Student Profiles & News

Student News

Biostats student wins best presentation award

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Masters student Eli Lovelace (BIOS '20) won the Best Presentation award in local Kaggle Competition using the web-based data repository. The Pittsburgh Data Science Meetup Group hosted a Kaggle Competition on February 18, awarding prizes in two categories: most accurate model and best presentation. Lovelace won first place in the best presentation category.  

Jenn Andrews (MHA ’20), Vizient, Inc. Fellow

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In summer 2020, I will be entering into a fellowship position in downtown Chicago with Vizient, Inc., the nation’s leading healthcare performance improvement company. Vizient has been recognized as one of the “Best Places to Work in Healthcare” (Modern Healthcare) and among “America’s Best Management Consulting Firms” (Forbes). I'm drawn by the emphasis on healthcare informatics & analytics, career development, and the breadth of projects.  

Totoni and Fabisiak examine lead contamination in hunted meat

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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH NEWS - MPH student Samantha Totoni (EOH '21), associate professor James Fabisiak, and BCHS's Martha Ann Terry look into lead contamination in hunted meat. Despite the mounting concerns over lead exposure from wild game, lead ammunition use continues as hunters and their families remain unaware or deeply mistrustful of the dangers. Who’s warning hunters and their families?  

2020 Best Poster Presentation - Jason Kennedy

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Congratulations to master's candidate Jason Kennedy (BIOS '20) who was awarded Best Poster Presentation at the annual Biostatistics Research Day on February 27 for his work on “The association between clinical phenotype cohesiveness and sepsis transitions after presentation.”   

2020 Best Poster Honorable Mention - Qing Yin

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Congratulations to doctoral candidate Qing Yin (BIOS '20) who received an honorable mention for his poster presentation at the annual Biostatistics Research Day on February 27 for his work on “Semi-parametric Shape Restricted Mixed Effect Regression Spline with Application on State-Wide Prenatal Screening Program Data.”  

Roberts and Hoffman featured in Hulu documentary on anti-vaccine movement

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HULU - Available now on the streaming service, Vice Investigates “Anti-Vaxx Fever” explores the growing anti-vaccine movement. The documentary features in-depth looks at the varied work of professor Mark Roberts and of student Beth Hoffman (BCHS ’19 ’23). Each uses system science methods to investigate the dangers of this movement, generating compelling images that are powerful tools for communicating science to the public.  

Samargandy and El Khoudary find that running can help aging women at increased risk of heart disease

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RUNNER’S WORLD – New research adds to growing evidence that the menopause transition is a critical stage for the acceleration of cardiovascular disease risk, according to lead author and epidemiology doctoral student Saad Samargandy. Senior author and associate epidemiology professor Samar El Khoudary says these shifts may be related to hormonal changes affecting arteries and veins that carry blood throughout the body, but exercise can be crucia... 

Erika Garrison (MHA/MBA '20), UPMC Fellow

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I chose the fellowship at UPMC because it is a national leader in health care and has exciting growth in the future. I wanted to be part of an organization that shared similar values and truly lived out those values. One of the biggest factors in my decision was my experience in my residency at UPMC Children’s Hospital. I saw firsthand the culture at UPMC and was surrounded by leaders who continued to support and encourage my personal and profes... 

Megan Preti (MHA '20), University of Virginia Health System Fellow

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The UVAHealth System Fellowship was my top choice, because it is both an academic medical center and one of the best hospitals in the state of Virginia. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Virginia, and I wanted the chance to give back to the community I had called home for four years. I am most excited about the fellowship structure. In the first year of the two-year fellowship, I will explore their service lines, while mov... 

Lydia Tiguert (MHA '20), Trinity Health Administrative Fellow

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I am an incoming Administrative Fellow at Trinity Health (Michigan HQ) in Revenue Excellence and currently an Extended Administrative Resident at the UPMC Innovation Center. Trinity Health was a top choice for me because of its location, culture, and fellowship structure. I am from Michigan and am thrilled to move back home after graduating with my MHA. I primarily pursued a fellowship at Trinity because they offer fellowships in not only operat... 

Ilham Abdi (MHA '20), Kaiser Permanente Administrative Fellow

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Kaiser Permanente’s Administrative Fellowship appealed to me for many reasons. Kaiser Permanente is the largest HMO in the United States and located in 8 states. It’s such a large organization that I have the potential to have multiple career trajectories within one organization. Fellows rotate through both their hospitals and medical group, with an optional 3rd rotation in any area the fellow wants to gain exposure in. I wanted to work within a... 

