We are delighted to announce that the Friedman School 2023 Student Commencement Speaker will be Ryan Simpson.
Ryan graduated as a Double Jumbo in August 2022 with a Ph.D. in Nutrition Epidemiology and Data Sciences (NEDS) after completing his M.S. in NEDS in 2019.
Prior to attending Friedman, Ryan received his undergraduate B.A. in Global Affairs and Environmental Engineering at Yale University where he concentrated in international development and urban agriculture, respectively. His undergraduate thesis examined how food insecurity and restriction of food aid by militant groups was leveraged as a military tactic in civil conflicts since 1960. It was here that he deepened his love and interest in nutrition and agriculture, getting his hands dirty while helping to establish the Yale West Campus Urban Farm.
During his time at Friedman, he helped coordinate and conduct research projects as part of the Tufts Initiative for the Forecasting and Modeling of Infectious Diseases (InForMID) in collaboration with his advisor, colleague, and friend, Dr. Elena Naumova. His published works focused on infectious disease time series modeling and applications for real-time outbreak surveillance and forecasting, particularly for enteric and respiratory illnesses. Later works centered on techniques for assessing publicly reported surveillance data quality, analytic methods for modeling seasonal outbreak features, and techniques for modeling signatures of emerging outbreak threats such as SARS-CoV-2 or humanitarian emergencies such as malnutrition and famine. In addition, Ryan helped organize the Tufts Nutrition Data Summit, now in its 5th year, which provided opportunities for students to engage in the intersection of nutrition, the environment, and data sciences.
Since graduating, Ryan has worked as a Healthcare Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) Associate for Analysis Group in their Boston office. Here, he helps to develop and implement analytical plans and study design strategies to support pharmaceutical products throughout their life cycle. In addition, he has returned to Friedman as an Adjunct Lecturer in the NEDS department where he assists in teaching courses on advanced data analyses, data visualizations, and effective communication. Back in his hometown of Boston, Ryan is grateful for the opportunity to be close to family and friends.