Unleashed

I found my purpose at JMU

Alumna credits her 2009 Madison for Keeps scholarship for opening the door to a career in epidemiology and her current COVID-19 research.


 

SUMMARY: An Associate Director at Janssen Research & Development and leader in the OHDSI community and 2009 Madison for Keeps scholarship recipient, Clair Blacketer ('10) collaborates with national and international groups to support COVID-19 research.


As an Associate Director at Janssen Research & Development and leader in the OHDSI community, I get to collaborate with national and international groups to support COVID-19 research. I am proud to be a JMU Duke working alongside leading researchers from around the world to find data-driven solutions to some of our most pressing public health issues.

I don’t know if I would be where I am today without the Madison for Keeps emergency scholarship I received ten years ago.

Here's my story.

The summer before my senior year at JMU, I was a biology major with a pre-med concentration, and I knew that wasn’t the right path for me. Switching my focus to epidemiology was not an easy decision, but I knew it was the right one. I had found my way.

Then everything changed. We found out my father had a tumor on his spine. He wasn’t able to work, and I knew there wouldn't be enough money for me to finish college.

My Madison for Keeps emergency scholarship allowed me to complete my degree at JMU. Without it, I don’t know if I would have been able to discover the path to a career that would give meaning and purpose to my work.

Madison for Keeps, May 2020

Now, because of the pandemic, there are more than 170 students who are facing the same reality I faced: They might not be able to return to JMU, and they have already done everything else they could to secure funding on their own. I know how scary that is, but I also know what a difference Madison for Keeps scholarships make for students who have nowhere else to turn.

Please join me in supporting Madison for Keeps by May 31. Contributions received by the end of the month can be included in these scholarships that the Office of Financial Aid will award to students for this fall.

Sincerely,
Clair Blacketer (’10)

Back to Top

Published: Friday, May 29, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Related Articles