Student Spotlight: HIA graduate Nancy Rios

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Student Spotlight: Nancy Rios received her Master’s degree in Healthcare Informatics and Analytics last Friday and currently works as a Data Research Analyst at OrthoCarolina Research Institute.

Why Data Science?

I chose data science because I wanted to make an impact in healthcare. I took a quality improvement course in undergrad that introduced me to some relevant topics in data science and I was immediately interested. I knew that getting a Masters in the field would allow me to leverage my knowledge of healthcare organizations and apply that to deliver actionable insights through data analytics.

And why UNC Charlotte?

There is so much to love about UNC Charlotte, but I mainly wanted to complete my Master’s degree here because I loved my undergraduate experience here more than anything. I knew that I would meet professors who really cared about my journey and pushed me to do my best just like in undergrad, and I knew that I needed that! The program also really fit my needs. I had no prior experience in data science and the layout of the program seemed perfect, and it was – after just 2 semesters I was able to get an amazing job working as a research data analyst!

Is there one professor who most influenced your UNC Charlotte journey?

Dr. Susan Odum

Do you have a favorite place on campus?

I spent so much of my time at CHHS, it undoubtedly became my favorite place to work! If I had to be anywhere else on campus, it would be UREC!

What advice do you share with a high school student who is interested in data science?

  • Seek meaningful connections and believe in yourself!

  • Some of the best opportunities will come from the people you know.

  • Reach out to professors who make an impact in your learning experience and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

  • Remember that everyone was a beginner at some point and that you deserve to be exactly where you are – keep going!

Describe your experience so far at OrthoCarolina Research Institute:

My experience so far as a Data Research Analyst with OCRI has been nothing short of amazing. It has been almost exactly a year since I started and I wouldn’t recognize the person I was when I started last June. I have grown so much through this role and have been able to connect with so many great people in the process. I enjoy being able to contribute and be a part of important research in orthopedics and I look forward to continuing on this path of growth!