A Match Made at YSPH
Couple Who Met on Campus Endow Scholarship
Toshio Kimura, MPH ‘02, and Nicole C. Quon, MPhil ’05, PHD ’07 are numbers people. They met in a biostatistics class at the Yale School of Public Health (YSPH). Now married, the couple are endowing a scholarship at the school. “I thought this was something we would do later in life, when we were more established financially,” Quon explained. But when they learned that an anonymous donor was matching all endowed scholarship gifts to YSPH, the numbers convinced them to act right away. Each entered their kitchen holding a mailing about the match and asked the same question: “Why wait?”
They both spoke about “giving back” to the YSPH, which they said prepared them for fulfilling careers. Quon is senior director, managed care at Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Kimura is head of medical analytics at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
“The work that people trained in public health do is so important,” said Kimura. “We have certainly seen that during the pandemic.” At Regeneron, Kimura played what he termed “a small part” in the company’s ultimate development of an antibody treatment for Covid-19.
The speed with which Covid vaccines came to market made Quon proud to be part of the public health workforce. “Today there is a lot more attention to this field, a new appreciation of what people with this training and this perspective can contribute,” she said.
They’ve each supported YSPH students by acting as mentors during internships. Both have spoken at alumni career panels. Their careers have taken them all across the United States and to Germany, where they were active in The Yale Club of Germany. But New Haven will always have a special place in their hearts. Quon talked about how much she loves to be in town long enough to catch a play at the Yale Rep.
“Yale School of Public Health is part of Yale University, so you can tap into all the resources that a world-class institution has,” she said. “The opportunities to collaborate with brilliant people across disciplines are amazing.” Though part of a larger university, YSPH is smaller than many of its peer institutions, which attracted both of them to enroll. “There was a cohort of four women in my health policy program,” remembered Quon. “It was such a wonderful experience to go through it with them.” Today those have varied careers in industry, academia, and policy – but all remain a support to each other.
“We know what kind of education we received at Yale and how it has opened doors to us throughout our careers,” said Kimura. “We’re fortunate that we can help someone else have that same opportunity.”
“Many YSPH alumni are taking advantage of the match to give back to the school in a lasting way,” said Cornelia Evans, the school’s senior director of development and alumni affairs. “The match lowers the minimum amount to start an endowed scholarship from $50,000 to $25,000, which can be paid over five years. We are seeing more young couples, like Nicole and Toshio, who are seizing the opportunity because they do not want to wait to help today’s students.”