News: Ph.D. Student Hillary Alberta Pursues Unique Public Policy Path

Hillary Alberta, Ph.D. student, Public Policy

Posted July 25, 2017

Georgia Tech changed the mind of current Public Policy Ph.D student Hillary Alberta — at least, when it came to her career path.

“When I first came to Tech, I was working toward entering medical school,” said Alberta, who earned both a bachelor’s in Biology in 2010 and a master’s in Public Policy in 2012 from Tech. “But, through my studies, I found out about the challenges that arise form the interactions among science, technology, and policy, such as those around informed consent in clinical research. I decided to shift my focus to research in bioethics.”

This change resulted from the classes she took in Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

“A lot of clinical research studies offer incentives to participants but are not transparent about the risks involved, particularly in advertising the studies,” Alberta said. “My doctoral research focuses on risk disclosure and how government policy has to be shaped to ensure participants have the oversight and information they need when participating in any clinical study.”

One of the biggest changes that Alberta has enjoyed about becoming a graduate student at Tech is how much more face time she has with professors. This is something Alberta thinks all graduate students should take advantage of. 

“To get the most out of your graduate studies, the connections you cultivate with your peers and advisors are imperative,” she said. “You have to be your best advocate, and you have to be able to develop the research tools you need to succeed, which requires strong relationships with your advisors.”