Participants & Postbacs


Esther Février

Queen Village, NY
Amherst College ’13
Major: Mathematics & Black Studies

My name is Esther Février. I am a 2013 graduate of Amherst College. Late into my undergraduate career as a Math and Black Studies double major, I began to contemplate a public health career as a way to merge my focus and interrogate the social structures that influence our environments, choices, and life chances. Biostatistics offers an optic for me to examine the trends that point to major health disparities as well as potential solutions that mitigate the complex health challenges plaguing our current climate. In addition to the practical applications of statistics, this program will supplement my scientific understanding of the concerns underlying public health priorities. By growing into this field this summer, I anticipate gaining the skills, familiarity, and confidence needed to embark in a MPH graduate study program and ultimately work in any health-related field.



Lisbeth Acosta
Brockton, MA
UMASS Amhearst ’14
Major: Public Health
Minor: Sociology

My name is Lisbeth Acosta and this past May I graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. In a year or two, I hope to enroll in a Master’s of Public Health program. I might even take my studies further and go for a PhD. But before graduate school, I would like to get more public health experience outside of the classroom. I am not completely sure of what profession I want to pursue. However, I enjoy working with people and learning about health. Hopefully, my future professional endeavors allow me to do just that.

Jamaris Burns

Laurel, MD
Johnson C. Smith University ’15
Major: Mathematics
Minor: Chemistry

My name is Jamaris Janette Burns. I am a Mathematics major minoring in Chemistry at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte, North Carolina. I will be graduating with honors and a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Mathematics in May 2015. With the anticipation that I am going to love my experience this summer- I plan on applying to attend graduate school in September 2015 to pursue a Masters of Science in Biostatistics. I hope to become a statistician in a Public Health Department.

Grace H. Choi

Ellicott City, MD
University of Maryland, Baltimore Country ’16
Major: Statistics & Mathematics
Minor: Economics & Biology

My name is Grace H. Choi. I am 20 years old and from Ellicott City, Maryland. I am a rising junior at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. I am currently pursuing my Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics and Applied Statistics, with minors in Economics and Biology, and an Honors Certificate. My expected graduation date is Spring 2016.Following my undergraduate education, I hope to continue in the world of academia by earning a Master’s degree in Applied Statistics.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.28.23 PM
Nicholas Escanilla

Vernon Hills, IL
Lake Forest College ’16
Major: Mathematics
Minor: Psychology

Hello, my name is Nicholas Escanilla and I am currently on track to graduate from Lake Forest College in 2016 as a mathematics major. I have always had a passion for math throughout my academic career. In addition, I am a strong believer that nutrition plays a key role in preventing disease and maintaining good health, which sparked my interest in human epidemiology. The prospect of pursuing a career in biostatistics, and combining both of these areas of personal interest, captured my curiosity and excitement. Ultimately, I hope to further increase my understanding of biostatistics, epidemiology, and public health in order to complete a PhD program in biostatistics.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.28.34 PM
Lilyana Staight Gross

California State University, Monterey Bay ’16
Major: Pure Mathematics
Minor: Statistics

Lilyana Staight Gross is a pure mathematics major with a statistics minor at California State University, Monterey Bay. Lilyana plans to enter a Ph.D. program emphasizing in biostatistics in the Fall 2015, directly after she earns her undergraduate degree in Spring 2015. Her ultimate career goals are to become a university faculty member, conduct biostatistics research, and to take an active role in mentoring students as she has been mentored in the McNair and LSAMP Programs. Lilyana was recently awarded the Sally Casanova California Pre-Doctoral Fellowship.

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.27.45 PMTaylor Mahoney
Charlestown, MA
Simmons College, ’15
Major: Biostatistics
Minor: Mathematics, Biology

Taylor Mahoney, a local resident of Charlestown, MA, is a senior at Simmons College majoring in biostatistics and double minoring in mathematics and biology. Upon graduating this coming spring, Taylor plans to peruse a doctoral degree (PhD) in biostatistics in order to focus on her passion for statistical genetics. Taylor’s ultimate goal is to conduct research concerning the areas of maternal & child health, epigenetics, and biostatistics, with the purpose of improving the health conditions of both mother and child during pregnancy and the early years of the child’s life.

Havell Markus

Phoenix, AZ
Arizona State University Barrett Honors College ’17
Major: Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology

Hi.  My name is Havell Markus.  I am currently a sophomore, pursuing an undergraduate degree in Medicinal BioChemistry and Mathematics at Arizona State University, Barrett the Honors College. I plan to graduate in the year 2017 with both of my degrees.  After graduation, I plan to achieve an M.D. in radiology and Ph.D. in applied math.  My carrier goal is to revolutionize the medical field with mathematical applications.  My family is the biggest motivation in my life!

Emmie Roman-Melendez

Arecibo, PR
University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez  ’15
Major: Mathematics

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 2.28.13 PM
Savion Smith

Avondale, AZ
Arizona State University ’13
Major: Mathematics

Savion J. Smith was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He is an alumni of the prestigious Phoenix Country Day School (PCDS) ’09, Arizona State University Math-Science Honors Program (MSHP), and earned his degree in Mathematics B.S. from Arizona State University in 2013. In addition to his scholastic achievements, Savion is an activist who possesses a strong passion for the alleviation of disparities in healthcare and education. He has spearheaded programs such as PSAT Workshops in Title I schools, inspired underprivileged youth as a coach for the YMCA, and effectively promoted underrepresented students to realize their full potential in mathematics and science through his role as a mentor and tutor. For his combined success and passion, Savion was awarded the Joaquin Bustoz Memorial Scholarship and the André Levard Mackey Scholarship. His scholastic endeavors include earning a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and a Masters of Public Health (MPH). Savion will pursue his studies as a pre-med at Washington University in St. Louis beginning Fall 2014.

Christine Ulysse

Queens, NY
Cornell University, ’15
Major: Biometry and Statistics
Minor: Business


PoelsKamrine Poels

Fort Worth, TX
University of Arizona, ’14
Major: Mathematics

My name is Kamrine Poels and I just graduated in May 2014 from the University of Arizona with a B.S. in Mathematics. I am originally from Mexico, but I spent my teenage years in Fort Worth, Texas. I will be doing some research and taking some classes in statistics/biostatistics at Harvard University and I plan to apply to their Ph.D. program in Biostatistics that starts in Fall 2016. I would like to work in designing clinical trials, but I plan on using these two years to discover other areas of biostatistics to see if they interest me more.


Avery Ruan

Fort Worth, TX
Suffolk University, ’14
Major: Biochemistry and Psychology

Avery Yuan attended Suffolk University, Boston where she received her B.S.Magna cum Laude in Biochemistry and Psychology in 2014. Her senior thesis, “Cross-sectional study on the association of body mass index and smoking in relation to coronary heart disease”, was granted honors by the Department of Chemistry and biochemistry. In 2013, Avery received a full scholarship to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute funded Boston University Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics, where she started to develop a great interest in analyzing real health problems. She is currently preparing for and applying to graduate programs in Biostatistics.