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Celebrating our 2020 Biostatistics graduates

The 2020 Biostatistics graduates were honored by family, friends, faculty, and staff during a virtual celebration ceremony on June 14.

“In many ways, this graduation ceremony is different and unique,” said Gilbert S. Omenn Endowed Chair in Biostatistics Lurdes Inoue during the ceremony. “This is a virtual celebration. While a lot has changed there is something that has not been changed by the pandemic, and that is our pride in our graduates. I was trying to think of a word that would summarize our pride in the students this year. And I think that word is ‘resilience.’

"We are absolutely proud of their achievements under such extraordinary circumstances. To graduating students, I hope you do not forget this moment because it highlights what you can achieve with your resilience. Always remind yourself of your inner strength to face challenges and to overcome those challenges.”

Graduate Program Director and Associate Professor of Biostatistics Timothy Thornton agreed telling students, “These are certainly challenging times, particularly, to complete all your degree requirements. We applaud your perseverance and are excited about your future and the impact you will have in your respective fields.”

Student Awards

During the celebration, several students were recognized for excellence in scholarship, leadership, and communication.

PhD graduate Jean Feng received the Thomas R. Fleming Excellence in Biostatistics Award, the department’s most prestigious student honor that includes a $2,000 stipend. Feng’s faculty mentor Noah Simon describes her as “an amazing scholar who has completed broad research of exceptional quality, equivalent to three dissertations.” Feng has authored four publications and has four others under review.

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Jean Feng
Jean Feng, recipient of the 2020 Thomas R. Fleming Excellence in Biostatistics Award​

In accepting the award, Feng recognized the work of her fellow graduates. “Each of us came in with our unique backgrounds. We took rigorous classes to lay our statistical foundation and then tackled problems that each of us are passionate about. We all deserve an award for just paving our paths through graduate school. It’s a scary time to make this transition but I also think it’s an exciting opportunity for all of us to have a larger impact on the world.”

Feng will join the faculty at the University of California-San Francisco later this year.

Lucy Gao (PhD) and Xinyun Dai (MS) were recognized as recipients of 2020 UW School of Public Health Outstanding Student Awards in Biostatistics, honors that were announced last week.