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Alumni Spotlight

Close to 300 PhD students have completed CSSS course tracks since they were established. Select from the profiles below to hear our first few alumni share about their research journeys, reflecting on their time at the UW, and offering advice for current graduate students.

Headshot of John Ahlquist

John Ahlquist

Dr. John Ahlquist is the associate dean and a professor at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California San Diego (UCSD), and director of the school’s Pacific Leadership Fellows Program. Ahlquist completed the political science CSSS track during his PhD at the University of Washington (UW), graduating in 2008. Ahlquist spoke with CSSS about his career trajectory and how he built his confidence in statistics.
Read our full interview with John here. 

Headshot of Junfeng Jiao

Junfeng Jiao

Dr. Junfeng Jiao is an associate professor in the Community and Regional Planning Program at The University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin). He is the founding director of Urban Information Lab, director of UT NSF Ethical AI Program, director of Texas Smart Cities, and a founding member of UT Austin's Good Systems Grand Challenge. Jiao completed the Urban Design and Planning CSSS track while at the University of Washington (UW), and graduated in 2010. Jiao shared with CSSS about how his time at the UW has informed his career path and current research.
Read our full interview with Junfeng here.

Headshot of Leontine Alkema

Leontine Alkema

Dr. Leontine Alkema is a professor of biostatistics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) School of Public Health & Health Sciences. Alkema received her PhD in Statistics at the University of Washington (UW) in 2008, with a CSSS track concentrating on statistical demography — studying human populations. She spoke with CSSS about her academic journey, and how she hopes to contribute to statistical demography and global health going forward.
Read our full interview with Leontine here.

Headshot of Siobhan Mattison.

Siobhán Mattison

Dr. Siobhán Mattison is an associate professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and director of the Human Family and Evolutionary Demography Lab. She recently served as a director for the National Science Foundation’s Cultural Anthropology funding program (2019-2023). Mattison earned her PhD at the University of Washington (UW) in 2010 and completed the anthropology CSSS track. Mattison spoke with CSSS about her academic and personal journey, and the value of building strong statistical foundations.
Read our full interview with Siobhán here.