Alum Profile: Jun Chu (MPH '17), Biostatistics
Prior to graduate school, Jun Chu worked as a data analyst for the U.S. Postal Service and an industrial engineer at their Chicago Mail Processing Center. Jun graduated with his bachelor’s degree in Statistics from UMD in 2013 and earned his MPH in biostatistics in 2017. As a master's student, Jun worked as a graduate assistant with the SPH Collaboratorium.
In one sentence, what is public health to you?
To paraphrase Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s mission, I believe that public health is about saving people, one million at a time.
What inspired you to study public health?
I got into the field of public health during my 3rd year of undergraduate studies. I did a self-learning/research program on modeling infectious disease, and the result from the study was mind-blowing. Using skills learned in class, I was able to make projections on disease spread throughout Korea.
What do you think is the biggest challenge that the public health field should be focusing on?
I think the biggest challenge is to have our message heard and to get people to care about public health.
Why did you choose public health at UMD?
I took a biostatistics class with Dr. He when I was an undergraduate student, and I LOVED that class. So Maryland was my automatic first choice for graduate school! Go Terps!
How has your degree program at UMD's School of Public Health shaped your career goals?
For the MPH in biostatistics, our courses are designed to shape us into well-rounded statisticians. From basic odds ratio calculations to applying GEE modeling in longitudinal studies, I feel that I will be able to handle any job with my current knowledge and skills. It doesn’t matter if your career goals are in the federal government or private sector, biostatistics courses at Maryland will give students a great advantage in starting an amazing career.
Tell me a little about your work at the Collaboratorium. What have you learned from helping other students?
At the Collaboratorium, we consult with graduate students from all departments within the School of Public Health on research projects. Not only do we help them with SAS coding, but students also come to us when they are having trouble with statistical methods to analyze their data.
One thing that I learned from those students is that the School of Public Health is doing some amazing and cutting-edge research!