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Student Experience

Studying GIST at USC

GIST graduate students at USC are key members of the university’s community of scholars who are poised to make their mark on the 21st century, contributing diverse viewpoints and fresh insights.

USC GIST Student Spotlights

Jo-Anne Antoun

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2013
Candidate for Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology

While completing my core and elective coursework, I competed for a senior GIS analyst position at Snohomish County’s planning department. I secured the position due to the extensive industry-specific knowledge... Read More

Allen Branch

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2017
Candidate for Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology

Being in commercial real estate for many years, I could see that the computer world was once again rapidly changing, and my industry was behind the technological curve... Read More

Trevor Denson

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2017

USC and the GIST program at the Spatial Sciences Institute have changed my life. The coursework was intellectually stimulating and challenging, and gave me the flexibility and skill set required to pursue a real-world thesis project... Read More

Robert Grotefend

Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2015
Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2017

I first began using GIS software while I was in the U.S. Air Force as a contingency response airfield manager to view and map airfield obstructions that were collected using GPS equipment during airport assessments and surveys... Read More

Lynnette Hudson

Candidate for Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology

I have been the public health emergency preparedness coordinator for Collin County government since 2015, where I coordinate preparedness, response and recovery activities... Read More

Nate Novak

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2016

While still completing my thesis I landed my dream job working at Orca Maritime Inc. in Imperial Beach, California... Read More

Kacey Johnson Pham

Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology, Class of 2015

While I was enrolled in the program, I was chosen for an internship with the International Medical Corps, a global, nonprofit, humanitarian organization... Read More

Devin Thomas

Candidate for Master of Science in Geographic Information Science and Technology

I work for an engineering consulting firm as a staff geologist. Before that, I earned a master’s in engineering science with an emphasis in geology from the University of Mississippi... Read More

Benecia Zahrani

Candidate for Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Science and Technology

My first experience with GIS began in a classroom at Fort Belvoir in March of 2000, where my training to be a topographic analyst in the U.S Army began. Fifteen years later I was still using the skills I developed then and added to over the years... Read More

GIST Student Testimonials

“The Web GIS course really helped me professionally. The exposure to Web GIS, and specifically the developer APIs and SDKs, shortened the learning curve when I transitioned from GIS analyst to solutions engineer.”
 — Colin Mattison, M.S. in GIST

“A month before defending my thesis for the USC GIST program, I was offered the position of geographic analyst with Nokia’s HERE Maps in Los Angeles. A large part of my job is field data collection: finding sources for new and updated map content and ensuring their accurate, real-world representation within the database. In our multi-camera, GPS-receiving vehicles, I’m on a mini-road trip every week.”
 — Emily Frazier, M.S. in GIST

“As a senior systems engineer at Boeing Space and Intelligence Systems, I gained new and different perspectives on the capabilities of the GPS satellites we manufacture. Our one-week field study on Catalina Island was one of many opportunities in which I found synergies with my aerospace background.”
— Dennis Nakasone, GIST Graduate Certificate

“I got my dream job as the technical lead epidemiologist for research and mapping with the County of San Mateo Health System because of the USC GIST program, thanks especially to the cartography and spatial analysis courses and the ability to show my thesis project to the interview committee (click here to learn more about the GIST Master’s Thesis).”
 — Corina Chung, M.S. in GIST