Graduate Students

Year 5+

headshot Cao, Yu
Hello! I am Yu Cao, and I am originally from China but have lived in Virginia for several years. Currently I am a trainee on a National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences grant. My research interests include Bayesian methods for repeated measures and cluster analysis.
headshot Di Pace, Brian S.
Hello, my name is Brian Di Pace. I am originally from Connecticut, but I have spent the last 6 years in Virginia. Currently I work as an Associate in the Biostatistical Consulting Laboratory (BCL), a student-led consulting laboratory within the VCU Department of Biostatistics. My research interests include adaptive allocation approaches in clinical trials, clustered designs, mixed effect modeling, spatial statistics, and Bayesian methods.
headshot Garcia, Victoria C.
Hi! I’m Victoria Garcia. I was born and bred in the Richmond area. My scientific interests began during my undergraduate career at VCU, where I studied Behavioral Pharmacology and Toxicology in animal laboratories. I decided to apply the knowledge I had gained from working with animal models to human subjects by studying Epidemiology at EVMS in Norfolk, VA. My interest in Biostatistics was piqued at EVMS, so I returned to VCU and enrolled in the Biostatistics program. I have had the opportunity to work with transplant data through my internship with the United Network for Organ Sharing, as well as other projects pertaining to dental data and quality of life data. In my free time, I like to cook, read design blogs, and play with my two cats.
headshot He, Jun (Jessie)
Hi! I’m Jessie. My research interests are clinical data analysis and trial design, but I am also a big fan of spatial data analysis and Bayesian methods. To relax, I like to cook, visit museums, sit at the lake and read books, travel, or play sports. I play badminton, which is my favorite sport, and I’ve just started learning taekwondo. During my travels, I like tasting new dishes. After so much studying and hard work, the stomach deserves the best food!
headshot Hochheimer, Camille J.
Hello! I’m Camille Hochheimer. I completed my undergraduate degree at UVA, where I majored in Spanish and minored in Math. At VCU, I am a Research Assistant for the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health where I’m involved in a variety of research from opioid addiction to cancer screening. My own research focuses on modeling patterns of survey dropouts. In my free time, you can often find me upside-down at yoga or playing with my hedgehog Hank.
headshot Johns, Alicia M.
Hi! I’m Alicia Johns, and I have a BS in Mathematics from Hollins University. I spent a year after completing college working at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD). Although I am interested in women’s health, I really enjoy that biostatistics allows you to be flexible and research a range of topics. In my free time (which does not occur often), I enjoy playing soccer and kickball, reading outside when there is nice weather, and crafting.
headshot Joseph, Anny-Claude
Hello! I’m Anny Joseph. Many moons ago I completed an undergraduate and graduate degree in Mathematics at Stephen F. Austin State University followed by further graduate work in Operations Research Methods at Southern Methodist University. I went on to work as a Mathematics Instructor at various community colleges in Arizona before deciding to enroll at VCU. Currently, I am a Research Assistant for the Division of Epidemiology in the Department of Family Medicine and Population Health. There, most of my research is focused on maternal and child outcomes and youth violence; however, my own dissertation work is concentrated on spatial statistics.
headshot Zirkle, Keith W.
Hello! I’m Keith Zirkle. I graduated from James Madison University in 2013 with my B.S. in Statistics. My research interests include spatial epidemiology and causal inference. Outside of research, I enjoy volunteering with the VCU Massey Cancer Center, finding cheap flights abroad, and drinking too much coffee.

