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Alumni on the Front Lines | Melanie Spillane

Rivier University alumna and biology graduate is working at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Fort Collins, Colorado to gather data related to risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Alumni Melanie Spillane graduated from Rivier in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and now works as an Epidemiologist and Data Scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Fort Collins, Colorado. Through her work at the CDC, Melanie has helped gather data for a case control study regarding risk factors for COVID-19 hospitalization. According to Melanie, “This involves interviewing recovered or recovering patients about their symptom progression and contact history. My role also involves analyzing and modeling public health surveillance data and creating data visualization tools that can help improve these methods as well as guide prevention interventions.”

In addition to her work on the front lines in epidemiology, Melanie has brought the values she developed as a student at Rivier to a volunteer position at a COVID Recovery Center for homeless individuals in Boulder, Colorado. “The recovery center was a community recreation center that upon closing was transformed into a place for homeless individuals to recover. At the Center, I assist with cleaning/ sanitizing, laundry, preparing food, and providing support for our guests. These individuals arrived at the Center because they failed the screening process when attempting to enter local shelters due to showing signs and symptoms.”

Melanie says it is an incredibly rewarding experience to work with those in need. “I would also like to encourage and inspire current students, especially those in nursing and public health, to keep up the good work! Your time to use your valuable Rivier education to give back is coming!”

Thank you for giving back in so many ways, Melanie, and for your words of encouragement to our current students!