In the Department of Geography and Meteorology, we’re proud of our students and the amazing contributions they make to our department. We love to hear how their involvement in Geography and Meteorology is impacting their lives.
Meet Dan Council
GTU President and Human Geography/GIScience senior Dan Council is the focus of this Student Spotlight. Dan, who hails from La Porte in Indiana’s northwestern region, shares with us some insight into his experiences in the Geography Department, as well as his plans for the future.
1. What attracted you to Geography? Why did you decide to major in Geography?
I always enjoyed geography growing up, but I had no idea that a career in geography was a possibility until I came to Ball State. I took Geography of the Cultural Environment just for fun my freshman year, and it led me to learn about the existence of GIS and ultimately change my major to Geography.
2. What skills and perspectives did you learn from your Geography professors during your academic career here at Ball State?
I have been able to connect with many different professors in our department thanks to small class sizes. Our professors all come from varying backgrounds within Geography, and each one of them brings a unique perspective which has allowed me to develop an interdisciplinary experience during my time at Ball State.
They have taught me how to develop technical skills in Geography while also maintaining a critical understanding of geographic concepts and spatial thinking. Additionally, my professors have been more than willing to assist me in applying for internships, scholarships, and graduate school.
3. How do you plan to use your geography degree?
First, I am planning on obtaining a master’s degree before I enter the professional field. After that, my goal is to become a GIS Analyst of some sort, whether it be for a city, government agency, or private business.
4. What advice would you have for geography students, including majors, minors, and students taking classes? What can Geography offer someone?
Geography, in my opinion, is incredibly interesting because it allows you to learn about numerous different subjects while studying areas of our world. This includes but it not limited to history, culture, economics, and politics. By studying Geography, you gain access to multiple perspectives about different topics and the ability to think spatially about these topics. Geography offers technical skills like GIS, but it is far more than that. In our department, Geography offers four different concentrations, meaning there is something for everyone. I would advise geography students to try to try to get as involved as possible. Making friends with classmates and your professors will only help you out during your time at Ball State.
5. What are some of the highlights of your time in Geography (and GTU) at Ball State?
My time in Geography at Ball State has allowed me to study abroad in Costa Rica while earning credits towards my major. This was the highlight of my college career by far, and it is something I would recommend everyone do. Without participating in GTU, I would not have been able to find several internships, obtain numerous scholarships and awards, and meet many interesting people. Also, I was able to obtain the President position of GTU my senior year, which has helped bulk up my resume as I prepare for grad school.
6.Would you encourage other students to take geography classes? If so, why?
Absolutely, I would especially encourage students to take Intro to GIS. GIS is a skill that is growing in demand, therefore having some basic knowledge of how to use it will only set you apart when you are looking for jobs. GIS is widely used in many professional fields and its use will likely continue to grow.