It wasn’t easy picking the school and city where I would spend the next five years of my life. But FSU has shown to me that it is committed to nurturing me as an academic. The resources available provide the peace of mind necessary for me to focus on my studies. The financial help from the department, the active student body, the dedicated school administration, the quality faculty, and the great living conditions of the town itself all influenced my decision to enroll.
Motivation to pursue a graduate degree
I love reading, and at my old job I spent a lot of my free time reading to develop myself professionally. Eventually I realized that what I wanted to learn, I couldn’t teach myself. So I decided to go back to school. I’m confident that the new lifestyle my education will provide me has been worth the sacrifice.
Importance and impact of research
We are living in a new phase of the information age. For decades we have been producing increasing amounts of information, and now computational technology and theory has progressed to the point that we can harness the power from this information. Using statistics and computers we can digest information and extract new insights not previously known. My first hope is to use these methods to help advance our understanding of biology.
Being a professor would be a dream come true for me. But I am also open to any other path where I can continue to grow and help others and benefit my community.
Advice for anyone considering graduate school
It’s hard. Take it one step at a time. Like the gym says at FSU, don’t quit; take a break. Sometimes we set unrealistic timelines for ourselves and run out of breath. But slowing down a bit to catch your breath is not quitting. Life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Accomplishments during graduate career
Finishing my master’s degree in statistics gave me the confidence I needed to continue pursuing a PhD, and the McKnight Doctoral Fellowship will help me achieve that goal. I’m also proud of all the volunteer work I have done for my department to create an atmosphere of community and intellectual growth.