Student ProfilesThe Institute seeks to enroll up to 120 talented and motivated students each year in its Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) degree program. The current roster is provided below. For additional information about our students, see the annual Admissions Report.

Employers interested in hiring analytics professionals are welcome to contact us. Resumes are provided freely upon request. Please contact us to receive your copy. The Institute offers individualized assistance without cost to employers throughout the recruiting process.

See the previous class rosters in the Archive.

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Master of Science in Analytics, Class of 2021

Robby Alberse Robby Alberse
B.S., Statistics, UNC–Wilmington, 2017
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Having always displayed an affinity for tinkering with numbers and technology, it was only a matter of time before Robby’s interests led him to a career in analytics. During his undergraduate years at UNC-Wilmington, Robby first took business, computer science, and mathematics classes. Looking to combine the three into a field of study right for him, he took a statistics course and quickly realized that he found what he was looking for. Eager to use what he had learned, Robby began applying analytical techniques as a manager at the UNC-Wilmington Campus Life Events Office. Utilizing predictive models, he improved his team’s scheduling efficiency and their performance in setting up the thousands of events held on the campus each year. Simultaneously, he developed a passion for leadership, and an ambition to analyze data with greater depth, breadth, and knowledge.

After graduation, Robby worked as a data analyst at Hillrom, a medical equipment company, to develop meaningful reports and dashboards that drove decision making. As part of a small analyst team, he took on projects from a variety of business sectors to increase efficiency and enhance visibility into data insights.

In his spare time, Robby plays a wide variety of games, ranging from recreational sports, including soccer and volleyball, to lawn games like Kan Jam and Spikeball. He is always looking for something new to learn. He enjoys taking on small electronics projects that challenge him, improving his abilities at playing guitar, and routinely reading books about topics that intrigue him.

Sophia Allen Sophia Allen
B.S., magna cum laude, Business Administration, NC State University, 2018
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Sophia’s passion for data has led her on a continuous search for new analytics projects. While working at MetLife, Sophia discovered an opportunity to build a web application using Dash. She worked together with a data scientist and three software engineers to analyze data and write the code for the web application. In addition to using Python, she utilized visualization software including Tableau and PowerBI for data exploration and reporting. This project provided her with the experience of working on a technical team with knowledgeable and skilled members.

Sophia has experience working in the following industries: financial services, energy management, and agriculture. Throughout her work, Sophia is a team player who offers excellent interpersonal communication and leadership skills. She is a high performer who creatively solves problems and motivates her team.

Sophia brings forward diversity and a record of goal achievement. During high school, she lived in Russia for two years, which provided her with the unique opportunity of living in a foreign society as a developing young adult. Her diverse background and life experiences have shaped her to be culturally sensitive and respectful. Sophia’s record of achieving goals includes obtaining both domestic and international high school degrees, completing a marathon, obtaining a NC Real Estate Broker License, and attaining the Toastmasters International Level 1 certification.

In her spare time, Sophia enjoys taking her dog for a run, working out daily, assisting her sister in fundraising for the Wake County animal shelter, and volunteering with Read and Feed, an organization focused on increasing literacy in children.

Jessica Archibald Jessica Archibald
B.A., summa cum laude, Psychology, NC State University, 2020
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A writer of realistic short stories, Jessica has always enjoyed turning routine information into descriptive narratives through which the world can be explored and better understood. Inspired by impactful experiences within research, Jessica’s interest in uncovering hidden meaning has grown to include the world of data and analytics.

After working as an accountant, Jessica, driven by her desire to understand and improve the lives of others, decided to return to school and pursue a degree in psychology. During her studies, she became extensively involved in a diverse mix of research projects. One such example examined the relationship between coping methods and self-perception within older adults, which she presented at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research Creativity Symposium (SNCURCS). Additionally, as a summer research assistant at Yale University, Jessica investigated social cognition in dogs for a project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

It was through this wide range of research topics that she became captivated by the expansive power of data and analytics. Continuing to build her knowledge, Jessica worked as an intern for NC State’s Enrollment Management and Services, cultivating skills in handling sensitive data as well as in data visualization. In this role, she created an interactive dashboard used throughout the university to analyze information about student enrollment as a metric of university funding.

When not working, Jessica enjoys volunteering at retirement homes to call Bingo or serve as a chair volleyball referee. She also finds time to support her elderly neighbors by helping with their grocery shopping, computer tech issues, and housework. This is a rewarding way for Jessica to enrich the lives of others while gaining great inspiration for her creative writing.

Ashley Avis Ashley Avis
B.S., summa cum laude, Mathematics, NC State University, 2018
B.S., summa cum laude, Mathematics Education, NC State University, 2018
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Ashley’s accomplishments reflect her passion for people and the community. She received the Park Scholarship based on her academic excellence, community service, and character and was also named a 2018 Truman Scholar for her public service and leadership. Her public policy proposal was an integrated mentorship program for rural students across North Carolina. While still in college, she founded and directed the program, Meet My Future. It was introduced to her hometown elementary school to empower students to see themselves in various careers and improve their future outcomes.

As an intern for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, Ashley became aware of the power of data analytics. She collaborated with the Educator Effectiveness Department to make data-based decisions and support local education agencies in using data to improve educational outcomes. As a capstone project for the internship, she presented her research about UNC System attendance differences based on a student’s rural or urban background to the UNC Board of Governors.

As a high school math teacher, Ashley discovered a disconnect between the theories developed from data and their application in the classroom. She led her team in using analytics from state tests and classroom observation to apply the tools available to them. She listened to her teammates’ concerns and the goals they envisioned for math learning and helped them improve student learning through conceptual understanding.

When she is not working, you will find Ashley with her friends and family over a home-cooked meal. She may be discussing or reading about how to improve herself and her community. When she needs a moment of rest, you will find her with her husband and dogs in the beautiful North Carolina mountains.

Ashwin Balasubramaniam Ashwin Balasubramaniam
B.Tech., Mechanical Engineering, SRM Institute of Science and Technology, 2019
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Coming from an engineering background, Ashwin has expertise in both statistics and mathematics. Ashwin’s academics and interest in computer science fueled his passion for data analytics. During his graduate studies, he worked as a Research Assistant in natural language processing and artificial intelligence, where he co-authored a paper about detecting problem statements in peer assessments. While working as a research intern, he developed several novel deep learning models, which helped his team gain a significant edge in the research of AI.

During his undergraduate studies, Ashwin actively engaged in his university’s Directorate of Student Affairs, where he led a team of 110 members and helped the management make significant decisions. His love for data helped him spearhead the Laboratory Inventory Management Application Project using SQL, which is still being used by the Industrial Engineering department. Having developed business skills from his father, he co-founded a social media marketing company, RxInfinity, where he actively applied his analytical skills to promote data-driven insights provided by his clients.

Outside of working with data, Ashwin is a Governor Awardee Scout who spends most of his time outdoors, either bouldering rocks or hiking trails. He is an Alpha grade mountaineer with experience scaling the Himalayas and the Western Ghats. When not outside, Ashwin loves to code and build models and is a district-level typewriting champion. He is also active on Reddit and claims to be a meme expert.

Sierra Birade Sierra Birade
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Administration, California Polytechnic State University, 2020
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Sierra’s enthusiasm for data analytics stems from wanting to make data more understandable to a broader audience. This passion was sparked while working on a project for her dad where she worked to model and understand a new accounting standard, Current Expected Credit Loss (CECL). Her first project was to replicate the results of a known model and interpret the results. At the start of this project, she had very little knowledge of data analytics and struggled to understand what the model was trying to communicate. After a year of undergraduate studies, she returned to the project. Sierra created her own forecasts and models and was finally able to explain the results effectively. This experience taught her the importance of communicating findings to a non-technical audience.

Sierra continued to pursue this passion with a credit risk internship at Boeing Employees Credit Union (BECU). During this internship, she continued her work with CECL and created a comprehensive modeling guide based on the guidance set out by different accounting firms. She and two other interns were also tasked with cleaning and analyzing BECU’s auto loan portfolio. After analyzing the data, they then put together a presentation suggesting a new potential product to BECU’s executives based on their analysis.

Sierra has been participating in track and field since fifth grade and has been a volunteer coach at both the middle school and club level. She continued her career in college as a javelin thrower on the Cal Poly track team. Despite shoulder and knee surgery, her passion for the sport never wavered. Her journey as a javelin thrower taught her the importance of grit, hard work, and perseverance.

Nathan Biyani Nathan Biyani
B.S., cum laude, Public Health, University of South Carolina, 2016
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Storytelling has always felt magical to Nathan because it creates a cohesive narrative out of individual events. Nathan knew that he wanted this feeling to drive his career, and analytics has provided this for him.

Nathan experienced this magic at Clemson University when he studied the role that demographics play in student involvement. At the project’s onset, Nathan received a spreadsheet full of incomprehensible data, with what seemed like random numbers positioned in random places. After hours of massaging the data, however, the story hiding within the data became clear: certain demographics actively take part in university programs, while others do not.

Discovering this was immensely satisfying, but Nathan’s adventure did not end there. He also presented his findings to the higher-ups of Clemson’s College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences (CECAS). Now, armed with these findings, these higher-ups can enact change to increase the involvement of low-participating demographics. They can positively affect future Clemson students and put them in the best situation to succeed. Not only was Nathan able to turn the data into a well-crafted story, but he was able to use that story to leave a positive impact on the world.

When he is not trying to change the world through analytics, Nathan enjoys rooting for the Boston Celtics and discovering new restaurants. He also enjoys playing board games, especially Settlers of Catan, and going on hikes.

Jordan Blackwell Jordan Blackwell
M.B.A., NC State University, 2019
B.S., cum laude, Business Administration, UNC–Wilmington, 2014
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Jordan’s passion for analytics began in elementary school when he filled binders of data from his sports dynasties on PlayStation in the hopes of improving on his previous strategies. Always wanting to know how and why things work, Jordan built a computer at age 13, and he knew from then on that he was a lifelong learner.

Following his curiosity, he majored in management information systems at UNC-Wilmington, where he discovered how business and technology could work together. In his last year of college, Jordan decided his goal for the first few years of his career: find out how IT infrastructure works on a large scale and why it is essential to organizations.

After his undergraduate studies, Jordan worked at Credit Suisse in Research Triangle Park for six years as a Windows Server Administrator, a Database Administrator, and a Database Engineer. While at Credit Suisse, he co-led and managed a project to migrate almost 200 applications from a legacy data warehouse, saving the company nearly $2 million annually. Three years into his career, Jordan decided to enhance his business, financial, and leadership skills by pursuing his MBA at NC State, specializing in financial management. His fascination with data and continual improvement persists today, and he hopes to combine his IT industry knowledge, MBA, and analytics to provide well-crafted solutions to complex business problems.

Insatiably inquisitive, Jordan spends his spare time running, lifting weights, playing basketball, learning photography, contemplating the big questions in life (coming up with more questions than he started with!), and investing in the stock market. A reading buff, he enjoys reading about philosophy, history, self-development, and business.

Chase Boozer Chase Boozer
B.S., cum laude, Applied Mathematics, NC State University, 2020
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From leading a team of five soldiers in Iraq to working with Orange County Emergency Services during a COVID-19 relief mission, Chase has always been proud to serve his country in the Army National Guard. On his second deployment to Iraq, Chase created a new operations center for his platoon. By coordinating with several individuals and delegating tasks to the soldiers under his command, Chase successfully transported all equipment and personnel to the new location within a short timeframe. Within 24 hours of arrival, he was able to securely establish satellite communications across four countries, exceeding the expectation of his command.

In April 2020, the National Guard commissioned Chase to aid the Orange County Emergency Services in their operations during the COVID-19 crisis. Chase used his knowledge in analytics to predict personal protective equipment usage rates by local emergency medical departments. With these predictions, Orange County Emergency Services was able to direct funds appropriately and never experienced distribution shortages. For his service in Iraq and response to the COVID-19 crisis, Chase was awarded the Army Commendation Medal and the Army Achievement Medal, respectively.

After hearing about a team of data scientists developing tools to detect lung cancer accurately, Chase decided that analytics would be the best way to positively affect the world around him. His passion for analytics grew after taking an econometrics class, where he applied his analytic abilities to North Carolina high school students’ data to predict standardized scores.

Between completing deployments and schoolwork, Chase enjoys camping and hiking with his dog, Elsa, at Uwharrie National Forest. He also is an avid NC State Athletics and Carolina Hurricanes fan and takes pleasure in attending tailgates and sporting events.

Cooper Brooks Cooper Brooks
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Administration, NC State University, 2020
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As an enthusiastic world traveler, Cooper discovered the importance of storytelling and efficient cross-cultural communication at a young age. The distinct cultural variations and social structures she encountered while traveling incited her fascination to understand the diversity of thought, culture, and experience. This interest soon drew Cooper to the field of analytics. During two internships, she sought to explore inherent cultural influences on consumer and business decision-making. Cooper hopes that through encouraging the appreciation of cultural differences, she can instill in others the belief that while our personal experiences are not universal, the effort to learn from one another can be.

Cooper developed her dynamic business acumen as a cross-disciplinary data analytics and consulting intern in finance, auditing, entrepreneurship, and commercial real estate. Shortly after her first internship, Cooper was selected to join the NC State Business Analytics Honors Program. Within the program, she developed interactive decision tree diagrams, regressions, and neural networks to determine the influence of demographic and procedural risk factors on a patient’s likelihood of hospital readmission.

Her balanced communicative approach allows her to relay actionable insights to those without technical backgrounds. As a storyteller, Cooper quickly discovered that it is often not through words, but rather through visualizations that analytics becomes truly universal. Her Tableau expertise conveyed investing strategies to 1,600 of North Carolina’s business, government, and community leaders at the 34th Annual Triangle Commercial Real Estate Conference.

Given her mission to connect those around her, Cooper developed her passion for mentorship and community development. During college, she served as a Resident Assistant and mentored 198 students by discussing strategies for achieving their academic, professional, and personal goals. In her free time, Cooper enjoys cheering on the Wolfpack, watching musicals at the Durham Performing Arts Center, and exploring new restaurants.

Madison Brown Madison Brown
B.S., summa cum laude, Exercise Science, George Washington University, 2018
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Growing up, Madison played multiple sports and dreamed of becoming a Division I athlete. Her passion for team collaboration, game strategy, and mental toughness ultimately led her to volleyball, which she played all four years of college at NC State University and George Washington University. Each program taught Madison valuable lessons about team dynamics, positive culture, and leadership. While Madison found success on the court, she also excelled in the classroom, earning the Milken Institute School of Public Health Distinguished Scholar Award, Outstanding Senior Project Award, and Senior Female Scholar-Athlete of the year award.

Madison was first introduced to the world of data analytics during her collegiate volleyball career. Game strategy and the starting lineup were constantly updated based on previous performance statistics. She experienced first-hand the benefit of using statistics to improve her performance and that of the whole team.

Before graduating, Madison interned with the FDA on a project investigating the usage of patient-reported outcomes as either primary or secondary study endpoints in clinical trials of biologics products. Through this experience, Madison learned the value of capturing the patient’s voice through subjective data.

Following her positive experience at the FDA, Madison pursued a career in the pharmaceutical industry, where she worked for two years at a small start-up company called Sprout. During her time at Sprout, Madison worked on multiple projects that spanned several departments, including medical affairs, marketing, sales, regulatory, and customer service. Madison saw how each department relied on data and statistics to make informed business decisions.

In her free time, Madison enjoys spending time with friends and family, walking her recently rescued dog, Ruby-Doo, and playing sports.

Kristi Bubeck Kristi Bubeck
B.A., Art Studio, Coastal Carolina University, 1999
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Innovative, organized, and dependable, Kristi routinely seeks to streamline processes and develop protocols that ensure consistency and accuracy. With keen attention to detail and unwavering dedication, she can be relied upon to bring both an analytical eye and a creative perspective to any project.

Having spent over a decade as a business manager, Kristi honed her skills in a multitude of diverse areas. Her accomplishments include standardizing the frameworks for tracking multiple inventory streams, establishing structures for calculating and monitoring profit margins, and instituting a formal training program for new employees. Through these efforts, she extended her propensity for organization and efficiency into systems that improved company outcomes. Inspired by these experiences, she recognized the opportunity to elevate her business acumen and become formally trained to utilize the ever-growing array of data at her fingertips.

In the summer of 2018, Kristi returned to school to pursue foundational coursework in statistics, programming, and analytics. Completing 18 courses, at both undergraduate and graduate levels, she successfully maintained a 4.0 GPA and completed certificates in Database Programming, Finance Analytics, Marketing Analytics, and Business Intelligence. Her academic achievements were further recognized through acceptance into Gamma Beta Phi National Honor and Service Society, Phi Theta Kappa International Honor Society, and the National Technical Honor Society.

Kristi loves to travel and experience diverse cultures, customs, and cuisines. Some of her favorite destinations include the Portuguese islands of the Azores and Quebec City, Canada. As an avid hiker, she enjoys exploring natural scenery while traveling and is known to seek out waterfalls, hot springs, and snorkeling destinations, wherever the opportunity presents. Kristi also enjoys reading historical fiction, working to expand her culinary repertoire, pursuing her many creative interests, including photography and jewelry design, and making the most of her patio garden.

Taylor Burch Taylor Burch
B.S., with Highest Distinction, Statistics and Analytics; Exercise and Sport Science, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2020
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When he sped through multiplication tables in third-grade math class, Taylor realized how much he loved math. As he grew up, his desire to solve more complex problems pushed him to data analytics. Taylor completed several analytics projects during his undergraduate studies, including an analysis of NFL first possessions, which he presented at the UNC-Chapel Hill 2019 Fall Research and Making Expo. His growing passion for analytics led him to a job as a Technical Analyst at NC Area Health Education Centers during his senior year. While there, Taylor used Tableau to assess program metrics and produce data-driven graphics for statewide health education initiatives in North Carolina.

Alongside his passion for data analytics, Taylor spends his time immersed in sports. He plays whenever he can, watches all kinds of games on television, and carefully selects his fantasy teams. To combine his two primary interests, Taylor attempts to find his way into roles positioned at the intersection of sports and analytics. He started this by working as a student manager for the UNC Men’s Basketball Team, enabling him to explore data through team statistics. As a manager, Taylor learned valuable time management and teamwork skills while balancing his studies with his role on the team. Additionally, he earned a summer internship with the Charlotte Hornets in basketball operations. In this role, he helped produce an NBA Draft reference guide filled with statistical analysis of draft candidates. Owner Michael Jordan and general manager Mitch Kupchak used this guide to inform their decisions for the 2018 NBA Draft.

Taylor’s problem-solving nature carries over into his hobbies as well. He enjoys playing strategy board games, specifically Settlers of Catan. He has enjoyed taking trips to national parks and considers the unique beauty of Zion National Park his favorite.

Andrew Burns Andrew Burns
B.S., summa cum laude, Chemical Engineering, NC State University, 2019
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Andrew found his love for data during college when he joined Consult Your Community (CYC), a student-run organization that supports small businesses with pro bono consulting services. His projects ranged from search engine optimization to in-store customer analysis. During his time with CYC, Andrew learned the impact data can have on helping organizations make informed decisions and the value of effective communication.

Exposure to a variety of industries led Andrew to gain new perspectives on successful teamwork and organizational growth. As an undergraduate, Andrew applied his chemical engineering skills in various pharmaceutical and bulk chemical manufacturing internships. His responsibilities included managing chemical property testing, sterile supply chain, and manufacturing equipment risk mitigation. In addition, Andrew supported NASA-funded research on wind tunnel particle surface properties and co-authored an abstract presented on the subject.

These experiences forged the opportunity for Andrew to work for Accenture as a Technology Analyst after graduation. During his time there, Andrew supported financial service clients working with Pega CRM. He became a Certified Systems Architect, helping clients meet operational needs with Agile methodology. In addition, Andrew trained in Pega’s data science and decisioning tools to understand the basics of how businesses can instantaneously track and leverage key performance indicators.

Outside of work, Andrew is an avid sports fan and closely follows the NBA and the NFL. He enjoys playing tennis, a sport he learned and loved from an early age. Andrew also appreciates spending time outdoors or traveling, whether hiking in Pisgah National Forest or visiting Camp Nou in Barcelona. Travel has led him to an interest in cooking diverse cuisines and preparing delicious meals for friends and family.

Victor Cardeno Victor Cardeno
B.S., Statistics; Economics, University of Notre Dame, 2020
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During his undergraduate career at the University of Notre Dame, Victor explored his burgeoning passion for analytical work across various disciplines. As part of the Sports Analytics Club, he worked with the men’s varsity soccer team and its coaches and led a group of students to chart key performance indicators and work towards positional rating systems and more. In addition, some of his collegiate projects include a time series analysis on Chicago crime statistics, a scientific paper on differences between cities represented by Republican and Democratic mayors, and a research essay on Venezuela’s economic plight over the past two decades.

After his junior year, Victor interned at the Wilson-Sheehan Lab for Economic Opportunities, a research organization that aims to reduce poverty in the United States. His main responsibilities included processing demographic and outcome data gathered from service providers in King County, WA, and Rochester, NY. Through this work, Victor discovered how rigorous scientific evaluation could make a difference in people’s lives, and his experience drove him to pursue a career in analytics where he can use his skills for good.

