Quality Control Chemist
City of Dallas Water Department

“My experience in the GIS program has been great. One of the good things is that it’s a very eclectic group of people, of all different ages and with all different backgrounds and experiences, many in a career change or who want a career change. I felt at home the first time I walked in the classroom, accepted and comfortable.

“I like to map water quality data, and I’ve used what I’ve learned in mapping classes to monitor pollutants in the environment, where water quality has improved and where it needs to be improved.

“The trip to Belize was a life-changing experience for me; I’d never been to a place so perfect, so pristine. It was like heaven on Earth. I thought I was at the end of my career, but when I think about the potential of what I’ve learned, I think maybe I’m at the beginning of my career.

“Belize was so mind-bending that I felt dysfunctional after I got back. There was such a disparity between the peace and solitude, the beauty and simple living with just basic needs, that when I walked out of DFW Airport and breathed the air, it was just an onslaught of neon lights and sound when all we’d been seeing for light was sun and stars. It literally made me sick. There’s just such a difference in what we think our needs are and what they really are.”

Jody Whitcomb is close to finishing a GIS Technician certificate at Brookhaven College and is working on an associate degree in GIS there as well; several of her core curriculum pre-requisites transferred from a previously earned bachelor’s degree in biology from Angelo State University in San Angelo, Texas. In her job as quality control chemist for the city of Dallas’ Water Department, she reviews analytical data used to create regulatory reports for the city’s water system.