser on the project. Audrey Hyke received the same award in the undergraduate category for her project GIS-aided Community Regenerative Design; Len Kne is her adviser on the project. Lucas and Audrey did an outstanding job representing the UMN at the student paper competition session at the 2021 Minnesota GIS/LIS Conference in late October.

A MGIS student was among the winners of the 2021 U-Spatial Mapping Prize competition. Congratulations to Emily Cavazos for winning Most Transformative Map (Graduate Student) for her entry The Inextricable Link between Anti-Fatness +  Anti-Blackness.

Finally, a shout out to all our students who participated in internship and research assistant (RA) opportunities in summer 2021. Doug Griep had a GIS internship with Sentera. Emily Cavazos was a RA for the Mapping Prejudice project. Mary Heise continued as a RA for the Polar Geospatial helping to facilitate the delivery of high-resolution satellite imagery in support of federally-funded researchers doing work in polar regions. Megan Marsolek was an Autonomy Technology Research Center summer intern in the Computer Science Department at Wright State University helping them to source, manage, and organize geographic data into other ATRC interns' machine learning algorithms. Luke Rosen, who was working with Bryan Runck last year, had a summer internship with Toro, the lawnmower company, where he is conducting research on creating predictive models for turf management.

Congratulations to all our students and graduates for persevering during a very challenging year!

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