Alysha Alloway Recognized for her Award-Winning Project

Alysha Alloway standing on light rail platform

Recent MGIS graduate, Alysha Alloway, was featured prominently on the University’s news page for her award-winning project, A Better Way to Get There, which explores how the homeless interact with transit in the Twin Cities, and how a community can create a transit system that meets the needs of all its citizens.  She is an outstanding example of how you can enrich your graduate school experience by undertaking research, participating in internships, gaining teaching experience and volunteering.

Alysha received her undergraduate degree in Arabic and Geography with a focus on Urban Studies from Macalester College. After getting a taste for the power of geospatial science as an undergraduate, she entered the MGIS program to further develop her knowledge and skills. Not only did Alysha challenge herself by taking advanced GIS courses but she put her learning outcomes to use in a variety of ways.

She worked as a teaching assistant for the Mapping Our World course and later helped to develop updated course materials for Spatial Digital Humanities. She also worked as a research assistant for the Minnesota Design Center (January-May 2019) and the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (September 2019 to present). Alysha was awarded a Diversity Research Fellowship, which involved working with the Institute for Social Data Research and Innovation at the Minnesota Population Center. In addition to these research and teaching opportunities, Alysha worked as a GIS intern at the City of St. Paul. This allowed her to gain valuable practical experience applying her GIS knowledge and skills.

Along with her MGIS colleague, Lauren Strug, Alysha won the UMN MN GIS/LIS Student Scholar Award and represented the university at the student paper competition at the annual MN GIS/LIS conference in October 2019. They did an outstanding job on their paper "Twin Cities Spatial Clustering Analysis Using Twitter and Transit Data" and captured the second-place award. Additionally, Alysha’s story map based on her A Better Way to Get There research won the most provocative/transformative award for the 2019 U-Spatial Mapping Prize competition.

Alysha completed her MGIS degree in December 2019 and is poised to have a very successful career in GIS. Alysha is currently looking for roles at the intersection of her interests in the public sector, nonprofit work, and using data and mapping to further community work. Congratulations to Alysha and all of our recent graduates for their hard work and achievements.

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