New Evaluation Specialist Brings Experience in Health Field to Topic of Pests

Yifen Liu, Northeastern IPM Center.

Yifen Liu, the new evaluation specialist at the Northeastern IPM Center, remembers visiting people at their homes when she was collecting data for clinical field studies.

“We would see pests and evidence of pests, but no one would talk about them. We had come to gather information about health outcomes. The subject of pests was taboo.”

When Liu saw the job announcement at the Northeastern Integrated Pest Management Center, she was intrigued. She knew pests and their biological accretions can have an impact on human health. It was just the kind of forbidden topic she was looking for. She wanted to shake up people’s expectations.

Liu completed a Master of Public Health from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in August with a concentration in epidemiology. Prior to that, she completed a double major in psychology and business administration with an accounting focus, earning dean’s list honors.

While in Washington, she interned at the GW Cancer Institute, where she conducted literature reviews and coordinated clinical studies to investigate environmental hazards related to cancer. In one project, she compared chemical waste runoff from several industrial sites to other areas in Texas. She has also used statistical software to map geographical and seasonal patterns in Cancer Registry data.

“My co-workers describe me as a go-getter,” Liu said. “I’ve learned to work with a wide variety of people, from pleasant senior executives to the nervous study participants.”

That spirit will come in handy in her new role in leading evaluation and data collection for the Center. In particular, Liu will assist state IPM coordinators and others in developing and implementing project evaluations, as well as creating standardized metrics for funded projects and the Center’s own activities.

“I am very pleased to have Yifen on board, particularly with her expertise in working with diverse clientele and quantifying changes in practices using statistics and other new tools,” said Steve Young, director of the Northeastern IPM Center. “In this new era of wicked biological problems, IPM is going to be an even-more-relied-upon approach. Yifen’s evaluation skills will bring much value to our organization, making sure our programs remain useful, relevant, and feasible.”


The Northeastern IPM Center promotes integrated pest management for reducing risks to human health and the environment. If republishing our news, please acknowledge the source ("From Northeast IPM Insights") along with a link to our website.