Full Name: Shannon Corrigan
1) What major(s), minors, and/or certificates you are working on at UMD?
I am working on an undergraduate degree in Geography with a track in development and sustainability.
2) What are your interests within your program(s)?
Through my program track I have mainly focused on international development and foreign aid in my studies.
3) What previous jobs, internships, and volunteer experience have you had?
During my college career I have kept up with numerous volunteer organizations to continue giving back to my community and also participated in three internships to round out my learning. Volunteering has always been something I enjoyed and this year I have the opportunity to sit on the executive board for Colleges Against Cancer and help plan our campuses’ Relay for Life event this spring. While volunteering helped me get to know the UMD community and the surrounding area my internships have rounded out my studies and aided in understanding the path I can take with my degree. I had an internship with NOAA, where I worked to update maps to their new software system, Bentley V8i. Next, I took a brand ambassador marketing internship with Bobby’s Burger Palace to better understand the media and public image of a business. Currently, I am participating in an internship through a Department of Defense grant with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management.
4) Where you are from?
I am from Frederick, MD
1) Where you are interning?
I am interning at the University of Maryland with the Center for International Development and Conflict Management and remotely with AidData at the College of William & Mary.
2) What are your internship responsibilities?
I started the internship in June and my responsibilities have progressed to take on more of a leadership role. During the summer we had two research assistants from AidData come up from William & Mary to oversee our work. The research assistants were split into different teams to work on georeferencing aid projects in different sets of countries. My team worked on Libya, Sudan, South Sudan, Liberia, and Chad. Due to my georeferencing quality I became an arbitrator for our group, which meant that when the two research assistants coded it (double blind code) they assigned a different precision code to the aid project. As the summer progressed we began to learn the history, politics, geography, and administrative divisions of the countries to provide the best precision codes. Once the semester started the senior research assistants had to head back and another arbitrator and I worked to fill their roles with our teams. The datasets for the countries we have worked on are in their final stages.
3) What project(s) are you working on or contributing to?
From the data coded in the internship I have been working on analytical blog posts for Nepal and most of the countries on the Northern Africa boundary and a country profile of Burundi. The grant project is about aid resilience in conflict, so we have utilized conflict datasets from SCAD, ACLED, and UCDPGED and worked with the aid datasets we coded to look at them individually and then compare temporally.
4) How is the internship experience relevant to your studies in Geographical Sciences?
To best understand the relationship between the aid projects and conflict events in the country we create maps from the datasets to display the data together. Most of the students in the program are not geography students, so I have worked with them and pulled in volunteers from Geography Club to aid in the map making. The geography students and I have also worked to explain the geography of the country to aid in the analysis of the events and projects disbursement.
5) What are your career goals after your graduate?
After I graduate I hope to pursue my master’s degree and then work for USAID, the U.S. State Department, or the United Nations.