Anthoni Llau

Degree: PhD in Epidemiology

College/School: Robert Stempel College of Public Health and Social Work

When Anthoni Llau arrived at FIU as an undergraduate, he’d been a high-achieving honor student through minimal effort on his part. He was confident that he’d continue along that same, easy path during his university career. Despite his previously outstanding academic track record, however, Tony earned less-than-stellar grades. Then, after failing too many classes, he dropped out.

For others, that might have been the end of the road to a higher education, but not for Tony.

Tony took a long, hard look at himself and decided to get his life back on track— figuratively and literally. The former party animal started waking up as early as 4 a.m. for a regular morning run. Tony believes that it was his newfound runner’s discipline that set him on the road for a successful return to college.

This time around, Tony improved his study habits and surrounded himself with other academically focused individuals—like a fellow FIU graduate who would become his wife, Brenda Luna.

Tony’s hard work and discipline paid off. After earning his bachelor’s degree in nutrition from FIU, Tony was admitted to the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work where he completed his Master of Public Health with a specialization in epidemiology, earning a 3.9 grade point average while working full-time as an epidemiologist at the Florida Department of Health.

In April 2015, Tony successfully defended his dissertation for his Ph.D. in epidemiology, in which he put forth an innovative methodology for the prevention of communicable diseases. Currently, he’s applying for two-year fellowship program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.