What UROP Program(s) were you a part of?  

UROP, 2001-2002

What made you choose UROP? 

I remember it being pushed a lot during orientation, and my older sister (also an alum) encouraged me to participate. I think she had done it for a semester or two.

What do you think you have learned from your UROP experience? 

I learned a lot about a region of the world and some of the amazing research that I otherwise wouldn't have been exposed to. My office was also in the old Ruthven Museum building, so I got to go "behind the scenes" to the professors lab, which I always thought was cool. I just remember walking past rooms full of jars of specimen. Ah! The smell of formaldehyde! :) I also learned a lot about the field of biological anthropology, and how other social sciences all worked together to help tell a broader story about what was occurring a world away.

What is the extent to which you have kept in contact with your Research Mentor? 

After graduation, yes I kept in fairly regular contact. Now we email every once in a blue moon.

How did your UROP experience shape or inform the next steps you took in your academic and professional journey? 

I didn't think it had a lot of impact at the time, other than I thought it was cool. However, now looking back it was very much in the field I ended up going into - using various types of data and analysis to give context to, and support of a broader narrative. My professor, Dr. Beverly Strassmann, was studying maternal mortality among the Dogon of Mali. And while I wasn't all that interested in the biological side of the issue, she had me do an economic analysis of the impact of 'wealth' on mortality rates - which was really neat to see. I learned a lot about properly going through data, checking my information, and the importance of paying attention to detail. I also ended up going into fields where I did continue to do a lot of economic analysis so it all makes sense in hindsight. 

What advice would you give to a current UROP student? 

Don't be afraid to work with a professor in a field that you may not be familiar with. The exposure to great minds and cross-disciplinary research is something you really only have in a university setting, so take advantage of it. 

What are some recent publications or accomplishments that you are proud of? 

I did a piece on Diversity of Thought in the workplace when I was at Deloitte a few years back; as well as led the research on issues on government innovation and cybersecurity workforce issues. I am, in general, interested in bridging the divide between the academic and business worlds and now do so in the capacity of a career advisor. It's always neat to see how things end up. 

Is there any other advice you would like to impart to current or future UROP students? 

Have fun! Take the time to get to know your professor sponsoring the research.