Victor first discovered his love of statistics poring over ESPN and Sports Illustrated Kids magazines, and he continues to be an avid follower of football, basketball, soccer, and tennis. In his free time, he enjoys running outside, reading fiction as well as non-fiction works, and playing games with his friends. His personal mission over the next year is to learn to play the guitar.

Ellie Casey Ellie Casey
B.A., summa cum laude, Economics (Mathematics), University of Southern Mississippi, 2020
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Ellie discovered her passion for data science while working as a data analytics intern at SchoolStatus. While there, she used data analytics to help universities and K-12 schools maximize their efficiency and student results. Whether it was predicting student retention or calculating accountability grades, Ellie thrived in this position, knowing she was able to positively impact students’ lives. She now looks forward to delving further into the booming field of data analytics as a master’s student.

In addition to working as a data analytics intern, she also wrote an undergraduate honor’s thesis examining the impact of Hurricane Katrina, which she experienced first-hand, on crime in Louisiana. This required her to use and further develop her skills in data cleaning, manipulation, and analysis. The research and analysis helped prepare her to join the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

During her free time, Ellie enjoys traveling the world, especially Europe. She has traveled to over fifteen countries, including Hungary, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Taiwan, and even studied abroad for a semester in Strasbourg, France during her sophomore year of college. One of her favorite parts about traveling is learning about and experiencing other countries’ cultures and traditions. Ellie also loves to play the piano in her spare time, having played competitively for over ten years. She particularly enjoys Romantic composers, including Chopin and Mendelssohn.

Alicia Chen Alicia Chen
B.A., with Distinction, Psychology, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2016
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Alicia discovered how impactful data can be on patient outcomes while working as a data scientist at VitalFlo, a lung health analytics start-up. Currently, no research model forecasts asthma patients’ lung function days in advance. However, while leading strategy and direction for VitalFlo data science, Alicia developed a model that does this with accuracy comparable to similar research models.

Alicia developed a passion for leading analytics-based projects with a focus on human behavior. As a research lab manager for the DePaul University Emotion and Cognition Lab, she managed studies, conducted research, and mentored a team of six undergraduate research assistants. She successfully led her team to reach a 100% recruitment goal and improved participant retention and data completeness by over 60% for a $1M longitudinal research study.

Alicia also served as a data coordinator for the DePaul University Cities Project, a program studying the behavioral effects of college mentoring on urban youth. There, she led research on emotional closeness in mentoring relationships and co-authored a paper on protective coping mechanisms in urban youth. She found that mentors’ openness about their feelings predicts positive behavioral outcomes in mentees. Alicia is excited to continue to harness the power of analytics to improve health and well-being.

Alicia spends her free time reading books and research literature on psychology and psychotherapy, especially works by existential and humanistic psychotherapists like Abraham Maslow and Irvin Yalom. Her drive for building community and strengthening emotional well-being has motivated her to lead meditation groups and retreats. Her favorite practices include vipassana and centering prayer.

Yuejie Chen Yuejie Chen
B.S., magna cum laude, Business Analytics, University of Cincinnati, 2020
B.B.A., magna cum laude, Operations Management, University of Cincinnati, 2020
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Yuejie’s artistic talent allows her to perceive the complex world. She finds that painting and data analytics are similar: they both seek harmony and order from chaotic reality. Yuejie’s sixteen-year training in Gouache painting and sketching developed her extraordinary spatial visualization ability and creativity. Her passion for data analytics is driven by her understanding that analytics is a form of art, and she is eager to be a data artist who can visualize data aesthetically.

During her undergraduate studies, Yuejie evolved her research ability and resilience when facing obstacles and challenges. She assisted in developing an R package related to the partial association between ordinal variables. Additionally, Yuejie initiated and conceived a research project about meta-analysis in clinical trials with her professor. In that project, she applied the beta-binomial model to detect information underneath the rare events in clinical trials. Yuejie and her team successfully proved that the studies of the double-zero events will increase statistical power significantly in the meta-analysis, which indicates that the studies of double-zero events should be included in the meta-analysis. Yuejie’s contribution is being submitted for publication in top-tier journals. She attained systematic training in programming, statistics, and scientific writing from these experiences. Moreover, she learned how to collaborate effectively with diverse researchers from different disciplines.

In addition to data analytics, social justice and education are particularly important to Yuejie. She attended several workshops in the on-campus Social Research Center and the Women’s Center and volunteered for community projects. As a teaching assistant for a statistical computing course, Yuejie showed great enthusiasm in helping students learn SAS and R programming. To Yuejie, the essence of education is encouragement and the ability to transform difficult concepts into simple language.

Meghan Cioci Meghan Cioci
B.A., with Distinction, Foreign Affairs; French, University of Virginia, 2015
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Meghan is a 2017 Fulbright Scholar whose desire to seek evidence-based solutions to the world’s most pressing issues drives her passion for data science. From her time studying foreign affairs and living abroad, Meghan became deeply fascinated by the effects of issues such as corruption and underfunded public education systems. Choosing to pursue data analytics as a complement to—rather than a departure from—her background in political science, her goal is to use data analytics for social good.

With a passion for mentorship and service, Meghan spent her undergraduate years serving in student government and mentoring dozens of women through her role as a resident advisor. She did two internships for the U.S. Department of State—one domestic and one abroad. After graduating, she spent a year volunteering for a small South African non-profit in a rural community.

Prior to joining the Institute, Meghan worked for a health tech company, beginning as the Customer Success Manager. She later advanced to project management, where she oversaw the project lifecycles, led weekly meetings, and managed deadlines both internally and externally. In this role, as well as her previous position on the community management team of a co-working space, Meghan has proven she can communicate ideas understandably and interact with all levels of stakeholders.

Meghan is curious, and this extends to her hobbies outside of her studies at the Institute. Whether she is striking up a conversation in French or Portuguese at a language exchange, making a new vegetarian recipe, immersing herself in a new culture when living abroad, or exploring one of the lakes in her new hometown of Raleigh, she is always eager to learn something new.

Matthew Cleary Matthew Cleary
M.S., Plant Biology, University of Wyoming, 2012
B.S., magna cum laude, Plant Biology, NC State University, 2008
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Matt has spent most of his academic and professional career exploring the curiosities and excitement of the scientific method. He was awarded the 2007-2008 Outstanding Plant Biology Major as a senior undergraduate for assisting with data collection and map preparation (using ArcGIS software) for two doctoral projects. His adventurous spirit led him to pursue a Master of Science degree at the University of Wyoming. While there, he was elected as the Botany Graduate Student Representative in 2011 for his ability to communicate effectively and disseminate information between graduate students and faculty. During that time, Matt flourished as both a scientist and educator; he taught four biology laboratory courses, published his master’s thesis, and presented his findings at the 2012 Ecological Society of America conference.

Matt began his current path to becoming a data scientist when he was first introduced to data analytics as an agricultural scientist at BASF, where he achieved Outstanding Individual Performance. During a merger in 2018, he acquired more senior responsibilities that included performing statistical tests on image analysis data to quantify antifungal efficacy. He learned Python programming to automate this process and was publicly acknowledged by his second-line manager for increasing efficiency by 40%. This success led Matt to pursue a Python Programming Certificate at Wake Technical Community College, where he balanced six online courses and full-time employment for two years.

In his spare time, Matt is an avid gardener and enjoys cultivating peppers from the New Mexico State Chile Pepper Institute. He spends most of his spare time botanizing on nature trails, hunting for fossils in creek beds, and traveling with his wife.

Gus Conwell Gus Conwell
B.S., cum laude, Mathematical Statistics; Spanish, Wake Forest University, 2020
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His first summer after high school, Gus worked as a backpacking guide in the New Mexican Rockies. During that time, he found himself focusing less on the picturesque sunsets, meadows, and valleys, and more on supplying an engaging experience to his clients. Unconsciously, he was experimenting with improving his leadership, communication, and emotional intelligence.

After gaining more experience during his second summer, Gus returned for a third year as a trainer, mentor, and evaluator for eight backpacking guides. He utilized a team approach to training. Along with teaching his successful past strategies, he asked his second-year guides to add their perspectives. As an evaluator, he learned how to tailor concrete feedback to the guides so that they could be more effective communicators. Gus coordinated work assignments for over 350 backpacking guides during his fourth summer and learned how to balance each employee’s preferences with the employer’s goals.

In his first undergraduate statistics course, Gus modeled what environmental factors influenced the U.S. mallard duck population. The results brought minor insights, a couple of broken assumptions, and a drive to improve his statistical modeling and analytical repertoire. For his senior research project, he combined his client-facing experiences with his passion for math. Collaborating with his university’s student gymnasium, he cleaned Google Forms survey data. With clean data, he modeled the gym’s satisfaction rating across the years, broken down by fitness stations. Upon completion, he wrote a jargon-free report with relevant visualizations and summaries of analysis.

In his spare time, Gus enjoys playing soccer, listening to history podcasts, starting up a game of cards or dominos, and watching comedy specials and television shows in Spanish to sharpen his language skills.

Angela Cook Angela Cook
B.S., Neuroscience, University of Texas at Dallas, 2017
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Angela gained a wealth of experience striving to find the best fit for her career. Her humanitarian inclinations led her to pursue studies in social work and nursing before ultimately graduating with a degree in neuroscience and finding a job at Duke. At the Duke Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Angela collected, prepared, and cleaned MRI data to map iron in the deep cortical regions of the brain and to analyze structural and functional brain networks. While working at Duke, Angela realized she enjoyed the problem solving involved in creating code to clean and prepare MRI data.

Looking for other opportunities to apply her skills, Angela completed the data-driven training program at the Crisis Text Line. The training program used data analysis to pinpoint when to ask for someone’s name, what words to use to empower a texter, and when to ask if someone was suicidal. When Angela realized data science could help save someone’s life, she knew it would allow her to enjoy her work while making a difference.

When Angela is not working, she relishes river floating, musicals, and British comedies. On the weekends, you can find her on the road, traveling to small towns all over North Carolina and the surrounding states. Angela also likes to raise awareness about important causes, including utilizing public transportation, reducing waste, ending poverty, and improving mental health.

Octavio Cortes Octavio Cortes
B.A., Economics, UNC–Wilmington, 2020
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Growing up painting houses with his father, Octavio learned the meaning of hard work. The work ethic instilled in him at a young age has helped Octavio achieve his own goals, such as being the first in his family to graduate from college and pursue his master’s degree.

During his undergraduate career at UNC-Wilmington, Octavio participated in the American Economic Association (AEA) Summer Program at Michigan State University. During this program, he took a variety of courses, such as Advanced Econometrics and Research Methods. In the program, he participated in a group research project looking at the distance of dining halls and its effect on academic achievement. He and his group members then presented their research at the AEA Pipeline Conference to economists and Ph.D. students from all over the country.

For his senior thesis project, Octavio looked at the health disparities that minorities face and how they affect health outcomes using Google Trends data and probability models. Unfortunately, he was not able to present his research at the Undergraduate Research Conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas due to COVID-19. These valuable research experiences have set the foundation for Octavio’s active interest in using data analytics to solve the problems he is passionate about, like race and education.

When not studying, Octavio is an avid sports fan and a devout follower of the Philadelphia Eagles, the 76ers, and Mexico’s national soccer team. Committed to staying active, he also enjoys playing basketball, soccer, and disc golf. When he is not watching or participating in sports, Octavio likes to spend time with his two cats, Otis and Olivia.

Adam Cottrell Adam Cottrell
M.A.T., Secondary Science Education, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2007
B.S., with Distinction, Physics, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2006
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Adam joins the MSA with more than a decade of experience as a high-performance athletics coach and public educator. He looks forward to bringing a passion for supporting others and a keen understanding of team dynamics to the data science world.

Adam’s interest in data science stems from his desire to understand all types of systems, from the human and societal to the physical and philosophical. As a student, Adam earned a bachelor’s in physics as well as a master’s in secondary science teaching. His substantial body of content knowledge and promise as a future educator earned him a spot as a Knowles Science Teaching Fellow while he completed his master’s.

Upon entering the workforce, Adam simultaneously pursued careers in sports and education. As a rowing coach, he instructed athletes of all abilities, aged 12 to 70+. Across several stints as a collegiate head coach, Adam oversaw the development of many nationally competitive crews, netting two regional Coach of the Year awards along the way. Adam’s work in the public school system saw him in several roles across the K-12 spectrum. Most recently, as a high school math teacher, Adam taught a number of courses, notably AP Statistics, where his interest in data science deepened. As he challenged his students to be their best selves, Adam realized he too needed to answer that challenge.

Through analytics, he hopes to leverage his backgrounds in science, education, and coaching to help bring meaningful insight to a world quickly growing in its need for intelligent, data-driven change. When not working, Adam likes reading narrative histories, riding bikes with his three daughters, and binge-watching Netflix with his wife of 9 years.

Kevin Craig Kevin Craig
B.S., magna cum laude, Economics, NC State University, 2018
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Kevin takes pride in being a reliable friend, classmate, and coworker. From spending a 10-day bike tour across North Carolina drafting behind his childhood friend, to leading the tech development of a COVID-response deliverable for a federal government client, Kevin knows that a strong team brings results. He is energized by helping others succeed no matter the task or time and is always interested in working with diverse teams to create net-new solutions.

A 2018 NC State graduate, Kevin is returning to Raleigh after working as a Deloitte Consulting Analyst in Washington, DC. At Deloitte, Kevin developed an interest in consumer analytics, building R and Python-based products for clients to better understand their userbases. This included an acquisition likelihood model for a digital product with over 20 million users, informing growth strategy by understanding key user segments and features. Kevin also enjoyed a pricing strategy engagement, where he quantified product value through financial analysis, consumer interviews, and site visits. This research led to data-based price improvement recommendations for a product with approximately $1 billion in annual revenues.

Kevin loves spending quality time with friends and family throughout the country, traveling internationally when he can find a deal, and dedicating his time to thinking about analytics side projects. He most recently built a scratch-off ticket comparison and recommendation website, which allows North Carolina residents to make data-driven scratch-off ticket purchase decisions.

Kaitlin Crenshaw Kaitlin Crenshaw
B.S., summa cum laude, Mechanical Engineering, NC State University, 2016
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Kaitlin has a deep interest in the world around her, which has charted her course towards analytics. From an early age, her parents encouraged her curiosity by helping her take things apart, from lawn mowers to CD players, and put them back together to teach her how they worked. This drive to know how individual machines worked evolved into a need to learn more about how everything is connected.

Kaitlin’s path in life has repeatedly led her to the intersection of technology and society. As an undergraduate studying mechanical engineering, she collaborated with Engineers Without Borders to develop a well for a school in Sierra Leone. Following graduation, Kaitlin traveled in Southeast Asia and Europe, immersing herself in other cultures before stepping into a role as a technology consultant at Deloitte Consulting.

Consulting for large civilian agencies is where Kaitlin’s desire to impact others led to her fascination with analytics. At these agencies, she created visualizations that tracked issues in globally deployed applications. This meant that recurring issues could be identified, and fixes for the issues affecting users the most could be prioritized. She capped off her time with Deloitte researching emerging technology, with an emphasis on ethical tech. This fostered an awareness of how society needs to be cautious and thoughtful in its use of data. Kaitlin is excited to continue mastering analytics techniques to further enhance the world around her.

When Kaitlin is not digging into data, she pursues her passion for finding the best- hidden campsites and fishing spots. Kaitlin is also an avid traveler – she studied abroad in Spain and Australia while completing her degree and has visited nearly 30 countries to date. When found at home, she is usually diving into a good fiction novel or taste-testing a new recipe.

Sally Crouch Sally Crouch
B.S., magna cum laude, Applied Mathematics, NC State University, 2018
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Sally’s interest in analytics first piqued as a child psychology researcher. While working with students to improve their reading fluency, she was able to see the tangible impact that data can have. The data Sally collected and analyzed allowed her research team to understand the benefits of the fluency program, along with its deficiencies. Not only was she able to see how the students were improving on paper, but Sally could also see how much more effectively and efficiently her students were reading after several weeks in the program. Knowing the positive impact data can have, Sally continued to pursue opportunities in analytics.

Though she is a technical person, Sally is also creative and found that analytics allowed her to use both skill sets. As an applied mathematics major, Sally took extra courses and interned in positions where she could learn about powerful analytical tools. Her undergraduate experiences led her to work as a market risk manager at Credit Suisse, where she honed her ability to tell stories through data. Collaborating with various teams across the company, she automated analyses, developed graphing tools, and standardized slide decks so that the financial data were able to be explained and visualized. Sally effectively communicated complex analyses to both upper-level management and multiple financial regulators. These opportunities in undergrad and work solidified her appreciation for analytics and helped her decide to pursue a master’s degree.

Outside of work, Sally fills her time with artistic endeavors. She loves to paint oil portraits, create digital art, and take photos of her friends. While traveling, Sally enjoys visiting art museums all over the world, learning about new cultures, and collecting art for her apartment.

Amanda Dean Amanda Dean
B.S., summa cum laude, Agricultural Business Management, NC State University, 2020
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Growing up on the family farm, Amanda developed an inclination for numbers. Whether it was analyzing inputs, yield, sales, or other agricultural data, Amanda found that extracting value from the numbers was an intriguing and beneficial task.

The summer before her senior year of college, Amanda confirmed her love of analytics through an undergraduate research fellowship. This experience shaped her educational and career goals. As she assisted in data-driven research, Amanda became fascinated by the applicability of data analytics to every field, particularly business and agriculture. This led to a drive for utilizing data to advance agricultural, economic, and environmental sustainability. Amanda is passionate about bridging the gap between agricultural technology, business, and data science.

Amanda sharpened her technical and communication skills while working as an undergraduate research assistant. In this position, she continued her previous research with a project focused on spatiotemporally reconstructing the swine industry’s historical growth in North Carolina. Amanda analyzed and managed extensive swine lagoon permit records using Google Earth and RStudio. She cleaned and filtered large amounts of multi-sourced permit records, created new ones, and consolidated all of them into one functional source. Using these records and satellite imagery analysis, the growth of North Carolina’s swine industry was recreated. Amanda presented this work to industry and academic stakeholders in Raleigh, San Francisco, Boston, and China.

When not working, Amanda enjoys the outdoors and staying active through sand volleyball, softball, hiking, and walks on the beach. Her favorite gym workouts are Pilates and boxing.

Paul Dennis Paul Dennis
Ph.D., Psychology, NC State University, 2012
M.S., Psychology, NC State University, 2009
B.A., Psychology, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2001
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Harboring a longtime fascination with numbers and understanding of complex systems, Paul matriculated into the Advanced Analytics program, having already earned his Ph.D. in developmental psychology. Before then, he had been a researcher, methodologist, and statistician at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, working on projects ranging from randomized controlled trials to health record research on millions of veterans. He remains an associate professor of psychiatry at Duke, where he has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles and has been instrumental in securing more than 15 research grants in collaboration with investigators across the country. Given his unique intuition for statistics and ability to communicate complex concepts, he continues to serve as a statistical consultant at Duke.

A Renaissance man, Paul’s interests and experiences are wide-ranging. After developing an interest in international economic policy in college, he volunteered at an orphanage for boys in Puebla, Mexico. There, Paul developed an interest in psychological development, inspiring him to pursue further work in wilderness therapy and applied research. Once in graduate school, Paul earned First-Year Student of the Year honors while focusing on socioemotional development. Two years later, this culminated in a nine-month sponsored research stint in Mali to study cultural influences on social cognition. Upon returning, his award-winning doctoral work entailed modeling the effects of aging on language networks and speech. It was his dissertation research and later work with biosensors at Duke that sparked his passion for data science.

When Paul is not working, he enjoys cooking, gardening, camping with his wife and three children, playing guitar, listening to global music, and reading Latin American literature. He also maintains a profound interest in international travel. Aside from Mexico and Mali, Paul has spent time in Morocco, Senegal, the UK, Peru, and Costa Rica and has varying proficiencies in Spanish, French, and Bamana.

Malia Dunn-Reier Malia Dunn-Reier
B.S., summa cum laude, Business and Economics, University of Kentucky, 2016
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Malia’s company, Hazen and Sawyer (Hazen), a water/wastewater engineering firm, was accustomed to viewing their conference event data in Excel, but her supervisors wanted to know more about the demographics of the clients attending these events. Within the first six months, Malia transformed their data into meaningful insights using Microsoft PowerBI to capture client engagement and demographics. In addition to providing technical services, she was also able to demonstrate her love of people by coordinating and executing large-scale client events of up to 720 people. She is excited for the opportunity to combine her technical skills with her communications skills to turn numbers into meaningful action.

As an undergraduate, Malia studied international economics and Spanish at the University of Kentucky. She held several leadership positions on campus including tour guide, Student Government Marketing Director, and speaker to the incoming Class of 2017. Malia also interned with the State Department in Madrid, Spain in the economic sector of the United States Embassy. At the Embassy, she published a report on the Spanish pension system and its impacts on the U.S. She also researched Madrid’s growing entrepreneurial and tech epicenter known as Chamberí Valley. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Maurice A. Clay Award for Most Outstanding College of Business and Economics Senior.

