Residential Student Ambassadors

August 1, 2022
student ambassadors

Meet the 2022-2023 Admissions Ambassadors of the M.S. in Data Science, Residential program. They represent their class and hail from a variety of backgrounds, experiences and interests. Feel free to email a student ambassador directly with questions about the master's program and graduate student life, or schedule a time to speak with them by phone or Zoom.


Jose Diaz-RiveraJose Diaz-Rivera
 

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Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico
Undergraduate Institution: University of Virginia
Major: Politics, Foreign Affairs

 

What has been your favorite class in the program so far?
Professor Alvarado's Programming for Data Science course was an excellent introduction to programming with Python and very beginner-friendly, especially for someone like me whose undergraduate major was in non-technical. I am very excited to learn more about machine learning in the fall and deep learning in the spring!

What are your research/career interests?
In terms of research interests, I want to learn more about machine learning and deep learning applications. In regard to career interests, I am exploring opportunities for social applications of data science and how they might better serve marginalized communities.

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
The University of Virginia has always been my dream school since I was in high school. When I decided that I wanted to study data science, it seemed too good to be true that UVA offered a master’s degree in the School of Data Science. Moreover, the cohort model and year-long project were both highly appealing to me for their emphasis on a tight-knit community and hands-on learning.

What is a fun fact about you?
I used to be very active in theater when I wanted to act and attend arts school. Although I am no longer pursuing theater, on the plus side, it has made me a better public speaker! 


Minah KimMinah Kim
 

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Hometown: Hanam, South Korea
Undergrad institution: Macalester College
Major: Psychology

Do you have previous work experience? 
I was a research fellow at the Yale Child Study Center and Seattle Children's Research Institute.

What has been your favorite class in the program so far?: It's a three-way tie between Linear Models for Data Science, Practice and Application of Data Science, and Programming for Data Science. 

What are your research/career interests?
I am currently also a Ph.D. student in the UVA Department of Psychology and am interested in the biological underpinnings of social behavior and well-being.  

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
UVA has am MSDS/GSAS-PhD Fellowship that lets doctoral students in the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences supplement their learning with data science training. 

What is a fun fact about you?
I love to pen pal as a way to keep in touch with people and own a solid collection of stationary paper. 


Tae Yoon KimTae Yoon Kim
 

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Hometown: Seoul, South Korea
Undergrad institution: Rice University
Major: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

What has been your favorite class in the program so far? 
Practice and Application of Data Science with Professor Jonathan Kropko 

What are your research/career interests? 
Tech – Product Management

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
I am part of the MBA/MSDS dual-degree program and am also enrolled at the Darden School of Business. The ability to complete both degrees without having to attend an additional year is an attractive proposition to any career-oriented individual.

What is a fun fact about you?
I lived in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Japan, and South Korea while growing up.


Tatev KyosbabyanTatev Kyosababyan
 

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Hometown: Gyumri, Armenia
Undergraduate Institution: American University of Armenia 
Major: Computer Science 

Do you have previous work experience? 
I worked in software development and data analytics.

What has been your favorite class in the program so far?
Programming for Data Science

What are your research/career interests?  
I am still exploring and keeping my options open.  

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?  
The length of the program and the integrated curriculum were selling points, as well as the fact that the program was in its own School of Data Science. I also spent a year of high school in Virginia as an exchange student so UVA was my natural go-to. 

What is a fun fact about you?
I was once the director of a Bollywood-style short film.


Chelsea Le SageChelsea Le Sage
 

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Hometown: Reston, Virginia
Undergraduate Institution: James Madison University
Major: Computer Science

Do you have previous work experience?
I worked for two years as a frontend software developer.

What class are you looking forward to the most?
I hope to take Advanced Use of Geographical Information Systems in the spring semester as an elective.

What are your research/career interests?
I'm interested in geographic information systems and data visualization but looking forward to exploring more facets of data science throughout the program!

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
The beautiful campus, caring faculty, and all the fun things to do in Charlottesville! 

What is a fun fact about you? I used to volunteer at an animal sanctuary with rescue cows, horses, chickens, and goats before starting the program.


Anneda RongAnneda Rong
 

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Hometown: Midlothian, Virginia
Undergraduate Institution: University of Virginia
Major: Statistics with a Biostatistics Concentration

Do you have previous work experience?
I worked at the Global Infectious Diseases Institute as a student researcher.

What has been your favorite class in the program so far?
My favorite class so far would have to be Linear Models because I’ve enjoyed learning how to perform hypothesis testing and make predictions with a high level of confidence. It feels like looking into the future and performing magic, if you ask me. The class that I am most excited for is definitely the Capstone course because we’ll be tasked to solve real-world problems that don’t necessarily have a “right” answer and we’ll have the opportunity to pioneer a solution.

What are your research/career interests?
I am keeping my mind open to the many fields that data science is integrated into and also to any cool opportunities that may come my way. However, I do think I would really enjoy being a data scientist in healthcare.

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
UVA is close to home so logistically it made sense for me. Most importantly though, I had the amazing opportunity to experience first hand UVA as an undergrad. UVA is determined to serve a purpose in every sector, so it was honestly a very simple decision for me. 

What is a fun fact about you?
I love to cook – so much that I actually sometimes pretend to have my own cooking show (with no audience, unfortunately) and will challenge myself to use random ingredients like on Chopped.


Bella SamperBella Samper
 

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Hometown: Spring, Texas
Undergraduate Institution: Randolph-Macon College 
Major: Psychology with a minor in Mathematics

Do you have previous work experience?
I worked at Stats Perform as a data insights intern and also worked at Randolph-Macon College for a year as an Annual Giving and Athletic Fundraising Specialist.

What class are you looking forward to the most?
We haven't taken very many classes yet, but I am very excited for the spring to take the Data Visualization elective.  
What are your research/career interests?
I would like to go into Sport Analytics after graduating. 

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
I chose UVA's M.S. in Data Science because from the beginning, when I spoke to faculty, staff, and students, I could tell they wanted their students to succeed. I was very impressed with all of the resources available to me. My favorite part is the small cohort style and emphasis on collaboration. It really gives you an opportunity to get to know your other classmates and get real world experience in working with people for a common goal. 

What is a fun fact about you?  
I played lacrosse in college. 


Jake WeinbergJake Weinberg
 

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Hometown: Blue Bell, Pennsylvania
Undergraduate Institution: University of Virginia
Major: Commerce 

Do you have previous work experience?
I spent four years at Dean & Company, a boutique management consulting firm. 

What has been your favorite class in the program so far?
Statistical Learning

What are your research/career interests?
I plan on either pursuing a career in sports analytics or at the cross section of data science and business.

What made you choose UVA for your master's in data science?
The one-year turnaround, integrative curriculum, and capstone opportunity were all exciting features of the program.

What is a fun fact about you?
I have a fake front tooth.