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Student Profile: Megan Pinaire, M.P.H. ’22 (Biostatistics)

December 16, 2021

Why did you choose the Yale School of Public Health?

The Yale School of Public Health offers flexible curricula, and the potential to earn a quantitative degree in an important field appealed to me. The number of female biostatistics professors at YSPH was a huge pull for me and I have had positive experiences with all of the faculty here. The alumni network that YSPH students have access to is vast and has been very helpful in learning more about the field and the directions one can go after earning an MPH. Also, New Haven is a great place to go to graduate school, between the food and proximity to Boston and New York.

What were you doing before enrolling at YSPH?

I was working as a research assistant in a psychology lab at Boston University. I had my heart set on perusing a clinical psychology PhD, until I took a graduate level statistics course and was subsequently asked to conduct statistical analyses for a few projects. I was hooked!

What are your favorite aspects of the YSPH academic program?

No matter your concentration, you get a great public health foundation through the core curriculum. Specifically in the biostatistics concentration, our core classes set the stage for the range of electives we can choose to take in our second year. It is easy (and encouraged) to customize your curriculum to meet your goals. For example, I focused on developing programming skills in R and Python by taking the more applied courses offered by the Statistics & Data Science Department such as machine learning. I try to have at least one theory course per semester and the Biostatistics department offers plenty, such as courses in causal inference and theory of survival analysis.

What was your most impactful experience outside of class?

I had the opportunity to work on a research study looking at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on sleep in toddlers of socioeconomically marginalized families in the New Haven area during my first year. While I enjoyed continuing to conduct research during my time at YSPH, the most impactful part of the experience was developing a mentoring relationship with Dr. Monica Roosa Ordway, PhD, APRN, PNP-BC, the study’s principal investigator. She helped me navigate Yale and New Haven when I was new to the city, built my confidence, and helped me overcome the imposter syndrome I was facing.

Do you have a favorite Yale place or New Haven food?

My fiancé and I have vowed to try a new restaurant every week while we are in New Haven because the food here is so amazing. My favorite is Harvest on Chapel Street – the only restaurant I’ve repeated. I’ve been there for brunch, lunch, and dinner many times!

What do you hope to do after graduation?

I plan to work as an analyst or statistician for a company working in health research, health care consulting or related field.

Submitted by Denise Meyer on December 03, 2021