Between college and working at Hazen, Malia moved abroad for a year teaching English in Ibiza, Spain and traveling in Europe. While there, she became fluent in Spanish and continues to practice as much as possible through conversations with friends and watching Spanish Netflix series. In addition to travel, Malia enjoys spending time outside playing her ukulele, backpacking, camping, and practicing yoga.

Abi Edwards Abi Edwards
B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, Economics, Appalachian State University, 2020
B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, Marketing, Appalachian State University, 2020
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From a young age, Abigail’s family ingrained in her the value of learning through diverse experiences, leading her to pursue multiple passions and understand how goals can be reached through diligence and commitment. Two of her passions are statistics and analytical problem-solving, which she realized during undergrad.

Using organization and time management skills, Abigail was able to pursue an academically rigorous course load while participating in internships and taking on leadership roles within the community. Abigail’s honors thesis on consumer behavior involved personal data sets and used one-way variance of means testing in SPSS data processing systems to statistically problem-solve. She successfully presented and defended her work leading to an acceptance at the Academy of Marketing Science’s 2020 Annual Conference.

In the summer of 2018, Abigail interned for the Center for Leadership Studies, where she worked with analytical programs, such as Marketo and Salesforce to determine potential clientele. She became certified in the Situational Leadership Model, which she uses to influence behaviors based on performance readiness. This leadership style led her to excel in 2019 as vice president of programming for Panhellenic Council, which required thorough communication and interpersonal skills to plan events for over 2,000 students.

The following year, Abigail spent 6 weeks studying abroad in Angers, France where she studied with students from over 10 different countries and collaborated on product development projects. Abigail extended her communication skills by taking on the role of mediator, as English was the common language, and found unique ways to lead her teams through delegation of tasks.

In her free time, Abigail likes to take her dog, Toby, to the park, cook, and spend time with friends and family. One of Abigail’s long term goals is to run all 6 world marathons.

Andrew Eickemeyer Andrew Eickemeyer
B.A., summa cum laude, Mathematics, Lafayette College, 2017
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Andrew has always possessed an insatiable intellectual curiosity and a keen interest in mathematics. As an undergraduate, he pursued his passion for mathematics across a variety of topics. Andrew co-authored two papers on the Color Cubes Puzzle and presented these results at the 2015 MOVES Conference at the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City. As a senior, he completed an undergraduate thesis exploring classical results in minimal surface theory. Outside of his studies, Andrew made significant contributions to the mathematics community at Lafayette College. He served as president of Lafayette’s Math Club for two years, arranging student and faculty talks as well as a cryptography competition. As recognition for his leadership within the mathematics department at Lafayette, he received the Professor James P. Crawford Prize in Mathematics.

Partly inspired by an independent study in regression during his senior year, Andrew began to complete courses in the Johns Hopkins University Data Science Specialization on Coursera. In doing so, Andrew extended his appreciation for the mathematics behind statistical methods to the powerful programming techniques available to shape and glean insights from data. Having found the perfect avenue to apply his passion for mathematics to real-world challenges, Andrew decided to pursue a master’s degree in analytics to start a career in data science.

In his free time, Andrew relaxes by reading English translations of Japanese light novels. During baseball season, he also enjoys going to Mets games with his family. Since college, Andrew has rekindled his interest in cooking and loves sharing his creations with his mother.

Rob Elmore Rob Elmore
B.S., cum laude, Statistics, Elon University, 2019
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Drawn to the predictive properties of Punnett squares, Rob realized his fascination with genetics was not due to the patterns in the science, but rather the science of the patterns. The predictive properties, numeric narratives, and analytic interpretations of scientific data led Rob to recognize he wanted more than a math-based science, but rather a science-based math.

Rob seized as many opportunities as possible during his undergraduate career to grow his newfound love for statistics. At Elon University, he tutored students in both introductory and intermediate level statistics courses. Elon’s Center for Organizational Analytics (a university-sponsored practicum group) awarded Rob a data analytics internship position. This opportunity provided him with his first real look at how messy data could be and the challenges associated with cleaning and interpreting it. Rob also completed two independent research projects during his undergraduate career. The first of these included a meta-analysis of computational gerrymandering and its role in redrawing electoral districts. His second project involved the creation of a Markov Chain machine learning algorithm that generated original guitar solos in the style of any artist by learning their patterns and tendencies.

While employed as a data analyst intern at Volvo Financial Services, Rob created analytical models that the company has since implemented in their Financial Planning and Analysis sector. His projects included models that predicted the likelihood of delinquency, forecasted sales numbers, and established a new credit scorecard. Rob provided the company with insights into its future performance and offered optimization solutions to help the business better understand its customers’ data.

Rob spends most of his free time playing guitar and basketball. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rob experimented with woodworking and circuitry, successfully constructing an electric guitar from scratch with his father.

Ryan Eskew Ryan Eskew
B.S., Statistics and Analytics; Environmental Sciences, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2020
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Ryan has a passion for utilizing analytics to improve the efficiency of the world in which we live, both civically and environmentally. As a Building Efficiency Analyst Intern for UNC Energy Management, Ryan was able to combine the knowledge from both of his undergraduate degrees with his passion. He conducted an independent electricity audit project to investigate some of the most energy-intensive buildings on the university’s campus, and he highlighted strategies for reducing both energy demand and monthly utility costs for UNC-Chapel Hill. Through this captivating experience, Ryan recognized his desire to gain a deeper understanding of data analytics and its countless applications in the world, ultimately leading him to the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

In addition to his internship, Ryan spent an entire summer studying abroad, where he combined his love for traveling with his vision for a more efficient world. During this experience, he traveled throughout several parts of Spain, Germany, and Denmark, focusing on the ways these three countries have promoted efficient, sustainable living. He learned about concepts, such as renewable energy installment incentives, the German “Energiewende,” or energy transformation effort, and strategic urban planning that encourages citizens to choose more efficient means of transportation.

In his free time, Ryan enjoys all things sports and outdoors. From coaching little league soccer to persistently working to become a scratch golfer, he is always trying his best to actively promote healthy living habits and recreational exercise. Beyond golf and soccer, Ryan also enjoys fishing and skiing in the mountains, listening to live music, and eating delicious meals made with fresh, local ingredients.

Emily Esterline Emily Esterline
B.S., summa cum laude, Applied Mathematics, NC State University, 2020
B.S., summa cum laude, Statistics, NC State University, 2020
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The people closest to Emily would describe her as adventurous, self-motivated, and determined. The combination of her character traits and natural strengths mixed with an early love for numbers is the reason Emily decided to pursue a double major in applied mathematics and statistics at NC State.

During her undergraduate studies, the Statistics Department recognized Emily for her academic achievements by giving her the Senior Award for Outstanding Scholarship as well as the SAS Institute Scholarship, which provided her with three summer internships at SAS. She spent her first two summers testing new machine learning techniques and connecting databases to SAS in order to run analytics. Her last summer was spent creating visual reports on healthcare data to create targeted campaigns for preventing chronic conditions, reducing costs, and ultimately saving lives. Seeing the impact of analytics solidified Emily’s love for her chosen degrees.

Though Emily discovered her obsession with numbers early on, she was always on a mission to help others find their passion. While at NC State, she served as a College of Sciences Ambassador, Pack Abroad Ambassador, and the President of the Statistics Club. These leadership positions allowed her to connect with many different people through shared experiences. Outside of her academic activities, she also studied abroad in Ireland, went to every school football game, and volunteered at many local organizations and events, including Elementary STEM nights, Bug Fest, and the North Carolina Food Bank.

In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling as well as getting outside to explore the area she is currently calling home. She is constantly on the hunt for new places to hike, a new local cider to try, or a coffee shop cuter than the last one.

Ethan-Cole Evans Ethan-Cole Evans
B.S., summa cum laude, Textile Engineering, NC State University, 2019
B.A., summa cum laude, International Studies, NC State University, 2019
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Ethan-Cole takes pride in his ability to connect with others, from making data visualizations to DJing in front of crowds. In undergrad, his dual degrees in textile engineering and international studies kept him busy learning about a variety of topics, but none of them felt right. During his final year, he heard a professor speak about how the foundational principles of analytics are used to make data-driven decisions. Before the class was over, Ethan-Cole knew that he wanted to pursue data science as a career. He was always passionate about school, and this newfound purpose allowed him to focus his energy into learning more about data science.

Ethan-Cole began pursuing academic and professional analytics projects immediately. He added an Industrial Systems Engineering minor to learn about optimization using data. After six months, Ethan-Cole began teaching himself Python and R, which landed him a data science internship at IBM where he transformed data into visualizations that provided business insights to managers. The Six Sigma, simulations, and database management courses he completed before graduating allowed him to successfully complete his senior design project by pairing technical tools like JMP and SQL with his prior textile knowledge. His analysis of waste and expense data saved his sponsor, Filtec-Precise, thousands of dollars by identifying ways to repurpose their industrial textile waste and making recommendations to further reduce costs.

In his free time, Ethan-Cole enjoys exploring Raleigh to grow his knowledge of the area, listening to new music that he can add either to his personal repertoire or upcoming set, or being at Dix Park with good friends.

Ned Feldmann Ned Feldmann
B.B.A., Business Administration, Roanoke College, 2013
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Ned’s passion for analytics began with evaluating Major League Baseball box scores as a child and continued through his roles in the banking industry. As a portfolio analyst at First Citizens Bank, Ned analyzed application and loan data using analytics software, including Alteryx and Tableau. He also served as a system administrator for one of the bank’s consumer underwriting platforms. Ned earned his title as vice president for the bank through his work ethic, teamwork, and adaptability.

Before joining First Citizens, Ned worked as a field examiner for Capital One in their asset-based lending group. In two years, he completed over 100 field audits across the U.S. in a variety of industries. Examinations required analytical, auditing, time-management, and communication skills to ensure efficient turnarounds and compliance with underwriting requirements. These characteristics are natural to him as they were essential qualities to his success as a student and collegiate soccer player during his undergrad years.

At Roanoke College, Ned received the Michael Murphy Award, given to the senior student-athlete who demonstrated perseverance and overcame adversity while achieving academic and athletic goals. He was a two-time member of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference all-academic team and traveled to Finland, Denmark, Sweden, and Argentina to play as an amateur.

Ned maintains his love of sports by following the English Premier League and ACC basketball. When time permits, he likes to visit the Blue Ridge Mountains or the Outer Banks. He also enjoys listening to various music genres and maintaining his fitness through running and lifting.

Chris Germain Chris Germain
B.S., summa cum laude, Mechanical Engineering, NC State University, 2015
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At the age of 13, Chris embarked on a global adventure with his family to complete his secondary schooling in Shanghai, China. For five years, he spent weekends and holidays climbing the Great Wall of China, building houses in the Bangladeshi jungle, and sailing through the limestone pillars of Hạ Long Bay. He stood side by side with students from all over the world during his high school graduation. Because of this early exposure to cultures starkly different from his own, Chris is now known by his colleagues for bringing a harmonious, collaborative, and positive presence to a room.

Chris began his professional career as one of three new hires selected for a leadership development program at a diversified technology and manufacturing company. He seized the opportunities through this program to perform a variety of roles in his first five years. His job responsibilities were as diverse as designing adaptive suspension dampers for farm equipment, managing aerospace parts on a manufacturing line, and researching new markets for offshore oil platform products. Chris eventually found his passion for analytics while building automated tools to validate volumes of performance data from active vibration control systems aboard civilian and military helicopters. His verification programs were versatile enough to create summary graphics for customers and accurate enough to ensure the safety of systems flying in the skies today.

Many weekends of the year, you can find Chris down by the Carolina coast. He enjoys riding waves on a stand-up paddleboard, boating up the Intracoastal Waterway, and relaxing in a sandy beach chair with a good book. He loves reading the biographies of great innovators and leaders and getting lost in futuristic science fiction.

Juliana Gines Juliana Gines
B.S., magna cum laude, Mathematics, NC State University, 2020
B.S., magna cum laude, Economics, NC State University, 2020
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Since Juliana’s first Math Olympiad competition in elementary school, she knew that mathematics and problem-solving would always pique her interest. At a young age, Juliana also enjoyed performing on stage, telling stories from different points of view to connect with the audience. When Juliana discovered how data science brought mathematics, problem-solving, and storytelling together, she knew it was the field for her.

While working as a technical intern, Juliana saw the power of data in decision-making as she provided custom analytics to business partners across the global technology organization. She assisted in critical business initiatives, such as analyzing business continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic and tracking the enterprise-wide Agile transformation. Additionally, she led an analysis of project health to identify key metrics that drive success. All of these experiences reinforced her passion for analytics.

As an undergraduate student, Juliana combined her interests in service and analytics. She was selected for Poole College of Management’s Business Analytics Honors Program, where she had the opportunity to lead a student team. Together, they developed a web-scraping tool in R for a North Carolina government agency. Their tool successfully assessed business validity and assisted in predicting potential taxpayer fraud, which was vital for their client. Known for being responsible and analytical, Juliana oversaw conflict resolution and process improvement while serving as the vice president of her service sorority. In her role, she analyzed feedback to transform the officer transition process and automate several recruitment processes.

Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering with the Girl Scouts, Miracle League of the Triangle, and Carolina Tiger Rescue. In her free time, Juliana loves learning about different cultures through cooking new dishes, trying a new sewing pattern, or gathering friends to play an energetic round of trivia.

Morgan Gladden Morgan Gladden
Master of Physiology, NC State University, 2012
B.S., cum laude, Biological Sciences, NC State University, 2010
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Morgan Gladden has continuously sought to challenge himself and those around him to use data to solve problems and guide decision-making. For more than five years, Morgan worked in translation vaccine research at Duke University and co-authored multiple papers in journals, such as Science, Nature, and Cell. In addition, he first became interested in analytics while serving as the Technical Lab Manager overseeing experimental setup, implementation, and analysis. As Lab Manager, he managed a laboratory annual budget in excess of $500,000 and supervised 5 junior-level employees.

Most recently, Morgan worked as a cloud developer at a government defense contractor aiding in the development of new defense technologies. In this role, he worked to migrate legacy intelligence community software applications to the cloud. Acting as a bridge between research teams and DevOps teams, he utilized cutting edge containerization software, such as Kubernetes, Rancher, and Argo to bring applications to a wider intelligence community. Morgan gained valuable skills as a software developer and algorithms engineer and built his understanding of the cloud.

Always excited about learning, Morgan graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biological Life Sciences and earned a master’s degree in Human Physiology from NC State University. Morgan enjoys actively managing his finances, reading books on trading strategies, and creating automated stock trading algorithms. His eventual goal is to outperform actively managed investment funds. Morgan also enjoys getting away from the city and traveling to unique places. This has led to many camping trips, from the mountains of North Carolina to the deserts of Colorado and Utah.

Yeimi Gonzalez Yeimi Gonzalez
B.A., summa cum laude, Economics, Appalachian State University, 2020
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Yeimi’s passion for understanding and solving complex problems led her to pursue a degree in economics while simultaneously working as a statistics tutor. It was not until she attended an experimental economics conference at Alabama State University that Yeimi realized that she wanted to focus on data analysis rather than pursue a doctorate in economics. Following the conference, she began dedicating her time to the National Association of Business Economics (NABE). NABE allowed her to analyze the economic impact of major tourism events in Boone, NC. She used regression analysis to create economic impact reports that were published for her community.

Yeimi cemented her passion for data analysis during her first hackathon event as an undergraduate student. The process of receiving, cleaning, and analyzing big data as a team was an invigorating experience. Her team placed 3rd in the event, which fueled Yeimi’s desire to master the field of analytics.

Outside of her analytical pursuits, Yeimi enjoys kayaking on scenic lakes and hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway with good company. She also likes to go on runs with her Chihuahua named Bear. When Yeimi is not in nature, she likes to spend quality time with her family while preparing traditional home-cooked meals.

Luna Gu Luna Gu
M.S., Horticultural Science, NC State University, 2015
B.S., Horticulture Science, Shenyang Agricultural University, 2012
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In high school, Luna showed her ability to work well with numbers as the treasurer of the student union. As an active planner for student events, she was always focused on efficiency and process improvement.

Luna’s first coding experience was building a model that helped analyze floriculture yield during her master’s degree. She was fascinated by how analytical tools helped her to explore and interpret data to make effective decisions. After graduation, she kept using her analytical knowledge as a research associate in a regenerative medical devices company. For one of her projects, Luna successfully developed a new algorithm to categorize different groups of human cells using unsupervised machine learning. Using this new algorithm, she helped improve the efficiency and accuracy of donor screening for downstream manufacturing. Her interest in building models with real-world datasets has developed since then, and she decided to enhance her coding and statistical skills as well. This readiness to learn new things continues to drive Luna’s ambition to become a data scientist.

As a data scientist, the best way to learn coding is to get your hands dirty. Luna also enjoys getting her hands dirty with plants. Rooted in her horticulture background, she likes to take on the challenge of growing exotic plants, and she is always surprised by how adaptive they can be. Every time Luna visits a nursery, a conditional statement triggers in her mind: “If I want all these plants, then I need a bigger yard.”

Andrew Guerrazzi Andrew Guerrazzi
B.S.B.A., with Distinction, Business Administration, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2015
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Andrew’s fascination with analytics and statistics was cemented during his time at Cisco Systems. At Cisco, he led digital experimentation and personalization on Cisco.com for Americas Digital Marketing. In this position, he ran over 100 online controlled experiments and learned first-hand the predictive power and impact advanced analytics can have. His experiment findings drove digital marketing decisions on Cisco.com, and the insights were shared globally across the business.

Despite his success at Cisco, it was not a linear path into the analytics world for Andrew. At the age of 14, he started working part-time at his family’s restaurant in Carmel, NY. Working at the restaurant gave him an early experience in teamwork and relationship building among diverse personalities. His undergraduate studies began at Dutchess Community College, where he received an associate degree in humanities and social sciences with honors. He also studied abroad in Milan, Italy during his first year of college, where he improved his Italian and explored European cultures. Following his studies at Dutchess Community College, he transferred to UNC-Chapel Hill. There, his education gave him a thorough understanding of problem-solving and collaborating within a business context. Throughout all these experiences, Andrew’s teammates have described him as a self-starter, reliable team member, and a humble person. He prides himself on putting his team first and doing all he can to help his teammates.

When Andrew is not studying, you will find him out enjoying nature with his dog or searching for new restaurants in the Raleigh area. His other hobbies include traveling to explore different cultures, watching the New York Yankees, and cooking.

Ansen Gunawan Ansen Gunawan
B.S., cum laude, Mathematics, Appalachian State University, 2020
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Ansen has always been passionate about impacting the community, whether large or small. He often spends his free time volunteering at the local hospital in Charlotte and has planned numerous Special Olympics and Joy Proms for the Appalachian community. His passion for serving others is what drove Ansen to pursue a career in data analytics.

Due to his strong affinity for mathematics, Ansen was a constant presence in the mathematics department halls at Appalachian State University. He spent many afternoons tutoring students in mathematics, exercising his love for helping others, and pushing them to succeed. Ansen’s work on a football analytics project evolved into his thesis for the honors program. As a statistician in the Anthropology Department, he worked closely with the Dean on proposals and research journals. Additionally, Ansen has provided his analytical and efficient problem-solving skills to the Gear Up project at Appalachian State University. He examined the results of the federally funded project on high school graduation and participation in college education for low-income students.

During his free time, Ansen loves to travel and experience new cultures. His exploration of the Asian continent has broadened his aspiration to employ his technical skills to serve others and make a difference. Ansen has been exposed to intriguing new customs from his travels across the diverse landscape of southeast Asia, from Japan to his country of origin, Indonesia.

Jonathan Hartness Jonathan Hartness
B.S., summa cum laude, Mathematical Business, Wake Forest University, 2020
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As an undergraduate at Wake Forest University, Jonathan combined his statistical background with his passion for making complex concepts easier to understand. He spent three years working as a teaching assistant and a tutor in the Wake Forest Math and Stats Department. Seeing students begin to understand the power of statistical techniques and opportunities for application ignited his own passion for data analytics.

Jonathan’s interest in analytics deepened on campus with his involvement in an organization called International Justice Mission. His time supporting the organization’s work to end all forms of slavery across the world inspired a passion for exploring opportunities to use data science to effect positive change in the lives of others. During most of his college experience, Jonathan also organized and led a ministry on campus. This enabled him to develop strong leadership, organizational, and interpersonal skills that allowed him to grow both personally and professionally.

As a data science intern last summer at Lincoln Financial Group, Jonathan analyzed Federal Reserve survey data and presented his findings to upper-level management. He also created an interactive program that non-technical users could implement in future years. By applying statistical techniques to real-world situations, Jonathan became intrigued with the possibility of working with a team to unlock insights hidden in data.

An avid musician who grew up playing the piano, Jonathan enjoys playing music by ear and recently taught himself both guitar and drums. He spends time outdoors as much as possible and loves to play tennis or any sport that allows him to tap into his competitive nature.

