I am an AssisTim Hawthorne headshot for GSURCtant Professor of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in the Department of Sociology and a member of the GIS Research Cluster Initiative at the University of Central Florida.  I am a broadly trained human geographer with deep interests in community geography, qualitative GIS, and critical GIS.  Community geography is a subfield within geography that seeks to engage academics and community organizations/residents in shared knowledge production focused on community-engaged research that benefits real-world communities.  Qualitative GIS and critical GIS both seek to critically examine ways to extend the capacities and applications of conventional GIS approaches.

Most of my research and teaching utilizes innovative methods integrating qualitative data and mixed methods into GIS analysis.  My published work focuses on: 1) accessibility to healthcare, social services, urban greenspaces, and higher education; 2) critical GIS and qualitative GIS including new methodologies such as “satisfaction-adjusted distance measures” to healthcare providers and “critical reflection mapping methodologies” for examining the socio-spatial perceptions of new research sites; and 3) geographic education, service learning, and international education.

I earned my PhD in Geography in 2010 from The Department of Geography at The Ohio State University where I worked under the direction of Dr. Mei-Po Kwan.  I received my M.A. in Geography in 2005 from the Department of Geology and Geography at West Virginia University where I worked under the direction of Dr. Daniel Weiner.  I am also a 2003 graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University where I received a Bachelor of Arts degree majoring in Geography with a minor in English where I was advised by Dr. John Krygier.

I also serve as Chair of the Applied Geography Specialty Group for the Association of American Geographers.  I also serve on the editorial board of The International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research.  I am Founding Director of The Geospatial STEM Academy funded by The Verizon Foundation.  The Academy is a STEM education program for Title 1 high school students to engage with geospatial technologies (including geographic information systems and drones) in real-world, community-based projects.  I am also a co-founder of the Belize Geosciences Exchange (BGX) program along with Dr. Christy Visaggi of Georgia State University.  The BGX program provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students from all disciplines to learn about community-based, international research experiences that focus on social and environmental disparities in Belize.  As a former faculty member at Georgia State University (GSU), I was recognized by the GSU Honors College with their most prestigious mentoring award as I received the 2015 Faculty Award for Undergraduate Research and Mentoring.