Alena Maze, who is a wife, mother of seven, and a famous YouTuber, has successfully earned a Ph.D. in Survey Methodology. She is the first and only Black person in the world to hold a doctorate degree in that field.
Maze was inspired to pursue a career as a survey statistician because of her passion for math and health and she hopes to develop inclusivity in surveys.
After earning a Master of Science degree in Mathematics from Georgetown University, Maze went on to pursue her Ph.D. in Survey Methodology and Statistics from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Most recently, she shared on Facebook that she has now received her Ph.D. after passing her dissertation defense and that she is the first African American to do so.
“What’s a Survey Methodologist? Well I’m a Survey Statistician, so specifically, I research the math behind surveys,” Maze wrote. “Suppose we want more information on how diabetes affects women ages 30-40, in order to develop better treatment courses. Well in a perfect world, we would like to send out a survey (i.e., a series of questions) to all women ages 30-40 with diabetes. However, this is not practical for many reasons. So instead we chose a smaller group (called a sample), say 2,000 women from that same population to represent the whole population of 30 to 40-year old women with diabetes.”
For nearly six years, Maze has been juggling her doctorate studies with her married life, raising her seven children, and vlogging. She, with her Korean-American husband Joseph Lee, produces content for their vlogs with their children where they share their experiences as a multicultural blended family.
Maze, who is now 35 years old, has accomplished a lot of things through her hard work and she also credits God for her success.
“During this time, I encountered God’s love, through a divine meeting with His Holy Spirit in a way I cannot wait to share. His love has been enough for me to manifest anything I desire to do, be or become,” she said.