Patrick Havekost Patrick Havekost
B.S., cum laude, Statistics, NC State University, 2017
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Eager to explore different fields and applications of analytics, Patrick investigated the geospatial relationship between NFL players’ hometowns and player perceived value under a postdoctoral researcher at NC State University. His research included sourcing data through web scraping, cleaning data to prepare for analyses, and manufacturing both geospatial and spatial models. Patrick presented his findings at the 2017 NC State University Spring Undergraduate Research Symposium.

Utilizing the skills he developed during his undergraduate studies, Patrick went on to work at Horizon Research as a research associate. Patrick was initially enlisted to assist the company with data analysis for the 2018 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education +, a study that investigated trends in kindergarten through twelfth grade STEM education across the United States. After the study was completed, he remained at the company as a research associate, where he worked on optimizing analysis workflow, overhauling analysis plans and summary documentation, and conducting analyses. Always looking for a new challenge, Patrick also worked on developing tools to aid in general workplace productivity, such as a system for tracking external collaborators required for NSF grant proposals.

Patrick was awarded the Eagle Scout award in 2014, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. This award is given to those who complete the rank advancement system within the organization, which focuses on leadership and service to the community. During his time at NC State University as an undergraduate, Patrick joined the National Society of Leadership and Success to continue his leadership growth.

Jacob Hyman Jacob Hyman
Master of Microbial Biotechnology, NC State University, 2019
B.S., cum laude, Biology, University of Oregon, 2017
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Jacob’s interest in data analytics emerged while researching oceanographic trends at the Coos Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Jacob used longitudinal data to understand the key factors that induce plankton migration and nutrient fluctuations in the Coos Bay estuary system. Through this research, Jacob was able to manipulate large datasets into observations that helped explain natural phenomena. Through this process, he became fascinated by the stories that data can tell.

While completing a master’s degree in microbial biotechnology, Jacob participated in a joint computer science/microbiology research project. The goal of this project was to use computer algorithms to more accurately predict transgenic protein production in Escherichia coli. This project marked Jacob’s first introduction to coding, and he quickly began to teach himself Python. Following graduate school, Jacob applied his Python skills when working to optimize nematode growth in tomato plants for an ag-biotech company. Once again, Jacob found that the ability to tease trends from large datasets allowed him to make quick progress on his research. He also saw how important these skills were becoming to life science industries, which encouraged him to apply to the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Outside of class, Jacob loves to immerse himself in the outdoors. He has been surfing and sailing since he was a teenager, and he likes to stay active by running and playing soccer. Jacob also likes to draw. He sees many parallels between art and coding, in that both take intense concentration and the ability to make many separate components work together as a whole.

Ana Iglesias Ana Iglesias
B.S., summa cum laude, Applied Mathematics, NC State University, 2020
B.S., summa cum laude, Statistics, NC State University, 2020
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Ana’s logical, problem-solving mindset is connected to her creative and artistic side. Whether it be dance choreography or exercises in a math textbook, Ana is inspired to find meaning in everything she does. This passion for her endeavors eventually led her to receive the Goodnight Scholarship, a full-ride scholarship for STEM students, and graduate as valedictorian of both her high school and her class at NC State.

Ana’s interest in data analytics began when she attended a presentation given by SAS about their Data for Good movement, which deals with the ways data can be used to help improve humanitarian issues like poverty, health, and education. As a first-generation immigrant from Argentina with an innate appreciation for other cultures and peoples, she found this particularly inspiring. In data analytics, Ana discovered exactly what she had been searching for – a way to combine her love for numbers and people.

Connecting with others and influencing change drive Ana’s work. In her role as a mathematics tutor, Ana was able to guide her students to find value in their work by sharing her own passion for problem-solving, inspiring the same in them. As an intern at Total HIPAA Compliance, Ana saw the broader impact of her work analyzing risk assessments and creating customized Policies and Procedures documents for the firm’s clients. That sense of fulfillment that comes from helping others find meaning is what Ana wants to achieve as a data analyst, by breaking down datasets in order to breathe life into them for her clients.

Ike Ingle Ike Ingle
B.S.B.A., with Distinction, Business Administration, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2020
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At 15, Ike began his lifelong journey as an entrepreneur by starting an e-commerce company that generated over $150,000 in sales. He developed flexibility and independence by successfully balancing both homeschool studies and business responsibilities. By leading a team of 5 part-time employees, who helped with sourcing and distribution, this venture also taught him unique teamwork and problem-solving skills. Diving into this business’s data to improve profitability was where his passion for analytical problem-solving began.

Ike’s love for analytics flourished while he was pursuing an undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School. One class specifically, where he navigated the data science pipeline alongside a project team, made him realize that analytics connected his interests and talents perfectly. Analyzing Twitter sentiment and discovering that tweets about Instacart during COVID-19 were more negative than their competitors’ illustrated a convincing example of the power of data. Working within diverse teams was common at Kenan-Flagler, and Ike thrived in facilitating discussions and maximizing the individual strengths of team members. Throughout college, Ike also worked for himself in insurance sales, where he continued developing his interpersonal and entrepreneurial talents and built a financial comparison model to convert more sales.

Ike’s passions outside of data and business typically revolve around nature and sports. He particularly loves to ski, hike, cycle, and camp anywhere in the Appalachian and Rocky Mountain ranges. Road tripping in a hatchback through national parks and tent-camping with friends is Ike’s ideal vacation. Naturally, an interest in sustainability both in the business world and his personal life has developed. Beyond that, playing and watching basketball and football have always been integral parts of Ike’s life. He especially enjoys sharpening his analytical skills through dynasty fantasy football, where sports and statistics combine perfectly.

Rayan Jabr Rayan Jabr
B.S., magna cum laude, Statistics, NC State University, 2019
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Rayan moved to Damascus, Syria at the age of six. In an effort to learn more about the culture and language, Rayan began to play tennis on an old dirt court where the dust clouded his vision of the ball. At the age of twelve, Rayan moved back to Raleigh, NC and continued playing tennis. In 2013, he was part of the North Carolina High School State Tennis Championship team. Rayan also coached the second-best under 12 team in the city. For Rayan, playing and coaching tennis introduced him to team chemistry and the desire to collaborate with others. Currently, Rayan serves as a brand ambassador for the leading tennis company in the world, Babolat.

Rayan’s high school AP Statistics teacher sparked his interest in the subject by introducing basic probability theory. The artistic appeal of data visualization and the mystery associated with predicting the future intrigued Rayan. During the summer of 2019, Rayan spent his time interning at the John Deere World Headquarters. He developed an R-Shiny application with the power to illustrate findings from the company’s early order program data. He also created a second application that visualized the company’s probability of experiencing an economic downturn on a product-by-product level using predictive modeling and regression analysis.

In his free time, you can spot Rayan at your local tennis courts competing with friends, reading about cars and the latest automotive technology, or traveling the world to explore new countries and cultures. Rayan has visited 16 countries and is always looking for opportunities to expand his list.

James Jiang James Jiang
B.S., Biochemistry, UNC–Greensboro, 2019
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James came to the United States at the age of sixteen by himself. In chasing his American dream, he had the unforgettable experience of playing defensive end for his high school football team at St. David’s in Raleigh, NC. In college, he became the first international student ranger at the university police department. These experiences enabled him to learn integrity and hard work while reminding him that success without tears and sweat is impossible.

James’s interest in analytics began when he built a standard cortisol calibration curve during one of his many undergraduate experiments. The result of that experiment showed linearity between instrumentation response and various levels of standard cortisol concentration in a scatterplot. These results drove him to find out more about statistics and predictive analytics and ultimately led him to the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Working with diverse teams and using his communication skills helped James in his role as a student ranger at UNC-Greensboro’s police department. He collaborated with officers to help international students understand the rules of campus. His work was recognized with a scholarship from the police department. His perseverance and passion with a touch of assertiveness helped him to complete tasks.

A classically trained pianist with 10 years of experience, James enjoys playing the piano whenever he gets a chance. Outside of class, James likes to spend time with friends and eat barbeque. His enthusiasm, along with a sense of humor, positively impact those around him.

Shelby Joji Shelby Joji
B.S., magna cum laude, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Kennesaw State University, 2019
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Shelby grew up experiencing cricket as part of his culture, and his first exposure to analytics was analyzing the winning probabilities of team India. He further developed a passion for data science during his career as a respiratory therapist. Seeing how data-driven decisions in medicine impact patients’ lives bolstered his motivation to pursue data science.

From analyzing cricket data as a typical aficionado to analyzing clinical data as a respiratory therapist, Shelby has fueled his passion for data science by working on projects and learning new programming languages. He has always enjoyed the process of applying concepts to real-world projects. Shelby’s most notable machine learning project involved analyzing more than 100,000 chest x-ray images. He used a convolutional neural network to develop an algorithm that predicts pneumonia with better accuracy than the VGG model. Shelby’s work merited him the Best Undergraduate Poster award, and his paper was published in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) journal. While juggling full-time classes and a 36-hour weekend shift at the hospital, Shelby’s dedication propelled him to achieve his goal of finishing his undergraduate degree in mathematics within four years.

Besides analytics, Shelby has demonstrated great leadership skills at the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, where he served as president from 2013-2015. Through his leadership and organization of numerous charity drives, campus fellowships, and community outreach activities, the chapter received state-level recognition. This improved the chapter rating from a one to four-star chapter, a great feat in such a short period of time.

When taking a break, Shelby enjoys watching cricket games with his family or viewing psychological thrillers and action movies.

McKenzie Jones McKenzie Jones
B.S., cum laude, Mathematical Economics, University of Richmond, 2019
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McKenzie grew up swimming competitively. As she got older, it became harder to swim faster, so she asked questions to improve her technique: how many strokes does she take between breaths? How quickly do her legs coil during a flip turn? When she enrolled in AP Statistics, the process of asking questions to solve problems already felt familiar. After analyzing her technique to become a faster swimmer, McKenzie wondered what else she could improve.

While exploring this curiosity during undergrad, McKenzie also developed a passion for meaningful service. During college, she engaged her community through a program that couples long-term service with reflective exercises on social issues. She volunteered at an afterschool learning center in an underserved part of Richmond, where she mentored one student to provide homework assistance and emotional encouragement. This program gave McKenzie a better understanding of the challenges that face her community and left her with a lifelong passion for helping others.

Before starting her master’s program, McKenzie traveled the country as a consultant for her sorority’s national headquarters. In this dynamic and unsupervised role, she visited twelve universities throughout the year, listening to chapter leaders and creating intentional action plans to help them work through chapter-specific problems. After working with Brown University’s chapter for three months, McKenzie helped them improve their recruitment priority statistics by 17%, boosting them to three members above quota.

In her free time, McKenzie enjoys hiking around North Carolina, practicing new yoga poses, and trying different coffee shops in search of the best Americano. She also loves getting to know people on a deeper level and understanding what drives them. Using her aptitude for discerning the way things work, McKenzie strives to improve everything from personal relationships to the well-being of her community.

Trent Jones Trent Jones
B.S., summa cum laude, Industrial Engineering, NC State University, 2017
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Driven by a belief that knowledge is the key to improvement, Trent has always been a lifelong learner who is eager to be on the cutting edge. A baseball fan since he was big enough to hold a bat, Trent was fascinated by the data-driven strategies that savvy managers used during the sabermetrics revolution. Seeing such a successful example of innovation and attention to detail in his favorite sport led Trent to pursue a career in data science.

After graduating from NC State University in 2017, Trent joined Credit Suisse as part of the rotational technical analyst program, where he spent three years working in two different roles. Trent first worked as a dashboard developer in charge of communicating vendor management metrics to stakeholders across the IT functions of the bank. In his second rotation, Trent worked as an automation engineer for the bank’s virtual assistant. Trent was able to collaborate with teams from IT support, compliance, risk, and investment banking to create automated chatbot solutions for use cases, ranging from populating forms to correcting erroneous values in databases. While in his automation engineer role, Trent also took on a machine learning stretch project with the goal of improving the process of catching incorrect values in market data. The team implemented a solution that maintained the system’s level of accuracy while improving precision by 90%. This saved financial analysts eighty hours per week in investigating errors that were ultimately false positives.

Outside of school, Trent is an avid golfer. He is drawn to the game because of the balance of creativity and precision required for a good golf shot. Trent has spent his entire life suffering as a fan of the Wolfpack, and roots for the Carolina Panthers and the Atlanta Braves as well.

Théo Jouisse Théo Jouisse
M.Sc., Applied Mathematics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 2018
B.Sc., Mathematics, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, 2016
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Théo’s interest in analytics began during the development of his master’s thesis on infection processes. While using mathematical models to examine the spread of viruses, he discovered the critical role of data cleaning and processing. Théo became fascinated by the unique integration of mathematics and data analysis used by firms in order to target groups and better spread information.

Théo began tutoring in math for friends and classmates at age 16 and then continued professionally as a teaching assistant for numerous undergraduate courses at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. His experience designing and attending exercise sessions, grading exams, and tutoring students allowed him to develop flexibility in presenting ideas and adapting to audiences.

After graduation, Théo worked as a junior actuary for Deloitte in Paris. Tasked with analyses and audits, he had to formulate judgments based on statistics and insurance data. Despite being the only junior actuary in the firm to come from a non-actuarial background, Théo’s quick learning and strong work ethic earned him spots on several top consulting missions.

From team projects during the day to teamwork on the field in the evening, Théo has been passionate about working with others from a young age. He served as a rugby team founder and captain for several years as an undergraduate and developed a love for team building along the way. Now a new member of an MSA student team, he hopes to use his abilities to encourage and maximize every member’s unique skill sets.

Namrata Jumani Namrata Jumani
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Administration, NC State University, 2020
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From a young age, Namrata found herself applying research and analytics in her life. This ranged from casual decisions, like strategically routing errands with her dad, to more critical decisions, such as sophisticatedly developing growth strategies for Raleigh businesses. For any challenge that comes her way, the common threads of logical thinking and problem solving are what Namrata enjoys most.

Namrata explored her interest in business analytics throughout her three years at NCSU. At IHS Markit, she tested how tools, such as Einstein AI, could be leveraged to identify key sales trends and optimize lead conversion. This exposure led her to apply for the Business Analytics Honors Program to complement her business finance education. In the program, Namrata studied fundamental analytics, visualization techniques, and analytical approaches to business challenges. In the spirit of “Think and Do,” Namrata applied her learnings on a team practicum project focused on developing HR analytics for ADAMA. At the IBM Cloud Garage, Namrata built a model that predicted hours for future consulting engagements, furthering her exposure to the impactful benefits of analytics.

In addition to her knack for analytics, Namrata also has a passion for interdisciplinary connections between STEM and humanities. Raised in an Indian-American household, she learned to appreciate unique perspectives and explore connections to bridge cultural differences. Interested in viewing the world using empirical data, Namrata enjoys powerful reads, such as Hello World. In her free time, Namrata pushes herself to try new experiences, whether that be finding a new dance style to jam out to, a new cuisine to cook up, or a new trail to hike. She loves to explore and often ropes her friends into a fun adventure as well. For the future, Namrata is eager to learn how to explore information, reshape it, and leverage it in a meaningful way.

Zain Kazi Zain Kazi
B.S., magna cum laude, Mechanical Engineering, NC State University, 2020
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Zain’s interest in applying mathematical concepts to solve real-world issues drew him to mechanical engineering. The math and physics-intensive degree immersed him in topics to optimally design and manufacture the technology around us.

As an engineering intern at Collins Aerospace, Zain analyzed data generated during test simulations to understand how aspects of aircraft seat design impact safety considerations for passengers. Witnessing the impact and application of analytics sparked a fascination for utilizing data to draw meaningful insights.

After deciding to pursue a statistics minor, Zain was able to apply his knowledge from his statistical classes to pharmaceuticals when performing capability analysis as an automation engineering intern at Merck. By identifying trends and generating control charts through the SAS JMP software, his analysis helped demonstrate that vaccine parameters met quality standards and that manufacturing processes were in a state of statistical control. The culmination of his statistical classes, along with his experiences in analyzing data in a variety of engineering processes, solidified his pursuit of a career in analytics.

In his free time, Zain enjoys a variety of sports with his friends, especially soccer. He also enjoys learning about religion, studying Arabic, and spending time with family.

Sid Khullar Sid Khullar
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Administration, NC State University, 2020
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Sid has followed a nontraditional path to higher education. He started working at Pizza Hut in high school and was promoted to Restaurant General Manager at age 20. Sid was ranked first out of 38 store managers for overall performance in the region, all while taking classes at Wake Technical Community College. Sid received countless accolades for his performance at Pizza Hut, but more importantly, he learned how much he enjoyed coaching others to reach their full potential. This experience cultivated Sid’s desire to lead and unite others, inspiring him to return to the world of academia full-time to pursue a business degree.

During his undergraduate years at NC State University, Sid enjoyed internships in business, information technology, and research while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. His business acumen allowed him to translate the benefits of complex technologies effectively to stakeholders. This ability helped him sell upper management on a novel churn prediction model at Cisco. In the last semester of his undergraduate program, he also presented a decision tree model for predicting identity theft victims to the Poole College of Management Board of Advisors. Most recently, Sid assisted in creating a framework by which companies can analyze the impact and efficacy of utilizing machine learning on their business problems.

In his spare time, Sid enjoys rereading the Harry Potter series, watching stand-up comedy, and spending time with his friends. Since he loves eating, he has become an avid cook to satisfy his desire for different cuisines. Sid also volunteers his time mentoring men, aiding them with personal, professional, and spiritual development.
Sid has an analytical mind and a heart for service. With his passion for helping others, Sid hopes to use data analytics to create a better world for tomorrow.

Mitch Killar Mitch Killar
Master of Microbial Biotechnology, NC State University, 2020
B.S., cum laude, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2017
B.A., cum laude, Economics, Virginia Tech, 2017
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Mitch discovered his passion for analytics and equity management during his time investing part of NC State’s endowment fund in a portfolio to outperform the market. As a member of Bell Tower Capital Management, he contributed to the investment strategies while pursuing his first master’s degree. Analyzing the company’s financials, both quantitative and qualitative, was one of his favorite responsibilities. Through this organization, Mitch learned how to develop and use time-series analyses and discounted cash flow models, among other methods, to identify undervalued public companies that are worthwhile investments.

Along with his passion for analytics, Mitch is also fascinated by human health. He has an interest in the economic factors that drive the development of the medical science field. With this combined interest, Mitch earned a dual undergraduate degree in biology and economics from Virginia Tech. After working for the immuno-chemistry department at Pharmaceutical Product Development (PPD), Mitch took steps to advance his career by enrolling in a master’s program in microbial biotechnology. As a master’s student, he interned as a business analyst for Kineticos Life Science Consulting, where he was known for his work ethic and dedication. Consulting at Kineticos further exposed him to the world of analytics and solidified his future aspirations.

Outside of class, Mitch can be found on the beaches of North Carolina or hiking the beautiful trails in the mountains of Asheville. As a way of engaging in teamwork and meeting people, he will never turn down the opportunity to participate in pick-up sports. Throughout his life, Mitch has enjoyed going on adventures to other countries and loves to learn about diverse cultures. He has lived abroad in Spain, and last summer spent a few weeks in India traveling the country and learning about its history.

Nico Krachenfels Nico Krachenfels
B.S.B.A., with Distinction, Business Administration, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2018
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From launching a successful start-up to optimizing operations at large companies, Nico enjoys channeling his creativity to solve the problems around him. A 2018 Venture for America fellow, he spent two years as a business analyst at Shipt, a grocery delivery company serving millions of customers nationwide.

At Shipt, Nico transformed the company’s supply strategy using SQL and R, built Tableau dashboards for the CEO to guide strategic prioritization, and led the operations team’s migration to Tableau from an old BI tool. He realized the power of data as a vehicle for change and joined the Institute for Advanced Analytics to further immerse himself in the world of data science.

Early into his undergraduate career at UNC-Chapel Hill, Nico realized that most students lived far away from the best local restaurants. With $500 and two close friends, Nico grew a food delivery business into a 5-figure, 40-employee operation. This experience sparked Nico’s interest in business and guided the rest of his undergraduate pursuits. It inspired Nico to travel to South Africa to study social entrepreneurship and to live with a host family in Spain to study small business operations. He also interned with General Mills in Hong Kong and with AT&T in their Internet of Things division.

Nico finds additional fulfillment during the week as a personal trainer, an interest rooted in developing relationships and helping people become the best versions of themselves. On the weekend, you can find Nico hiking to the highest point of a nearby national park, filming his surroundings through the eyes of his drone.

Kristen Ksepka Kristen Ksepka
B.A., Biology, Augustana College, 2018
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Kristen’s penchant for problem-solving initially led her to pursue a career in veterinary medicine, including internships at the North Carolina Zoo and a veterinary surgical center in Auckland, New Zealand. Her undergraduate research focused on the effects of controlled burning on species diversification of soil invertebrates. This inquiry led to her induction into Sigma Xi, a national scientific research honor society. However, she soon realized that the routine cases and prescribed treatments of veterinary practice didn’t allow her to analyze, solve problems, and pursue challenges to the extent she wanted. Instead, Kristen has discovered that her true passion lies in searching for revelations within messy datasets. She intends to utilize her education and love of numbers to advance the human condition.

