2022 Alumni Notes 2009-2010
My family is happy and healthy! Really couldn't ask for much more. Still living in the Boise, Idaho area and continuing to work from home. Going on nine years at an agency where our little analytics team is tucked away from most of the corporate drama. Still having fun in R from time to time and enjoying running a baseball site called Prospects Live.
Audrey Bigelow Lariz
Hello my wonderful Stats friends! The pandemic set off two years of huge life changes for me. At the start of 2020, I had the opportunity to come work at Cal Poly for University Development and Alumni Engagement in an emergency role that ended up becoming semi-permanent because of the pandemic. I also had the incredible opportunity to work on the Biden Campaign for the Nevada Democrats, which was pretty wild. I worked both jobs from September to mid-November, and it was the hardest and most incredible two and half months of my professional life. I set out on a path to pursue political work full-time and ended up leaving Cal Poly in September 2021. I started full-time as a campaign manager for Dawn Addis for State Assembly in January 2022, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work on such an exciting race. Stats really comes in handy in politics!
I got engaged in September 2019, started planning a wedding for New Orleans for March 2021, and ultimately ended up postponing it for a full year. We still got legally married on our original date with just our immediate families in Shell Beach, and my husband Sean and I are so thankful we got to take some fun pictures with our two dogs, Rook and Sonny. Sonny is almost a year and a half, so he was another pandemic adventure. We also signed the paperwork to buy a brand new house in April 2021, and we will finally be closing escrow in March. Yes, we are closing escrow on our first home and then leaving town for two weeks for our postponed destination wedding and mini-honeymoon all in the same month. It's...A LOT. After April 2021, the remainder of the year was one of the most challenging years of my life, but 2022 feels like it's off to a much better start. Staying in SLO was always the dream and finally being able to buy a house is truly icing on the cake!
It has been a while since I have provided an update: two kids (three-and-a-half and one), a pandemic, a move to Sacramento and it's 2022! My son, Brett, was born in 2018 followed by my daughter, Mackenzie, in 2021. Both have brought my wife and I tremendous joy. We moved to the Sacramento area last year to be closer to family and to the mountains, which we have enjoyed as much as we can with the pandemic. Small hint: moving with a three-and-a-half-year-old and a six-week-old is not generally recommended, although we made it work. For fun, you will typically find us in the mountains camping or hiking or up in Lake Tahoe. We are learning about our new town of Rocklin and enjoying getting the kids involved in various activities. My son is especially interested in American Ninja Warrior, a favorite show of ours to watch.
Professionally, I am going on my 12th year (crazy to say) with RSM US as a technology consulting manager. My job implementing software keeps me continuously learning both technology and the details of various industries. Although I do not use much statistics anymore, my core approach to problem-solving can be attributed to my degree at Cal Poly.
Katrina Jackson Anderson
The pandemic made me realize that I thrive in working from home, so a job change was needed. I left my role as a reliability statistician with the Navy, and this April I will celebrate my one-year anniversary as a senior data scientist for First American Title. I am thrilled with the projects I am working on and love the culture of the company and my team. We are currently developing a new AVM — think Zillow’s Zestimate but for the financial side of the home-buying process. I have never been more challenged in my role and am very grateful to have finally found a spot that fits.
In the middle of switching jobs, we were also buying a new home and are so in love with it! It did take us eight months of hunting, but it was worth it. :) On clear days, we can see all the way out to the ocean! Another added plus is finally being close to family after years of the military taking us away from them.
In May, we added a puppy to the family, Minnie, a rescue from a bad puppy breeder. Now, after some TLC, she is a play-first, think-after menace to the house, but we love her!
Our girls are happy and thriving at preschool; my oldest will start kindergarten this fall, and we are hoping my youngest can snag a spot in TK at the same elementary school. As parents, our hobbies now include playing Barbie’s, jumping in the bounce house (yes, a pandemic purchase that has more than paid for itself), enjoying the pool and baking something (preferably with pink frosting) with the kids.
Michelle Shaffer Stratton
The past few years I have been teaching Algebra 1 and Geometry part-time. We have a four- and 2-year-old, and we enjoy hiking and camping, especially Yosemite, and of course trips to San Luis Obispo and Pismo. Pismo now has an updated downtown area and a big cement slide leading down to the beach, which the boys loved. The trip highlight of the year was my husband (also a Cal Poly alumnus) and I spent our anniversary in Sedona, Arizona — absolutely beautiful!
Mary Ellen DeHaven Rosales
After coming back to 24 Hour Fitness from maternity leave this year, I was asked to lead a team responsible for advanced analytics. Pretty exciting to be a part of an organization that had minimal statistical involvement when I started to now requesting multiple statistical heavy projects for multiple departments monthly. I am proud of my team and our leadership for making decisions that are based on stories our data is telling.
