Member Insight – Yvette Cozier

What sparked your decision to become an epidemiologist?

  • I was a hospital laboratory technologist for many years and I loved my work (most days). The clinical lab introduced me to the concept of social and behavioral sciences as I saw the revolving door of clients into the STD clinic as they were diagnosed, treated, and cured, only to eventually return to the clinic with a new infection.  This pattern made me curious about the “causes” which were at work.  It was through this experience that I learned about epidemiology, and ultimately, social epidemiology.

What do you see as the biggest obstacle facing epidemiologists in the next five years?

  • Obtaining funding for research.

Do you have any pets?

  • Yes, Bosco the beagle. He is 13 years young and leads a life of which I am completely envious.

Why did you join SER? What keeps you coming back?

  • SER has always been a great opportunity to learn new methods and reinforce current research practices. Over the years I have met so many smart and wonderful people at SER; some I am now fortunate to work with at BU and to collaborate across institutions. Each year I look forward to time away from the office where I can be further developed as an epidemiologist. SER is the meeting that I get most excited about.

What advice do you give students who want to become epidemiologists?

  • Know why you want to do this – there is much to study and learn and it can be grueling at times. BUT, if you appreciate generating and testing new ideas, collaborating with others, and generally want to make a difference in people’s lives, epidemiology is the career for you.

Outside of epidemiology what do you enjoy doing?

  • Spending time with my family (Husband Ted, Kids Sebastian and Alexandra)
  • Foreign travel
  • Crossword puzzles, Sudoku (it’s a nightly ritual)
  • Live and televised sports: baseball, basketball, and college and professional football games (especially the tailgate parties!)

What is something that not many people know about you?

  • I was a multi-sport athlete in my youth including playing Little League baseball (not softball), figure skating, gymnastics (Beam and Vault), and Track and Field (high-jump, shotput). My hip-replacement last summer has put an official end to my Olympic aspirations 😉