As a township deputy assessor near her Illinois hometown, Kristen honed her analytical skills. In that position, she was responsible for using regression analysis to assess over 2,000 properties, comprising 10% of the township and totaling an estimated market value of over $700 million. Throughout her diverse experiences, Kristen’s conscientiousness, inquisitiveness, and ability to work under pressure have remained consistent.

Kristen’s education at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, along with 4-H participation as a member and officer at the local, state, and national levels, supplied her with a myriad of diverse experiences. In her free time, Kristen operates the egg delivery business she launched at age nine. She also enjoys playing piano and French horn, spending time with family, being outdoors with her border collie, and fueling her thirst for knowledge.

Thu Le Thu Le
B.S., summa cum laude, Industrial Engineering, NC State University, 2019
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Thu specifically chose her undergraduate degree in industrial engineering due to her mantra of continuous improvement. Whether on the production floor, through personal development, or in a team setting, Thu always seeks growth and positive change. Her coursework highlighted data’s crucial role in driving process improvement. Having also completed the health systems engineering certificate program, she translated her analytical background from a theoretical to an applied context. This program’s courses and projects focused on advancing provider and patient care using Six Sigma methodology. Due to her dedication and achievements, Thu was named an Edward P. Fitts Scholar, a scholarship for industrial engineering students based on academic merit.

During her process engineering internship at Dell, Thu developed a dynamic database that generated dashboards, reports, and forecasts. Her data-driven deliverables created a holistic view of key performance indicators and aided senior management in labor headcount decisions. She brought teams together in finance and process engineering to help paint the picture of overall company performance. Not only did her findings provide multiple groups with actionable insights and what-if scenarios, but she also connected stakeholders to consider the problem and contribute to a strategic solution. In this experience, Thu found analytics to be the perfect intersection of her collaborative spirit, creative spark, and desire to make positive and impactful change.

Whether it is developing a team project, playing pickup volleyball, or cooking a Vietnamese meal for friends, Thu’s love for bringing others together has inspired every aspect of her life. In bringing communities into a shared space, she hopes to create a culture to share ideas and encourage continuous improvement.

Carina Lee Carina Lee
M.A., Psychology, New York University, 2020
B.A., Psychology and Philosophy, University of Maryland–College Park, 2012
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Carina faces challenges head-on, and a desire to help others drives her determination. From working in Zambia to tackle the malnutrition crisis as a Peace Corps volunteer to earning her Master of Arts in Psychology from New York University while working full- time for the NYU Future Labs, she never tires when it comes to getting a job done.

Carina’s ability to roll up her sleeves is driven by her ultimate purpose to make the lives of others better. Her degree in psychology and pursuit of a second degree in analytics is no coincidence, but instead a calculated measure to efficiently help communities. She believes that through humanitarian knowledge, psychological nuance, and the hard sciences, we can predict behaviors, which could lead to advances in mental, physical, and societal health.

One example of such collaboration is Carina’s work with Veterans and PTSD. In 2019, Carina worked with a team researching ways to utilize AI for Veterans. She collaborated with therapists, psychiatrists, engineers, and Veterans to figure out how to address PTSD in a population known for suicide. They realized an area of inefficiency at the intake process at the VA hospital. The intake process takes incredible amounts of time and staff, which are in short supply. To address this, they made a mobile PTSD test that would serve as the first line of contact to the VA mental health service department. This process showed Carina what is possible with the combination of data, psychology, and business.

When she is not rolling up her sleeves, Carina is rolling through town on her bike. While she prefers challenging work, she enjoys the simpler things in her free time. Carina can often be found going on long runs on the greenway, cooking Italian food, and enjoying the outdoors with friends and family.

Chelyn Lee Chelyn Lee
B.S., Radiologic Science, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2017
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Chelyn first acquired domain knowledge in medical imaging at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she majored in radiologic science. After graduation, she began her professional career in healthcare as a radiologic technologist. In this position, Chelyn honed her communication and interpersonal skills as she performed diagnostic procedures for patients and assisted radiologists. During that experience, she realized the gaps in standardizing digital workflows across the industry. Driven by the desire to improve interoperability between healthcare departments, Chelyn moved to Boston, MA to work as a clinical application specialist.

Chelyn most recently worked on the Precision Diagnosis Ventures team at Philips as an implementation manager, where she contributed to the growth of some of the largest and strongest customer relationships. She managed operational relationships, provided clients with frequent insights to their projects, and launched several iterations of COVID-19 related digital outreach for helping patients navigate their care. This role instilled in Chelyn the desire to implement data-driven methods to evaluate patient satisfaction, clinical workflows, and product capabilities from a quantitative perspective. Chelyn knew this path would require knowledge of statistics and programming, so she immediately took advantage of open sources to learn Python, R, and SQL with practice datasets and decided to join the Institute for Advanced Analytics to enter a career in data science.

Outside of school, Chelyn values spending quality time with her loved ones, from sharing a cup of coffee to spending an entire week with nature in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She enjoys learning about emotional intelligence, vulnerability, and attributes of great leadership.

Mckayla Lein Mckayla Lein
B.S., cum laude, Biochemistry, Florida State University, 2018
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Engrained with a sense of natural curiosity, Mckayla seeks to better understand the world and is predisposed to do so through quantitative analysis. While in college, her favorite assignments involved analyzing the data she collected in her lab classes. Being able to tell concise and meaningful stories with data always gave her joy.

After graduating, Mckayla began working for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Durham. She worked on a team responsible for developing the Integrated Science Assessments of Criteria Air Pollutants. During her time at the EPA, Mckayla also co-authored a paper analyzing cancer risk from hazardous air pollutants in 27 cities across the country. Motivated by efficiency, Mckayla taught herself R in order to perform all of the data calculations and figure creations for the paper. Realizing her interest in programming, Mckayla collaborated with another group at the EPA to develop interactive data visualization tools using Python’s Dash framework and the D3 JavaScript library. These dashboards aid EPA scientists in finding relevant research areas, recent publications, and significant results that are of interest to the Integrated Science Assessments and other assessment work conducted at the EPA. Seeking to combine her interests in analyzing data and programming led Mckayla to pursue a Master of Science in Analytics.

In her free time, Mckayla is either traveling, looking up inspiration for where to travel next, or visiting her family. Mckayla enjoys finding the best spots for desserts and watching sunsets. When visiting her family, Mckayla can usually be found either taking her family dog on a long walk or playing board games with her sisters. She documents her adventures with photography and a newly formed pin collection Her other hobbies include hiking, playing video games, and listening to podcasts.

Jackson Lessnau Jackson Lessnau
B.S., magna cum laude, Statistics, NC State University, 2020
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From his upbringing as the son of an active duty Marine Corps servicemember, Jackson learned early on to take advantage of life experiences. Those life experiences led him to develop a deep passion for exploration, which translated to a love of data analysis and became a guiding principle for his life.

During his time as an undergraduate, Jackson challenged himself by completing the requirements for NC State’s Honors College alongside his statistics degree. His honors capstone project featured an adaptation of a linear algebra-based prediction model as it related to regular season games in the National Basketball Association (NBA), along with an application to sports betting. This method had not yet been applied in literature, and his advisor described it as an extremely creative take on a commonly attempted challenge.

Jackson also spent 2.5 years as a Resident Advisor (RA) on Central Campus at NC State University. During this time, he oversaw, engaged with, and responded to the needs of over 75 first-year residents annually. After a year on the job, he became the peer-leader for a group of 20 RAs in his coverage area. Jackson led the team through a successful year while navigating the leadership responsibilities, administrative duties, and interpersonal relationship-building required by the job.

Outside of the classroom or workplace, Jackson likes to take advantage of the amazing landscape that North Carolina has to offer. Whether it be trips to the mountains for a hike or to the beach to visit friends and family, Jackson is always looking for ways to be active and use his camera to capture the moment.

Dylan Loerts Dylan Loerts
B.S.B.A., summa cum laude, Business Finance; Banking & Financial Markets; Investment Science & Portfolio Management, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 2019
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Dylan was first drawn to analytics in middle school when his father started a career as a stock day trader. Wanting to understand what this entailed, Dylan watched the ticker symbols scroll by on the television whenever he could get a peek. At 18, he opened a brokerage account to begin his own trading. With years of practice, Dylan has been able to consistently and substantially beat the average yearly market return. With his most recently developed strategy using logistic regression in a combination of volatility hedging with leveraged exchange traded funds, Dylan has been able to outperform the market in the first half of 2020 by +78% (S&P -3% vs +75% personally).

Throughout his undergraduate career, Dylan used analytics to back his decision-making in order to be as accurate as possible. Most notably as Student Body Executive Treasurer, he worked diligently using metric dashboards and data visualization techniques to balance the $750,000+ annual budget. This prevented students from paying increased fees while still meeting the demands of each of the 16 organizations that it funded. Dylan continued to use these skills while working as an intern and full-time financial analyst at Union Pacific Railroad. There, Dylan worked on the revenue audit team, using data scraping techniques to find missing or wrongly classified charges in order to recover payments. The programs Dylan solely managed found over $2.5 million in monthly missed payments, a nearly 15% increase in monthly collections from when he took over.

Much of Dylan’s free time is spent being active in the weight room, golf course, or soccer field. He also reads voraciously on a range of topics, such as neuroscience, social economics, or philosophy. However, these hobbies never stand in the way of his love for watching college football.

Fiz Lokku Fiz Lokku
B.A.(Hons.), Financial Mathematics, Wilfrid Laurier University, 2015
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In the five years since graduating from Wilfrid Laurier University, Fiz has consistently demonstrated his enthusiasm for new challenges while working as a bond trader at TD Securities. In his first year, Fiz helped launch the asset-backed securities desk in New York. He single-handedly grew the client base, traded the product, and developed the tools that allowed this branch to be successful. During this time, Fiz applied his background in financial mathematics to understand and price credit risk for large pools of receivables, particularly credit card debt and auto loans. He developed tools that were instrumental in reviewing client activity and trade data, as well as in managing interest rate and credit exposure for various financial instruments.

Fiz’s experiences in business analytics and risk management provided him with a glimpse into the possibilities and challenges of working with data. As an undergraduate student fueled by a passion for mathematics and statistics, Fiz excelled in regression, differential equations, and stochastic modeling courses. He realized that this educational background already provided some of the building blocks for a career in analytics. This foundation, now combined with five years of professional experience in a fast-paced teamwork environment, inspired Fiz to pursue graduate studies in analytics.

In his spare time, Fiz loves to explore human nature and behavior through the arts. In particular, he is often fascinated by complex characters in literature and in film that are relatable or insightful. His fiancée would add that Fiz cannot stop referring to his favorite book, Blood Meridian. When he is not reading or watching movies, Fiz enjoys spending time in nature or at boxing gyms. He picked up the sport while living in New York, and in 2018, he won his first amateur bout while fundraising for Fighters 4 Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to local at-risk youth.

Levi Lovell Levi Lovell
M.S., Atmospheric Science, NC State University, 2020
B.S., summa cum laude, Meteorology, NC State University, 2018
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Driven by an innate curiosity and a desire to learn something new each day, Levi constantly wonders why and how things happen. He has always been captivated by prediction and the use of data to make informed decisions. His childhood fascination with analyzing and forecasting severe weather led him to NC State University to pursue meteorology.

As an undergraduate, Levi gained experience working with large datasets and developing programming skills to solve complex weather problems efficiently. He worked closely with other researchers to implement image processing and computer vision techniques to analyze falling snowflakes and predict snowflake attributes with machine learning algorithms in MATLAB. Levi further refined his geospatial analytic, coding, and critical thinking skills through graduate research involving severe storms. He used Python to analyze output from high-resolution numerical modeling simulations to investigate the structure of tornadoes and identify key physical processes relevant to tornado formation. Forecasters will be able to employ his findings to enhance assessments of tornado potential and severity. These research projects required technical expertise as well as an ability to distill and communicate findings to diverse audiences. By integrating his problem-solving skills and enthusiasm for learning statistical and programming concepts, Levi is eager to pursue a career where he can solve complex interdisciplinary and cross-cutting problems for the greater good.

In his free time, Levi enjoys playing tennis and discovering new disc golf courses around North Carolina. He also loves using technology to meticulously plan annual family vacations across North America, featuring incredible scenery and delicious local eateries. Levi can always be found supporting his favorite team — the Boston Red Sox — and studying draft prospects in baseball, football, and basketball.

Conor Lynch Conor Lynch
B.S.B.A., Business Administration, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2017
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Conor first entered the realm of analytics by creating a regression, hoping to predict NFL games better than his uncle after coming up short three years in a row. That experience (and successful result!) taught him lifelong lessons about the power of data and how he can apply that in the modern world. His strong desire to take lessons learned and use them to solve small and large-scale problems has motivated Conor to dive headfirst into the world of analytics.

After graduating with a business administration degree, Conor moved to South Florida, where he worked on the sales team for the Orange Bowl Committee leading into the 2017 Capital One Orange Bowl. Additionally, he later spent two years working as an Account Executive for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Those roles taught Conor the importance of meeting clients’ needs, creating the buy-in, and driving results. With a core belief that sales is a numbers game, his persistent effort drove his success. While with the Buccaneers, Conor also implemented new technologies on the sales floor and trained representatives on best practices for improving organizational results.

In his downtime, Conor can be found watching any live competition, browsing the latest national or international news, or playing games that have a hint of strategy. He is commissioner of his fantasy football league, where he is always looking for creative suggestions to make the upcoming year different and enjoyable. Finding great enjoyment in playing chess and solving crossword puzzles, Conor seeks every opportunity to solve a puzzle, especially if it involves competition.

Hope Mamboleo Hope Mamboleo
B.S., cum laude, Mathematics Education, NC State University, 2018
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When Hope first stepped into a library at age 16, she wished that she could stay forever. Her joy for learning would finally be so easily nourished. New to Lansing, Michigan, she had just migrated from a remote village where all compilations of data records were neatly maintained by hand. The new ease of access to information at the library was mind-boggling! She wanted to know everything! Hope’s infectious passion for learning was later recognized at her community college when she received the Enthusiastic Learner award at the commencement ceremony.

Later, funded by the National Science Foundation, Hope worked as a research assistant at Illinois State University during the summer of 2017. In that role, she worked with Chicago secondary school students, advising the students’ explorations on graph theory. In the end, students recognized and were able to discuss how graph-based networks for design systems worked.

Hope’s objective to nurture relationships guided her through college, and then back into the classroom as a math teacher. She focused on supporting young scholars in understanding relationships that pair tangible life lessons with secondary school curriculum. While teaching at Wake Stem Early College, she designed quarterly cross-curricular projects, collaborated with authors of the county’s math curriculum, and partnered with Lord Corporation to improve student learning. In her teaching practice, Hope used Google Classroom to track data patterns on students’ learning, suggest interventions, and offer critical growth opportunities. Hope utilized the performance reports from Google Classroom during discussions in parent-teacher conferences and to inform her next steps for instruction.

Hope enjoys exploring bike trails and gathering statistics on her Apple Watch to track her progress. She often joins community meetups for bike rides. Hope appreciates taking breaks to admire nature, often stopping to watch reptiles cross the trail.

Conner Mann Conner Mann
B.S., Statistics and Analytics, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2020
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As a child, Conner’s intended profession changed on a monthly basis. He aspired at times to be a guitarist, doctor, soccer player, graphic designer, and the list goes on. However, it was ultimately this array of passions that led him to pursue statistics and analytics as an undergraduate. At UNC-Chapel Hill, Conner was the Chair of Ticketing and Database Operations for Carolina Fever, where he increased fan engagement by analyzing athletic event attendance data. He also investigated the intersection of analytics and healthcare by assisting a local physical therapy clinic as an independent consultant. By implementing new data collection and storage practices, Conner elevated their analytic maturity to enable future growth and sophistication. This enthusiasm for statistics and analytics led to a summer internship on the Enterprise Data and Analytics Team at SAS.

While at SAS, Conner further developed his data literacy while operating within a team setting. He worked with a senior intern to dissect Amazon Web Service (AWS) billing data. After two months of data exploration and development, he presented a visualization dashboard to management with recommendations on how to reduce AWS costs. This work was eventually used as the platform to develop an executive-level dashboard for senior management. The following summer, Conner took on more responsibility by working with a new intern to integrate SAS’ resource allocation data with employees’ logged hours. This work culminated in a dashboard for project managers to assess the allocation of employee resources across IT.

In his free time, Conner enjoys playing guitar in a local rock band called The Northbounds. He also enjoys baking bread, finding new coffee shops, and playing golf (poorly).

Andrew McCown Andrew McCown
B.B.A., cum laude, Business Analytics, Ohio University, 2020
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Andrew is a methodical risk-taker. His sense of adventure began at a young age and was amplified through his various experiences. After becoming an Eagle Scout at the age of 15, he endeavored to find unique ways to refine himself. His past adventures may seem spontaneous, but they were always carefully analyzed. Spending an entire summer in Alaska seems unusual on the surface, but to Andrew, it has been a topic of interest for awhile. He was able to practice accounting and traverse the wild beauty of Alaska all in a single summer. This experience alone has opened doors to other opportunities and allowed Andrew to diversify his professional and cultural experiences.

In addition to pushing external boundaries, Andrew continuously pushes the boundaries of his learning ability. During undergraduate studies, he took various roles in the prestigious Ohio University Student Fixed Income Management Group (OUSFIMG). Andrew dedicated countless hours to studying how to incorporate analytics into bond portfolio management. He has held the following positions while actively managing $3.2 million in debt securities: Bond Analyst, Portfolio Manager, Head of Quantitative Strategies, and Designer of Quantitative Research. His experimentation in different roles for OUSFIMG is what led to his decision to pursue higher education in data science.

Andrew enjoys an engaging story. Whether in the form of novels, television, cinema, or video games, stories are a great source of learning. Andrew began to use data to tell his own stories when he took on an advanced grant-funded research project. He was able to accurately model predictions to depict if students would accept financial offers from a university. When he is not telling stories through data, Andrew can likely be found on the receiving end of a good story.

Henry Morée Henry Morée
B.A., summa cum laude, Economics; Political Science, Wheaton College, 2017
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During his career in healthcare and technology, Henry has pursued his professional mission to “do normal well, but make normal better.” This mindset of hard work and continuous improvement, coupled with a commitment to integrity and teamwork, has empowered him to drive meaningful value for organizations. These organizations have ranged from a start-up pharmaceutical social enterprise to the world’s largest healthcare IT firm.

Henry feels energized when collaborating to implement fresh technology-based solutions that improve processes and help people work at their best. One highly rewarding instance of this involved spending a day automating an error-prone manual spreadsheet process by working closely with the colleague whose tasks the automation streamlined. As a result, the team was able to redirect up to 1,000 hours per year to other priorities.

In addition to specifically technical endeavors, Henry’s experience includes facilitating effective teamwork by leading a broad range of projects to successful and timely completion. While managing quality-assurance projects, he coordinated the efforts of individuals, including attorneys, engineers, entry-level support staff, and corporate executives. These projects were all different, involving topics as varied as security and patient care, and constantly required learning new subject matter. Henry closed 100% of his projects on time.

In his free time, Henry enjoys leading weekly hikes with the local Catholic young adult group. He also finds history fascinating and likes visiting museums, especially the National WWI Museum and Memorial. Before returning to the Raleigh area, he served as treasurer for Catholic Challenge Sports, a faith-based recreational sports league in Kansas City.

As he moves into the next phase of his career, Henry is excited to continue working with teams to “do normal well, but make normal better.”

Jason Mostowy Jason Mostowy
M.S., Marine Biology, Texas A&M University, 2020
B.S., cum laude, Marine Science/Biology, University of Miami, 2015
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Exploration has always been at the center of Jason’s professional life. After graduation, he spent two years working at the Southeast Fisheries Science Center in Miami, often living on open-ocean research vessels for weeks at a time while studying the ecology of larval reef fishes. During this time, he wrote a first-authored paper analyzing the distribution of an invasive fish species using generalized additive models. This project served as his introduction to approaching broad scientific questions using advanced quantitative methods.

While studying for his master’s degree, Jason needed to automate the analysis of large, complex acoustic datasets. During this time, he found that statistical coding was an intuitive skill for him. Jason also excelled in R, Python, and MATLAB courses, and he became the go-to reference for coding assistance among his fellow graduate students. Deciding to explore this avenue further, he took a consulting position as an R developer for a Houston non-profit environmental organization. Jason greatly enjoyed employing his technical talents to help others explore their own data, and he decided to pursue a career where such skills would be a central facet.

Unable to leave the aquatic life behind, Jason spends as much of his spare time as possible near the water. An avid scuba diver, he typically prefers to be under the surface, exploring the flooded quarries of inland North Carolina or the shipwrecks off the Outer Banks. Additionally, he can be found kayaking, paddleboarding, or hiking the woods around Raleigh. When trapped inside by the rain, Jason enjoys reading— particularly 20th-century history—or finding cool spots to eat and drink around town.

