2019 ISIB Participant Presentations and Feedback

As a part of the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics, participants have selected their top choices among 10 research projects available to them. They are matched in groups of three and assigned to a faculty mentor with whom they conduct an extensive research. Their work and findings presented at the 2019 Iowa Summer Research Symposium.

The 2019 participants’ presentations are listed below along with their comments about the program.

Adalis Castro, Reyna Hernandez and Eryn Perry

PresentationISIB Team

A Lane Position Analysis of Drivers with Parkinson’s Disease Given a Distractor Task via Driving Simulator


Adalis Castro: My summer experience was very rewarding and full of new knowledge. I was able to make new friends and learn from their experiences, also feeling very loved and cared by all. I learned about their cultures and what makes them unique.  In addition, thanks to this program I was able to get my mind clear in what I want to study once I graduate and focus on these new experiences.”

 Reyna Hernandez: I thoroughly enjoyed my summer at the U of I for ISIB 2019; the program was incredibly informative, especially in defining what “Biostatistics” is and what graduate school entails. The faculty is generous with their time and resources and are always willing to help. Not only did I make meaningful connections with the faculty, but I also gained friendships with my colleagues.”

Eryn Perry:This summer, I’ve had an amazing time being amongst other students from other cultures that all share the love of learning. I never knew what field of study my interests of math, computer science, and neuroscience coincided in, but I have finally found it in biostatistics.”

Miguel De Jesús, Marisa Flores and Carson GreenISIB team


Terraforming the Teenage Wasteland: Youth Violence, Mental Health, and State Policy


Miguel De Jesus: This is one of the best experiences I’ve had at the academic level.  I loved that it included an introductory class, a research project and social activities during the weekends. I highly recommend this to students in STEM because this internship is excellent at motivating students to pursue a career in the biostatistics field. In addition, I felt well treated by the faculty and the students.

Marisa Flores: “ISIB was an incredible experience during the summer of 2019. It was enhanced immensely by my awesome roommate, teammates, mentors, faculty, graduate students, cohort and all the wonderful people in Iowa City. The program did an amazing job of introducing the world of biostatistics to us, including the guest lectures and reassured me that I want to pursue a higher education in the field.” 

 Carson Green: ISIB was an excellent opportunity to strengthen my statistical knowledge and gather information about what I might do if I pursue a career in biostatistics. During this summer institute, I also learned about classes I can take in undergrad so that I may be able to apply for graduate schools in biostatistics whilst still finishing my marine science major. On top of the intense amount of knowledge I gained, this program gave me many opportunities to network with faculty, grad students, and peers alike which I am extremely grateful for.

 C’Asia Griffin, Stephanie Jansson and Sarah Loving

ISIB TeamPresentation

Too Hot to Handle: An Assessment of the Relationship Between Heat Waves and Criminal Activity


C’Asia Griffin: My summer experience was groundbreaking, especially in a personal sense. This program forced me to come out of my shell to expand not only my knowledge but my awareness towards interacting and socializing with like-minded individuals. I will forever cherish this experience because I finally learned how to survive homesickness while capturing a different essence and perspective on life!  

Stephanie Jansson: “I loved everything about ISIB–it feels like the faculty here have poured their hearts and souls into our cohort and into ensuring we could enjoy these seven weeks to the fullest. The program was well-organized with a blend of interesting classes, field trips, social events, and a variety of guest lectures which painted a very inviting image of the culture here. It all helped me to confirm my desire to pursue a biostatistics PhD starting next year.”

Sarah Loving: The Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics gave me an amazing introduction to the world of research. It allowed me to meet so many awesome people, and I will never forget the memories that I have made here.

Paul Cover, Pablo Monteros and Devin Spolsdoff

PresentationISIB Team

Prognostic Factors for T1 High Grade Bladder Cancer Recurrence and Estimation of Overall Survival between Induction Recurrence vs Cystectomy


Paul Cover: The program was incredible! I didn’t meet a single person, have a single class section, or do anything at all that I didn’t like. I didn’t know what to think about biostatistics coming in, and am now not only very much considering it, but Iowa is also far and away my top choice of programs.

Pablo Monteros: I was so fortunate to attend the Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics, which opened me to so many opportunities such as working on a research project, getting an insight of the life of a Biostatistics graduate student and the opportunity to meet so many qualified and hardworking peer students. I want to emphasize and acknowledge the great job the people in charge of the ISIB program did to select and put together a group of qualified, hard-working team members and great human beings, always there to help each other.

