2014 ISIB Participant Presentations and Feedback

As a part of the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics, participants are given a list of potential projects and choose the one that looks the most interesting to them.  They work as a biostatistician on the project and give a presentation on their findings at the Biostatistics Iowa Summer Research Symposium.

The 2014 participants’ presentations are listed below along with their comments about the program.

Katherine A. Cartagena De Jesús and Cody Hansen


Predicting Lyme Disease Incidence in Humans and Dogs


Katherine A. Cartagena De Jesús

The ISIB program helped me expand my knowledge in the field of biostatistics, and it allowed me to meet new people from all over the United States. The faculty and staff members made this program very rewarding and unforgettable. Attending here was one great decision because before coming I was interested in doing graduate studies in the field of Actuary Science, but now I am sure that I want to pursue both a Master’s and PhD in the field of Biostatistics. I would totally recommend this program to other people.

Cody Hansen

I had a wonderful time learning about biostatistics with an exceptional group of students. In addition to learning about biostatistics, I also learned some things about myself. I would recommend this program to anyone with an interest in mathematics.

Tiffany Bailey and Amy Hahn


Causes and Severity in Motor Vehicle Crashes in Iowa


Tiffany Bailey

This ISIB program was a great experience. The opportunity to not only learn about biostatistics in the classroom, but to be exposed to experts in the field is what I valued the most. I appreciate the passion shown through the professors and TA’s about their work as well as the networking with other participants accomplished through this program. I would highly encourage others to participate in this program.

Amy Hahn

ISIB is an amazing introduction to the field of biostatistics and University of Iowa College of Public Health. The exposure to the field in the classroom, in research labs, and the application through the research project was a great experience. It was inspiring to see how dedicated the professors, faculty, graduate students, and other professionals are to their work.

Jeffrey Antunes, Brooke Bell and Jolene Ranek


Assessing the Role of Patient Factors on Surgical Complication in Pancreatic Cancer Patients


Jeffrey Antunes

ISIB and my experience in Iowa has opened my eyes to see a different aspect of what I can do after I get my undergraduate degree. Not to mention the friends that I have come to know and respect, along with a new view on a culture that I would have never considered living in beforehand, I am fortunate enough to have been given this opportunity. It is a chapter of my life that I will bookmark for future reference and take this knowledge to where ever I end up.

Brooke Bell

The ISIB program provided such an invaluable experience and I’m grateful for the opportunity to learn about biostatistics. I now have a better understanding of the field and the opportunities available for biostatisticians. I’m looking forward to implementing the knowledge I’ve gained over the last 7 weeks at my home institution and in my future studies.

Jolene Ranek

The ISIB program was absolutely wonderful and my summer experience was well beyond what I could have ever imagined. With great mentors like Brian Smith, 18 other students that I am happy to call my friends, and a new found knowledge of biostatistics, how can you go wrong! The ability to work closely with great people in a field that allows you to combine statistical knowledge with an application to health is something that I am grateful for the opportunity to do.


Javier Flores and Elizabeth Sigworth


An Analysis of Indicators for High Risk Behavior in Adolescents Based on the Iowa Youth Survey


Javier Flores

ISIB has been a transformative experience. I entered the program with little information on Biostatistics, and am exiting with a solid understanding of what kind of work the profession entails. That aside, the best thing about this experience has been the wonderful, intelligent, and passionate individuals I have met, and the friendships that blossomed as a result.

Elizabeth Sigworth

Prior to participating in the ISIB program, I had little to no idea what a biostatistician truly did on a day-to-day basis, nor did I know what my post-grad plans were. After the lectures, labs, guest speakers, grad student panels, and trips that we took during this program, I feel confident in saying that biostatistics is the field I want to go into once I graduate! Additionally, the friendships I have made and the faculty relationships I have formed are absolutely invaluable.


