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Curious how our alumni use their geography degrees? Scroll through the lists below to see!

Alumni Spotlights:

“The UNC Geography Department challenged me to think critically about the spatial organization of society and the relationship between meaning-making and place-making. My interest in local government and planning is very much grounded in ideas I engaged with during my undergraduate GEOG courses.”
Ashley Ownbey (BA ‘14, MPA and MCRP ‘20)
Planner with the City of Mebane

“My experience with GIS at UNC paid big dividends as a military pilot. A lot of our flight planning software uses interfaces very similar to ARCMap. I was well ahead of my peers when it came to utilizing GIS-type programs.”
Evan Gumbel (BA ‘15)
KC-130J Pilot, United States Marine Corps

“I am working on a new research project at work about how shared identity between a student and their tutor (race, gender, and region of DC) impacts student growth. This work was inspired by my conversations in the department of Geography about identity and how it impacts us in our day to day lives. My time in the department of Geography inspired confidence in myself. In these classes, I learned to be comfortable designing and implementing my own research project. It was one of the first times that I had created research that truly excited me, rather than merely checking off boxes.”
Elyse Armstrong (BA ‘20)
Site Coordinator at Reading Partners, AmeriCorps

“I don’t work as a geographer, but my time with UNC geography impacts my work everyday. I work in injury prevention and active living for a local health department. I spent time working with city planners to help them consider the impacts of planning decisions on rates of traffic injury and physical activity. I use my geography skills to use GIS software, study local plans, and better understand the relationship between residents and the place they live.”
Laura Thomason (BA ‘16)
Health Policy Coordinator

“I’m using my minor in geography to understand (oral) health disparities in North Carolina — connecting social-geographic concepts like the state’s current most dentally underserved counties are the state’s historically slave-holding counties. Using these skills to recognize and understand these disparities and to help address them. Geography has given me a unique perspective on the world and the people that live across it. It’s allowed me to look at maps differently and understand how to see the deeper meaning and context of populations and landforms. It’s also helped me connect dots and see patterns that otherwise would be missed. Finally, it’s allowed me to better connect with my patients who come from all across the Sandhills, Piedmont, and coastal plains for care at the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.”
Shadoe Stewart (Minor ‘11)

“My geography degree has been incredibly helpful in my nursing career thus far. Many wouldn’t think to pair geography and nursing, but the lessons I learned about access to healthcare, context, and the impact of culture on health have proven to be very helpful. I also think that geography has helped me to see the “bigger picture” when caring for my patients and their families. My geography degree pushed me to become a better researcher and a more skilled scholarly writer, which has positively impacted me now that I am back in graduate school to become a neonatal nurse practitioner.”
Lauren Hitchings Lucas (BA ‘17)
Nurse in the Neonatal ICU at UNC hospital

Other positions our alumni hold include:

  • Coach/Mentor in the Field Delivery Section of the Recovery Division with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Manager, Partner Services at FOX Sports
  • GIS Analyst at the City of Shelby
  • Director of Business Operations at Center for Banking and Finance at UNC School of Law
  • Asset Records Administrator
  • Data Specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • GIS Content Engineer at Esri France
  • Research Associate
  • Associate Scientist II at Duke Human Vaccine Institute
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Enterprise Specialist at Esri (Environmental Systems Research Institute)
  • Chief resident with the department of pediatric dentistry at Indiana University and Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN
  • AmeriCorps Vista; community development work for the nonprofit Tube City Renaissance in McKeesport, PA 
  • Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Texas A&M University
  • Kindergarten – 2nd grade Reading Interventionist (reading teacher) Officer in the Army Reserves