Dr. AnnMaria De Mars is President of The Julia Group, a small company which provides on-line education in statistics, mathematics and disability issues. Seem like an odd mix?
When I was getting my Ph.D., we were required to have a couple areas of specialization. That was easy. I took every statistics course offered in the School of Education, and then went to the Psychology and Sociology departments to take more. The Associate Dean patiently explained that I needed to have an area in Educational Psychology to do statistics on. I selected Severe Mental Retardation because there were a couple of projects funded at the university at that time which offered the opportunity to do a lot of interesting statistical analyses.
For the past twenty years, I have worked on projects that interested me, and they have fallen largely into these areas. Most of my work has been on Indian reservations in the Great Plains because that is where I ended up working right out of graduate school and I made a lot of connections there. Life is like that, how it turns out is a combination of deliberate choices and where you just happened to end up.
Now, I am supposedly retired, having finished the projects with Spirit Lake Consulting, Inc., my former company. In my retirement, I have started up a new company and I may very soon also be accepting a university position. So far, though, the retirement part has been the freedom to only take on work that I am truly interested in. A lot like graduate school, but with better pay.