Student Spotlight: Nijah Glenn

Students of Weill Cornell Medicine’s Master of Science in Healthcare Policy and Research program have the opportunity to focus on a specific area of research and training while increasing their breadth and depth of understanding of the healthcare ecosystem as a whole. 

Nijah Glenn

Nina Glenn

For Nijah (Nina) Glenn, a 2021 graduate of the health policy and economics track, the chance to learn more about private capital and how it shapes innovation and access was one she could not pass up.

“I find the concept of innovation in private equity and venture capital to be particularly interesting. I felt like this program would encourage me to explore the intersection between health care and these areas in more depth,” she said. Nina was also excited that the institution’s ethos closely matched her own.

There were a number of classes that prepared Nina for the job market. In particular, “Incentives in the US Healthcare System” helped her better understand the benefits and implications of policymaking and financial analysis, as well as the ability to forecast what will happen next. These factors play a large role in the industry, making the class’ impact on her significant. Overall, she found every class engaging and bolstered her research economics skills. “Each of these courses also allowed me to build projects and theses around topics I found to be meaningful and relevant.”

Although adjusting to the remote nature of the program due to the pandemic was challenging at first, Nina thoroughly enjoyed her classmates’ openness to collaboration and discussing ideas—both within and outside of class—as well as the high level of respect for students and faculty members. This helped her to still feel connected to her coursework and peers. “Some of my favorite moments in the program were collaborating with students across two capstone theses, consistent and engaging guest lectures, and having accessible professors and classmates,” Nina said. 

While being a part of two capstone projects is not common, Nina was able to collaborate on both due to trust between teams and past institutional relationships cultivated by her capstone mentor Dr. Yiye Zhang, assistant professor of population health sciences and program director of the health informatics track. “Dr. Zhang helped us think outside of the box and approach situations creatively while being a source of encouragement,” she said.

Nina is especially grateful to a few other faculty members, too. Drs. Arian Jung, associate professor of population health sciences; Mark Unruh, associate professor of population health sciences and program director of the health policy and economics track; and Yuhua Bao, associate professor of population health sciences, were very approachable and willing to offer support and suggestions for coursework and career planning.

The Pittsburgh native is currently working in private capital data operations analysis at a fintech company in New York. Outside of work, Nina volunteers as a victim advocate under the NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center Victim Intervention Program, serving survivors of family and domestic abuse and sexual assault.  She also volunteers with UNICEF and the New York Junior League, lobbying for policies to improve the lives of all women and children via economic empowerment, education, adequate health care, etc. And she has the program to thank for one of her other passions — hosting the “Politics Under the Microscope” podcast with three friends she met through the Tri-Institutional MD–PhD Program between Weill Cornell Medical College, Rockefeller University, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Population Health Sciences 402 E. 67th St. New York, NY 10065 Phone: (646) 962-8001