Wade Mouer Wade Mouer
B.A., summa cum laude, Mathematics, UNC–Asheville, 2020
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Wade has displayed a love for creative problem-solving since his childhood. He views professional and academic problems as a series of puzzles and takes satisfaction in finding solutions that are both practical and elegant. Wade’s curiosity has led him to applications in a variety of disciplines, and he enjoys finding new contexts in which to explore how data are used and manipulated. For example, Wade, an avid soccer fan, researched and presented on a method of quantifying and aggregating player positions to define a metric of control for each team.

Wade’s curiosity and passion for problem-solving contributed to his success as an undergraduate, allowing him to earn his bachelor’s degree after just three years. During his undergraduate career, he thrived when finding computational solutions to mathematical problems. As a member of the first PIC (Preparation for Industrial Careers) Math team at UNC-Asheville, Wade worked to improve routing and scheduling logistics for a residential substance abuse treatment program. His team built a system that computes optimal driver schedules based on mapping and traffic data, along with the times and locations of appointments.

Wade loves to travel and dreams of settling in a small Italian village. He is constantly searching for new places and activities. When he is not finding waterfalls and swimming holes on the Blue Ridge Parkway, he is cooking new recipes or trying his hand at woodworking. On the weekends, Wade can often be found in a Liverpool FC jersey, cheering his team to victory in the English Premier League. Wade also makes a point to take care of his mind and body. He enjoys running, hiking, and lifting weights to stay fit, and he practices daily meditation to improve his mindfulness and mental health.

Tanner Muhlestein Tanner Muhlestein
B.S., Statistics, Brigham Young University, 2019
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As the 9th of 11 children, Tanner learned early on the value of faith, family, and sibling rivalry. However, he now finds that competing with himself is the fairest. As Tanner grew, he took his competitive pursuits outside the home and into athletics. Throughout middle school and high school, Tanner competed in football and basketball, and he was named a double letterman his senior year. It was this love of sports that led to a discussion that would change his life.

Tanner and a fellow student had a disagreement about who should be considered the best point guard in the history of the NBA. As a lifelong Utah Jazz fan (and a rational person), Tanner believes it is John Stockton, but his friend argued the merits of Magic Johnson. This discussion led Tanner on a journey to numerically prove Stockton’s dominance. It was during this search that Tanner discovered the field of statistics. While they never settled their differences, Tanner was intrigued by the ability of data to tell stories and solve problems.

Following a two-year mission to Atlanta, GA for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Tanner began studying statistics at Brigham Young University. Throughout his time as an undergraduate, Tanner worked with the healthcare consulting firm Leavitt Partners as an analyst. In this position, he got hands-on experience dealing with policy coverage. Additionally, Tanner has worked with several start-ups and research teams. He loves the challenge of getting a business or project on its feet. Tanner’s studies and experiences have shown him data can do much more than illuminate the intricacies of a sporting event. Data can find problems. Data can solve problems. Data can help people.

Edrine Mutebi Edrine Mutebi
B.S., Quantitative Economics, Makerere University, 2013
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Edrine developed a passion for data after taking a census for the first time in his life. This opened his mind to the power that lies within data to drive decisions and achieve strategic goals. For his undergraduate research project at Makerere University, Edrine worked on a project for the Compassion International office in Uganda. For this project, he collected and analyzed data regarding its finances and the number of children it supported for a period of seventeen years. Drawing insights from the analysis, Edrine made hypothetical recommendations to the organization. His findings were used for future planning and as evidence that the organization played a significant role in improving the lives of Ugandan children.

Having a growth mindset, Edrine came to the United States in July of 2019 to continue pursuing data analytics. After enrolling at Wake Technical Community College for his associate degree, Edrine was selected to serve as a student ambassador for one year. This opportunity gave him a platform to serve others while exercising his networking and communication skills by conducting campus tours and representing the college at events. Edrine was later offered a summer internship for data science with the IBM Supply Chain department that turned into a co-op after his graduation. Working in an Agile environment, he performed extensive root cause analysis on operational costs and applied a random forest model to key parameters to predict strategies for reducing production costs.

Advocating for underprivileged children is important to Edrine. He serves on the board of a U.S.-based non-profit called Embrace Uganda, an organization that raises money to provide clean water, education, and medication for orphans in Uganda. Beyond this, Edrine enjoys traveling, playing and watching soccer, hiking, and going to the cinema.

Stephanie O'Hara Stephanie O’Hara
B.S., Business Administration, Fordham University, 2007
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Stephanie has spent the past decade gaining experience in adapting to various industries and roles. Each experience has focused her career in the pursuit of making informed decisions and improving efficiencies. Initially working for Lehman Brothers after her graduation from Fordham University, Stephanie began her data career at a solar start-up in Washington, D.C. In this position, she aggregated policy, operations, and financial data to maintain the company’s profitability model. Expanding her data analysis skills at Booz Allen Hamilton, she supported the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management in constructing cost models and asset management guides.

Further developing industry experience after relocating to Houston, Stephanie launched Qlikview at Rawson, an oil and gas distributor, where she tracked profitability margins and operations metrics for senior leadership. Using data analytics, she corrected a project backlog overstatement of $2M in a $14M portfolio and built sales compensation models that identified payment errors over a 3-year period. Focusing on operations metrics at Elsevier, she led a project launching Tableau for a $50M education product that reported revenue, orders, and usage. Stephanie’s favorite projects included a geographic target analysis for sales strategy and the adoption of new data sources to measure and report key metrics. Utilizing this data, she found misstated revenue that revised future budget and incentive policies. In the evolving world of data science, Stephanie’s diverse experiences have built the foundation she needs to confront challenges while creating efficiencies.

In her spare time, Stephanie is justifying her Peloton by attempting to amortize it with daily usage. She enjoys training in Muay Thai and hiking with her husband and black lab-mastiff, Maus. Staying involved by volunteering with Junior League, she works with programs that provide STEAM opportunities to youth. With her extended family living abroad in Europe and Asia, Stephanie also enjoys traveling internationally.

Sarah Ocampo Sarah Ocampo
B.S., magna cum laude, Business Analytics, Southern New Hampshire University, 2020
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Sarah is always on a mission. She discovered her passion for analytics at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam, NL after completing her first case study and realizing that she has always had an analytical mindset. As her knowledge about analytics grew, Sarah has made it her mission to use her analytical skills while simultaneously pursuing her passion to help others.

Sarah is best known for her unique perspectives, dedication, and perseverance. She placed first for the “Most Actionable Insight” award in Teradata’s Global Education Movement data science competition for her ideas related to improving education in remote areas of the world. Sarah also continued to positively impact the lives of others during her undergraduate honors program. For her thesis research, she focused on strategic job placement strategies for Veterans and military spouses. To recognize excellence in academic achievement during her course of undergraduate studies, the chair of management science awarded her the “Outstanding Student Award.” Additionally, she received an award for “Academic Excellence,” which is an honor given to the student achieving the highest grade point average in each program.

When not working on academic projects, you can find Sarah volunteering at Girls Inc., helping raise and train puppies for Guiding Eyes for the Blind, or aiming to master her piano skills. Growing up in New England allowed Sarah to enjoy the best of all four seasons through skiing, snowboarding, rowing, and other athletics, as well as spending summer days at the beach. In between her academic and personal endeavors, Sarah also enjoys exploring new restaurants in search of tasty vegetarian dishes and challenging friends to a game of chess.

Shalina Omar Shalina Omar
M.A., English (Linguistics), NC State University, 2019
B.A., Linguistics and Cognitive Science, Scripps College, 2015
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Japanese news headline: Man sues national broadcasting organization for using English words. This unlikely news story launched Shalina’s path towards data science with her undergraduate thesis. She analyzed data from native Japanese speakers to explain language attitudes, giving Shalina her first taste of data-driven storytelling. After graduation, her interest in cross-cultural exploration led her to teach in Indonesia as a Fulbright scholar. Upon returning, Shalina realized that just a taste was not enough. She sought a master’s in linguistics to continue working with language data.

Passionate about translating data into something useful and accessible, Shalina involves herself in outreach programs. One passion project was the Language Diversity Ambassadors, a graduate student group she turned into a 501(c)(3) non-profit during her tenure as president. She loved transforming data and research into relatable lessons when teaching North Carolinians about dialect diversity and its social impact.

Shalina believes that asking what goes on behind and beyond the data is as important as the data itself. Where does it come from and how does that impact analysis? Who benefits and who loses? These questions directed the focus of her master’s project on hidden bias and linguistic barriers to justice in the courtroom. Designed as a data-backed instructional booklet for lawyers, the project earned Shalina the Outstanding Capstone Award. The momentum from her capstone pushed Shalina to further pursue analytics, fueling her interest in exploring invisible bias and the role data scientists play in creating the algorithms that shape our lives.

On the weekends, you can find Shalina hitting large, Japanese drums with her local taiko group or traveling the world from her kitchen with her cat, Parsley. Shalina’s favorite dish right now is coconut sticky rice with mango, but she’s also trying her hand at sourdough and pickling.

Robert Patterson Robert Patterson
B.A., magna cum laude, Public Health, University of South Carolina, 2020
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At age 6, Robert’s interest in analytics began when he created probability-based simulation games with his baseball cards and Army men. He realized that statistics and numbers unlocked the potential to delve deeper into topics, a passion that Robert still holds today. His love for quantitative thinking was reawakened during his first semester at the University of South Carolina after being introduced to SAS programming through an independent epidemiology research project analyzing CDC national survey data. As a result, Robert earned a Magellan grant and presented his research to the university president. During the summer of 2019, Robert collaborated with another epidemiologist in the composition of two research articles on gender and dementia published in Aging & Mental Health and the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Robert also co-authored a poster presentation given at the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting.

During his time at the University of South Carolina, Robert also spent six months working with the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Analytics and transformed its reporting process. While he was initially hired to review transcript information, his ingenuity, work ethic, and statistical computing experience grabbed the attention of the analytics staff. Robert was assigned the increased responsibility of streamlining the reporting process for the Carolina Core areas. Once again, he surpassed expectations by creating a SAS macro program with the ability to reproduce consistent, branded reports for any academic program. His work was later presented at the South Carolina Association for Institutional Research’s annual conference.

Robert loves everything football, from high school recruiting to the NFL draft, and spends his free time scouring through databases related to the sport. He also enjoys exploring the local music scene of whatever city he finds himself in, usually watching his favorite bands in the most unlikely hole-in-the-wall venues.

Jeremy Peavey Jeremy Peavey
M.S., Medical Science, University of Vermont, 2019
B.S., cum laude, Biochemistry; Economics, Roanoke College, 2016
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Jeremy believes that data-driven decision-making will dictate meaningful change in the 21st-century. His understanding of the power of analytics was first cultivated while working on an econometrics project where he accessed, manipulated, and analyzed large government datasets to create a regression model specifying the impact of citizen health on economic growth in Virginia. During this time, he gained perspective into the human condition and achieved higher-level problem-solving skills through a social sciences and liberal arts education.

Jeremy later led an ophthalmology research group in collecting and analyzing data from electronic medical records. The work, which investigated the impact of certain risk factors on a vulnerable population using logistic regression, was ultimately published, becoming one of several publications under his name. Clinicians are now able to use the model to improve communications with their patients.

Having seen first-hand the inefficiencies plaguing the healthcare system, Jeremy likes to imagine how he could use data analytics to solve similar issues. While his imagination is vast, he also understands that solving large problems requires breaking them down into digestible tidbits and applying a systematic approach. He has cultivated a strong understanding of the scientific method through several years of biomedical research. Most recently, he worked at Duke University in a research lab dedicated to advancing the understanding of age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy and finding treatments for these diseases. In his projects, Jeremy often employed statistical testing in a way that enhanced his curiosity for all things data.

When Jeremy is not looking up troubleshooting problems by reading through primary literature or crunching numbers, he trains for cycling races while exploring the countryside. Jeremy also enjoys visiting his family and their three dogs in Maine and humming along to the Lumineers.

Ruhi Pitre Ruhi Pitre
B.S.B.A., summa cum laude, International Business; Operations & Supply Chain, University of South Carolina, 2020
B.S., summa cum laude, Statistics, University of South Carolina, 2020
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As an undergraduate at the University of South Carolina, Ruhi pursued majors in statistics, operations and supply chain, and international business. It was through her diverse coursework that she first discovered her interest in analytics. She was intrigued by its wide-ranging applications and practical value to businesses.

During the fall of her senior year, Ruhi earned her Lean Six Sigma Green Belt while working on a capstone project. Throughout the semester-long project, she and her team members worked with UPS to analyze years of shipment data and understand trends in customer lifetime value. Because she enjoyed the challenge of transforming data into actionable insights, this project cemented her desire to work in analytics. During this period, Ruhi also worked at the Moore School Data Lab, her business school’s analytics help desk. As a data lab assistant, she primarily provided course support for students learning R. The job helped her realize that she is not only interested in conducting data analysis, but also communicating and explaining those concepts to others.

In her free time, Ruhi can often be found with a book. Her reading interests span mysteries, pop culture history, basketball, technology, and environmentalism, but her favorite topic is animal behavior—specifically of great apes. Her lifelong love of these animals inspired her to travel to South Africa as part of a short-term study abroad trip where she visited a chimpanzee sanctuary and Kruger National Park. Following this trip, she sought out other opportunities to travel, spending a summer in London and semesters in Dublin and Vienna. Ruhi is eagerly awaiting the chance to take her next trip.

Adam Post Adam Post
B.S., cum laude, Statistics; Predictive Analytics; Mathematics, Miami University (Ohio), 2019
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As a right and left-brained thinker with a relentless drive for helping others, Adam equates data science to music: an exacting, disciplined, and limitless art form. Whether telling a powerful story through data or composing emotional music from elaborate melodies, Adam has an artistic gift, technical expertise, and the ingenuity to see projects through.

To capitalize on his love for analytics, Adam pursued a rigorous undergraduate study of several disciplines with cum laude distinction. He earned two bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and statistics to understand the theory underlying data science. To translate his foundational acumen from theory to application, Adam co-majored in predictive analytics and minored in computer science.

In addition to his academic prowess, Adam has experienced both professional internships and real-world projects. During an internship at Express Scripts, he employed machine learning to identify why customers might churn from home delivery pharmacy to retail. As part of his undergraduate practicum, he performed a geospatial analysis of survey responses in Hamilton, OH. This analysis helped Hamilton’s government improve its neighborhoods by examining how people feel about where they live. No matter the application, Adam goes above and beyond to inspire his audience, propose clear action, and make a positive impact.

Adam approaches his professional and personal endeavors with purpose, zeal, and diligence. Musically, Adam has spent countless hours perfecting every song on his Spotify page (Adam Post). Using guitar and drums, he hopes to evoke an intense spiritual experience within the listener. To do so, he incorporates unorthodox, dynamic song structures; hypnotic, complicated rhythms; and an ethereal atmosphere inspired by nature.

Rohan Prabhu Rohan Prabhu
B.S., summa cum laude, Computer Science, NC State University, 2020
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Rohan has always been interested in learning new skills and directly using them to help others. As he worked towards earning his Eagle Scout award, he learned valuable leadership and life skills, which he used to support and teach younger troop members. Rohan also volunteered at a local K-6 after-school program and for undergraduate computer science classes to support students’ learning and share his knowledge.

Rohan’s interest in computers and strategy games led him to take computer science classes in high school, where he explored applying computer science to different domains. To further that goal, Rohan, after his first year of university, completed a co-op at Johnson & Johnson, where he was introduced to the world of analytics. Using Tableau, he analyzed search data and presented actionable insights to help business leaders with their sales and advertising decisions.

After this opportunity, Rohan pursued minors in statistics and cognitive science in order to use analytics across different disciplines, including public health and actuarial science. Rohan also studied for a semester at the University of Manchester, UK and learned about analytics’ role in the Internet of Things and natural language processing. He had internships at SAS and IBM to experience working in an Agile application development environment and to implement automated testing. However, Rohan still wanted to learn more about analytics, and this desire led him to the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

In his spare time, Rohan loves to read non-fiction focused on statistics and psychology, learn new recipes, and work on his culinary abilities towards his eventual goal of owning a food truck. He also loves to be outdoors, by either exploring new parks and cities or playing soccer and basketball. Through all this, he will never miss a game of his favorite team, the Carolina Panthers.

Vidusha Rao Vidusha Rao
B.S., cum laude, Science, Technology and Society, NC State University, 2020
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Vidusha’s undergraduate path was atypical, but it led him to discover a passion for analytics. An internship at the Environmental Research and Education Foundation introduced Vidusha to organizing real-world data from waste management reports around the country. As a result, he switched from an engineering track to a humanities and statistics track, and from there continued to pursue his newfound interest in statistics. Vidusha learned the basics of statistical programming outside of school, and a research position at the Department of Horticulture gave him a more hands-on experience with real-world data.

Vidusha’s interest in data is as multifaceted as his talents. He is interested in athletics and fitness, cooking, playing pool, stocks and cryptocurrency, and volunteering. This diversity in activities pairs well with the world of data, as data are domain transparent. Vidusha has started data-related projects on pool, education, and trading stocks. He used Python to pull data from the Robinhood API to create a prediction table of stocks to invest in based on the price changes and the moving averages of the top 100 stocks. As he continues to learn how data can be applied to different fields, Vidusha sees the value of having an open mind in analytics.

The technical skills acquired through his academic career paired well with the interpersonal skills that Vidusha learned through his athletic and work experiences. From being a Resident Advisor and an Orientation Leader to competing with several club sports teams, Vidusha learned how to communicate with teammates and grew as a leader. While he does have a solid foundation for these technical and interpersonal skills, Vidusha consistently works to improve himself as he strives to be the best he can possibly be.

Mukesh Ravichandran Mukesh Ravichandran
M.S., Civil Engineering, NC State University, 2020
B.E.(Hons.), Civil Engineering, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, 2018
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Known for his curious and persistent mindset, Mukesh came to the United States in the fall of 2018 with big dreams to make a difference in the technological world. Mukesh’s interest in data analytics sparked during his work as a graduate research assistant in civil engineering at NC State University. Despite being in an intensive graduate program, the immense satisfaction he felt while analyzing and modeling his experimental data made him realize his true passion for data analytics.

During his undergraduate degree in civil engineering, Mukesh worked as a teaching assistant for the surveying course and was a representative for his civil engineering department. As a student representative, Mukesh had to bridge the gap between the students and the university management by conducting polls and class evaluations for coursework, curriculum feedback, and suggestions. Based on his contribution to the department, he was chosen to represent his university for the Swachh Bharat (Clean India Movement) workshop, organized by the Government of India. Mukesh looks forward to using his technical and leadership skills to leave a long-lasting effect on society.

When not sitting in front of a computer, Mukesh loves to watch thriller movies and TV shows. Additionally, he is a big-time foodie who loves to cook Indian cuisine and dine out. He is also an avid cricket fan. Apart from playing occasionally, he passionately follows international cricket and the Indian Premier League.

Tom Rees Tom Rees
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Administration, NC State University, 2020
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To many people, hard work is just that – hard. To Tom, hard work is a standard and medium through which he can reach his full potential. This is the exact approach Tom took while at NC State University. He immersed himself on campus by joining the University Scholars Program and serving as vice president for the Investor’s Association. However, his favorite experiences were joining the Poole College of Management’s Business Analytics Honors Program and the Complexity, Analytics, and Data Science (CADS) Lab.

While in the Business Analytics Honors Program, Tom developed a strong toolkit for analyzing data, including visualization, regression, and classification analysis using Tableau, R, and SAS. Within the program, Tom led his practicum group through database ETL integration that simplified and streamlined accreditation processes for the Poole College faculty via Microsoft Access. Simultaneously, Tom joined the CADS Lab, a research group that works at the intersection of business and data science. While there, Tom and his colleagues developed a scorable framework that organizations can use to evaluate and plan data-driven AI projects.

Tom also interned as a financial systems administrator for nearly one year. In this role, he supported the implementation of Oracle Fusion, an ERP system used by thousands of employees globally. Tom was amazed by the volume and velocity at which data were moving through ERP systems, and he realized how powerful the use of such data could be. Realizing he could build on his undergraduate experiences to create tangible impact, Tom was thrilled to take his next step in education at the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Outside of work-related activities, Tom enjoys listening to podcasts, investing, reading, basketball, and staying devoted to his Christian faith. He gets excited by finding ways to connect his analytic capabilities with his hobbies, especially basketball and investing.

Matthew Reichartz Matthew Reichartz
B.S., with Honors, Biomolecular Engineering, Milwaukee School of Engineering, 2015
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Matthew strives to be a lifelong learner. He has a knack for solving complex problems and finding unique solutions, skills that he honed during his five years of Naval service aboard the USS Enterprise as a Nuclear Electrician’s Mate. Following his service, Matthew returned to Wisconsin to attend the Milwaukee School of Engineering, where he graduated with honors. During his senior year, he worked on a design project that bridged engineering and molecular biology. As the project leader, his leadership skills were integral to helping his team win the Best Senior Design Project Award.

