Carolina Velasco

Carolina Velasco
ScM in Biostatistics ’19


Undergraduate Institution: Brown University

Why did you choose the Brown University School of Public Health?
I chose Brown because it offered substantial opportunities to gain and apply knowledge. Brown’s School of Public Health is relatively new, so students have access to and opportunity to stand out in top-notch courses and research projects. Additionally, Brown’s location in Providence is privileged for public health work. The School has close ties to Alpert Medical School and the Rhode Island Department of Health, so its efforts have a significant impact in local policy. Additionally, Rhode Island’s size makes Providence the perfect place to conduct public health research that is representative of the entire state.

What made Brown's program different from other programs you considered?
The 5th Year Master’s Program in Biostatistics is particularly unique to the other ones I considered because I did my undergraduate education at Brown. I was privileged to continue my academic career in this institution, where I already knew multiple faculty members and peers. Additionally, I was familiar with the way the School of Public Health works and with life at Brown and in Providence.

What did you enjoy most about your program?
What I enjoyed the most about my program is that it covered multiple statistical methods while emphasizing knowledge application. The classes I took were based on real-world projects for which I provided data-driven solutions. I also loved that the program allowed for close-knit relationships with faculty members. Every professor I had was approachable and open to helping me discover my areas of interest. I was able to conduct research with faculty members and had the opportunity to be a teaching assistant.

What was your academic area of interest and why?
My academic area of interest was International Health and Maternal and Child Health. Through my summer internships with the non-profit Mali Health and with Brown’s Hassenfeld Institute, I used statistical methods to inform the implementation and evaluation of Public Health programs.

Moreover, through my research with Professor Omar Galarraga, I discovered my interest for Health Economics.

What did you enjoy most about Providence?
Providence was my second home, because of the beauty – and food – that the city offered and, more importantly, because of its people. At Brown, I found a close-knit community that embraced me. Additionally, through my summer internships, I had the chance to meet previously incarcerated individuals and children who suffered from asthma who live in Providence. These opportunities exposed me to other realities outside of Brown’s campus and showed me how vibrant and resilient Providence citizens are.

What advice would you give to prospective applicants?
The main advice that I would give to prospective applicants is to be open to discover new passions, communities, and places while at Brown.

Learn more about Brown's ScM in Biostatistics