Program Alumni

What are Summer Program alumni up to now?

Rolando Acosta, ’15
PhD Student, Department of Biostatistics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“The program was a major component of my decision to pursue a PhD in Biostatistics. It helped me identify my weaknesses and strengths as a researcher. The introduction to different research topics and health problems helped me narrow my research interest and made me conscious of how I could use my computational and quantitative abilities to help people. I can say with complete confidence that I chose the Biostatistics Department at Harvard because of my experience in the program.”

Sarah Anoke, ’11
Yerby Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Biostatistics
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“As an undergraduate student, I knew that I wanted my eventual career to involve mathematics and public health, in a way that provided a more immediate benefit to society than basic research could allow. It wasn’t until my participation in the Biostatistics Summer Program at HSPH that I discovered that biostatistics contained the quantitative rigor and the tangible societal benefits that I was looking for, and more. I was able to hear talks from several researchers in a wide range of applications, and I was able to put together a biostatistical research project from start to finish. The program broadened my perspective on the practical applications of mathematics and statistics, and showed me how flexible biostatistics is: with a good statistical skill set, I am able to work in almost any health-related field I choose.”

Cassandra Arroyo, ’96
Lead Statistical Analyst
Barnes Jewish Hospital

“I fell in love with Biostatistics because of the summer program. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go as an undergraduate student. I learned so much and that went beyond just learning about Biostatistics.”


Kara Keller, ’10
Department of Statistics
Purdue University

“My experience in the Quantitative Sciences Program at the Harvard School of Public Health was my first exposure to graduate school and applications of mathematics. The program set me on the path of research collaboration, community involvement, and applied statistics. It was a great opportunity that I was blessed to have been given.”

MTadesse Mahlet Tadesse, ’97
Professor, Department of Mathematics and Statistics
Georgetown University

“I was fortunate to participate in the Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences at HSPH in the summer of 1997.  It was a great experience. In addition to introducing me to the field of biostatistics and allowing me to see the exciting opportunities available for a student with a math major, it demystified the graduate application process, gave me the confidence to apply to top graduate programs, and pursue my graduate studies at Harvard.”

Tchetgen Eric Tchetgen Tchetgen, ’99
Luddy Family President’s Distinguished Professor of Statistics
The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
Adjunct Professor of Biostatistics & Epidemiologic Methods
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

“The summer I spent in the department of Biostatistics at HSPH, generously hosted by the Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences was a crucial turning point in my academic life. During those months in Boston, my days were spent completely submerged into the intriguing world of public health through the distinct lens of quantitative methods with daily interactions with my faculty mentor and other professors at the school. I concluded the program with a newly found appreciation for the power of empirically-based evidence to inform sound biomedical and public health decisions.

Today, I have personally begun to reap some of the benefits from that initial seed that the summer program planted into my intellect. In 2006, I obtained a Ph.D. in biostatistics at HSPH, followed with two years of post-doctoral work as an HSPH Yerby Fellow in the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, and I am now an associate professor with appointments in both departments. My story is one of the many success stories of the very diverse body of summer program graduates who would equally testify to the important influence that the summer program has exerted on their development as health scientists who use the power of mathematics to improve the lives of others.

Gary Yu, ‘ 04
Associate Research Scientist
New York University,  Rory Meyers College of Nursing

“This program was instrumental in introducing me to a new field of study and inquiry. It provided me an entry point to discover the fields of public health and biostatistics.  I ended up becoming a biostatistician myself and finishing my doctorate of public health in biostatistics at Columbia in 2014.  Along the way, I founded and started the BEST (Biostatistics Enrichment Summer Training) Diversity Program in 2007 modeled after the Harvard program.