Yajuan Si, Ph.D. 2012

How has being a Statistical Science graduate from Duke help shape you personally and/or professionally?

"The four years at Duke framed my mindset and research profiles. Directly from an undergraduate to a PhD student, I was not clear about what I would like to do and what I can achieve. With many prominent faculty members and talented friends as role models, I was able to adapt and develop my own interests. I was fortunate to have Jerry as my advisor. He gave me hands-on instructions, and I was deeply affected by him to have strict working ethics and persistent dedication to profession. Even many years after graduating, Jerry has always been there for me to provide suggestions whenever I need, like a friend. I've been hoping to carry this forward to my students, and it is not easy. The department offered me a very supportive and even protective environment to keep the confidence and hard work to make impacts. The students really had a community. We camped out, went to and watched many games together. Minghui and I held many hotpot parties with friends in our apartment. The seniors were always ready to help the new ones. I enjoyed my four years at Duke and benefited a lot by working with the best and making lots of friends."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Statistical Science programs?

"Like the goal of the alumni connection, connecting to your advisor, your fellow students and the statistical community. Don't just work or act alone. Share your opinions and speak out. When you have problems, don't hesitate to ask for help."

Research Assistant Professor (tenure track), Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI