Current Officers



Kristin Baltrusaitis

Kristin is a 3rd year PhD student in the Biostatistics department and a Research Assistant at BU’s Statistics and Consulting Unit. She received a BS in Biochemistry from Lehigh University and a MS in Mathematics Education from Brooklyn College. After nearly 8 years teaching high school mathematics and science, she decide to integrate her love of these academic areas and pursue a degree in Biostatistics. Kristin’s current research interests include the study of Infectious Disease, specifically Influenza and TB. Kristin is also the self-appointed captain of the unofficial Biostatistics student soccer team and enjoys running, yoga, procrastibaking, and walking her dog, Rita.


Vice President

Ben Sweigart

Ben is a PhD student in the Biostatistics department. Originally from Rhode Island, Ben earned his bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Brown University before moving to Boston to begin a career in the financial services industry. Most recently he worked as an associate portfolio manager at Athena Capital Advisors, a privately owned, independent Registered Investment Advisor. While there, he had the opportunity to research the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries, which sparked his interest in biostatistics and public health.


Event Manager

Mengyun Li

Mengyun is an MS in Statistical Practice student at Boston University. She received her Bachelor Degree from Purdue University in Actuarial Science and Applied Statistics. Mengyun is passionate to utilize statistics knowledge and programming techniques to risk analysis area. Apart from school, Mengyun also enjoys bodybuilding, swimming, cooking, and movies.


VP of Operations

Bingyi Yang (Bill)

Bingyi Yang is a BS in Statistics and Economics at Boston University. He’s interests in statistic and economics lead him to pursue a career in actuarial science. In his spare time he enjoys playing the piano, and listening to classical music. Also when the weather allows he likes to sit under the sun, a habit he developed when he grew up in Kenya.

VP of Communications

Daniel Posner

Dan is a PhD student in Biostatistics at Boston University.


Eric Kolaczyk

Faculty Mentor

Eric Kolaczyk

Eric Kolaczyk is Professor of Statistics, and Director of the Program in Statistics, in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Boston University, where he also is an affiliated faculty member in the Program in Bioinformatics, the Division of Systems Engineering, and the Program in Computational Neuroscience. He is an elected fellow of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and an elected senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering (IEEE). Prof. Kolaczyk’s main research interests currently revolve around the statistical analysis of network-indexed data, and include both the development of basic methodology and inter-disciplinary work with collaborators in bioinformatics, computer science, geography, neuroscience, and sociology.

Former BUSCASA Officers


Event Manager

Kendra Plourde

Kendra is a PhD candidate in the Biostatistics department. She received her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Northwestern University and her master’s degree in Biostatistics from Boston University. Kendra has been involved in a variety of research areas including: HIV, nutrition, and pediatrics, but it was her work as a research assistant for the Framingham Heart Study neurology group that ignited a passion for dementia research. Currently, Kendra is working on her dissertation focused on improving statistical methods for estimating cognitive decline. In her off time Kendra enjoys going to the beach and hiking with her husband and dog and eating as much seafood as she can afford.


VP of Professional Development

Anahita Bahri

Anahita is an MS in Statistical Practice student at Boston University. Prior to joining the MSSP program, Anahita worked at the intersection of music and analytics after receiving a BM in Music Business and Contemporary Conducting from Berklee College of Music. Her data-driven career began at Spotify, where she helped drive the music listening experiences as their first Data Curator for Indian music. Most recently, Anahita worked in streaming partnership analytics at Shazam and conducted in-depth research on how big data and technology can be used to reduce inefficiencies in the music industry. In her free time, Anahita enjoys playing the tabla & piano, watching European football, visiting local art galleries, and cuddling with her cat, Biggie the Notorious CAT.


Vice President

Clementine Mottet

CLEMENTINE MOTTET is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Boston University. She joined their PhD program in 2013 after graduating from the National Institute of Applied Sciences of Toulouse with a Master’s Degree in Applied Mathematics. Her research has been focused on robust estimation of tail quantities under limited information, which is relevant in fields related to risk management. In her free time, Clementine does not like to work out (running is not for mama), but she does enjoy a good glass of sangria with her friends. She also likes to invest herself in various non-profit organizations such as BUSCASA, the Massachusetts Association for Women in Science, and the Boston University Graduate Association for Women in Science.

Heather President-Heather Shappell
Heather is a 5th year PhD student in Biostatistics at Boston University.  She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Arcadia University and her masters degree in Biostatistics from Boston University’s School of Public Health. Heather’s current research interests include statistical analysis of network data, with a particular focus on applications to neuroscience and functional connectivity. She is also involved with the statistical analyses of several clinical trials. Outside of school, Heather is active in her church, and enjoys figure skating, running, reading, and taking naps.
LizK Vice President-Elizabeth Kane
Liz is a 5th year PhD student in the Biostatistics program. After receiving her master’s degree in statistics from the University of Rhode Island in 2008, she worked as a statistical analyst/programmer at Massachusetts General Hospital for 3 years where she collaborated with cardiologists and statisticians at the Framingham Heart Study. After taking Statistical Genetics I at BU in 2009 per the request of her supervisor, she realized there was still a lot to be learned and decided that she wanted to further her education. Little did she know that the rote work of a programmer and the ability to actually enjoy her weekends was better than the soul crushing stress of a PhD program. To relieve her stress, Liz enjoys travelling and trying new beers with her husband, and playing with their dogter, Kacie.
Jeremiah VP of Communications-Jeremiah Perez
Jeremiah is a 4th year PhD student in Biostatistics at Boston University and a Research Assistant at BU Statistics and Consulting Unit. He earned a master’s degree in Statistical Computing from the University of Central Florida and a bachelor’s degree in Decision & Information Sciences from the University of Florida. Jeremiah’s research interests include the design and statistical analysis of clinical trials and the statistical analysis of high-dimensional genomic data. He also has a passion for teaching and currently teaches Introduction to Statistical Computing at BU’s School of Public Health. Jeremiah enjoys traveling, hiking, weightlifting, dancing, and spending time with family and friends.
Long VP of Operations-Long Tao
Long is a second year PhD student in the Statistics program at Boston University. He received his master degree in Statistics from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and got his bachelor’s in Physics from University of Science and Technology of China. Long is interested in research related to long memory time series and self-similarity, point process and stochastic differential equations. He is also interested in real data analysis, which motivates him to be big fan of Kaggle competitions. Apart from school, Long also enjoys playing basketball, running and cooking.
LizU Event Manager-Elizabeth Mary Upton
Elizabeth is in her second year of graduate studies at Boston University in the Statistics Program. Prior to BU, Elizabeth taught high school mathematics for three years and earned her Master’s of Education degree from Harvard. She also spent three years working in finance and analyzing the currency market. Elizabeth is passionate about teaching mathematics and statistics, and enjoys skiing, dance and playing with her Bernese Mountain dog (Bernie), while not in school.