Luke Zaruba named the 2023 Esri Innovation Program International Student of the Year

Photo of Luke Zaruba holding award

Congratulations to Luke Zaruba who received the 2023 International Student of the Year award by the Esri Innovation Program. Luke’s award was announced at the Esri Education Conference in San Diego, CA. Tim Walz, the Governor of Minnesota, who was the conference keynote speaker commented This was a really interesting project talking about urban mobility… I think it shows Luke’s boldness. Luke was selected as the top winner from a field of outstanding candidates from across the county. His award-winning project stemmed from a series of projects related to micro-mobility in Minneapolis. This project utilized diverse tools and technologies like Esri's suite of ArcGIS software, Python, SQL, and many other geospatial and data science tools.

Luke has also been recognized as the Minnesota GIS/LIS Graduate Student Scholar representing the University of Minnesota based on a project supervised by Dr. Bryan Runck. This project involves developing a near real-time data pipeline to extract and analyze spatiotemporal patterns of serious and fatal vehicle accidents in Minnesota, along with an application to easily interact with the data. He will present this project at the 2023 MN GIS/LIS Annual Conference in Duluth, MN this fall as part of the graduate student paper competition. We know he will do an outstanding job representing the university!

Since entering the MGIS program in Spring 2022, Luke has built upon a solid foundation laid during his Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Gustavus Adolphus College. His graduate studies have broadly focused on integrating his geospatial knowledge and background with the field of data science, providing the knowledge and skills necessary to develop cutting edge solutions for complex, spatial problems. Additionally, Luke has developed interests in data engineering, location intelligence, and geovisualization. His experience in the geospatial profession extends beyond his studies as he has worked in the field--first in the architecture and engineering industry and most recently in the field of insurance. More specifically, this summer Luke secured a GIS internship with Travelers Insurance in their Business Insights and Analytics Leadership Development Program.

Luke will complete his MGIS degree in December 2023 and he looks forward to continuing his work in the geospatial profession, specifically by focusing on helping to develop and implement solutions to work with and analyze big geospatial data. Another priority for Luke is to continue to prove the value and promote the adoption of using geospatial in a variety of different applications and settings. Outside of doing anything related to geospatial (which is quite rare), Luke enjoys being outdoors, travelling, and watching Gopher hockey.

Way to go, Luke!

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