Dr. Daniel Heard '04
DATA SCIENTIST, UNITED SERVICES AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION
Industry – FINANCIAL SERVICES
EDUCATION – PHD, STATISTICAL SCIENCE, DUKE UNIVERSITY; MA, MATHEMATICS, SAINT LOUIS UNIVERSITY; BS, MATHEMATICS, ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY
Describe what you're working on and/or what you're most proud to have accomplished.
I am currently looking to understand consumer behavior related to auto lending, specifically in the context of post-pandemic norms and current economic conditions. I proud to have been the first African-American to receive a PhD in Statistical Science from Duke. More recently, I am proud to have been a part of establishing programs to support student and early-career development, being an inaugural member of the Risk Management Advisory Board for the Greehey School of Business at St. Mary's University as well as being a founding core team member of the African-American business support group at USAA.
You know we have to ask it. Do you have a favorite SLUH memory or teacher?
The entire English department, but Steve Missey in particular. He has high expectations while also being supportive. He pushed me to challenge myself, first as my Junior English teacher, then as my Senior Project advisor, and then the following 3 years when I worked as a counselor at Upward Bound.
Think back to senior year. Was this the job you dreamed of? If not, then what?
I have always enjoyed solving problems and as a Senior, I figured I would be doing that as an actuary, which has a lot of similarities to the work I currently do.
Who or what inspired you to pursue your field of interest?
My dad was a big inspiration. He took me to the Science Center almost every weekend growing up and really fostered my interest in STEM.
How are you acting as a Man for Others in your current role?
I am very active in mentorship, both with colleagues looking to develop their careers as well as with students in the business school at St. Mary's University in San Antonio.
What advice would you give to current students?
When you are fortunate enough to have people who support you, don't be afraid to ask for help. Also, be sure to reach back to help those treading a similar path.