Student Spotlight: Cigna Practicum Team

While courses are still underway, students in NC State’s Master of Science in Analytics (MSA) Class of 2022 are also dedicating a great deal of time this month to their practicum projects. With the finish line in sight on their eight-month projects, practicum teams are developing early drafts of the business reports they will present to their sponsors in April, as well as other deliverables they’ve agreed to produce. 

This month, we’d like you to meet the Cigna practicum team. Cigna is a global health service company offering health, pharmacy, dental, supplemental insurance and Medicare plans to individuals, families, and businesses. The MSA team is developing various machine learning models to predict the effectiveness of a specific class of cancer treatment drugs. Raleigh-based Lauren Murray, an alumna from the Class of 2019, serves as liaison between Cigna and the practicum team.

“One quality I admire the most of everyone on this team is their dedication to learn what they do not know to solve problems that were previously unanswered,” said Sam Jasper, team lead. “Regardless of the technical challenge we encounter, this team does an excellent job collaborating and discussing technical concepts to develop a solution. Outside of meetings, our team enjoys exploring new areas and trying new restaurants in the area.”

Mikey Golaski

Where he calls home: Washington, PA

Before the MSA program: I earned a bachelor’s degree in statistics from Elon University in 2021. During my undergraduate career, I participated in service work, interned at a data consulting company, studied abroad in Berlin, and conducted statistical research on presidential prediction models.

Favorite data science tool/technique/topic: clustering algorithms

Favorite thing to do outside of class: skiing or exploring North Carolina

Sam Jasper

Where he calls home: Cary, NC

Before the MSA program: After completing undergraduate degrees in chemical and textile engineering from NC State in 2017, I spent four years working at Epic Systems, a Wisconsin-based electronic healthcare record company. There I led a team of five in administering relational databases.

Favorite data science tool/technique/topic: Survival analysis has been my favorite data science concept covered so far in the program. Sometimes knowing “when” something will occur is just as important as knowing the probability that it will occur.

Favorite thing to do outside of class: Cycling, board games, and hiking!

Mingming Li

Where he calls home: Anhui, China

Before the MSA program: I graduated from Shanghai Maritime University in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in logistics management. I then worked for three years as an operations analyst for SHL China Limited, a talent management consulting firm, processing and visualizing data for business planning.

Favorite data science tool/technique/topic: logistic regression

Favorite thing to do outside of class: hot pot, barbecue, tacos, lattes

Robert Seybold

Where he calls home: Charlotte, North Carolina

Before the MSA program: I earned an undergraduate degree in economics from NC State in 2021. As a student, I conducted research on the impact of a college education on poverty levels. I also interned with my local congressional representative in Washington, D.C. and studied abroad in Tübingen, Germany.

Favorite data science tool/technique/topic: time series

Favorite thing to do outside of class: running, baking, and hiking

Nour Zarrouk

Where she calls home: Raleigh, NC

Before the MSA program: I graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2021 with bachelor’s degrees in biostatistics and religious studies. While there, I served as a resident advisor, founded the UNC Al-Ahrar Dabke Dance Team, and researched the efficacy of government policies on online tobacco retailers.

Favorite data science tool/technique/topic: time series

Favorite thing to do outside of class: baking and discovering new food places