Update from Jim Crooks

Jim Crooks has a position with the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jim Crooks, B.A. 1998, History, and High Honors in Physics, went on to get a Ph.D. in physics from UNC Chapel Hill, but switched gears and now has a position at the Environmental Protection Agency, in the Office of Research and Development. He will be part of a biostatistics core facility that provides internal consulting for other agency scientists.  He writes, “Most of what I’ll be doing will be epidemiology and bioinformatics, though it strongly depends on who asks for help.”  During his most recent job search, he found that one of the aspects of his CV that the “interviewers zeroed in on was a 2nd place award for best essay on Byzantine history that I received while taking Dr. Burns’ class.  They found this very reassuring; they were concerned (with some justification) that someone with strong mathematical skills would necessarily be a poor communicator and have narrow interests. Apparently the award convinced them otherwise because I was offered the job.”  He and his family enjoy life in the Research Triangle area.  He writes, “I have two sons, ages 3 and 6, who are a delight.  They are protected by a guard-bunny named Hop.  My wife is a human geneticist at Duke, though she will soon be starting a new job at UNC Hospital.  We love going to the theater, staying involved with the school system, and being generally over-scheduled.”

He explains that “Durham has–quite unexpectedly–become the hip corner of the Triangle over the last five years.  Downtown has come back to life.  The arts scene is thriving.  And the restaurants… you would be stunned by the selection and quality we have now.  Where else can you get a chana masala taco prepared in a red school bus-turned-taco truck?”  He concludes, “Neither my wife nor I will ever forget the amazing summer we spent digging up a Roman villa in Pecs, Hungary as part of an Emory history department study abroad!”