Meet Our Alumni: Maridarlyn Gonzalez

Maridarlyn is a 2022 graduate from the MS in Geospatial Technology for Geodesign program.

Where are you from originally?

Cotui, Dominican Republic.

What was the best part of your time at Jefferson?

I really enjoyed the projects and I feel like I have built lifelong relationships with some of my classmates and professors.

What has having a Jefferson degree done for you?

As an alum of Jefferson’s Geopspatial and GeoDesign program, I was challenged to approach problems from a system thinking lens. Also, I was taught that Geodesign is a design framework that involves working with stakeholders to overcome spatial, systematic, and socioeconomic challenges and GIS is more than visualization; it is a data processing and analytical tool. These lessons were fundamental and have widened my understanding of problem-solving.

What are you doing now?

I am a public participation planner at the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. At DVRPC I have been able to explore my love of people and systems. DVRPC is known for its mission-driven work and its effective data and public engagement work.

What’s something people would be surprised to find out about you?

I am an immigrant, and I grew up in one of the toughest parts of the city of Philadelphia. I believe that that experience built me up resilient and infinitely optimistic. I am proud of my humble beginnings and can’t wait to see more people from North Philadelphia join the GIS and Geodesign field.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to our current students?

I encourage students to make meaningful relationships with each other and with those in the fields they aspire to join. Stay curious, generous, and always willing to learn.