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College of Health Sciences

Alumni Spotlight

Contact College of Health Sciences  

College of Health Sciences

Sturzebecker Health Sciences Center
855 S. New Street
West Chester, PA 19383

Dr. Scott Heinerichs
Dean (interim)
Phone: 610-436-2825
Fax: 610-436-2860

Marge Curran
Secretary, Dean
Phone: 610-436-2825

Melissa Reed
Associate Dean (interim)
Phone: 610-436-2825

Debra Murray
Budget Manager
Phone: 610-738-2385

Amanda Blue
Outreach Business Manager
Phone: 610-738-0411

Austin Pickens

Austin Pickens
  • Current City
  • Area of Study
    "Biochemical and Molecular Nutrition"
  • Graduation Year
  • Current Occupation
    "Data Scientist"
  • Why did you choose WCU?
    "I liked the small classroom sizes, which meant more time personally interacting with the professors."
  • Did you complete an internship while at WCU?
    "No, I went to graduate school for a PhD instead."
  • Advice for graduating seniors in your field?
    "Stay diverse in your skill set. If becoming a dietician is not for you, I would highly recommend going for a MS or PhD and working on the research side of nutrition. There are also many dual PhD/RD programs available. Sharpen your statistical analyses skills, and teach yourself programming languages to analyze data such as R, python, and SAS to stay competitive."
  • Is there anything you would do differently?
    "No, merging nutrition, analytical chemistry, and data science was an excellent decision. The classes in the Nutrition & Dietetics major make you well diversified, especially if you want to combine nutrition other fields."
  • Best memory of your time at WCU?
    "Spending time with my nutrition friends and professors, working with students at the Learning Assistance and Resource Center, and performing research in Jim Pruitt's lab at the Chemistry department."