PEOPLE - Alumni Stories
Conversation with Christopher Campbell
Interview by Devon Moulton
How was your Rowan experience?
Chris: At Rowan University, I was a GIS major and a double minor in Planning and History and graduated in May 2019. Commuting to school wasn’t a sensible option for me as my home town is a fair distance away from the school, so I lived on campus for all four years of my educational career. This experience granted me the opportunity to gain my independence and adjust to life away from home, which was very enjoyable for me. I immediately fell in love with the GPS department after recognizing the camaraderie between students and professors, everybody was always cordial and willing to lend a helping hand. The structure of my classes as well as being assigned more labs and projects, as opposed to exams, really facilitated my success within my major by allowing me to apply my knowledge to real world problems.
When did you begin working at the Community Planning + Visualization Lab? Did this help shape your future work goals?
Chris: I started my position as a research assistant in the Community Planning + Visualization Lab during my senior year at university, in January 2019. I was tasked with applying my acquired knowledge of GIS to real world projects regarding environmental justice for underserved communities. Dr. Meenar allowed me to do independent research and find my own data in order to develop maps, which enhanced my skills tremendously. Upon graduating I successfully obtained a full time position as a GIS technician at Mott MacDonald engineering consulting firm. Working in the lab made me more versatile with my skills and prepared me to overcome any adversities I may face with future projects in my professional career of GIS.
Where do you see yourself in the near future? What about in the distant future?
Chris: I intend on continuing to work with GIS, preferably at my current job and within the state of New Jersey in order to get established in the field and gain new experience. I see a bright future in GIS and and would eventually like to work on bigger projects comprised of larger data sets, and can see myself potentially teaching the subject as I thoroughly enjoy introducing GIS and its associated assets to people who may not be too familiar with its potential.
What interests/hobbies do you have?
Chris: I have played street hockey recreationally pretty much my whole life and was on the club team here at Rowan, and I also enjoy watching it on television and following it throughout the season. A recent hobby of mine has been Geocaching, which is a free phone application containing millions of coordinates that users are tasked with locating using GPS. Once located, you sign the log stating you located whatever item was there, and move on to the next one, almost like a real life treasure hunt. Aside from all that I generally enjoy being around friends and family, going to the beach, and occasionally playing disc golf.