Ritu Pathak (MHA '20), UPMC Insurance Division Administrative Fellow

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My aspiration to pursue UPMC’s Insurance Administrative Fellowship was due to their unwavering focus on career development. Continuous education and a constant learning environment represent UPMC’s drive towards excellence in every facet. During my search for potential fellowships to apply for, I decided to narrow down my list based on two-year duration, IDFS organization, and rotational experience.  UPMC matched everything I was looking for in ... 

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Student Profiles

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Beth Hoffman, using systems science and social media data 

Beth Hoffman, using systems science and social media data

Doctoral student Beth Hoffman (BCHS '19 '23) uses system science methods to analyze social media data related to health topics such as vaping and vaccination. Her master's thesis examining anti-vaccine sentiment on Facebook through social network analyses was featured by multiple media outlets incl... (03/05/2020)
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Jessica Frankeberger, modeling social-ecological contributions to postpartum opioid use 

Jessica Frankeberger, modeling social-ecological contributions to postpartum opioid use

In her dissertation work, doctoral student Jessica Frankeberger (BCHS '23) will use spatial analysis and modeling approaches to understand the social-ecological contexts that contribute to opioid use and related problems among postpartum women. (03/05/2020)
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Jessica Thompson, using systems science in community health 

Jessica Thompson, using systems science in community health

Doctoral candidate Jessica Thompson (BCHS '21) is interested in community-engaged approaches, chronic disease prevention, rural and Appalachian women's health, mixed-methods research, and systems science approaches to community health research. (03/05/2020)
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Meet Ruishen Lyu, MS student in biostatistics 

Meet Ruishen Lyu, MS student in biostatistics

Just like with his interest in preventative medicine, Ruishen Lyu (BIOST MS '20) had two main reasons for choosing Pitt from among the other universities to which he was accepted. The first was the great reputation of a large research university like the University of Pittsburgh. The second was the... (01/29/2020)
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Students share practical advice on practica 

Students share practical advice on practica

A panel of six current students highlighted last week’s sixth annual Practicum and Internship Symposium, sharing their own experiences and tips on how to secure an internship. Perspectives were provided by faculty, staff, and administrators engaged in internship/practicum sites and advised students... (01/14/2020)
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Meet Ashika Mani, accelerated MS student in statistics and biostatistics 

Meet Ashika Mani, accelerated MS student in statistics and biostatistics

Ashika Mani (BIOST MS '21) joined Pitt Public Health this year via our Accelerated Bachelor's/Master's Program. “It was a pretty natural choice as I was looking to jumpstart my graduate studies early,” she said. “I was almost done with my undergraduate requirements.” She felt like she had so much m... (12/11/2019)
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Meet Dominic DiSanto, MS student in health data science 

Meet Dominic DiSanto, MS student in health data science

“I’m especially excited about my health data science concentration. It’s a very dynamic skill set and one that translates well to all different kinds of problems," said Dominic DiSanto (BIOST MS '21). "The curriculum in general looks like a very applied curriculum and the idea of having a consultin... (12/11/2019)
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Meet Arvon Clemons, MS student in statistical and computational genomics 

Meet Arvon Clemons, MS student in statistical and computational genomics

Part of what led Arvon Clemons to Pitt Public Health was the city of Pittsburgh. He felt a connection to a city that was similar to his hometown of St. Louis. His academic background doesn’t feel as congruous with his current study. But ultimately, both the city and the program are turning out to b... (12/09/2019)
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Meet Lingyun Lyu, Pitt Biostats MS graduate and PhD candidate  

Meet Lingyun Lyu, Pitt Biostats MS graduate and PhD candidate

Lingyun Lyu (BIOST PhD '22) is a second-year Ph.D. student in Biostatistics at Pitt Public Health. She came to Pitt in 2016 and earned her M.S. in Biostatistics in 2018. She loved the master’s program and thinks that it’s really well-designed. In addition to many essential statistical theory and ap... (12/09/2019)
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Meet Kayleigh Adamson, MS student in biostatistics 

Meet Kayleigh Adamson, MS student in biostatistics

Kayleigh Adamson (BIOST MS '20) is from Crawford County in Northwestern Pennsylvania. With about 60 people in her graduating class, she grew up a self-described rural country girl. She started college at Penn State Behrend in Erie, PA, transferring to main campus for her junior and senior years. At... (12/09/2019)