IDCE student, Nick Cuba (GISDE/M.A. ’11), won Second Place in the 2010 URISA Graduate Student Paper Competition! His paper, “Geographic Characteristics of Resettled Refugee Populations in Worcester, MA, FFY09,” was deemed exemplary by the Review Committee and chosen from among an extremely competitive group of candidates.
Cuba’s study uses GIS and spatial statistics to examine how the location of refugee residences may impact refugee community formation, access to healthcare providers, public transportation, and jobs; important aspects of refugees first few months in America. Cuba analyzed data collected by Lutheran Social Services of New England for Worcester, MA, of 542 resettled individuals. The importance of his research relates to the necessity of efficient, cost-effective decision-making throughout the resettlement process to ensure medical and financial obligations to those resettled are met at minimum cost.
Past Clark graduate, Claire Brill, also received a graduate student paper competition award in 2008 for her paper “Using GIS to Contrast Perceived Versus Preferred Priorities for Brownfield Redevelopment in Worcester, MA”. 2007 winners included two Clark students, Safaa Z. ALDwaik and Tomáš Václavík, for their papers “The Corridor: Using GIS to Propose Satisfactory Transportation Paths between the West Bank and Gaza Strip” and “Identifying Trends in Land Use/Land Cover Changes in the Olomouc Region, Czech Republic” respectively.
The Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is a nonprofit association of professionals using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other information technologies to solve challenges in state / provincial and local government agencies and departments.
URISA promotes the effective and ethical use of spatial information and information technologies for the understanding and management of urban and regional systems.
More information about URISA can be found here – www.urisa.org/2010StudentCompetitionResults
Nick’s paper can be downloaded here – www.urisa.org/files/CubaN_studcomp.pdf