Alumni Spotlight 2022
Alumni Spotlight 2022
While a student in the geography department, Alex Webb (’20) took Professor Micheline van Riemsdijk’s age of migration course – a study abroad course in Oslo and London. The experience provided Webb with a broader perspective and ignited her passion for international education.
“Not only did this course lay the groundwork for my academic, and now personal, interest in international migration, but it also gave me the opportunity to experience places, people and ideas that were literally foreign to me,” Alex said.
After finding her academic passion for international migration, Alex pursued research opportunities within the department, such as working for a graduate student and presenting at conferences to hone the skills she would need to earn a graduate degree. She followed her passion to the Netherlands where she earned a Master’s degree from Erasmus University.
Alex lives in Rotterdam and works as a teaching assistant for the School of Social and Behavioral Sciences at Erasmus. She is working on converting her thesis into a policy brief focused on advocacy.
“In my free time, I am writing essays and op-eds about issues that I am passionate about, including international migration, refugee resettlement, politics, and gender,” said Alex, who received a scholarship to attend an Op-Ed Project workshop, which facilitates access to publishing opinion pieces for women and minority groups.
Emily Craig (’19) serves as the sole GIS staff member for the East Tennessee Development District, fulfilling all the organization’s map and data related needs. In 2020, TDOT requested Emily take the lead in mapping the Cumberland Historic Byway for a Federal Highway Administration application seeking National Scenic Byway status. Her responsibilities included provision of a statewide reference map and nine inventory maps displaying scenic features along the byway.
In 2021 the application was deemed a success. As a result, counties and cities located along the byway now have access to federal grant funding and national marketing through the National Scenic Byways and America’s Byways programs.
“Seven of the eight counties are economically-distressed or at-risk, so access to these resources have the potential to make a large impact on the region in the future,” Emily said. “Also, thanks to the designation, Tennessee is fourth in the country for its number of nationally recognized scenic byways.”
Explore Emily’s storymap to learn more about the project.