Year 4

headshot Bradbrook, Keighly E.
Hello! My name is Keighly Bradbrook, and I am originally from New Jersey. I moved to Richmond after my undergraduate studies, and I love it here – especially all the great restaurants. I work as a Research Assistant in the Division of Epidemiology. My dissertation focus is on SMART trial design. Currently, I have one dog named Bella, but I can’t wait to get another.
headshot Cresswell, Kellen G.
Hi! My name is Kellen Cresswell. I have a BA in Economics, Political Science and History from the University of Alabama. My research interests are in genomics, machine learning and imaging data. In my free time, I enjoy developing models for simulating and predicting the results of basketball games.
headshot Donahue, Erin E.
Hi! I’m Erin Donahue, and I am a third year PhD student. I received my undergraduate degree in Statistics from Elon University in North Carolina. I currently work for PharPoint, Inc. as a Statistical Intern. My research interests include adaptive clinical trial design. When I am not in the department, I enjoy exploring Richmond and traveling as much as I can.
headshot Liu, Jin
Hi! I am Jin Liu. I am a PhD student in the Biostatistics department, but I am also a Research Assistant for the School of Dentistry where I am involved in analysis of weighted national survey data to investigate the association between dental insurance status and patterns of dental visits, coverage, and expenditures. My research interest lies in survival analysis. I think it is so cool that I can involve myself in multiple collaborative research projects besides my own research topic.
headshot Rodriguez, Viviana Alejandra
Hi, I’m Vivi! As a Fulbright Scholar, I truly believe in the importance of cultural exchange, so when I’m not doing stats, I’m talking with friends, looking for new restaurants or baking cakes. Also, I love animals, so I am available to pet-sit if you need! To be honest, I like a wide range of clinical applications of statistical methods, but my current research focus includes survival analysis, Bayesian inference, and predictions models.
headshot Stansfield, John C.
I am interested in the genomics side of Biostatistics. My research focuses on the 3-dimensional organization of the genome using Hi-C data. My interests outside of research include Historical European Martial Arts and home brewing.
headshot Stromberg, Katharine A.
Hello! My name is Kate, and I am a third year graduate student. My current research includes work using classification trees to help traumatic brain injury patients, and improving current waitlist control clinical trial methods. Outside of school, I keep active by playing volleyball and participating in the department kickball team.

Year 3

headshot Orndahl, Christine
Hi! My name is Christine Orndahl. I was born and raised in a small town in northern Illinois. For my undergraduate degree, I went to the University of Miami and graduated with majors in Mathematics (Probability/Statistics) and Economics and minors in Public Health and Psychology. In my free time, I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking with my dog, paddle boarding, and kayaking, as well as eating delicious BBQ. At VCU, I am excited to pursue topics related to spatial statistics.
headshot Stilianoudakis, Spiro Christos
Hello! My name is Spiro Christos Stilianoudakis. I earned a B.S./B.A. in Applied Mathematics and Secondary Math Education from Marshall University in Huntington, WV. I went on to earn my Master’s in Mathematics with an emphasis in Statistics. My research interests include the application of survival analysis to genomic data. I chose to pursue the field of Biostatistics because it offers a unique opportunity to apply statistics and data analysis toward the improvement of public health and personalized medicine, while collaborating with a wide variety of medical specialists. When I’m not doing statistics, I’m usually taking a nap. Otherwise, I enjoy playing soccer, cooking, hiking, and reading.
headshot Yu, Jonathan Wei-Cheng
Hi! My name is Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu. I am a 2nd year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics at VCU and a Research Assistant at VCU’s Department of Internal Medicine. I studied and lived for most of my life in Pennsylvania, so I’m happy to be finally living in another state. Some of my pastimes include eating, traveling, cooking, and hiking. My current research interests include applications of high dimensional statistic and machine learning techniques in clinical research and in computational neuroscience.

