Hermon R. Gebrehiwet served as a member of the Washington, D.C. Army National Guard for eight years. She’s currently working as a clinical data manager and biostatistician for Fast-Track Drugs and Biologics in Frederick, MD. Hermon’s responsibilities include working with a database administrator and statistician to develop conditional rules for data evaluation, conducting edit checking of clinical trial data, and defining the scope clinical database projects. She also prepares statistical analytical plans (SAP), and generates statistical analysis tables and listings based on available clinical trial data—then compiles an intermediate or final report. Using SAS or SQL programming language, Hermon programs electronic validity checks and prepares statistical reports. “I also monitor administration and progress of clinical trial on behalf of sponsor, and assure that Good Clinical Practices are being followed at research sites.”
Hermon began her career path after earning a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Physical Science. “I was always interested in science and healthcare field so my undergraduate major was reflective of my love for science. As I was pursuing my college degree, I also worked as a lab assistant.” As an undergraduate, Hermon served as president of the Women in Math Science and Engineering (WMSE) group and was inducted in the Beta Kappa Chi National Scientific Honor Society.
Following her undergraduate studies, Hermon worked at various companies as a clinical data manager and clinical research associate. In 2014, she earned a Master of Public Health in Public Health from Argosy University, Washington, DC. She plans to pursue a Doctorate degree in Public Health with a concentration in Epidemiology.
Hermon’s career highlights include being added as a co-author on two studies she worked on as a clinical data manager (CDM), “A Pilot Trial of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Protease Inhibitor Dose Adjustment in HIV-Infected Children and Adolescents,” and “Impaired Glucose Tolerance and Other Metabolic Abnormalities in Adolescents and Young Adults with HIV Acquired in Infancy or Childhood.” These highlights were the result of dedication and determination—she is originally from northeast Africa and had to learn English and adapt to a new culture when she moved to America at age 15.
Hermon utilized the GI Bill® to help pay for her education. “I definitely believe that my military experience made me a better student, because military experience instilled in me patience, perseverance, integrity, and respect for others among many others characteristics. I believe these attributes helped me keep my eye on the goal despite whatever obstacles I was faced with. I believe that through military experience I developed a sense of identity and identified my place in the society.”
Hermon adds that her instructors at Argosy University, Washington DC, are currently working in public health field—giving her real-world insight into applying the theories and concepts she studied in class textbooks. “My experience as student was excellent. I had a pleasure of working with one of my favorite professors of all time, Dr. Freeman. [He] became more of a mentor to us than a professor, he cared about his students’ success and it was a joy to attend his class.”
She says that the people she met in school have become lifelong friends—and her experiences have shaped her career. “I worked at Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as part of my internship which was a dream for me because I have always wanted to work at CDC. My experience at Argosy University, Washington DC has given me opportunities that were life changing and I feel blessed to have found a school that fit my needs.” She recommends that veterans planning to return to school be organized and ask for help when it’s needed. “If you have been out of school for while, [you might want to] test the waters first with one course and gradually build yourself up to full load.”
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