In 2015, Matthew moved to the Triangle area of North Carolina. He was hired as a Research Technician at Duke University in an immunology lab group specializing in biophysics. During his time there, Matthew was essential to developing assays that measured the biophysical interactions of small molecules. This technology has been utilized to select the best vaccine responses for multiple diseases, such as Malaria, HIV, and most recently SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, he worked on a team to develop a program to model and quantitate kinetic measurements from the observed interactions on a high-throughput instrument. Through this work, Matthew realized the power of analytics and decided to improve his statistics and analytical modeling knowledge by joining the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

When he is not watching the Milwaukee Brewers or pursuing new learning ventures, Matthew likes to play the movie buff and especially enjoys drive-in theaters. He also loves being outdoors and completed his first half-marathon last fall in the Smoky Mountains. More recently, he has become an avid fan of playing complex board games.

Hanne Richardson Hanne Richardson
B.S., Biomedical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 2017
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From an early age, Hanne was captivated by categories and relationships in the natural world. Growing up in Cambridge, MA, she spent her weekends in the Harvard Museum of Natural History or visiting nature preserves, where she developed a keen eye for similarities in the structure and habitat of plants and animals. This ardent curiosity for why patterns occurred drove Hanne toward science and engineering.

After earning her undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Hanne craved a research role where she could be at the forefront of biomedical research. Hanne began her career as a lab manager at Boston University in a leading lung biology research laboratory. In this role for nearly three years, Hanne consistently supported her team technically and administratively, collaborating and fostering a scientifically rigorous environment. Never shying away from an ambiguous research question, she enabled her peers in their work while taking on her own research project studying a rare genetic mutation.

During this time, Hanne discovered her passion for analytics. Learning from projects in her lab, she became fascinated with bioinformatics and its potential to accelerate translational research. While it was challenging to accept that she was headed in a new direction from the lab work she had devoted so much effort to, Hanne was thrilled to see that her fascination with elucidating meaningful patterns in the midst of complexity was also at the core of data analytics. Her realization of the need for team-minded data professionals with experience in science ultimately encouraged her to pursue a master’s degree at the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

In her free time, Hanne loves to trek through the woods of Massachusetts and North Carolina, collect rare tropical houseplants, and enjoy the company and conversation of friends over good coffee.

Ava Ritter Ava Ritter
B.S., magna cum laude, Economics, NC State University, 2020
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Ava has always had a natural propensity toward numbers and working with people. It was not until her junior year internship that she was introduced to how data analytics could combine both of these interests. She analyzed real estate data on the occupied space of 11 buildings on Centennial Campus and was able to find actionable insights that were presented to higher-up staff. The success of that initial project pushed her to join the Business Analytics Honors Program, where she gained technical skills and the opportunity to work with datasets of over 2000 data points across multiple variables. Ava spent the summer before her senior year interning at Cisco Systems, where she used data analytics to help automate IT cases. Using VBA Macros, she was able to pick up keywords and categorize nearly 60% of all 10,000 data points. These results were then used to help develop a chatbot that picked up on key phrases and minimized human intervention.

During Ava’s time as an undergraduate, she served as the vice president of programming for the Panhellenic Association. The Panhellenic Association oversees all social sororities, serving over 1,400 women. In this role, Ava planned NC State’s Outstanding Women’s Awards, which gives over $6,000 worth of scholarships to accomplished women. Ava spoke at and directed this event, which was attended by over 400 students and faculty members.

Outside of school, Ava enjoys crocheting scarves and blankets for her friends and family. In high school, she even served as president of the yarn club. Staying active is another important part of her life, and Ava can often be found practicing yoga outdoors or taking a HITT class.

Sarah Rossi Sarah Rossi
B.S., with Distinction, Information Science, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2018
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Sarah is goal-oriented and always ready to tackle a new challenge. During her undergraduate career at UNC-Chapel Hill, Sarah volunteered as a tutor with an organization called Technology Without Borders. Whether she was teaching basic coding or typing skills, this experience developed her ability to convey novel technical ideas to non-technical audiences.

Sarah enjoys taking on complex problems with a great attitude and a fresh perspective. After college, she began her career at TSI Healthcare as a Quality Programs Specialist. She assisted doctors’ offices across the country with federal policy regulations for electronic health record incentive programs. While working at TSI, Sarah saw how investing time in analyzing each practice’s data improved the healthcare outcomes of their patients. Sarah also gained valuable experience analyzing financial data. She determined how each office spent their money and the best way to reduce costs going forward. Additionally, Sarah assisted in creating a dashboard for her teammates to display this financial information to clients. Through this experience, she saw how organizations could utilize data analytics to increase profitability and efficiency.

In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family at the beach. From an early age, her father instilled in her a love of college basketball. She has been filling out March Madness brackets since she was old enough to hold a pencil. Sarah is also her friends’ go-to dog sitter and enjoys taking the dogs on hikes in the Triangle area.

Jeron Russell Jeron Russell
B.S., summa cum laude, Mathematical Economics, Western Kentucky University, 2020
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Jeron discovered his fascination with numbers at an early age while counting back money to customers at a local farmers’ market. As he grew, his upbringing on a family farm continued to spark and nurture his research interests. As an undergraduate, Jeron recognized his love for analytics when he was chosen as a WKU BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism Research Fellow, which funded his research on the interaction between farmers’ markets and the economy. He passionately presented his research at the annual Association for Private Enterprise Education Conference in Nassau, Bahamas. The encouraging feedback he received at the conference inspired Jeron to turn his research into an honors thesis in which he pinpointed economic and demographic factors that indicate success for farmers’ markets in Kentucky.

Yearning to make data more user-friendly while interning at the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Jeron took on a self-motivated side project that put his coding skills to the test. He successfully developed an interactive map using R Shiny that displayed commodity statistics by county. Jeron also aided in setting weekly crop data estimates for Tennessee as well as organizing and cleaning data for the Goat National Animal Health Monitoring System Survey. When Jeron was not knee-deep in data, he enjoyed going out to talk with the farmers and organizations who were impacted by NASS reports.

Jeron is also passionate about helping others reach their full potential. He has acted as a tennis instructor during multiple summers, a tutor in micro and macroeconomics and financial data modeling, and a high school teacher in geometry, algebra 2, and statistics during his final semester as an undergraduate. In his spare time, Jeron enjoys finding new objects to juggle, engaging in a good game of ping-pong, and playing spades with friends.

Ben Sadlowski Ben Sadlowski
B.A., Applied Mathematical Sciences, University of Connecticut, 2020
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Ben was introduced to the rewarding challenges of data during his internships with Travelers. His first internship was as a summer student worker, where he assisted the general liability team with projects spanning data integrity, communication, and accessibility. He also participated in an innovation summit. During a 10-week program, Ben collaborated with his fellow interns on all aspects of a project, from ideation through presenting to senior leadership. His team came in first place by creating a product for transforming the customer’s technological experience and simplifying the employee reporting system. In this role, Ben also had his first exposure to the business data environment, assisting in data cleaning and preparation for an analytics team in his line of business.

The next summer, Ben began his second internship in Travelers’ business intelligence program, where he became passionate about analytics. He was exposed to many different languages and techniques for data exploration and visualization, participating in as many technology classes as he could. Using his newly learned techniques, Ben successfully enhanced their business discovery. He also aided in enriching the data and automating processes by remapping short-term data sources to more strategic ones. His responsibilities included refining processes, data exploration and visualization, and rapid prototyping of new exploratory tools.

While working together with other interns or exploring by himself, Ben learned about data exploration and identifying trends. This affinity for data continued at home, where he has begun researching how to apply his skills to his passion for sports. During his free time, Ben also enjoys playing and watching sports like basketball and football. His other hobbies include reading, bouldering, and traveling. Ben aims to work hard so that one day he can try to impact sports analytically, hoping to combine his passion for sports and his passion for data analytics.

Joselyn Sagisi Joselyn Sagisi
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Florida, 2011
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August 8, 2012 marked the onset of Joselyn’s journey into the world of analytics. On this day, she started working as a process optimization engineer for IBM in their silicon on-wafer processing facility, which was part of their legacy hardware division. The facility housed an industrial symphony of automated machines and resourceful engineers working together to compose the computing technology that went into IBM’s servers. In this role, every day was an opportunity for Joselyn to witness orchestrated movements of pinpoint precision and accuracy in which data were the primary instruments used to track and monitor the health of production. It was this impactful work experience that eventually focused Joselyn’s interests and catalyzed her enthusiasm for advanced analytics.

One of the most notable concepts Joselyn learned while working as a process engineer is that data are valuable. She learned that data can provide the invisible details needed for continuous improvement and efficiency gains. She also recognized that, when done correctly, analytics can be a powerful tool used to help research new revenue streams, develop strategic opportunities, or diagnose and treat problematic areas in an organization. However, transforming information into useful data can be tedious and challenging without the technical know-how and the right analytics competencies. This is one of the many reasons why Joselyn is pursuing a Master of Science in Analytics at the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Joselyn is creative, flexible, and analytical. She is heavily process oriented and places emphasis on developing robust standards and solutions when solving complex problems. Outside the classroom, she enjoys spending time with family and friends. She is an avid kitesurfer, a voracious reader, and a podcast aficionado.

Katie Saveliff Katie Saveliff
B.A., cum laude, Mathematics; Psychology, Duke University, 2015
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Throughout her many years working with students, Katie always enjoyed seeing others appreciate the application of statistics and understand why math really matters. Teaching statistics gave her a deep understanding of statistical principles, but left her with the desire to solve more complex problems as a data scientist.

For the past five years, Katie has been sharing her passion for understanding the world through numbers as an AP Statistics teacher in Durham. During that time, Katie received several accolades, including Beginning Teacher of the Year, Advanced Placement Teacher of the Year, and student-voted Teacher of the Year. She was consistently recognized for breaking down difficult concepts, building positive relationships, and holding all students to high expectations. As the school’s only AP Statistics teacher, Katie improved the program from a 65% pass rate on the AP exam to a 94% pass rate. Not only was Katie a leader inside her classroom, but she was also a leader among her fellow and aspiring teachers. Katie guided her colleagues as a Professional Learning Community leader within her school and as a professional development facilitator on a district level. In her last two years of teaching, Katie was a mentor teacher and the math content specialist for the Duke Secondary Teacher Preparation Program.

Katie entered Duke University as an undergraduate knowing she wanted to teach. She chose to major in both mathematics and psychology to solidify her understanding of math content and adolescent learning behavior. During her four years at Duke, Katie spent her free time helping others learn by working as a math mentor for female math majors, a statistics tutor for Duke student-athletes, and a writing tutor for other undergraduates. In her free time now, she loves traveling and spending time with her puppy and husband.

Jonah Schiestle Jonah Schiestle
B.S., Mathematics, University of Minnesota, 2020
B.S., Physics, University of Minnesota, 2020
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An early obsession with the question “Why?” and its mathematical answers led Jonah first to physics and now to analytics. He looks forward to questioning the data on subjects from world financial markets to batting averages. From childhood arithmetic games to undergraduate courses spanning cryptography, coding theory, fractals, and modeling, the world of mathematics has never been far from his mind.

Jonah was exposed to basic uses of analytics through undergraduate research quantifying materials with the magneto-optic Kerr effect and investigating Hermite-Gaussian modes of open cavity He-Ne lasers. A concurrent two and a half years assisting the development of a novel pressure-sensitive adhesive at 3M introduced him to the use of similar tools in industry. The ability to describe subjects as varied as tape and lasers with similar analytic tools excited him. At 3M, Jonah learned about the product development life cycle from unfettered early exploration to more rigorous data-driven improvement and late cycle scale-up. In this role, Jonah also gained invaluable experience working in a dynamic, cross-functional team.

When he is not busy asking “Why?”, Jonah enjoys many different pursuits, such as backpacking in the mountains. He is a novice but has lofty dreams of bush plane trips into the Alaskan tundra and through-hiking the Appalachian Trail. In addition, he volunteers as an alumnus of SkillsUSA, a national organization supporting career and technical education for middle school to postsecondary students. In 2019, Jonah received SkillsUSA’s Guy Wilson National Leadership and Skills Conference Outstanding Volunteer Award. Both an eclectic and voracious reader, he often reads in clusters ranging from classics to fantasy to non-fiction. Jonah currently favors non-fiction works encompassing science, mathematics, business, leadership, and philosophy. An avid sports fan and athlete, Jonah also dedicates significant portions of his memory to baseball and football stats and stories.

Andrew Segal Andrew Segal
M.A., Government, University of Texas at Austin, 2020
B.S., summa cum laude, Political Science, University of Louisville, 2016
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Andrew has been interested in statistics ever since he started following professional sports in middle school. Before the use of analytics became mainstream in the NBA or NFL, he was fascinated by the idea that statistics could confirm or refute widely held beliefs.

Andrew gained experience using statistics as a research method during his undergraduate career. For his senior honors thesis, Andrew worked to show that past levels of participation in high school music programs could influence the strength of the current local music economy in his hometown. He also collaborated with professors on an independent research project that showed the impact that congressional candidates’ social media prowess could have on the efficacy of their campaign spending. This project became Andrew’s first peer-reviewed publication.

He continued to add to his research experience as a graduate student at the University of Texas. While in Austin, he completed more than ten individual research projects on topics ranging from the influence of partisanship on electoral outcomes to the interaction of military alliances and civil-military relations. This work culminated in his master’s report on the influence of public opinion on EU environmental legislation, which he hopes to have published in the next few years.

When he is not fine-tuning his statistical models, Andrew enjoys watching and playing basketball or singing karaoke with his friends.

Mark Senay Mark Senay
B.S., cum laude, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Binghamton University, State University of New York, 2014
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It may not be the conventional black belt, but Mark’s Lean Six Sigma Certification and education in analytics speak to his passion for learning and continuous improvement. His learning progressed as a manufacturing engineer, where he worked with a small team to realize $16 million in savings on one semiconductor machine set. The experience of working with historical data increased Mark’s eagerness for more ways to unlock the power of information. He carried that passion forward when he joined the United States Postal Service (USPS).

As an industrial engineer with USPS, Mark pushed the bounds of his role by designing new and innovative approaches to problems. In an industry managed traditionally through firefighting, he created analytical tools and insights to expand understanding of daily problems. These new developments changed the ways that management planned for and achieved success. Postal executives took notice of Mark’s initiative, and it propelled him to join USPS headquarters in the Enterprise Analytics organization.
At USPS headquarters, Mark developed skills in programming and teamwork while learning the importance of pairing business knowledge with data analysis. His growth was acknowledged when he was selected for a pioneer development program, where he would work side-by-side with the vice president of Enterprise Analytics as his chief of staff. Observing how leadership leveraged data to make decisions enticed Mark to expand his technical foundation at the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Mark’s passion for working with data can carry over into his hobbies, such as fantasy sports. He does, however, enjoy staying active. In his personal time, Mark can be found playing soccer, hiking, cycling, or spectating sporting events.

James Sheppard James Sheppard
B.S., Biochemistry, NC State University, 2017
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Whether tinkering with scripts on his first laptop or hunting for the next cool object to put under the microscope, James has always been driven by a love of technology and a passion for discovery. This passion led him to pursue a degree in biochemistry, and during that time, he developed a keen interest in big data by performing research in a plant genetics lab.

After graduating, James remained in the lab, where he worked in partnership with NASA on a research project investigating the genetic differences between plants grown in space and on Earth. Through his work on this project, James got hands-on experience with every step in the process, from cleaning the raw data to developing clear visualizations for publication. By the time the project was complete, James was certain that he wanted to dedicate his life to data analytics work.

After finishing his research, James worked as a genetic data analyst at LabCorp, where he developed a strong respect for the power of big data to affect real, tangible change in everyday lives. At LabCorp, James was also able to identify several points of inefficiency in the workflow. Utilizing his programming experience, he developed a set of tools to automate these tasks, increasing productivity across the team.

In addition to his interest in analytics, James is also an avid lover of all things music and spends most of his spare time keeping up on current releases, attending concerts and music festivals, or playing his guitar. His other interests include board games, longform journalism, and searching for the perfect cup of coffee.

Eric Sims Eric Sims
Master of Second Language Teaching, Utah State University, 2013
B.A., cum laude, Biology, Utah State University, 2011
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Eric’s personal brand can be summed up in one word: originality. He is at his best when coming up with creative ways to solve problems or sharing big ideas through public speaking, where he combines creativity and his diverse experience to engage technical and non-technical audiences. Eric has presented his work numerous times at conferences and in other professional settings, which has developed his ability to connect with and actively engage an audience.

Ambiguity is not a problem for Eric. Where some may shrink from very open-ended problems, he embraces those challenges as opportunities to innovate. Most recently, upon joining a two-time Inc. 5000 scientific consulting firm, Eric quickly recognized an opportunity to use his unique skill set to take the firm’s analytics to a new level. He combined his love for data and creative problem-solving to build the sales team’s analytics infrastructure, establishing monthly metrics, web analytics, CRM dashboards, and annual reporting. He also automated over 95% of client data entry, resulting in improved data reliability and more time for sales team members to focus on client needs.

Eric is fascinated by statistical process control and continuous improvement. He is certified in Lean Six Sigma and worked as a Kaizen Blitz Leader for one of the top Lean manufacturing companies in the U.S. During that time, Eric led a cross-functional team on a project to reduce losses due to receipt of damaged products, resulting in $39,000 in cost savings. Identifying the project and building the team improved Eric’s project management capabilities, and facilitating the group discussion developed his people management skills.

Outside of work and school, Eric is often found contributing to the data science community on LinkedIn, building his storytelling skills, playing laser tag with friends in virtual reality, and traveling the world with his wife.

Erin St. Jeor Erin St. Jeor
B.S., summa cum laude, Elementary Education, Brigham Young University Idaho, 2014
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When Erin learned about the impact of data-driven analytics, she immediately applied it to the world around her. As an educator of young children, she had an up-close view of the inequitable outcomes for students and their families. Knowing that solutions could be discovered in data, Erin felt a hunger to learn more. Her newfound curiosity led to long and exciting evenings studying Python, SAS, and statistics. During one of these late nights, Erin used a simple programmed t-test to help her brother-in-law determine correct pre-surgery measurements of scoliosis patients – and this was the spark that lit a burning desire to use data analytics to help others.

Erin makes data-driven information accessible to the end user. In her experience as a teacher, she learned to communicate clearly and in an actionable manner. Erin is just as enthusiastic when collaborating with stakeholders one-on-one as she is while presenting information to a large audience. She delivers targeted and efficient results by intentionally focusing on the needs of the audience, client, or student while solving a problem.

Erin’s commitment to learning and teamwork is reflected in her hobbies – she enjoys participating in book clubs, competing in triathlons with friends, coaching youth soccer teams, engaging in social activism, and influencing public policy. She is eager to employ a sound understanding of data analytics to address the complex challenges that organizations face.

Sarah Stephens Sarah Stephens
B.A., with Distinction, Political Science; Economics, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2020
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Sarah grew up hosting exchange students from around the world, so she is no stranger to building relationships across cultures and backgrounds. She is a creative and adaptable communicator who can break down complex problems for diverse audiences and supply practical solutions. Combining these skills with her love of economics, Sarah worked as an undergraduate learning assistant for the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Economics. In this role, she tutored her peers in international economics and helped them develop strategies to master difficult concepts.

In addition to her communication skills, Sarah has a talent for identifying business problems. She put these skills to work during her internship for a non-profit in Uganda. After discovering her managers were frustrated by an inefficient payroll process, Sarah created a new streamlined Excel sheet that was both powerful and simple to use. She met with the managers to break down the new process and wrote a clear standard operating procedure that all employees in the organization could use. This experience is a clear representation of how Sarah uses her skills for positive change within her various communities.

Looking for a new adventure, Sarah set a goal in January to run a half marathon despite never having run more than two miles. Running is now one of her favorite hobbies because it gives her a way to explore new places while listening to her favorite podcasts, like Revisionist History. Apart from running, Sarah loves traveling the world to see her exchange siblings and even spent five months studying abroad in Spain.

Shane Stephens Shane Stephens
B.S.B.A., with Distinction, Business Administration, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2020
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Shane has always loved telling stories with numbers. As a child, he and his brother simulated entire basketball tournaments in their driveway, complete with player statistics and award ceremonies. He later applied this passion to the business world, specifically toward start-ups. In high school, he attended Startup Weekends, events where local professionals came and competed for investor funding. Despite always being the youngest attendee, Shane contributed by analyzing potential industry entry strategies for seed-stage ventures.

An undergraduate statistics class formally cemented Shane’s love for analytics. He continued to apply his analytical mindset to the entrepreneurship arena, analyzing small business loan applications for his college’s non-profit organization, Build the Hill. After not finding a study abroad program that satisfied his desire to apply analytics to small business, he petitioned UNC-Chapel Hill to create his own, allowing him to work for a start-up consultancy firm while taking classes in Sydney, Australia.

Most recently, Shane worked in business intelligence for Loeb.NYC, a venture capital firm. He created models and visualizations for executives of portfolio companies. The role pushed him out of his comfort zone, requiring him to learn many programming languages. Using his newfound skills, he built a sales incentive tracking system from scratch and developed a new way to track quarterly business goals using SQL.

