Alumni & Friends
Check out what some of our recent Anthropology, Geography, and Geographic Information Science alumni are up to these days. Anthropology Alumni Dani Alexander (class of 2018) conducted and drafted the anthropology alumni interviews as part of a practicum project. Dr. Garrett Smith collected the geography alumni bios. Prof. Uli Ingram collected the GIS alumni bios.
Savana Deems, Anthropology, 2016
Savana Deems graduated with a B.S. degree in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University in 2016, and is currently a Project Manager/Archaeologist at Environmental Corporation of America (ECA). When Deems first began working at ECA, she was a Tribal Consultant and Project Manager, a position that she says was more cultural anthropology focused as it required Deems to consult federally recognized tribes about proposed construction projects. She would contact tribal leaders and consult with them about the projects to ensure that nothing of religious or cultural significance was impacted. Now, her current position allows Deems to get out into the field: “We handle a lot of federal projects and I'm assigned different projects across the U.S. I handle everything from conducting interviews and notifying newspapers, to doing the archaeology and writing all reports that go into a new project with federal government.” Continue reading the full interview with Savana Deems by Dani Alexander.
Paola Garcia, Anthropology, 2014
Paola Garcia graduated with a B.S. degree in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University in 2014. She currently serves as Admissions Specialist at Year Up, an organization that offers a one-year IT workforce development program to urban young adults with no viable pathway to college or a professional career (www.yearup.org). Garcia’s task is to assist applicants through the admissions process, including the interview process. She acquired the interviewing skills and ethnographic writing she uses every day from her major in anthropology. Paola is also the lead for the Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion initiatives locally, and she sits on the Diversity Advisory Council for the national organization. Garcia uses her anthropology skills to lead the local committee that delivers workshops to students on topics of diversity, inclusion, and equity. Continue reading the full interview with Paola Garcia by Dani Alexander.
Marion Tanis, Anthropology, 2015
Marion Tanis graduated with a B.S. degree in Anthropology from Kennesaw State University in 2015. Today, he is a Research Consultant with a brand strategy firm, a path that started with an internship in New York and acquiring a Masters in Advertising and Consumer Behavior from University of Texas at Austin. Tanis is responsible for conducting qualitative research, building discussion guides, and managing projects that include interviewing, media planning, and survey development. Tanis’s career started when he and three friends participated in a focus group about comedians Key and Peele. “I ended up pushing and following the guy that actually came to interview me. He got my resume in front of the people in New York. About a year after that, the consumer research that he was doing on me, I was then living in New York, doing it with him on other people.” Continue reading the full interview with Marion Tanis by Dani Alexander.
Raymond Jennings, Geography, 2014
Raymond Jennings graduated with a B.A. degree in Geography from Kennesaw State University in 2014. For a year now, Raymond has been working on a master’s program in geography at the Sorbonne in Paris, the “City of light”. Interestingly, the game of soccer and its global enjoyment sparked Raymond’s desire to study world geography. His geographical interests grew as he attended KSU. where he found that the geography faculty were always supportive and engaging. The first domino fell into place for Raymond when he attended study abroad in 2012, spending a semester in Tours, France. Living abroad was a big jump where the culture, customs, and language were dramatically different from what he knew. He had the opportunity to live abroad again two years later, after graduating with his B.A. degree in Geography from KSU, advised by Professors Mitchelson and Smith throughout his time as an undergraduate. Considering his prior experience in France, Raymond decided that studying geography at the Sorbonne made a great deal of sense. Having a preference for cultural geography related to language, Raymond decided to enter a program that allows him to apply what he learned in the classroom at KSU to his classes at the Sorbonne. Raymond has chosen a path that allows him the advantages of international experience and earning a graduate degree from an overseas university.
Hannah Knab, Geography, 2017
Hannah Knab graduated with a B.A. degree in Geography and a Certificate in Geographic Information Science (GIS) from Kennesaw State University in May of 2017. During her college career, she had the privilege to work with the Sustainability Office at KSU and created Kennesaw State’s first interactive sustainability web maps. This opportunity guided her to her internship with the Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability Department of Urban Agriculture. There, she was able to assist in the development of Atlanta’s first food forest and generated maps of the west side of Atlanta to present to a program called Choice Neighborhood. After graduation and determined networking, she was able to start working as a City Planner for the City of Norcross in the Community Development Department as of December of 2017. Her roles include issuing building permits and certificate of occupancies, coordinating all sustainable initiatives within the City and the Sustainable Norcross Commission, and leading all GIS projects. Now she can fulfill her dreams to help bring people together and make strides to live in an ecofriendly community.
