Long-time IHP researcher takes part in commencement by hooding daughter just before she accepted degree


Just off to the left of the commencement stage, Jordan Green held the colored cloth and waited for the signal. Then slowly and fully aware of the moment’s significance, the Matina Souretis Horner Professor and director of the Speech and Feeding Disorders Lab carefully pulled the hood over the head of the candidate standing in front of him, a young woman who was moments away from becoming a graduate.

But on this day, Green wasn’t acting as faculty, but as a father. The candidate was his daughter, Reese, who gave him a smile, then a hug, then walked across the stage and became part of the MGH Institute’s first Master’s in Healthcare Data Analytics graduating class. 

“It's incredibly meaningful to have him be a part of this moment,” said Reese Green, “because he's been such a supportive figure in my journey of academics and research journey and, you know, I've always had him to turn to. To have him there at the end is just so special because I get share it with him. And he's been a part of it. Both my parents have been a part of all of that.”

For the elder Green, it was a moment of emotion, joy, and a hint of astonishment 

“I’m just so proud of her, especially with what she accomplished in the Data Analytics program,” marveled Green. “And it's been such a great experience for her to work with the mentors in that program. I just can't believe that we're finally here.”

After graduating from the University of Vermont with degrees in Neuroscience and Mathematics, Reese enrolled in the IHP’s Healthcare Data Analytics program, which had just launched. During her time, Reese made an impact with a formalized statistical report for the nonprofit group, A Healthier Democracy, that demonstrated a correlation between low Internet access and preventable hospitalizations. Her findings were accepted for publication by the Journal of Medical Internet Research. Green won the Healthcare Data Analytics program’s new “Healthcare Impact Award” and earned herself a paid, six-month fellowship with A Healthier Democracy.

“She’s learned a ton in the program,” gushed Jordan Green. “She learned how to apply high-level math to important public health problems, and how to ask those questions in a very broad and important way. So, I think she's feeling very good about this, that she can use these tools now to have an impact on society and improve health outcomes for as many people as possible. She is a very gifted scholar.”

With a new degree in hand, Reese Green says being part of the first Healthcare Data Analytics class is special, in part because of all the opportunities that lie ahead. 

“It's a really exciting field to be in,” said Reese Green. “There's so much work that can be done and should be done. The fact that it's a program specific to healthcare makes it highly unique and is one of the reasons why I enrolled.”

“Graduation is so exciting, but now my daughter's part of it,” said Jordan Green, shaking his head in wonder. “It's just hard to believe and kind of overwhelming. Reese is now part of that IHP family. That's what it feels like. I've had a great career here and have loved the institute. And now bringing my daughter into the fold makes everything richer and more meaningful for me. It's great for her too.” 

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