Evan Walser-Kuntz and Philip Stallworth


Identification of Prognostic Factors for Survival in Neuroendocrine Tumor Patients in the Presence of Multivariate Missingness


Evan Walser-Kuntz

I would say that the program this year was extremely valuable for me; I was able to meet a wonderful group of people from around the country, and I was able to heighten my interest significantly in biostatistics. The quality of the program itself should not be overlooked, it is of the highest caliber, and I would recommend it to anyone who is mathematically/biologically/epidemiologically inclined.

Philip Stallworth

I really enjoyed my experience at Iowa this summer. It allowed me to explore a career opportunity I would have otherwise ignored and changed my perspective on academia, research, and medicine. The program’s effort to satisfy participants’ social and academic needs resulted in a great experience for myself and, I believe, everyone else involved.


Katelyn Zumpf and Melissa Jay


Speech Intelligibility Index Model: A Key Aspect to a Child’s Development of Speech and Language 


Katelyn Zumpf

The ISIB program was an invaluable experience. The knowledge I have gained about Biostatistics, graduate school, and different career opportunities was nothing but beneficial as I enter my last year of college. More than that, the people I have  got to know throughout the seven weeks are unforgettable.

Melissa Jay

Participating in ISIB was an invaluable summer experience. Coming into the program, I was unsure of my future plans or how I wanted to apply mathematics outside of the classroom. However, through meeting practicing biostatisticians and medical collaborators and through faculty-led seminars, I have a greater understanding and appreciation for the field of biostatistics. I am now more knowledgeable about graduate programs and my future plans. I am so thankful to have had this opportunity and am walking away with an interest in something new and many wonderful friends from across the country!


Caroline Sprecher, Tyler Bonnett and Rolando Acosta Nuñez


Assessing the Effect of Practical Considerations when using the CRM in Dose Finding Studies


Caroline Sprecher

The ISIB program provided a refreshing combination of case-based classroom learning and hands-on experience that really helped to drive home what being a Biostatistician means. It provided me with the mathematical and computing skills necessary to engage in the opportunity for “real-world” application through group research projects under faculty mentors. Additionally, both the cultural and regional differences among the students provided a unique opportunity to learn about and from those with different prospectives. I highly recommend the ISIB program to anyone who loves applied statistics, and is considering graduate school options.

Tyler Bonnett

ISIB is a fantastic experience. The professors, staff, and students in Iowa’s biostatistics department have been a joy to get to know. From the minute I accepted my offer to ISIB I felt well taken care of in every way. Financially, everything is taken care of perfectly. In class, lectures and labs were well organized. I would love to get the chance to come here as a graduate student.

Rolando Acosta Nuñez

This summer has completely exceeded the expectations that I had for the program. I think the diversity of the students makes it that much better. I think that there is a good mix between academics field and the ‘fun’ field trips.

Thomas Nemmers, Adriana Granados and Saniya Khullar


Site-of-Origin Prediction for Gastroenteropancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors


Thomas Nemmers

Perfect mix of fun and challenging. Nice to do meaningful work. Very friendly community.

Adriana Granados

The ISIB program was a very unique experience. I was able to determine what degree I ultimately wish to earn, narrow down my career of choice in biostatistics, and it allowed me to receive exposure to wonderful people across the country. I would not have changed any part of it. Thank you ISIB!

Saniya Khullar

The Summer Institute in Biostatistics at the University of Iowa has indeed been a very memorable experience for me, and I have gained an enormous interest in the field of biostatistics and applied mathematics. Through ISIB I had the opportunity to learn and gain a real-world perspective on biostatistics from faculty, graduate directors, and fieldtrips, and my collaborative research project with my mentor. I leave this program with not a goodbye, but with a smile because I discovered a hidden passion for statistics that I intend to pursue, and I am truly so grateful for ISIB for helping me realize this. I have formed some very deep friendships with students around the country, have been touched by the “Warmth” in the city, and I feel as though I have really developed in many ways during these 7-weeks. I look forward to keeping in touch with the ISIB family and to using these skills in my home university and beyond!

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