Nick Price, Geography, 2014
Nick Price graduated with a B.A. degree in Geography from Kennesaw State University in 2014 with a plan to pursue a post-graduate degree in geography or a related field. Georgia Tech accepted Nick in its Building Construction and Facility Management (BCFM) graduate program. During his time in the BCFM program, Nick gained more knowledge in project management principles and processes. After graduating from Georgia Tech, Nick received an opportunity to work in the IT field as a project manager. Even though he does not have a degree in computer science or information technology he is able to use his geography degree in his day-to-day professional activities. Currently, Nick is an IT project manager for Amdocs Corporation-AT&T Division. Amdocs is a software and service provider for various media, communications and technology companies. Nick’s projects provide analytical support and business value to various AT&T entities company-wide. He uses geography every day to determine best times to host teleconferences depending on team member’s location and to check which markets are most impacted through his work.
Geographic Information Science
Robbie Bagby, Geographic Information Science, 2013
Robbie Bagby graduated with a B.S. degree in Geographic Information Science (GIS) from Kennesaw State University in May 2013. While at KSU, he was a GIS Intern for the Bartow County and Etowah Valley Historical Society where he mapped Civil War features, Native American villages, and reconstructed digital representations of archaeological sites from sketches and descriptions. He also worked with the Solar Land Surveying and Mapping, where he created residential, commercial, and topographic survey maps from field data collection. In May 2013, he began working with Cherokee County GIS as a technician, and was subsequently promoted to analyst, where he maintained enterprise GIS data and created a GIS website to aid in finding geospatial information throughout the county. In January 2016, Robbie began working with the Georgia Emergency Management & Homeland Security Agency. In this role, he coordinates with local, state, federal, and private sector partners to provide situation awareness to critical decision makers about hazards (natural and made made) that pose a threat to people and property before, during, and after emergency events. His GIS internship helped him learn concepts about web GIS that gave him a competitive advantage for his first job at Cherokee County. He believes that internship experiences take what students learn in the classroom and further their abilities by forcing them to learn on the job and with real life situations.
Michael Bellino, Geographic Information Science, 2014
Michael Bellino graduated with a B.S. degree in Geographic Information Science (GIS) from Kennesaw State University in 2014. Currently, he is a GIS Analyst with the Forsyth County GIS Department, where he works to make GIS a central part of the way the county makes decisions. Michael helped the county implement an open GIS data portal that lets citizens access local information. He is responsible for working directly with multiple departments on identifying project goals, needs, approaches and solutions. Prior to working at Forsyth County, Michael worked for Davey Resource Group in Alpharetta, Georgia as an intern and then lead-geospatial analyst. In the Spring of 2018 Michael began a Master’s program in Geospatial Services from Northeastern University. He aims to complete this degree within the next few years while continuing to serve the citizens of Forsyth County, Georgia. Michael believes the fundamental spatial analysis skills that he acquired from Kennesaw State University are instrumental in driving his GIS professional and educational careers.
George Thompson, Geographic Information Science, 2009
George Thompson graduated with a B.S. degree in Geographic Information Science (GIS) with a concentration in Urban Planning and a certificate in Information Technology (IT) from Kennesaw State University in May of 2009. After graduating, he worked with the Flood Hazard Management group at Atkins, creating all the mapping products for FEMA’s flood mapping program. In the fall of 2013, he used his experience working with Esri’s technology at Atkins to secure a job at Esri as a Geodatabase Analyst. He is now a Technical Advisor/Consultant with Esri and is responsible for the strategic and technical vision of Esri clients using GIS. He has given presentations on floodplain mapping at conferences all over the US and at the National ASFPM conference in 2013. George feels that KSU’s GIS program gave him the confidence and technical/professional tools he needed to be successful in his GIS career.
In this brief video, three graduates of our degree programs describe their experiences.