Being a new mom and a new leader, I found training for runs as my relaxation time. This fall I placed ninth for women in the Big Sur five-mile trail run and completed my goal of running 1,000 miles in one year. My son experienced his first vacation, and it was in Hawaii. He loved going in the waves and playing in the sand.
The whirlwind continues with working and teaching during a pandemic. Teaching online and in hybrid format has its pros and cons, and it has been refreshing to get back to some in-person courses this 2021-22 academic year. On another note, the richness and breadth of my research and industry collaborations have grown a lot, which has been extremely exciting. My wife and I bought a house in Grover Beach in 2020, which has been a boon to our interests in board games and making craft cocktails! All in all, we're most excited to travel again as soon as we're able.
After graduating from Cal Poly in 2009, I attended CSU Long Beach for my master's degree in statistics. Since graduating in 2011, I've been working as a principal statistician for the Department of Medicine Statistics Core at UCLA. We are a consulting group of approximately 20 faculty and staff statisticians who assist the medical school with clinical trials, posters, grants, manuscripts and education. I've recently progressed into more of a supervisory role and really enjoy it! We have been working remotely for the past two years (pandemic). It has had some challenges (see below), but it’s also nice to be more flexible.
On the personal side, we had another baby boy this year which happened to fall directly on pi day (3/14/21). Having two statistician parents, I guess it was inevitable.
I can't thank the department enough for giving me a solid foundation and interest in statistics, which has allowed me to pursue a rewarding and enjoyable career. I'd also like to thank my former classmates (you know who you are) and a big thank you to the faculty who inspired me AND put up with the antics of Oliver and me without strangling us (notably Carlton, Chance, Doi, Roy, Rossman, Schaffner, Sklar, Smith, Smidt, Walker). I wouldn't be here without your support, humor and encouragement!
I am living in Alexandria, Virginia, working as an operations manager at a public policy center. My wife is currently in grad school (her name is Carrie Mead) to become an occupational therapist. She took a statistics class, which I was able to help her with. I wanted you to know that I still got it.
We don't have kids, but we have a dog, Willa May. See photo.
No other major life updates. My life is kind of boring, but I don't mind it. I was telling the interns in my office about my days at Cal Poly (A lot of folks confuse it for Cal Tech and think I'm smarter than I am). I told the interns that I was a good student who was very serious. I hope they bought the lie.
Hi everyone! My last update was a few years ago, and a lot has changed! The only thing that hasn't is that I'm still working for Gainsight, a tech company that I've been at for nine years (holy cow). After a three-year stint in their London office, I moved to Los Angeles in September 2020. I was obsessed with everything about UK life — the travel opportunities, the unique neighborhoods and expansive parks, the pub culture — but ultimately the pandemic accelerated my move back to the U.S. And it was about time because six months before my transatlantic return, I got married to a man named Andrew (a Cal Poly '09 alum and one of Tyler Benz's besties) at a small ceremony in Atascadero on February 29, 2020. So yes, we narrowly missed all of the COVID cancellation issues and were able to squeeze in a honeymoon in BC Canada. LUCKY US.
A few months after I moved to L.A., a private equity company bought Gainsight (woot!) and that put us in a position to start the house-buying process. :) We scored big time with a 99-year old Spanish home near Laurel Canyon. It's been fun thinking of house projects and great to have more space to WFH! With a fenced-in yard, I was also able to convince Andrew it was the right time for a dog, so we now have an eight-month-old GSP puppy called Betty who's the freakin' cutest.
I'm currently Gainsight's senior director of events, overseeing corporate events, trade shows and field marketing. Not a lot of data analysis or stats in this role, but I love the ability to get creative and bring our user community together in-person or virtually. TTFN!
Daniela Sakamoto Saldana
Since my last update, I have moved to the greater Austin area. It's been really nice. I still work from home and have been promoted to director of customer insights. The role is very busy, but I still enjoy it. I have a new dog, Ripley. She joins our family as our second Australian cattle dog female. I will start competing in agility trials this March.
I’m in my third year at Merced County Office of Education as a math coordinator. My typical job is training and coaching math teachers, but it includes more and more variation each year. Over the past year or so, I have been learning improvement science and have been using that in various capacities, in general by supporting math at a system level as well. During this school year, I’m also helping to coordinate a research study for Jo Boaler and Stanford on their data science course which a number of our county high schools have been offering this year in a pathway to AP Stats.
Otherwise, I’ve been kicking around with my two redheads. Over winter, I shared with them my love for ice skating, and we spent practically every weekend at a seasonal outdoor rink. I’m glad they have come to love it as much as I do. Until next year!