Guest Speakers - Wake Forest Wake Forest University | Analytics Impact


Alberto Cairo

Alberto Cairo is a journalist and designer with many years of experience leading graphics and visualization teams in several countries. He joined the School of Communication in January 2012. He teaches courses on infographics and data visualization. He is also director of the Center for Visualization, Data Communication & Information Design at UM’s Institute for Data Science and Computing, and a Faculty Fellow at the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy. Cairo has been described by Microsoft as always “in the vanguard of visual journalism”. He is author of the books How Charts Lie: Getting Smarter About Visual Information (W.W. Norton, 2019), The Truthful Art: Data, Charts, and Maps for Communication (Peachpit Press, 2016), and The Functional Art: an Introduction to Information Graphics and Visualization (Peachpit Press 2012). His next book, which deals with ethics and moral reasoning in visualization design, will be published by Wiley in 2021. Cairo has also written for The New York Times and Scientific American magazine.

Natalie Dean

Dr. Natalie Dean is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics at Emory’s Rollins School of Public Health. She received her PhD in Biostatistics from Harvard University, and previously worked as a consultant for the WHO’s HIV Department and as faculty at the University of Florida. Her primary research area is infectious disease epidemiology, with a focus on innovative study designs for evaluating vaccines during public health emergencies. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been active in public engagement, with authored pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, and other outlets.

Melody Goodman

Dr. Melody Goodman’s efforts seek to understand the social risk factors that contribute to health disparities in urban areas, with the goal of developing culturally competent, region-specific, and evidence-based solutions through collaborative activities with community members, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and other community health stakeholders. The purpose of her work is the development of solutions for improving health in minority and medically underserved communities.

Emily Gurley

Emily Gurley is a Professor of the Practice in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Her 20-year career has focused on infectious disease transmission, including the development of novel methods for surveillance and outbreak investigation, and development of interventions to prevent emerging infections. Gurley spent 12-years with the ICDDR,B in Dhaka, Bangladesh where she served as Director of the Emerging Infections Programme. Her research uses a One Health approach, which takes into account the close relationships between human health and the health of other species and the environment. She is the Co-Director of the Child Mortality and Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) project in Bangladesh and also leads the Preventing Emerging Pathogenic Threats (PREEMPT) project there. Gurley was awarded the 2020 Shikani/El-Hibri Prize for Innovation and Discovery and the 2021 Excellence in the US COVID-19 Public Health Practice Award at the Johns Hopkins University for her contributions to pandemic response. She was the co-lead for the Novel Coronavirus Research Compendium (NCRC) and led two free Coursera courses on contract tracing implementation and evaluation used across the US and worldwide.

Justin Lessler

Justin Lessler is a professor in the Department of Epidemiology researching the dynamics and control of infectious disease, with particular interest in SARS-CoV-2, influenza, cholera and dengue. Justin works on the development and application of statistics, dynamic models and novel study designs to better understand and control infectious disease. In particular, he is interested in creating synergies between infection control practice, data collection and infectious disease dynamics.

Gordon Mccray

Dr. Gordon McCray is an AT&T Fellow, and Associate Professor at the Wake Forest University School of Business. In his role as Vice Dean, McCray oversees all existing and new academic programs at the School. His research interests include project management, outsourcing, systems development, and the visual arts market.

McCray is an alumnus of Wake Forest University having earned his Bachelor of Science in Physics. He would go on to earn his MBA at Stetson University and receive his PhD in Information Systems at Florida State University.

Lucy D’Agostino McGowan

Lucy D’Agostino McGowan is an assistant professor in the Mathematics and Statistics Department at Wake Forest University. She received her PhD in Biostatistics from Vanderbilt University and completed her postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Her research focuses on statistical communication, causal inference, data science pedagogy, and human-data interaction. Dr. D’Agostino McGowan is the past chair of the American Statistical Association’s Committee on Women in Statistics, chair elect for the Section on Statistical Graphics and can be found blogging at, on Twitter @LucyStats, and podcasting on the American Journal of Epidemiology partner podcast, Casual Inference.

Mark Montgomery

Mark Montgomery is a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) working on the Healthy People 2020 (HP2020) and Healthy People 2030 (HP2030) initiatives. The driving ideology that has guided him throughout his education and work experience has been to find effective ways to improve people’s lives using scientific processes and statistical methods. This led him to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology and secondary education and a subsequent master’s degree in public health with a focus in epidemiology both at the University of Maryland, College Park. As part of his bachelor’s degree he worked at Eleanor Roosevelt High School as a microbiology teacher. While working on his master’s degree, he worked as a math instructor and counselor at the Learning Assistance Service for two years. Both opportunities provided him with the chance to work with students with a wide range of abilities highlighting the importance of the manner and level of which information is disseminated. Over the past six years, he has worked at NCHS as a statistician for the Health Promotion Statistics Branch. During his time at NCHS, he has worked on the HP2020 midcourse and final reviews, HP2020 Leading Health Indicator webinars, and HP2020 Progress Review webinars. Over the past two years, he was deployed to assist with the unaccompanied children reunification mission at the US, Mexico border and to serve as a logistician on the CDC Covid-19 response.

Bhramar Mukherjee

Dr. Bhramar Mukherjee is the John D. Kalbfleisch Collegiate Professor and Chair at the Department of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. She has co-authored more than 300 publications in statistics, biostatistics, medicine and public health and is serving as Principal Investigator on NSF and NIH funded grants. She is the founding director of the University of Michigan’s summer institute on Big Data and a fellow of the American Statistical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Bhramar and her team have been modeling the SARS-CoV-2 virus trajectory in India – her work has been covered by major media outlets like Reuters, BBC, NPR, NYT, WSJ, Der Spiegel, Australian National Radio and the Times of India.