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Pursuing an MS to Focus on Disease Prevention and Treatment

Student analyzing data on tablet

January 17, 2019

Discovering the benefits of carefully curated degree programs that allow students to specialize.

After spending 10 years as an educational consultant helping high school and college students from diverse backgrounds advance their math and science skills, Janeway Granche decided it was time for a new career. "I chose the Dornsife School of Public Health [DSPH] because of their commitment to fighting for healthcare as a human right," Granche says.

With a background in computational mathematics, as well as an interest in public health, Granche found that pursuing a Master of Science (MS) in epidemiology and a minor in biostatistics would better align with future career and personal interests, than a Master's degree in Public Health. "I wanted a more technical program where I could use my mathematics background and analytical skills to have an impact on public health," Granche says.

As an MS student graduating in 2019, Granche is getting a chance to put new knowledge to work by initiating an MS Data Analysis Project, an independent study and work opportunity offered to DSPH MS students. Additionally, Granche has a graduate assistanceship as a biostatistical consultant for Drexel's Biostatistics Service Center (BSC). The BSC works with health researchers across Drexel University and other academic health centers, pharmaceutical companies, medical research organizations, and managed care organizations. "My work at the BSC gives me hands-on experience utilizing the theory and methods I learned in my course work," Granche says.

Working with mentor Edward Gracely, PhD, a DSPH associate professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Granche compiled and analyzed data for emergency medicine doctors seeking evidence-based support for treatment decisions for patients needing ventilation either through an endotracheal tube or a tracheotomy. As part of the project, Granche had the rewarding experience of creating a tool that helps doctors in intensive care units predict the best intervention methods based on patient needs to reduce patient injury and improve patient outcomes. "It has been a gratifying opportunity for me."

Granche finds the MS program's emphasis on concepts, such as learning to measure the veracity of research, are key skills needed to build a new career. "From the very beginning, my epidemiology courses stressed the importance of scientific integrity in research," says Granche. "I now know how to diligently collect, analyze, and interpret data."

After graduation in March 2019, Granche will pursue a biostatistics career in the research industry. "I look forward to using my Dornsife education to have a positive impact on my community," says Granche.