Graduates and Their Careers

Wei Zhang

Wei Zhang received a PhD in biostatistics from the University of Iowa in 2005 and is currently serving as a Regional Head of Biostatistics and Data Management for the Pan Asia /META region at Boehringer Ingelheim China based in Shanghai.

In his brief career he already has made many significant contributions to his field and is currently leading collaborations with investigators, clinical researchers, and regulatory agencies to provide training on the application of biostatistics in design and analysis of clinical trials and translate and interpret international guidelines for various regulatory agencies in his region.

He has also been truly supportive of the College of Public Health as he helped train two PhD students in biostatistics through summer internships at Boehringer Ingelheim USA and recruited two PhD graduates from the UI Department of Biostatistics for senior biostatistician positions at his company in China.

In May 2014, Zhang was named a recipient of the College’s Outstanding Alumni Award.

Desiree Einsweiler

Desiree Einsweiler sees opportunities where others see challenges. As CEO of Palo Alto County Hospital in Emmetsburg, this 2007 College of Public Health alumna is leading the way through a period of tremendous change in the health care delivery system in Iowa.

“We have the opportunity to change how health care is delivered and improve the lives of our patients,” says Einsweiler. “If I can help my staff improve a process that makes their work more efficient or the patient experience better, it makes my day.”

Einsweiler strongly believes that her UI education has been invaluable to her career. The UI’s Master of Health Administration program encourages students to pick up hands-on experience through internships in local hospitals or other health care settings which, she says, provided her with many of the skills necessary for success.

In her current position, Einsweiler oversees a 25-bed Critical Access Hospital with three clinics, a long-term care facility, EMS service, community health services, and independent living apartments for seniors.

It’s also important to her to be an active and involved member of the community. She’s a member of the Rotary Club, serves on city and county economic development committees, and is a member of a young professional group called FUEL Emmetsburg.

Jake Wallace

Jake Wallace (MPH ’12), finds his niche by combining outdoor education with public health.

How did your interest in the outdoors develop?    

I credit my parents. I was climbing by age 2, skiing at 3. All our family vacations were visits to national parks or skiing trips. Being in the mountains, on the water, or outdoors, I always get that same feeling — like a 5-year-old at heart. I still get that feeling when I’m working with people outdoors.

How does your work in outdoor education relate to your interest in health?
I try to connect the things I do in outdoor education back to everyday life. There’s also cross-over between physical activity and mental health. When people go canoeing or mountain biking for a few hours, it frees their mind. They come back refreshed and more efficient in whatever they’re trying to accomplish. That’s what I find so exciting about outdoor education — it’s applicable to everything, just like public health.

What’s your favorite part of your work in the outdoors?
Introducing people—especially kids—to the outdoors. The backcountry forces you to look at things differently, and I enjoy being part of that experience with other people. I think that’s one of the reasons I got put on this earth — to be that spark, to light other people’s passion like a wildfire.