1) How did you end up studying statistics?
I started out as a pre-economics major when I was a first-year at UC Santa Barbara. At some point I ended up switching into the pre-financial math and statistics track, and I enjoyed the math/statistics coursework so much that I eventually switched into the full statistics degree.
2) What lead you to working in public policy?
During my master’s program, under the recommendation of a statistics professor, I started doing research in the department of public policy, which inspired me to shift my career focus.
3) What does the J in your name stand for? What do you prefer to go by?
Officially, the J has no meaning! “J. Steven” is my legal first name. My paternal grandfather’s name was Juan, and his father’s name was Esteban, so I was named in honor of both of them. Most of my friends/acquaintances call me J, but my family/colleagues call me Steven. Feel free to refer to me as you please.
4) What are your other interests?
In my free time I am an avid gamer and I like to study languages such as Spanish and Portuguese. Among my other interests are world history, culture, specialty coffee, and films. I am also a proud uncle to my niece and nephew.