B.S. Biology: 1999, John Carroll University
Minor in Mathematics: 1999, John Carroll University
Minor in Probability and Statistics: 1999, John Carroll University
Ph.D. Genetic Epidemiology: 2004, Case Western Reserve University

At John Carroll University, I completed a B.S. in biology with two minors, one in mathematics and a separate minor in probability and statistics.  Then, I completed a Ph.D. in genetic epidemiology, which is the study of the genetic influences on disease, at Case Western Reserve University.  Genetic epidemiology combines a number of fields, including theoretical statistics, genetics, and public health / epidemiology.  My undergraduate coursework in advanced mathematics and theoretical statistics were key in preparing me for graduate level statistics and statistical genetics coursework.  For example, the graduate level coursework utilized skills learned in calculus, probability and statistics, linear algebra, abstract algebra, and numerical analysis as well as programming (C and statistical computing) courses.  All of that coursework together made my preparation for the graduate program equivalent to someone who already had a master’s degree even though I only had a bachelors degree.  On a personal note, I loved my time in the math department.  During my senior year, I commuted to campus, and I spent all my time between classes in the Quiet Study Room, and served as the secretary for Pi Mu Epsilon.  During my four years at JCU, I was a math TA, tutor, and grader, and I really felt at home in the math department community.

Today, I have a tenure track faculty position in the Division of Genetic and Molecular Epidemiology at Case Western Reserve University.  I teach one advanced statistical genetics course, which involves quite a bit of statistical theory development, thereby incorporating theoretical statistics and other advanced mathematics skills.  Most of my time is spent doing research.  My methodological research focuses on developing new statistical tools for analyzing family data.  My applied research focuses on understanding human genetic factors that influence tuberculosis (TB) susceptibility in Uganda.  This applied research brings together skills that I learned in my biology undergraduate major as well as applied statistics and epidemiology.

Narrative created 10/2008.