CORNER BROOK, NL –
Jessie Lister has 50,000 reasons to smile these days.
The graduate of College of the North Atlantic’s (CNA) GIS Applications Specialist program was recently awarded the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) Canada Scholarship, which is given to GIS students with a high grade point average and who have completed significant research using ESRI technology.
The award comes with access to software, books, training courses and a cash prize – all totalling approximately $50,000.
“I was pretty excited to find out I was going to be this year’s recipient,” said Lister, who also graduated from CNA’s Geomatics/Surveying Engineering Technology (Co-op) program in 2017.
“The ESRI Scholarship offers so much to a student/recent grad to further their education and network with industry professionals.”
She says her work, simply put, is all about creating maps.
Lister explains that GIS is a framework that gives the ability to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial and geographic data.
“My experience working as a surveyor has helped me immensely in the understanding of GIS concepts and will certainly be an asset in my future career.”
Born and raised in St. John’s, she recently returned to Newfoundland and Labrador to be closer to family after working in the oil and gas industry in Alberta and Saskatchewan.
Lister says working in the geomatics industry is her top priority. She recently accepted a position with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District as the new Student Transportation Systems GIS Specialist.
“My focus right now is starting a career in the GIS industry. There are a lot of different paths I can take in the field, as GIS spans many industries,” she said. “I am looking forward to exploring what kind of work is involved in different industries and honing my skills with the learning resources I have access to thanks to the ESRI scholarship.”
Darin Brooks, GIS Applications instructor at CNA’s Corner Brook campus, says he is proud of his student and her recent award win.
“I was so happy for her,” he said. “It is rare to find a student who shows an aptitude (and the subsequent ability to understand and perform) in all aspects of geoscience.”
Brooks says Lister showed a natural ability when it came to her work and had a clever way of solving problems.
“She frequently used her resourcefulness to find alternate, elegant solutions to problems or learn entirely new competencies on her own,” he said. “She displayed an exemplary work ethic, always approached her projects with professionalism and polish, and was generous with her knowledge in the classroom.”
As with all his students, Brooks says he has high hopes for Lister in the future.
“She will immediately make an impact on the organization fortunate enough to hire her,” he said. “I hope that she continues to grow as a geoscientist and paves the way for the new generation of GIS professionals.
For more information about the GIS Applications and other programs, visit: www.cna.nl.ca
College of the North Atlantic