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Chrissy (Hauschel) Tonkinson, MPH (BIOS, 2012)

Chrissy Tonkinson, MPH
Chrissy Tonkinson, MPH

Alumni Highlight –
Hometown: Lincoln, Nebraska

Current Position: I am the Research Coordinator at Voices for Children in Nebraska. I love that I am able to use the skills I gained at the COPH, especially my statistics skills, to work with a non-profit with a great mission. I had no idea when I started my MPH that such jobs existed or that data analysis skills were in such high demand in a huge variety of industries. Every day I am able to take data and manipulate and display it in such a way that it becomes meaningful to people who would not understand it otherwise. My position allows me to use my fairly left-brained skills to help improve the lives of children in Nebraska by sharing data with policy makers and key stakeholders.

Most Valuable Aspects of COPH Program: I worked as the teaching assistant for the Intro to Biostatistics course, and through this I was able to practice my communication and framing skills. This helps me to effectively share data with my colleagues who do not have as strong a statistical background, and reminds me to consider other possible interpretations of information. This position also helped me build invaluable and rewarding relationships with my fellow students and COPH faculty.

Advice for Current Students: I can’t stress the importance of your Biostatistics classes enough (though I realize that I am incredibly biased). Providing data-supported evidence is becoming more and more necessary in every industry. Being able to tell potential employers that you have a basic understanding of statistics and data manipulation will give you a great advantage in the job hunt. Also, use the resources that the college provides, whether it be checking in with your professor and teaching assistants, visiting career services, connecting with a service-learning project, or all the other excellent opportunities available. All of these resources are definitely not as readily available outside of academia and are great ways to get the most out of your time at UNMC.

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