Applied StatisticsFeatured Alumni/Testimonials

Kira Pugliese

Kira Pugliese

Senior Director, US/Global Insights & Analytics at AstraZeneca

I loved that West Chester University sought to offer students a high-quality education while providing students with options to manage costs.

I work closely with a variety of audiences – each with unique backgrounds – and the ability to remain flexible in how I convey a story while utilizing data and analytics has been critical. The program prepared me well by requiring not only the analytics work, but the clear presentation of key output from technical effort.

My advice to students who are contemplating this or who are going through this is to be patient with and kind to yourself because the path to success is often filled with obstacles. It’s not necessarily about how quickly or flawlessly you overcome them, but that you do.

Featured Alumni: Nelson Afanador, MS, PhD

Nelson Afanador, MS, PhD

Nelson Lee Afanador is a proud graduate of West Chester University’s Masters in Applied Statistics program (2009). His decision to pursue a Master of Science degree in applied statistics began while he was working as a Project Scientist in Merck’s Laboratory Technical Support group (LTS). While in the LTS he had the opportunity to collaborate with statisticians in Merck’s Center for Mathematical Sciences (CMS) and the rest, as they say, is history.

Read more in our Alumni Newsletter

Emily Badis

Emily Badis

Manager of Football Administration, Minnesota Vikings

Earning my Applied Statistics M.S. immensely impacted and accelerated my career. I learned how to code in SAS & R, which easily transferred into my day-to-day job responsibilities. Having earned my degree helped give me the confidence to know that I could do the job and contribute to the industry in which I work.

In the professional football world, I work with people from very different backgrounds, which requires the skill to convey results in a way that everyone in the room can understand and transfers directly to the field, contract negotiation, etc. In my classes, occasionally we had to present to Dr. McClintock as if he didn't know anything about statistics. He pushed us to explain our results in a way anyone could understand.

I started my career as a seasonal assistant (a fancy term for an intern), and eventually worked my way up to full-time with the Atlanta Falcons. I spent 4 seasons in analytics there, mostly as the organization’s Salary Cap & Contracts Analyst. I was able to apply my learning and coding skills from WCU to assist with contract negotiations. Since then, I've moved to the Minnesota Vikings, as Manager of Football Administration, focusing on salary cap management & contract negotiations, while still using my coding skills on a daily basis. I'm able to use large amounts of contract and salary data to quickly gather results, create reports, and answer questions more efficiently. None of this would be possible without the coding skills I learned and developed during my time in the WCU’s MS Applied Statistics program.

Dina Appleby

Dina Appleby, Biostatistician/Data Manager

Biostatistician, University of Pennsylvania

At West Chester, you really learn very practical skills. The program is a great blend of the practical with the theoretical — you really study the mathematics that lie beneath the data. But you always sensed the faculty were cognizant of the practicality of what you were studying: the applied statistics. And that kind of experiential learning meant you acquired a much deeper understanding and were much better prepared after graduation.

Read more in our program brochure

Tyler Case

Tyler Case

Lead Economist and Senior Vice President Wells Fargo

WCU's Applied Statistics program is ideal for working professionals seeking to improve their quantitative skills. The technical skills you acquire in the program are immediately marketable, as many leading firms in aligned industries use the same software used in the program, such as SAS and R. I use statistical analysis and programming skills every day to help one of the nation's largest banks manage risk.

Meeting students from a variety of industries--including finance, pharmaceuticals, marketing, education, and technology--presents new professional opportunities.

As a young professional with a growing family, the consistency and reliability of evening class schedules helped me balance my personal, professional and educational responsibilities.


Amos Odeleye, Senior Corporate Statistical Analyst

Department of Medical Economics and Informatics (at a National Health Care Company) — and — Assistant Professor of Statistics School of Management Studies, Eastern University

When I was investigating graduate school opportunities, I met face to face with professors at a number of schools. What I got at West Chester, what I heard from Dr. Rieger (Professor of Statistics and Program Director), was different from other institutions. It was clear to me that the faculty here were much more personally involved. There was a real connection between students and professors.

Read more in our program brochure

Jared Stufft

Jared Stufft

Elion Partners, Director of Data Science

I was searching for a program that was applied in nature but without sacrificing the mathematical rigor. WCU was the only program I found that taught the theoretical grounding alongside the application in the way that I wanted so I could really understand the toolkit that I was building.

I came to the WCU program right out of my undergraduate degree, knowing that I wanted to work with "math and computers." I was already interested in the field but the classes I took and the professors I met helped to really ignite a deep passion for applied statistics. I think that passion has pushed me to learn and apply more and more, and that has translated into a very fulfilling career so far. I don't think I would have had the same set of tools to build that career if I had chosen a different program.

The program really shaped my way of statistical thinking.


Tamarah Smith, Assistant Professor of Psychology

Associate Professor, Education, Gwynedd Mercy University

The faculty are so wonderfully supportive, and they’re so good at what they do. They put the program in such fantastic structure; you realize as you move through the program ‘wow, they really knew what they were doing!’ You’re initially so eager to learn, so anxious to really dive in, but they’re laying groundwork and telling you to be patient. And then, sure enough, all the pieces fall into place..

Read more in our program brochure