The Impact of Mentorship
In 2019, Heather graduated from North Carolina State University with a Masters in Statistics and relocated to Buffalo, New York, to join Cognigen’s team as a statistician. A statistician’s role at Cognigen is to integrate data from client studies and look for relationships between drug exposure and the biological and/or clinical responses resulting from treatment with the drug. A key part of this role is to help guide client interpretation of the analysis results and help the client organization make the best decisions for their drug development program.
Heather admits that onboarding with us was a bit overwhelming – Cognigen quickly assigns new employees to projects – but the practical application of statistical theory to actual scenarios has been rewarding. Heather’s early success and quick assimilation into the Cognigen team are due, in part, to the support she receives from her manager, Julie Passarell, Assistant Vice President of Statistics and long-standing Cognigen employee with over 20 years’ modeling experience. Julie’s mentoring and willingness to provide constant, timely feedback has made Heather feel like a valued member of the team. Creating opportunities for staff to learn and further their technical insight is part of the culture at Cognigen. Like Julie, our leaders are very supportive and empower junior staff, like Heather, to explore ways to increase their impact and grow their skillset. According to Heather, “everybody at Cognigen is very open to learning and teaching. They are very patient and work with each individual according to their needs.”
When we asked Heather, what influenced her decision to pursue a STEM career, she acknowledged that she had some great mentors and teachers, especially in math. She also noted that her dad’s work with medical products also kept science at the forefront of her interests. For all the young women early in their STEM careers, Heather offers this piece of advice: “Hone your skills, and you will find a way to apply it to a career that makes you happy.”
Are you interested in learning more about Cognigen? Attend our upcoming 2021 SLP MIDD+ conference March 3rd and 4th.
By Lindsay Lehmann, Julie A. Passarell, Heather Barcomb