Skip to main content

Student Spotlight: Nora Elhaissouni

Nora Elhaissouni is a ScM student in the Department of Biostatistics with an interest in child and maternal healthcare. She previously double majored in Biology and Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University.

Nora Elhaissouni

Nora Elhaissouni is a first-year ScM student in the Department of Biostatistics, and is part of a research team focused on the prevention of hospital acquired infections (HAIs).

Nora is the first recipient of the Huster Scholarship and looks forward to helping others access career opportunities, just as Gertrude Huster, SPH '84 (MHS) did.

  • Hometown: Melrose, Massachusetts
  • Previous Degrees Earned: BS in Biology and Child Study and Human Development, Tufts University.
  • Current Program: Master of Science (ScM)
  • Starting Year: 2023
  • Area of Focus: While I am still exploring different research areas, I hope to focus on longitudinal data analysis with the goal of improving pediatric infectious disease outcomes. 

How did you get interested in biostatistics? 

I was first exposed to biostatistics during the pandemic after witnessing how the data—and the data gaps—shaped the narrative of the pandemic. My interest in biostatistics expanded after completed research through a Biostatistics and Epidemiology Summer Research Program at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health. This research experience made me realize how integral the work of statisticians is towards bringing awareness and addressing real-world public health issues.

How has your time at Hopkins been? 

Over the course of this academic year, my understanding of complex subjects has grown so much. With my bachelor’s degree in biology and child development, the theory and math concepts I learned initially posed a challenge. However, the Department's commitment to student learning and the supportive educational environment have been instrumental in my academic journey. I've also had the privilege of attending numerous seminars that have broadened my understanding of the work that biostatisticians do. These seminars helped me figure out my own future goals within different research areas and as a biostatistician. 

The Department's commitment to student learning and the supportive educational environment have been instrumental in my academic journey.

What has been your favorite class so far? 
So far, my favorite class has been my Methods in Biostatistics III and IV course, where we focus on regression analysis. The course implements both the fundamental math concepts for regression and application of them, allowing us to apply these concepts to various datasets using R programming techniques. The course has allowed me to build a toolkit of different statistical techniques that I am excited to use in my own research!

Can you name an academic highlight you've had during your time as a Biostats student? 

As a first-year student, I had very broad research interests, particularly related to child and maternal healthcare. Attending the first-year seminar series exposed me to more focused research topics. During the seminar, Dr. Aaron Milstone shared his research projects, which focused on hospital acquired pediatric infections. From then, I was able to connect with him and am excited to begin working as a data analyst for his research team! Nearing the completion of my first year, I can’t help but reflect on this opportunity as a significant academic milestone, finding an opportunity aligned with my aspirations and allowing me to apply the knowledge I’ve learned through it.

What do you enjoy most about Baltimore? 
Living in Baltimore has been an adventure, filled with its rich collection of museums, bustling markets, and welcoming parks. On a nice sunny day, there is nothing I enjoy more than taking a walk down to Patterson Park with some friends and stopping by Bmore Licks for their delicious ice cream (Try the Cookie Monster flavor!). Some of my favorite weekends have been spent thrifting at the Baltimore Flea Market or trying some of the best Thai Iced Tea at the Mount Vernon Farmers Market.

What advice do you have for prospective students interested in the Department of Biostatistics?
If you're thinking about joining, my biggest tip is to get in touch with students who are already in the program. Dive into the Department's research and collaborative projects! The Department’s website is a great tool for navigating the program's curriculum, along with course expectations and subjects. Making connections and ensuring the research areas line up with what excites you will give you a good idea of what being in the Department can be like!

Meet Our Students