What years did you participate in UROP?

2015-2016, 2017-2019


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

Traditional UROP and Peer Facilitator

What made you choose UROP?

I decided to participate in UROP my freshman year because it allowed me to participate in research, foster an understanding of research best practices, and learn how to effectively communicate my findings to a broader audience. My UROP experience that first year was so impactful because of the peers, peer facilitators, and senior staff I met through the program. These individuals and the UROP community empowered me to feel like I could make a valuable contribution to the field of public health. It is because of these relationships that I decided to become a PF, a position that allowed me to form relationships with my own students and was ultimately the most rewarding experience I had at the University of Michigan.

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

Being a UROP student taught me that taking initiative doesn't always mean solving every problem yourself, but knowing when to ask for help.

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

While I have not kept in contact with my research mentor, that relationship laid the groundwork for future research assistant positions at the U of M School of Public Health and ultimately gave me the experience necessary to be accepted and attend the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

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

UROP showed me the value in pushing past my comfort zone and allowing myself to be a beginner at something. My research and PF experiences through UROP cultivated a passion for rigorous quantitative methods training, specifically in the field of public health. The value of statistics and computer science is something I tried to instill in my life science UROP students as both of these fields are inextricably tied to the biological sciences. I hope I challenged them to think critically about which skills they need to achieve their goals and where they can learn them.

What advice would you give to a current UROP student?

You are good enough. You are smart enough. You don't have to get everything right (in fact, you won't get everything right). Have fun, ask questions, care about the details, fail (and succeed) fantastically, and live in the present!

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

I am currently completing the 1st year of my 2 year master's program in epidemiology with a concentration in pharmacoepidemiology at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. For my thesis I’m utilizing pharmacoepidemiologic methods to study diabetes treatment strategies using observational data from large health care utilization databases. Additionally, I recently accepted a summer position as a consultant for the company IQVIA and am very excited to gain some experience outside the realm of academia. 

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

If you are interested in public health or are planning to apply to grad school, please reach out to me at jheidt@hsph.harvard.edu. I would love to chat!