CPP Student Spotlight: IPPEA Interns Kate and Dylan

February 2023

by Mya Brossoit

The College of Professional Programs is proud to highlight two student interns with the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Analysis (IPPEA) in CPP at EWU, Kate Guadarrama-Diaz and Dylan Costinett.

The IPPEA is a research institute that tracks community data trends and offers students hands-on experience with regional research, processing and reporting on community indicator data within Washington.

Kate Guadarrama-Diaz

Originally from Royal City Washington, Kate is now working towards her bachelor’s degree in Data Analytics in the School of Business at EWU. She plans to graduate by Spring of 2023.

When asked why she chose to study Data Analytics, Kate states that:

The program intersects my interest in analytics and visualization. I also liked that data analytics skills are applicable across many industries, from finance to healthcare to technology, making it a versatile career choice.

It was in her classes that she first encountered the programming software Python, having no prior experience with coding. She notes that the early exposure to coding language in her program has been “beneficial for my professional growth as it has provided a foundation that has made it easier for me to learn other programming languages, such as R and SQL.”

Like many students, Kate faced financial hardship as a first-generation college student.. She chose to attend EWU due to its affordable tuition, but having grown up in a low-income family, Kate struggled to find a way to fully finance her education. Scholarships were a way to offset costs, and Kate applied for many scholarships. Her hard work paid off when she received funding through multiple scholarships including the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship, Paul Lauzier Scholarship, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund.

Kate recognizes the impact former staffer Sarahi Gutierrez from Chicana/o/x Studies had on her when she started at EWU. She notes how Sarahi “greatly enhanced my college experience…” and was “…the first staff member with whom I established a personal connection. Their assistance was instrumental in my success in securing scholarships to fund my undergraduate degree. Without their guidance, I don’t think I would have been able to accomplish this.”

When she isn’t in class or interning, Kate is a member of the Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Inc, under the Diversified Greek Council, and currently serves as the chapter Vice President. Kate soars today as she pursues her dreams. She shares the career goals she hopes to achieve in her future:

I see myself being a Data Analyst in the Public Health or Healthcare industry. I want to collect and analyze data to strengthen a health program’s effectiveness in addressing community health issues.

As an IPPEA intern, Kate tells of the experience she has attained from the internship, starting in May of 2022:

I am confident that the insights and skills I gained during my internship will prove to be extremely valuable as I progress in my career. The internship allowed me to familiarize myself with industry-specific terminology, sharpen my critical thinking abilities, and grow professionally.

Dylan Costinett

After being raised in Bothell Washington, Dylan now works towards his degree in Data Science in the Math Program at EWU and plans to graduate in June of 2023.

Dylan chose EWU in part due to its affordability, but also because he liked the location and people on campus seemed friendly. Now as a student, he states, the people, “are friendly and welcoming”.

Heading into his first year of college, Dylan faced the challenge of being a student taking classes from home amidst the pandemic, and it impacted his motivation level.  He found that working a job at the same time as doing online school from home helped him in keeping a schedule and maintaining it.  Now, Costinett juggles classes in both Cheney and at the Catalyst Building in Spokane,  which is challenging especially when classes meet on the same day.

Yet, regardless of his circumstances Dylan demonstrated perseverance. He proactively sought solutions and rose above the trials at hand. By speaking with the Math and Science departments Costinett was able to find a balance between classes at both campuses that would set him up for success.

When asked about his time interning with IPPEA, Dylan shares how valuable it is to work in a professional environment.

Working in an office has been really enlightening. Learning how to optimize work has been really helpful and Excel and languages like SQL are [sic] something I expect to use a lot in the workforce.

Along with that, Dylan has had the privilege of working on professional projects with IPPEA. One project he specifically got to work on was updating the Association of Washington Business (AWB) website. The interns collect and input data and create short writeups for every county in the state.  He notes that since this is a massive enterprise, the interns created programming code using Python that will “generate all the write ups we need in just a few seconds.” The interns also just started a new project creating a trends site for Spokane “that will have some pretty fascinating indicators.”

Dylan received a job offer to work for FAST Enterprises, in part due to his work with IPPEA, and plans to move east for the job after graduation, and is looking forward to it!

As the College of Professional Programs we proudly recognize Kate and Dylan for all their hard work and inspiring dedication!

Learn more:

Interested in interning with the IPPEA? Check it out here.

Want to explore current IPPEA Community Trends projects? Click here.

Want to check out the Data Analytics major? Check out here.

Spokane Trends website (managed by IPPEA). Click here.

Want to subscribe to the Spokane Trends quarterly e-newsletter? Click here.