Institute for Families in Society

Faculty and Staff

Rachel Passer

Title: Research Associate/ GIS Cartographer
Department: IHPR
Institute for Families in Society
Email:
Phone: 803-777-7032
Rachel Passer

(MA)
After working as a GIS Specialist for a civil engineering firm in Upstate New York for about 3 years, I moved to Columbia, SC in October 2014 to join IFS on the Data Science and Visualization team.

My background is in human geography; I have bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Geography from SUNY Binghamton University and I also completed a Graduate Certificate in Applied Statistics here at USC. As many a geographer will tell you, place matters. My passion lies in researching, analyzing, and visualizing the intersection of health and place, and I love tailoring an analysis and design specifically to a project’s needs. I always wanted to use my background in geography to help vulnerable or underserved populations, and I feel lucky I get to do just that at IFS.

During my time at IFS, I have learned to get comfortable with the creative or uncharted side of data visualization. I think beautiful design hooks the audience in, and hopefully they stay for the interesting findings in the data. I enjoy innovating existing products, looking for opportunities to incorporate new geographic analyses into our work, and learning more about data-driven design.