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Black History Month
2019 Honoree

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Garrett Jones

Garrett Jones

Statistical Programmer / Analyst

Marshfield Clinic Health System

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Southern California. I had a very convoluted path to where I am now. I got a degree in Biology from University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, and trained to be a cytotechnologist at the State Lab of Hygiene at the University of Wisconsin. I was a cytotechnologist for 3 years and then went back to school. I received a degree in math from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire where I really fell in love with math. I then went to grad school at University of Iowa where I received my Ph.D in 2012. After that, I taught at University of Wisconsin – Steven Point for three years. I was eventually drawn back into healthcare by some personal connections I had and have been working as a statistical programmer/analyst ever since. I very much like the idea of being able to help people with my skills.


Please describe an experience (or 2) that helped you discover/ cultivate your interest in the mathematical sciences.

One experience was my first geometry class in high school. I loved geometry. I liked how it was about relationships rather than just plain arithmetic. It seemed different than the math I had before. The second most influential experience was my topology class at UW–Eau Claire. I was fascinated with topology and it was a major reason why I went to graduate school.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your career in the mathematical sciences?

My proudest accomplishment is getting my Ph.D. This was a big deal to me and a difficult task. Another accomplishment I am proud of was being a co-organizer for the Underrepresented Students in Topology and Algebra Symposium (USTARS) for several years. I really liked being part of something that helped build a nurturing community for budding mathematicians.


What is/are your most proud accomplishment(s) in regards to your personal life?

I am most proud of my family. I have built a loving family with my wife and daughter, and they are the first thing that comes to mind when I think about my life or anything I do.


Please share some words of wisdom/inspiration.

If you are a graduate student studying math, don’t be afraid if being a professor in academia doesn’t seem to fit you. There is nothing wrong with you, and it isn’t a bad thing. Think about applying your math and pursuing options in private industry. Also, I guess I would say, be sure to explore and try new things occasionally. Some of the best things in my life have come from trying something new.