Sasha Kravets

PhD student in Biostatistics, University of Illinois

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Don’t let anyone discourage you from what you want to pursue.

What do you do?

As a PhD student, I am researching new statistical methodologies to apply to medical and public health data. As a biostatistician, I design and analyze medical studies and clinical trials.

Why did you choose this field?

My mother is a mathematician and she inspired and encouraged me to pursue statistics. My undergraduate statistics department was filled with mentors who introduced me to biostatistics and helped me find such an interesting and fun field to work in. As I got more involved in biostatistics projects, I discovered how much I enjoyed applying my statistical expertise to medical studies and being a part of inspiring interdisciplinary teams.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

Getting a PhD! I never thought I would be pursuing a PhD. My undergraduate grades weren’t stellar and I never really considered graduate school. Somewhere along the way I finally learned the best study techniques for myself and how interested in biostatistics I am.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love looking at data from a completely unbiased perspective and guiding scientists in figuring out what kind of questions they want to ask and what data needs to be collected to answer those questions. I’m on a mission to have every scientist understand the importance of study design and proper data collection. Without well designed and collected data, results are meaningless. In a world where data collection is happening every second, it’s so important to get meaningful answers to relevant questions.

Best advice for next generation?

Don’t let anyone discourage you from what you want to pursue. If you’re interested in a topic then go for it! Reach out to women whose work sounds interesting and talk to them, an inspiring mentor is one of the best resources!

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

“Motivation comes from working on things we care about.” ~ Sheryl Sandberg

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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