In this week’s edition of our “Meet those nerdy girls” series, we’re introducing Dr. Lindsey Leininger, who is a Clinical Professor of Business Administration at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, and the “Nerd-in-Chief” at Dear Pandemic.
In the Before Times, Dr. Leininger described herself as a health policy researcher. Now, she identifies as an educator first–and credits the “crucible” of our present moment with showing her the path to who she was meant to become, professionally speaking.
She says “The best part of being a Nerdy Girl for me has been the opportunity to learn from my fellow Nerdy Girls. This has been an incredible intellectual journey (although I certainly wish it didn’t take a crisis for our team to find each other).”
What’s next for Dr. Leininger? She’ll continue to combine her dual passions of public health and data literacy as a health analytics professor at Tuck. She’s also eager to support and train future Nerdy Girls.🤓
We asked her a few questions about her work and her life.
❇️ Why did you decide to pursue a PhD?
“Being a community health worker in Latin America during high school drew me to public health, but I knew I didn’t have the right talent or temperament to be a clinician. As an economics undergrad major I got hooked on population health data and the rest is history.”
❇️ When you were asked to contribute to Dear Pandemic as a volunteer, why did you say yes?
“I was already puzzling through pandemic data via posting on my personal Facebook page. So I was delighted to have the chance to do it as part of a team.”
❇️ What are you most proud of?
“My now decades-long friendships with elementary school, high school, and college classmates. And Dear Pandemic!”
❇️ What’s the most frustrating thing about the pandemic, in your opinion?
“That basic infection control practices have become partisan issues.”
❇️ What’s your superpower?
“I’m a quick study.”
❇️ If you had it all to do over again, what would you do differently since March?
“Nothing. Wait – strike that – I’d encourage mask-wearing from the get-go!” 😷
❇️ Who is your hero? “Dr. Fauci. For perhaps obvious reasons”
❇️ What you miss most from Before Times: “Travel back home to Texas and bookstore-browsing trips to the big city.”
❇️ What you don’t miss at all: “Self-imposed pressure to do ALL THE THINGS.”
❇️ What you do to keep going:
“I’ve been a serious mindfulness practitioner for over a decade. It’s helped smooth some of my sharp edges (but I still have A LONG way to go on that front! 🙂
My husband Brian and kiddos Max (9) and JoJo (5) have been my sanity-savers during the pandemic. They are a key part of Team Nerdy Girl and I intend to spend much more time simply enjoying their company once the world rights itself and the worst of COVID passes.”
❇️ What’s something you’re really looking forward to doing in 2021? “Flying back to Texas and eating a proper enchilada.”
Fun fact about Dr. Leininger: She was not actually a nerd (socially speaking) in high school. She was a homecoming princess. 👸
Dr. Leininger earned a Bachelor of Arts degree (A.B.) from Princeton University, a Master in Economics from Northeastern University, and her Ph.D. in health policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Health Policy. Prior to joining Dartmouth, she spent a decade designing and leading advanced analytics projects for the Medicaid program, both in academic and think-tank settings.
Dr. Lindsey Leininger’s Faculty Profile