Summer 2022 CUBE Program for Underrepresented Undergraduates
CUBE: Collaborative Undergraduate Biostatistics Experience
Program dates: Monday, June 6, 2022 to Friday, July 29, 2022
Move-in day at Virginia Tech*: Saturday, June 4, 2022
Housing at Virginia Tech*: Students will stay in a furnished apartment with a full kitchen at the historic Patrick Henry Hotel in Downtown Roanoke. Housing will be covered by the CUBE program.
*Note: Housing details for University of Virginia are still underway.
This program is currently funded by the integrated Translational Health Research Institute of Virginia (iTHRIV), as well as by Virginia Tech’s College of Science, the Department of Statistics, the Fralin Life Sciences Institute (FLSI), the Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment (ISCE), and the Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science (CBHDS).
The Collaborative Undergraduate Biostatistics Experience (CUBE) is an 8-week training program designed to give motivated, underrepresented minority undergraduate students the opportunity to engage in a full-time (~40 hours/week) collaborative data science experience, along with related professional development activities. CUBE is aimed at promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the STEM fields.
The goal is to offer students an experience working with a real-world dataset under the mentorship of experienced collaborative data scientists, as well as clinical experts, to help them determine if they want to pursue a career in collaborative applied data science, while they develop skills for the workforce or graduate school. Virginia Tech's collaborative project will be carried out under the mentorship of Charlotte Baker, PhD, and the students will be programming in R and analyzing a large publicly available dataset to characterize factors associated with ACL injuries.
The program includes weekly research and professional development seminars, periodic social events, and a final symposium during which students will present their research. Four students (two at each participating site: Virginia Tech and University of Virginia) will be selected to participate in this program during Summer 2022, and will be compensated $4,800.** Housing and social outings will also be provided, pandemic permitting***. Students will be responsible for food/meals and roundtrip travel to and from the site.
**Note: Payment is taxable income to participating students who are current US Citizens or have a working visa within the US. Please review IRS publication 970, Tax Benefits for Education for additional information.
***Note: Virginia Tech and University of Virginia are planning for in-person educational opportunities in Summer 2022. However, these opportunities will be subject to any state, federal, and university regulations related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We will keep applicants posted as new regulations emerge. All CUBE participants will be expected to abide by each university's public health regulations.
The CUBE Program was featured in iTHRIV's February 2022 newsletter. See below a brief video from Tosin Ogunmayowa sharing his experience working with CBHDS for the past year as a graduate student intern and his enthusiasm to serve as a CUBE mentor for Summer 2022.
Program Eligibility and Expectations
- Underrepresented minority undergraduate students considering a career in data science, or a similar field, are encouraged to apply.
- Preference will be given to undergraduate students who are rising seniors enrolled in a STEM program who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher. Well-prepared undergraduate students who are rising juniors will also be strongly considered.
- CUBE interns must commit at least 40 hours/week to the training program, and therefore interns are not permitted to enroll in summer classes, participate in MCAT prep courses, engage in activities for pay, or engage in other activities that may interfere with program activities.
- CUBE interns commit to participating in the full 8-week program. Students may not take vacation during this training period.
- International students are welcome to apply, noting that they must have a working visa in the US in order to receive payment.
Please complete your application using the link below, noting that you will be asked to upload your resume, an unofficial transcript, and a cover letter. Cover letters might include information related to the following questions:
- Why are you interested in the CUBE program?
- What strengths do you bring to the CUBE program?
- Describe areas of improvement that you think the CUBE program can help with.
- How do you think the CUBE program might contribute to your career plans or continued education?
Application Deadline: Rolling acceptance through Saturday, April 30, 2022 at 11:59 PM EST
If you have any questions, please contact Alicia Lozano (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We look forward to receiving your application!