Devin Spolsdoff: This program was awesome! I felt like I learned a ton and I met so many new and awesome people.

Lianne Novak, Lino Yoshikawa, Eliezer Santos

PresentationISIB Team

Spatio-Temporal Risk for Infantile Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis Among a Cohort of Iowa Births


Lianne Novak: ISIB allowed me to spend 7 weeks in Iowa City and “try out” living in the area where I might go to graduate school.  We don’t have a Public Health program at my university, and so this has been a great opportunity for me to meet other students, both graduate and undergraduate, who have similar professional interests as me.  I would highly recommend ISIB to anybody who is thinking of a career in Biostatistics or Epidemiology.

Lino Yoshikawa: Going into ISIB I did not know what to expect, but after the first week I had already made so many new friends and the college town surrounding University of Iowa has been a great place to explore. This experience has to have been one of the best summers of my life. Learning about a field that I hadn’t heard about before really made me feel that I now have a goal to work towards in my remaining years as an undergraduate.

Eliezer Santos: The Iowa Summer Institute in Biostatistics helped me grow personally and academically. I had the opportunity to make new friends from all over the country and to network with the faculty. This experience helped me decide to pursue graduate studies in Biostatistics.

Michaela Osei, Leianne Pallagao and Miriam Porras

PresentationISIB Team

Inadequate Sleep and Unhealthy Metabolism: Insights from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey


Michaela Osei: My summer in Iowa was truly eye-opening. I was really able to explore what the field of Biostatistics is, and the many possible careers associated with it in an extremely supportive environment. When I go back home, I get to take with me great memories of my cohort, the members of the Biostatistics department, and everyone who made my ISIB experience really transformative.  

Leianne Pallagao: My summer experience at ISIB will remain unforgettable; we were taken care of so well and all of the activities were planned perfectly. I entered the program not knowing a lick of Biostatistics and I leave with greater knowledge, motivation and confidence to pursue a graduate degree in the major. The faculty and graduate students of the Department of Biostatistics were all extremely welcoming, informative, approachable, and great mentors; I would recommend this program to anyone eligible.

Miriam Porras: I am currently earning my public health major and statistics minor, so the field of biostatistics piqued my interest, and this summer was the perfect insight into what biostatisticians do. I’m grateful for everyone I’ve met during this program including the faculty, staff, and my classmates. I can tell a lot of planning goes into this program because everything felt well prepared.

Logan Harris, Paul Nguyen and Micaela Richter

PresentationISIB Team

Modeling Lyme Disease in Iowa Feedback

Logan Harris: ISIB changed my life; I came in with an open and curious mindset to dive deeper into the field but was firmly set (or so I thought) on working after graduation. The high caliber faculty seems to be able to make anyone enjoy the field and reconfigure their future to incorporate graduate school (hopefully at UIowa).  If you are an individual interested in the quantitative side of science, look no further, you’ll come in with questions about biostats, but will leave with so much more.

Paul Nguyen: ISIB did a great job introducing students to biostatistics and the careers within the field. The professors were very invested in their students, and they were always accessible to give advice about graduate schools or to just chat about any concerns.

Micaela Richter: I learned so much and really enjoyed myself! I feel confident that I could complete a graduate program in biostatistics and enjoy it, something I couldn’t have said before ISIB.

Scott Cleven, Margaux Douvier and Katiely Muñoz

PresentationISIB Team

Evaluating the Impact of Timing of Therapy on Tuberculosis Risk in HIV Patients


Scott Cleven: My summer experience at ISIB has given me more biostatistical experience than I could receive elsewhere. I have learned not only the work behind being a biostatistician, but also how biostatisticians fit into and impact society. I will never forget my time at ISIB and how much fun I had while still learning a lot.

Margaux Douvier: I very much enjoyed my time at the Summer Institute in Biostatistics here at the University of Iowa. The program has allowed me to expand my knowledge of both statistics and statistics related fields. I had a wonderful time learning more about various professions in biostatistics, as well as about the field in general. I would definitely recommend this program to anyone looking to not only learn more about biostatistics, but about graduate school and various professions as well (plus you get the opportunity to meet some really interesting individuals!).

 Katiely Muñoz: I feel very grateful and appreciative to have been a part of Iowa’s Summer Institute of Biostatistics. This experience was great, alongside a wonderful cohort who made this program unforgettable! I now have more of a sense of what the field of Biostatistics entails because of the wonderful faculty that made this happen.