Year 2

headshot Forsthoffer, Brielle
Hi! My name is Brielle Forsthoffer, and I am a first year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. I received my undergraduate degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from Monmouth University. I am currently a TA for BIOS 543, Graduate Research Methods I. When I am not doing statistics, I’m usually out running or exploring Richmond.
headshot Haviland, Miranda S.
Hi! I’m Miranda Haviland, and I’m a first year PhD student here at VCU. I received my undergraduate degree in Applied Mathematics from Norfolk State University in Virginia, but I grew up in Southern California. I applied to VCU to learn more about clinical trials and statistical consulting. During my free time I like to read, cook, and spend time with my cat.
headshot Huang, Qi
Hello! My name is Qi (pronounced as “chee”). I am from Shenzhen, China, and I have been in the U.S. since high school. I attained my B.S. degree in biology from Villanova University. I was first exposed to the power and glamour of statistics in biology research while I was taking a human microbiome course as an undergrad. Now as an MS student, I am eager to explore how statistics can be applied in and incorporated into various research disciplines. My favorite pastime is watching tennis (aside from being a lousy player myself). I am also self-learning to play the piano.
headshot Okhomina, Victoria I.
Greetings! I am a first year PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics. I received a BSE in Biomedical Engineering before jumping ship to Public Health and earning my MPH in Biostatistics. Prior to attending VCU, I worked as a Data Programmer and Biostatistician primarily assigned to projects involving cardiovascular health and psychosocial factors. During that time, my research interests developed around methods in health disparities research. Outside of the academic life, I can be found binge watching K-dramas, reading mystery novels, or attempting to G-chat my dog.
headshot Retnam, Reuben P.
My name is Reuben Retnam, and I became a student in the Department of Biostatistics in 2017, after earning a B.S. from Hampden-Sydney College with majors in Mathematics and Biology. Along with my first-year coursework, I am also a TA for BIOS 543, Graduate Research Methods. In the future, I look forward to expanding my knowledge of biostatistics and exploring new research interests.
headshot Rustom, Salem
Hello! I’m Salem, a first-year student in the program. Prior to Richmond, I have lived in several other cities and countries around the world. I was drawn to the field of biostatistics due to the stimulating intellectual challenge and benefit to society it provides. I joined the program right after obtaining my undergraduate degree in statistics where I had plenty of exposure to biostatistics that helped solidify my interest in the field. This included attending the National Institute of Health’s Summer Institute in Biostatistics program as well as doing a senior capstone project involving the analysis of MRI data. Other interests of mine include traveling/exploring hidden gems, playing basketball, and cartography.

Year 1

headshot Anderson, Matthew
B.S., Mathematics, Georgia Southern University
headshot Carli, Matt
B.A., English and East Asian Language and Literature, Washington and Lee University
headshot Lavallee, Martin
B.A., World Politics, Hamilton College
M.S., Statistics, Rutgers University
headshot Richards, Alicia
B.S., Mathematics, Catawba College
headshot Sun, Xinxin
B.A., English and International Trade, University of Shanghai for Science and Technology
B.S., Biotechnology, East China University of Science and Technology
M.E., Pharmaceutical Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University
M.S., Biostatistics, University of Pittsburgh

Part Time

headshot Hargarten, Paul M.
Hey! I am Paul Hargarten, and I am a graduate of the University of Richmond with majors in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology as well as Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. I was introduced to and immediately fell in love with the field of Biostatistics by the SIBS program. At VCU, I successfully defended my Master’s thesis entitled: A Cross-Sectional Analysis of Health Impacts of Inorganic Arsenic in Chemical Mixtures. Currently, I am extending the work as my dissertation topic. When I am not working, I am involved in the youth ministry at a local church. I also enjoy hiking, backpacking, kayaking, tubing down the James, and playing anomalous board games.
headshot Jay, Christopher E.
Hey, I’m Chris Jay! I graduated from SUNY University at Buffalo in 2015 with my B.S. in Medicinal Chemistry. Currently, I am a PhD student in the VCU School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmaceutics. I wanted the duality of bench work and statistical data analysis (MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration) to pursue employment at the FDA. Outside of research, I enjoy volunteering with various groups around Richmond, cheering on the Buffalo Bills, and going outdoors to play Golf and Disc Golf.
headshot Kaspar, Cristin D.
headshot Kenning, Kristine L.
headshot Liu, Hangcheng (Daniel)
headshot Lotz, Ethan
headshot Mishra, Narad M.
headshot Moore, Jaime
I’m a graduate of Eastern Virginia Medical School, and I completed a residency in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery at VCU. I’m currently an Assistant Professor, Department of Otolaryngology, and an Affiliate Faculty, Department of Music, at VCU. I’m in my second year in the MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration program.
headshot Volker, Sonja E.
headshot Zhao, Jinlei
Hi! My name is Jinlei Zhao. I have a PhD degree in Microbiology and have been doing research in my laboratory. Currently, I am an Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at VCU and also a part-time student in the MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration program. As a new student in Biostatistics, there is so much for me to learn in the field. Outside of Biostatistics and my lab, I spend time with my family and enjoy traveling, fishing, and playing tennis and badminton.