CUBE Partners and Mentors
Alexandra L. Hanlon (CUBE Director, VT)
Dr. Hanlon obtained her doctorate degree in Biostatistics from Temple University, and has spent the last 30 years building her career as a collaborative statistician in the health sciences. She came to Virginia Tech in 2019 as a Professor of Practice in the Department of Statistics, and now serves as the founder and Director of the Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science (CBHDS). She spent the ten years prior to coming to Virginia Tech at the University of Pennsylvania. There she built the BECCA (Biostatistics * Evaluation * Collaboration * Consultation * Analysis) Lab in the School of Nursing, partnering with Jesse Chittams as her managing director. Aligning with Jesse’s commitment to diversifying the profession of collaborative biostatistics, BECCA became known for mentoring and training underrepresented high school, undergraduate, and graduate students in collaborative biostatistics. Dr. Hanlon has served as principal or co-investigator on numerous federally and foundation funded research projects within the areas of mental health, cancer, cardiovascular disease, stress, sleep, communication, violence, gerontology, obesity, biobehavioral studies, and care transitions. She has co-authored over 400 peer-reviewed publications through her collaborations. She serves on various Data Safety Monitoring Boards for drug development clinical trials, and as a scientific reviewer for the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the National Institutes of Health (NIH). She is a Fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and currently serves on the ASA's Board of Directors.
Alicia Lozano (Biostatistics Mentor, VT)
Ms. Alicia Lozano obtained her master’s degree in Biostatistics from Drexel University in Philadelphia. Her interest in research was initiated through her participation in two summer research experiences for underrepresented minorities as an undergraduate student in mathematics. She has seven years of collaborative experience supporting numerous clinical or biomedical research projects, starting as a graduate student intern at the University of Pennsylvania and now as a Research Associate and Assistant Director of the Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science (CBHDS) at Virginia Tech. Currently, Alicia is funded on several contracts and NIH grants, and has contributed to work in a broad range of areas, including but not limited to sleep, cardiovascular health, diversity recruitment strategies in older adults with mild cognitive impairment, Puerto Rican youth wellness, and social determinants of health. Her statistical expertise and experience include experimental study design, randomization scheme generation, sample size/power estimation, data management and survey development in REDCap and Qualtrics, data cleaning and analysis using SAS and R statistical software, as well as the preparation of grant proposals, manuscripts, and data safety monitoring committee reports. As a rising collaborative statistician in the health sciences, she has mentored over 15 undergraduate and graduate students and has authored over 40 peer-reviewed research publications, with several also under review or in progress.
Kimberly Weems (Partner & Mentor, NCCU)
Dr. Kimberly S. Weems earned her B.S. in mathematics from Spelman College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in applied mathematics with a statistics emphasis from the University of Maryland, College Park. Afterward, she pursued postdoctoral studies in the Statistics Department at North Carolina State University (NCSU), where she later joined the faculty and served for two years as Co-Director of Statistics Graduate Programs. From 2004 through 2018, she served as an instructor with the NCSU-Duke Summer Institute for Training in Biostatistics. Since moving to North Carolina Central University, Dr. Weems has been instrumental in enhancing the statistics curriculum in the mathematics department. She has been a speaker, panelist, mentor, and session organizer at the Fostering Diversity in Biostatistics Workshop and Joint Statistical Meetings Diversity Workshop. In addition, she is a faculty mentor with the National Alliance for Doctoral Studies in the Mathematical Sciences and a member of the Mathematical Sciences Institutes Diversity Initiative leadership team. Her research interests include flexible statistical models for count data.
Monica Ahrens (Biostatistics Mentor, VT)
Dr. Monica Ahrens received her PhD in Biostatistics from the University of Iowa in 2022. During her time at the University of Iowa, Monica taught an R programming course for the Iowa Summer Institute for Biostatistics (ISIB), a program devoted to creating a pipeline for under-represented minority students to attend graduate school in statistics and biostatistics. In addition, Monica worked as a collaborative research assistant throughout her graduate school career, working in areas such as health policy, electronic health records, injury epidemiology, Parkinson’s disease and neuroscience. After finishing graduate school, Monica joined the faculty at the Center for Biostatistics and Health Data Science (CBHDS) and worked under Dr. Alexandra Hanlon as a collaborative biostatistician.