Outside of the classroom, Shane enjoys playing music. He founded and performed in a band that played at local venues in Chapel Hill. Currently, he is pushing himself to become a certified mixing/mastering engineer. He also is fortunate to spend time with a tight-knit group of friends.

Jordan Strickland Jordan Strickland
B.S.B.A., magna cum laude, Computer Information Systems, Western Carolina University, 2020
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Jordan’s determination to succeed not only led her to be the highest winning singles and doubles tennis player at her Division 1 college, but it also landed her a position as a data science intern. Seeking ways to constantly improve, Jordan turned to data, where she found her passion for analytics and number crunching.

During her undergraduate years, Jordan honed her data analysis skills. First, she helped construct an original sports ontology for use in determining a structure to better showcase rivalries amongst sports teams. Through a second graph database, she successfully improved the efficiency of grading structures for courses in the College of Business. In her final semester, she tutored classmates in an Excel-based course dealing with building functions.

Jordan gained significant experience analyzing data to meet client needs while interning for TKXS, a data-driven solutions company. As a member of the data science team, she ran ARIMA models and Monte Carlo simulations to forecast end-of-year sales and summarized results in Tableau dashboards for clients. Eager to learn more, Jordan collaborated with team members to further understand problem requirements and presented her work summary to the company’s department team leads.

Having been a part of teams most of her life, Jordan has found teamwork and positivity to be the main principles for success. As an athlete of fifteen years, she helped lead her high school tennis team to four state championships and served as a calming role model to her collegiate teammates. In 2020, Jordan received the ITA National Cissie Leary Sportsmanship Award due to her inspiring dedication to the team and exemplification of the college tennis spirit. When she is not playing tennis or sifting through data, Jordan also enjoys listening to podcasts and playing with her cat, Tia.

Jessie Tam Jessie Tam
B.A., Economics, University of California, Davis, 2019
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Summers of math camp nurtured Jessie’s appreciation for how numbers can tell stories. This led her to take economic theory classes in college. Her interest in data analytics grew as she worked at Wong & Associates, a small, fast-paced law firm. As a result, Jessie pursued a specialization in data analytics and economic analysis and is seeking more understanding and skills at the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Through a few management changes and her multiple roles at the law firm, Jessie developed her ability to adapt, prioritize, and collaborate. In her first month, Jessie assembled a structured and interpretable financial recordkeeping system. Her work informed financial decisions that had deep impacts, such as reallocating funds from inefficient advertisement and communication tools to more efficient channels and to staff investment. Eventually, Jessie was assisting in both civil cases and business operations through forensic accounting, administrative tasks, and correspondence.

Jessie’s other interests include listening to podcasts. Her favorite genres include science, comedy, and true crime.

Michael Tobben Michael Tobben
B.A., Economics; History, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2014
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Michael is a problem-solver whose driving motivation is a persistent curiosity about the world around him. He approaches questions with the philosophy that there is always another stone to be turned. As an underwriter at First Interstate Bank, he used this approach to mitigate risk and make sound credit decisions for a company with unique needs across markets. He developed a reputation for being a hardworking team player who delivered sensible solutions. Not only did he underwrite dozens of loans a week, but he also built a framework to report consumer credit data for department planning and strategy.

Michael cares deeply about investing in and improving his community. In volunteering efforts, he focuses on the health of the physical environment and the wellness of its citizens. While living in Bend, OR, he particularly enjoyed river clean-ups and ecological monitoring in the Deschutes watershed. He also supports his local Habitat for Humanity affiliate. He hopes to join a volunteer board to become more rooted in his next community.

Michael’s exploratory nature extends beyond his professional pursuits. As a runner, he is always finding new trails to uncover because he believes that breaking from the established routes and taking new turns leads to exciting discoveries. He also enjoys reading books and listening to podcasts focused on trends in human performance and achievement, such as the works of Malcolm Gladwell and David Epstein. To recharge, Michael cherishes moments in the outdoors, from the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina to the snowy peaks of the Oregon Cascades, both of which he has called home. He is ready to take on new challenges with a fresh perspective and eager attitude.

Elizabeth Toller Elizabeth Toller
M.S., Astronomy, University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2016
B.S., Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2014
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Elizabeth has always had a passion for developing a comprehensive understanding of the world around her and solving complicated problems. At fourteen, she began her first of five NASA internships. During these internships, she examined the habitability of Martian soil, assessed the capabilities of test aircraft, determined the optimal date to deorbit a satellite, and connected solar weather events with satellite failures. Most recently, Elizabeth worked at NC State University Human Resources, where she relentlessly pursued pay issues caused by the new leave and timesheet processing system. After careful study, she developed a systematic business process that stopped inaccurate deductions due to human and system errors.

One of the most intriguing problems Elizabeth has been working on is documenting the interconnected web of the human family. She has volunteered her time to help many in her community find their ancestors. Once, Elizabeth worked with a woman who only knew the name and death year of her mother and grandmother. From that, Elizabeth was able to find documentation for over 20 of the woman’s direct line ancestors and a photo of her grandfather. Over the past five years, Elizabeth has identified nearly 150,000 documents belonging to more than 10,000 individuals and registered their relationships on public genealogy sites.

Elizabeth is dedicated to using her knowledge and skills to assist and include others. One summer, she taught middle school students how to program satellites. She also worked with the vice president of MIT for two years to mentor first-year students during weekly meetings. Additionally, she has hosted many STEM activities for children and looks forward to answering their endless questions about space. Elizabeth is eager to continue helping others and solving unique issues with analytics.

Dawson Tripp Dawson Tripp
B.S., Geology, NC State University, 2018
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Dawson’s road to analytics started with an interest in dinosaurs and evolved into a passion for geophysics, the science of finding buried treasure. He was able to utilize his Python skills for a variety of research projects in school, including geospatial mapping, cybersecurity, and underwater acoustics. As a Park Scholar, Dawson was also heavily involved with the Park Scholarship program. He spent his upperclassman years serving as an official mentor to incoming Park freshmen.

After graduation, Dawson worked for GEL Engineering in the shallow-earth geophysics industry. He worked closely with private and public industry to ensure proper clearance for excavation. Dawson traveled all around North Carolina to work on various geophysics jobs, including piloting tunnel-crawler drones in Mount Airy, mapping sinkholes at Fort Bragg, and locating Civil War artifacts on the Outer Banks. After a year, Dawson decided to focus further on his personal data analytics skills, and he took a new job at Enviva as a supply-chain data analyst. On one specific project, Dawson evaluated harvesting efficiency by scraping Outlook emails with Python and running statistical reports within Excel. He supported every level of the wood procurement process, from tree-stand purchase through wood pellet production.

Dawson has a myriad of hobbies. He is passionate about weightlifting and nutrition, and he is constantly tracking self-measurements to experiment with different diets. Dawson also competed at in-person video game tournaments, eventually analyzing and coaching a professional-level player. In his remaining free time, he enjoys learning to draw, reading science fiction, and forgetting to water his houseplants.

Jake Turney Jake Turney
B.A., magna cum laude, Political Science, UNC–Wilmington, 2018
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During a project as an undergraduate student, Jake first realized the versatility of analytics. His purpose was to research the relationship between drought and conflict levels in Somalia. Though his findings were not significant, the project sparked a curiosity about data analytics. Having examined a complex problem about a country halfway around the world, Jake realized the potential of the information that data analysis could uncover. His interest turned into a passion, so Jake enrolled in courses teaching the fundamentals of analytics.
After graduation, Jake went on to work for Elliott Davis, an accounting firm in Raleigh, NC. As a community relations coordinator, he was responsible for building relationships with community leaders, conducting market research, and cultivating business development. After Jake was hired, Elliott Davis hired a data scientist to develop the firm’s Advanced Analytics department. Taking initiative, Jake reached out to offer help. Leadership at Elliott Davis recognized Jake’s passion for analytics, and in addition to his community relations responsibilities, he was also permitted to assist the firm’s lead data scientist in shaping the new department. Brainstorming analytics applications for community relations, marketing, and business development initiatives were some of his added duties, and he excelled in his various roles. Jake sat in all shareholder meetings, informing leadership on community relations and analytics updates.
Jake’s innate curiosity about the world has led him to pursue many interests. Some of his favorite activities are outdoor rock climbing, biking, and backpacking. When he is having a quiet day, he loves to read non-fiction and enjoys writing poetry as a creative outlet. Volunteerism is also an important practice that he takes seriously. Jake has volunteered with Raleigh City Farm, United Way, Marbles Kids Museum, and The Daniel Center for Math and Science.
James Walsh James Walsh
B.S., summa cum laude, Business Administration: Information Systems & Business Analytics, University of New Hampshire, 2020
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Growing up, James was known for his relentless curiosity, often to his parents’ dismay. In kindergarten, he demonstrated this characteristic when he attached a magnet to a desktop computer after being told what would happen. While it turned out James should not have investigated this interaction, it has not stopped him from seeking more answers ever since.

As an undergraduate at the University of New Hampshire (UNH), James found his passion at the intersection of business and analytics. Looking at the world through a probabilistic lens with an economic mindset fascinated James. In addition to his standard academic coursework, James helped establish UNH’s business analytics club, Artifex. Artifex is a student-run group that works with organizations to support data-driven decisions. His senior year, James worked on a project that assessed UNH’s campus-wide dining operations. In doing so, he helped build a predictive model to forecast patronage and evaluated waste production by dining location.

In the summer of 2019, James held an internship at the social research organization, NORC, at the University of Chicago. During his time there, he worked in the statistics and methodology department with the healthcare evaluation team on national health policy initiatives. On the Next Generation Accountable Care Organization evaluation project, James assisted in analyzing the viability of an alternative Medicare model. More specifically, he contributed by calculating several covariates that went into a statistical model, helping to control selection bias.

Outside of his studies, James is engaged wherever there is a pick-up basketball or softball game. If he is not playing a sport of some kind in his free time, he is likely researching stock market trends, reading historical non-fiction, or enjoying a stand-up comedy show. James also relishes spending time with his family’s dog, Brody.

Taylor Waters Taylor Waters
B.S., cum laude, Mechanical Engineering, NC State University, 2018
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Since childhood, Taylor’s intense curiosity and his passion for learning has driven him to seek out new knowledge across many disciplines. Throughout his undergraduate studies, Taylor could often be found in the library immersed in subjects such as aerodynamics, neuroscience, and social economics. Through this process, Taylor realized that analytics is central to these exciting disciplines, and this sparked the idea of data science as a profession.

After graduation, Taylor embarked on this new path towards data science by joining Michelin Tire Corporation as a manufacturing engineer. During this time, he honed his analytical skills by developing and implementing a variety of data-driven solutions. As a person who often takes the initiative, Taylor began building automated reports for management to diagnose daily issues. In doing so, many analytical opportunities were presented to him, but one particularly piqued his interest: creating a predictive algorithm to improve cycle time of manufacturing machinery. Without prior knowledge in predictive modeling, he learned to combine, sort, and manipulate data, as well as build linear regression models. In the end, Taylor was given the opportunity to present these results to upper management, demonstrating a 14% reduction in cycle time. While manufacturing is an exciting, fast-paced profession, Taylor knew that his true passion was analytics, leading him to the Institute for Advanced Analytics at NC State University.

To unwind, Taylor enjoys snowboarding in the winter, mountain biking in the summer, and golfing almost all year long. If he is not being active, you can find him on the couch reading a good book, playing guitar, or grabbing a beer with friends and family at a local brewery.

JT Wheeler JT Wheeler
B.A., International Relations; Economics, Colgate University, 2014
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JT has been helping clients achieve their goals for his entire professional career. Most recently, he was a Client Success Manager at Abrigo, a software company based in Raleigh, NC and Austin, TX. JT managed Abrigo’s relationship with approximately 150 community banks and credit unions across the country. In this role, he worked with the institutions’ executives to improve credit quality, increase loan demand, and achieve greater efficiency when calculating their reserves via Abrigo’s software.

It was in this role at Abrigo that JT discovered the true importance of data analytics to help companies succeed. He saw first-hand the amount of data available and how it could be utilized to ensure the company’s finite resources and time were used to maximize customer retention and generate revenue growth. This experience inspired JT to gain the skills needed to help businesses capitalize on the vast amounts of data available and led him to discover the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

JT originally hails from Boxford, MA, located about 25 minutes north of Boston. Prior to moving to Raleigh, he attended Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, graduating in 2014 with a double major in economics and international relations. When not helping clients succeed or studying data analytics, JT enjoys keeping up with his hometown sports teams and traveling internationally. If you need any post-COVID travel suggestions, he is happy to share his experiences and recommendations.

Charles Woldorff Charles Woldorff
B.S., cum laude, Economics, University of Washington, 2017
B.A., cum laude, Germanics, University of Washington, 2017
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Growing up, Charles always had a penchant for the quantitative, especially when it could be used to explain the world around him. This led him to study economics as an undergraduate and prompted him to take an econometric series during his senior year. After conducting a research project for the series that modeled the effect of labor union representation rates on income, Charles was fascinated by the ability of analytics to derive meaningful insight from complex relationships. He soon realized that the application of analytics went beyond traditional economics when he conducted another research project that sought to predict whether a childbirth would require a C-section. After recognizing how versatile analytics could be, Charles was inspired to continue pursuing data science.

Alongside analytics, Charles also developed an enthusiasm for computer programming during his time in college. After graduating, he worked for a company specializing in government software. In that role, Charles worked on projects to develop the primary software application used at the DMVs in Tennessee and Maryland. His work focused mainly on subsystems handling commercial trucking, including leading the development of an auditing tool of interstate trucking companies that was responsible for redistributing hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees between Maryland and other states. During his tenure with the company, Charles established himself as a quick learner and was known by his colleagues for his friendly and easygoing personality.

In his spare time, Charles likes to find new music to enjoy or jam on his guitar. He loves to spend time with his family, get competitive with some of his friends over a board game, or watch a great television series like The Sopranos or Parks and Recreation.

Peter Xu Peter Xu
Master of Management, Finance, University of Melbourne, 2019
B.A., Economics, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2016
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Peter is a self-motivated individual who strives to learn something new every day. He enjoys learning from people of diverse backgrounds and cultures, and his adaptability stems from experience working and studying in Asia, Australia, and North America. Peter embraced the challenges of living on multiple continents, appreciating the knowledge he gained as he learned from unfamiliar environments and surprises.
After obtaining his undergraduate degree in economics, Peter also developed a passion for trading and finance. In the span of four months and without prior formal education in finance or accounting, Peter passed the first level of his Chartered Financial Analyst Exam. He later completed a master’s degree in management (finance) to further his knowledge.

After earning his master’s degree, Peter traveled to Hong Kong to complete an internship at China Life Insurance, China’s largest life insurance company. There, he analyzed American, Chinese, and Singaporean public real estate companies under the supervision of a portfolio manager and presented his findings to the investment department. While working as an investment analyst, Peter began to realize the potential of data science and how it could support businesses. Peter wants to use data analytics in combination with his business acumen to explain stories and discover essential business insights.
Outside of work and class, Peter enjoys playing strategy games with his friends, watching educational videos, and most recently, teaching himself piano and electrical skateboarding. During the winter, he also enjoys skiing. Peter looks forward to helping companies improve as he continues to learn and grow.

Yosef Zaverukha Yosef Zaverukha
B.A., Economics, UNC–Chapel Hill, 2018
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Few people can explain what they ate for breakfast 3 days ago, much less 3 years ago. However, Yosef is an exception. Before he even knew about the concept of data science, his fascination with analytics began when he started tracking data about his everyday life, such as daily happiness, hours of sleep, and number of meals. Now almost 5 years later, Yosef has evolved his data tracking into over 400 variables daily. As a part of this personal project, he taught himself Python and shortened the time to track these metrics to less than 10 minutes per day. Yosef tracks this daily data simply for the joy of it, and he eventually realized this hobby perfectly aligned with the field of data analytics.

Once Yosef started working as a data consultant and analyst at Icimo, he was ready to further develop his data science toolkit. He became a Tableau expert, which allowed him to teach classes about the software and act as a consultant to clients on how to better manage and analyze their data to help drive business decisions. Yosef was a co-leader and programmer on one of the company’s first products using natural language processing, utilizing Python to transcribe voice calls and provide analytics and sentiment analysis on them. Over time, he won multiple company-wide data visualization competitions where his work was presented at graduate-level classes and data conferences.

When not on the job, Yosef loves delving into side projects. Regardless of whether he has past knowledge or experience, he loves the process of taking an idea and learning how to make it into reality. From basic woodworking to making a voice-activated smart mirror, he is thrilled by the creative process and truly appreciates the journey just as much as the destination.

Bing Zhang Bing Zhang
B.A., Social Services, Sophia University, 2014
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Bing believes she can find the best decision by examining the data at hand. The persuasive and predictive power of analytics always helps her solve problems. This approach helped Bing when she worked at GMO Payment Gateway, Japan, a Fintech company that supports EC shop owners by leveraging the appropriate payment methods to increase sales. As a sales analyst, she collaborated with the marketing team to analyze customer data. She utilized digital analytics to address potential customer needs and repeated the AB test to improve the completion rate of online applications. Bing also modeled sales trends using the correlation between different characteristics of active customers. To prevent customers from terminating their contracts, she became dedicated to detecting unusual patterns and investigated customer insights to develop better strategies and support their business.
Working as a salesperson for GMO Payment Gateway improved Bing’s consulting ability, enhanced her understanding of SME’s business content, and strengthened her planning and proposal capabilities. Continuing as a project manager, she successfully delivered innovative online payment methods, such as Amazon Pay & Rakuten Pay. Both required frequent communication with every department to design new processes, develop business models, and create promotional details with multiple partners. Such experience greatly enhanced her leadership, teamwork, and multitasking skills. Both projects’ successes brought her company approximately 2 million in annual profit, and Bing the honor of an MVP award in her second year of work.

Gaining international experience at an early age allows Bing to consider a variety of perspectives. She is naturally driven to challenge herself to continually adapt, learn, and grow academically and professionally in new environments. Outside of school, Bing loves to travel and experience new things. One of her most recent adventures involved achieving her diving certificate on the beautiful island country of Palau.

Jackie Zhang Jackie Zhang
B.S., summa cum laude, Computer Science; Finance, College of William and Mary, 2017
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Growing up in the East but molded in the West, Jackie’s diverse upbringing fuels her avid curiosity for the world. Having traveled to 17 countries and 40 U.S. states, she has been able to experience different cultures and understand diverse people. Jackie’s unique experiences provide her with a holistic perspective when analyzing a complex situation.

Driven by her curiosity to learn more about the world, Jackie studied computer science and finance as an undergraduate. In her eyes, computing and finance are like Swiss Army knives that enable her to solve any challenging problem regardless of industry. After graduation, Jackie developed and maintained software to support the full life cycle of commercial loans for an international bank. In this role, she spearheaded the adoption of the Hazelcast in-memory data grid to greatly improve the performance and stability of loans applications. She also implemented an audit history trail for supporting loan documents across loans applications. This experience dealing with vast amounts of data led Jackie to an important realization: programming provides her the tools to tell the story of data, but analytics enable her to know what that story is. She soon began her learning journey with the Institute for Advanced Analytics and started telling better stories with sharpened analytical skills.

Jackie performs quantitative work for a living, but she enjoys philosophy and literature in her spare time. Outside of her studies, Jackie is not only a travel enthusiast but also a huge foodie, especially when it comes to all matcha-related foods. Her friends say her signature braised pork belly is even better than most restaurants’. Jackie also dreams about the day she has a house and can have a pair of blue-eyed Siberian huskies named Apache and Kafka.

Hailong Zhao Hailong Zhao
B.S., cum laude, Economics, NC State University, 2020
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Hailong communicates with the world through music and observes the world through data. With proficiency in several digital audio workstations including FL Studio, Ableton Live, and Logic Pro, Hailong is passionate about making music that communicates his feelings. In 2019, he collaborated with another artist and released an EP on various music streaming sites. Besides music, Hailong developed an interest in data analytics during his undergraduate career.

Determined to utilize data to solve real-world problems, Hailong participated in multiple research projects in addition to his coursework in economics and statistics. In one of the projects, Hailong analyzed the data from the U.S. Department of Justice by building a regression model on crime and incarceration rates. He also participated in a project that examined the factors that affect class evaluation scores, such as a professor’s age, class size, and credit hours. These projects drove Hailong to further enhance his analytical skills at the Institute for Advanced Analytics.

Outside of the classroom, Hailong actively applies analytical thinking in his work. While working at the Intensive English Program at NC State University as a part of the administrative support team, he analyzed the Campus Activity Project data to identify potential areas for improvement and helped integrate international students into the Wolfpack family.

Fascinated by music and languages around the world, Hailong enjoys exploring cultures through traveling. The most inspiring aspect he found in travel was talking to and making friends with people worldwide. Locally, during the weekends, Hailong likes to enjoy the sunshine and participate in outdoor activities, such as soccer and hiking.

Photo credit: Roger Winstead