Department of Geography
Katy Jones '10 Manages Refugee Resettlement Sites Across U.S. for D.C. Organization
- By Vibeke Bech Burley
During my undergraduate education at the University of Vermont I had the opportunity to pursue my academic interests in a variety of disciplines, but none fit so perfectly as Geography. I was introduced to the field during my sophomore year after enrolling in Geography 060: Race and Ethnicity, which covered topics from gentrification to block busting and redlining. I found analyzing topics through the lens of space and place to be a particularly useful way to understand social issues.
My junior year was spent abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark studying issues surrounding migration and identity. In Copenhagen, I concentrated my studies on the Danish policies surrounding immigrant integration efforts in the inner city region. In addition, I gained an understanding of the broader European immigration issues through field visits to Vilnius, Lithuania; Istanbul, Turkey; and the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany.
When I returned from Denmark, I continued my research in immigration issues by taking several human geography and GIS courses that allowed me to further purse my interests. My senior year was spent working as a Teaching Assistant for Geography 060 and acting as a Research Assistant for Dr. Bose. I also completed an independent research project on transnational elites and the spatial construction of expat communities in Singapore.
After college, I accepted an internship in Washington, D.C. with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrant (USCRI) working with the Reception and Placement program. After a few months, I was offered a full time position with the organization. I now work as a Program Assistant for USCRI supporting domestic refugee resettlement in six sites across the United States. In addition, I am the Program Officer for the Citizenship and Integration program in Erie, PA and Raleigh, NC.
I am grateful to have found such a supportive and tight knit community at UVM’s Geography Department.