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Westminster College Honors Student Heads to National Collegiate Honors Conference in Atlanta, GA

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Posted on Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Alina Clough, junior honors student at Westminster College, was accepted into the 2017 National Collegiate Honors Conference to be held in Atlanta, GA later this year. Clough will present her poster entitled “Philanthropic Cartography: Crowdmapping Rural Tanzania with OpenStreetMap (OSM).”

“I am very much looking forward to heading to Atlanta with Dr. Hicok and hope this project is able to shine a bit of light on the technological aspect of development," said Clough.

In her research project, Clough uses the Tanzania Development Trust as a case study to examine the effectiveness of crowd-sourced mapping technologies as a development tool. 

“The [Tanzania Development Trust] combines a global network of volunteer mappers with grassroots teams to work with communities in rural Tanzania,” explained Clough. “Using the maps, the Trust helps girls affected by child marriage and female genital mutilation find escape routes to safe homes where they are then provided with vocational training and family counseling.”

The theme of the conference is “Just Honors,” and will explore justice both as an academic focus and also the role honors can serve in addressing issues of access, equity, and technology in education according to

Clough says the emphasis on research is one of the main reasons she loves Westminster.

“All of the professors here have given me so much support to explore outside of my major through self-guided research,” added Clough.

Last year, Clough and her classmate Tyler Heintz attended the Northeast Regional Honors Council and presented their astronomy research. Clough and Heintz built a program to project sky maps over Cambridge, Massachusetts up to one million years into the future.

In the future, Clough hopes to take advantage of Westminster's Yonsei exchange semester to begin learning Korean, and would like to eventually pursue a master's in international political economy.

For more information, contact Tom Fields at or 724-946-7190