The summer of 2017 is officially in full swing. With 10 student interns this summer, the WC GIS Program is in good hands as we begin our first week of project work. Having seven full-time staff members is beneficial for the students at a liberal arts college. The close student to staff ratio this summer allows for interns to thrive in an environment where there are always mentors available. The staff is grateful for the help from the interns on various projects such as Vehicle Theft, Victims of Crime Act, Maryland Highway Safety Office, Governor’s office for Crime Control and Prevention, and even non-crime tasks.
“Our GIS interns multiply the work force potential while providing us with starting material for our next most qualified student analyst project managers,” Luis Machado, GIS Project Manager on Non-Crime, stated confidently regarding the students.
In preparation for this summer, the GIS Program hired a variety of Washington College students with a wide array of skillsets to assist in the plethora of grants and projects that are in progress. So far this summer the GIS Program has hired four new interns. The summer is the perfect time to bring in new student hires since they are able to work longer hours to gain more experience and quickly grow their skillset. As the team works closely on a diverse array of projects, they build bonds and share the small victories of learning and working together.
Our summer roster of interns is:
Girija Ganeshan, Vehicle Theft
Erin Beach, GOCCP (Governor’s office for Crime Control and Prevention)
Sarlina Joseph, VOCA (Victims of Crime Act)
Ricardo Machado, MHSO (Maryland Highway Safety Office)
Jarvis Blake, High School and METS Guild Student, Vehicle Theft
Ronnie Hastings, Non-Crime
Danielle Lynch, Non-Crime
Caitlin Croke, Non-Crime
Anthony Wang, Non-Crime
Moira Nesbit, Non-Crime
The GIS Program functions slightly different during the summer than during the academic year. Student interns can work more hours, up to 35 hours per week, which allows them more time to dedicate to their projects. They have the option to work a full time internship that is not available during the school year, which is an important experience they can have on their resumes.
Girija Ganeshan, GIS Apprentice l, is a rising junior working on the Vehicle Theft Project this summer. This task includes plotting the coordinates of vehicle thefts and offenders on maps that she creates and sorts by district.
“I get to produce maps and tables by myself. I love taking responsibility and charge of what I’m doing. I learn a lot about the geography [of Maryland] from dealing with a variety of locations while working on this project,” Ganeshan explained.
Ganeshan chose to work for the GIS Program this summer because she loves the friendly environment at the office.
As a pre-medical student studying in a liberal arts college, Ganeshan said, “I highly believe in building my professional skills via gaining experience from different places rather than just the hospital or clinic. Multitasking, punctuality, organization, computer skills and communication skills are some of the skills that I improve by working here. Also as an International student, I gain a lot of knowledge about the geography and crime analysis structure which in itself is huge.”
Erin Beach, GIS Apprentice l, is a rising junior working on crime projects funded by the Governor’s Office for Crime Control and Prevention (GOCCP). Some of her tasks this summer include creating the monthly Welcome Wagon, which involves making maps for each county in Maryland with the locations and information of people who are on parole and probation. This data is paired with other datasets, like the location of sex offenders, to highlight any that live close to daycares. Beach also manages data regarding violent persons and other various crime data for the state of Maryland.
Beach explained that she wanted to work at the GIS Lab over the summer to, “learn more about GIS and programs such as ArcMap and ArcCatalog.”
Beach stated that, “Knowledge of GIS is a great skill to have, relevant to my environmental studies major, and looks good on a resume. It seemed ideal to work at a place that I am familiar with, where I can continue with my work from over the school year, that is convenient to live near and that pays well!”
Our students are trained to be extensions of our staff members by learning and providing learned skills in a proficient manner to complete projects for our clients. With an active and engaged summer ahead of us, the GIS Program is elated to welcome the summer interns into the office.