Hi, I'm Dorris.

I'm interested in public health, GIS, data visualization and instructional design.


My profile picture.

Current Research Interests

Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in Geography at the University of Georgia with an emphasis on public health and GIS. I am interested in how we talk about health, how we map health, and how we visualize health. I combine geographic information systems(GIS), data science, visualization with public health methodology in better understand the relationships with health and various phenomena across physical and virtual spaces. In addition, I also combine public health and GIS models in order to create innovative mobile and web mapping apps for health interventions and health communication. I am also interested using instructional design to create a variety of GIS related educational materials for a variety of audiences.

Public Health

My dissertation research revolves around women veteran’s health issues in terms of access for female veterans and overall satisfaction with the Veteran’s Health Administration. I am also interested in health communication and ways we can improve disseminating evidence-based health information to the general public along with specific groups such as educators and community groups.


My research revolves around using GIS to assessing spatial accessibility to health care facilities for women veterans. Specifically, I am looking at how to integrate traditional data sources, such as patient satisfaction surveys, and non-traditional data sources, such as Google Reviews, into spatial accessibility modelling.

Data Visualization

I am interested in creating data visualizations that assist with health communication and advocacy for public health related issues. For my research, I will create an web mapping app designed for women veterans to better understand the accessibility of VA Health facilities, identifying health and wellness resources that would be beneficial for women veterans, and information on VA eligibility along with organizations that help women veterans.

Instructional Design

I have a background in instructional design and instructional technology and have created custom modules and educational materials to make learning R less intimidating for a variety of learners. The ID models that I am most familiar with is the ADDIE model and the Dick, Carey, and Carey model.


Interested in seeing my work? Head over to my showcase site to see what I have been working on!

Other Interests


I do a bulk of my research in the R programming language. I also know HTML, JavaScript, and Python. Once upon a time, I knew C++ as well. My interest in instructional design stems from doing too many headdesks and facepalms when trying to figuring out a coding issue and pondering of ways of teaching coding in a fun and accessible way.


I like taking photos…what else can I say? I especially like taking nature pics and pics of my travels. Those actually go hand and hand come to think of it.


I am a registered yoga teacher(RYT 200) and teach alignment-based yoga classes and chair yoga classes. I currently run free classes for my fellow graduate students and I also teach a chair yoga class at the Athens Community Council of Aging. I am also on the Iyengar yoga Next Generation Outreach Committee which goal is to make Iyengar yoga more accessible to underserved and underrepresented communities.


I am currently a UGA Extension Office Master Gardener volunteer. I do the bulk of my volunteering at the UGA Extension Office at the Master Gardener Help Desk and I also do outreach events in the K-12 setting.

Latest Post

Oct 25, 2018

Hadley Wickham's Visit to UGA

This time last week, the much anticipated day finally arrived and Hadley Wickham came to visit my school. Also, my sinuses decided to do a number on me which I didn’t anticipate or appreciate 💀. That did not keep me from going to the planned events though 😬. Before the talk, there was a Q&A session with the PhD students. The main takeaway I got from this session is that there’s still hope for me(and anyone else) wanting to transition to a data science career without having to re-invent the wheel and it’s not surprising that I feel a bit inadequate despite all this schoolin’ I have had. ...Read More

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Don’t be a stranger! Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions!