Alumnae Profiles

Nancy Drew ’10

Nancy DrewQuality Engineer Contractor | Edwards Lifesciences

B.S., Mathematics; Minor in Biology | Sweet Briar College, 2010
M.S., Biomedical Engineering | University of California, Irvine, 2015
Ph.D., Biomedical Engineering | University of California, Irvine, 2016

Nancy Drew works at Edwards Lifesciences, a company regarded as a global leader in heart valves and critical care technologies.

Through a course in biomathematics at Sweet Briar, she developed an interest in problems at the interface of mathematics, biology and medicine. This interest led her to the Research Experiences for Undergraduate (REU) program at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech in the summer of 2009, where she worked on developing simulation models for the spread of an epidemic and using them to forecast the effects of intervention strategies on the spread of an infection.

Upon graduation, Drew worked as a loan origination specialist at USAA before entering the mathematical, computational and systems biology program at University of California, Irvine. After completing this gateway program, she entered the university’s Ph.D. program in biomedical engineering in 2012. Drew’s graduate work focused on cardiovascular modeling, computational biology and image analysis. Her research led to a new metric for quantifying the correlation of orientation in heart tissues and to mathematical models for self-assembly of intracellular structures in heart cells. As a doctoral candidate, she was a graduate student researcher and a graduate teaching assistant. Nancy completed her worked at UC Irvine with a degree in biomedical engineering and defended her Ph.D. thesis in summer 2016.

Maria El-Abd ’12 (M.A.T. ’13)

Maria El-AbdTeacher | Linkhorne Middle School

B.A., English and Creative Writing, Mathematics | Sweet Briar College, 2012
M.A.T. | Sweet Briar College, 2013
Ph.D. Candidate, Education | University of Virginia

Maria teaches mathematics and STEM classes at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg and is completing her dissertation at UVa.

While earning her M.A.T. at Sweet Briar, Maria worked as a substitute and student teacher at James River Day School in Lynchburg and in the Campbell County school system. She then traveled back to her native country of Lebanon to teach secondary math and English at the AZM School in Tripoli. Upon returning to Virginia in 2014, Maria continued her education at UVa. Her research focuses on predictors of literacy achievement in young gifted students in rural schools.

During her time at Sweet Briar, Maria was a member of Alpha Lambda Delta, Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Tau Delta. She also participated in LEAP: Leaders Emerging and Achieving Program, as well as the Sweet Briar Inklings Book Club, the Creative Writing Conference and the literary magazine Red Clay.

Jodi Fisher ’12

Jodi FisherData Scientist | Booz Allen Hamilton

B.S., Mathematics-Physics | Sweet Briar College, 2012
M.S. Candidate, Mathematics and Statistics | Georgetown University, 2016

Upon graduation, Jodi accepted a job at Bungalow LLC for SCOUT, a brand of designer bags, coolers, accessories and rugs. As operations manager, Jodi applied the logical-thinking and data-analysis skills learned at Sweet Briar to assist in forecasting sales and predict inventory demand of the seasonal brand.

In 2014, she returned to academia, enrolling in the mathematics and statistics graduate program at Georgetown University. Jodi now works as a staff data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, a company that provides management and technology consulting and engineering services to leading Fortune 500 corporations, governments and nonprofit organizations. She assists clients with report management and development and general statistical analysis of collected data.

Phoebe Jiang ’14

Phoebe JiangResearch Assistant, Department of Biostatistics | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

B.A., Mathematics; Minors in Economics, Statistics | Sweet Briar College, 2014
Ph.D. Candidate, Biostatistics | University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2019

Phoebe performs data management and statistical analyses while exploring advanced research topics. She also provides statistical reviews for research grant proposals in medicine, pharmacy and public health, and participates in the design, execution and evaluation of research projects — working with faculty, medical doctors, epidemiologists, administrators and students. Before her current position, Phoebe was a teaching assistant in the Department of Biostatistics at UNC-Chapel Hill and a biostatistics graduate intern at JMP Life Sciences, SAS Institute Inc.

At Sweet Briar, Phoebe worked in the library as a student assistant and student supervisor and was a tutor and teaching assistant for the mathematics department. She was co-founder and president of the Chinese Club, president of Alpha Lambda Delta and an admissions ambassador. She participated in the Leadership Certificate Program, won the Mathematical Sciences Award, and was named to the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society, Phi Beta Kappa, the Dean’s List and First-Year Honors.

Kelly Winer ’13

Kelly WinerQuality Assurance Analyst | Federal Reserve Board

B.A., Mathematical Economics; Minor in English and Creative Writing | Sweet Briar College, 2013

As a quality assurance analyst for the Federal Reserve Board, Kelly coordinates team and client testing, project management, project documentation preparation and maintenance, and stakeholder communication.

While at Sweet Briar, Kelly was a resident advisor in the first-year dorm and a peer counselor for academic, social and personal development. A member of the French Club and a QV, Kelly also worked as a math and economics tutor at the Academic Resource Center and as a teaching assistant in the economics department. In summer 2011, Kelly studied at St. Anne’s College in England through the Virginia Program at Oxford.