Rosemary Rhodes ’17 and Jonathan Schuster ’17 were awarded SAS certifications in economic statistics and analysis earlier this week. SAS is an analytical software package that is widely used by Fortune 500 companies and federal agencies. This is the first year St. Mary’s College students have had the opportunity to earn this certification jointly endorsed by the College and SAS. In order to earn the certificate, students must complete a series of courses which provide the opportunity to hone critical thinking skills, develop SAS competency, analyze real-world data utilizing SAS, and present findings publicly in both written and oral form. While Rhodes and Schuster are the first to earn the new SAS certificate, several current juniors are on track to earn certifications next year. Students working towards completion of the requirements for certification have already reported receiving positive feedback during interviews.
Rhodes and Schuster transferred to St. Mary’s College from Howard Community College (HCC)where both were members of the Rouse Scholars Program, a selective honor society founded to foster academic excellence and global citizenship. At St. Mary’s College, Rhodes double-majored in economics and public policy studies with a minor in political science. Rhodes’ senior paper in econometrics employed survival analysis methods to examine an inmate’s time to recidivate using data from the North Carolina prison system. Rhodes pursued the SAS certificate because she plans to enter the research field, where she can continue to build upon her quantitative analysis skills that were largely developed through her coursework utilizing SAS.
After graduating from HCC, Schuster made the decision to transfer to St. Mary’s because of its small class sizes and reputation for academically challenging and thought-provoking coursework. Schuster majored in economics, and hopes to continue to use his analytical and SAS skills to ask and answer thought-provoking questions via rigorous quantitative analysis.