Graduate Students

Learn more about the students currently enrolled in our programs.

Year 5

Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu [View Image]

Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu

Ph.D. Student

Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu [View Image]

Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi! My name is Jonathan Wei-Cheng Yu. I am a PhD student in the Department of Biostatistics and a Research Assistant in the School of Dentistry. 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 involve 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 4

Brielle Forsthoffer [View Image]

Brielle Forsthoffer

Ph.D. Student

Brielle Forsthoffer [View Image]

Brielle Forsthoffer

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi! My name is Brielle Forsthoffer, and I am originally from New Jersey. I moved to Richmond after receiving my undergraduate degree in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from Monmouth University. I worked as a Research Assistant for PharPoint Research, Inc. as a Statistical Intern and currently serve as an Associate in our BCL. My dissertation focus is on using finite mixture modeling to develop a longitudinal prognostic clinical decision support tool. When I am not in the department, I’m usually out running, exploring Richmond, playing with my dog Belle or planning my next trip to NJ!

Reuben P. Retnam [View Image]

Reuben P. Retnam

Ph.D. Student

Reuben P. Retnam [View Image]

Reuben P. Retnam

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

My name is Reuben Retnam. I became a student in the Department of Biostatistics in 2017, after earning a BS from Hampden-Sydney College with majors in Mathematics and Biology. My current methodological research is focused on robust parametric linear mixed models, while my applied projects center on gender disparities in oral health.

Salem Rustom [View Image]

Salem Rustom

Ph.D. Student

Salem Rustom [View Image]

Salem Rustom

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! I’m Salem, a PhD 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 presently work as a Research Assistant for the Department of Surgery. Other interests of mine include traveling/exploring hidden gems, playing basketball, and cartography.

Year 3

Matt Carli [View Image]

Matt Carli

Ph.D. Student

Matt Carli [View Image]

Matt Carli

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello, my name is Matt Carli. I received my undergraduate degree in English Lit and Chinese Language from Washington and Lee University in 2013. I spent two years teaching English in China, and after returning to the States took courses in mathematics at SUNY Albany. When I’m not studying for classes I enjoy running, reading, learning new languages, and traveling.

Martin Lavallee [View Image]

Martin Lavallee

Ph.D. Student

Martin Lavallee [View Image]

Martin Lavallee

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi, my name is Martin Lavallee and I am from New Jersey. I received my Master’s in Statistics from Rutgers University and my Bachelor’s in World Politics from Hamilton College. Before starting at VCU, I worked for a year in the pharmaceutical industry developing a signal detection project mining temporal adverse drug events from electronic health records as a contribution to the OHDSI community. Outside of statistics, I like to read up on sports and pop culture.

Alicia Richards [View Image]

Alicia Richards

Ph.D. Student

Alicia Richards [View Image]

Alicia Richards

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! My name is Alicia Richards, and I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of Biostatistics. I grew up in Rhode Island and received my undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Catawba College. I first became interested in the field of biostatistics after participating in the Summer Institute of Biostatistics, and now I am excited to broaden my knowledge here at VCU. In my free time, I enjoy paddle boarding, running, and baking.

Xinxin Sun [View Image]

Xinxin Sun

Ph.D. Student

Xinxin Sun [View Image]

Xinxin Sun

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

My name is Xinxin, and I am a Ph.D. Biostatistics student, after receiving a MS in Biostatistics at the University of Pittsburgh. In my spare time, I like to go to the gym and exercise a bit, or go out for a walk in a park.

Year 2

Dustin Bastaich [View Image]

Dustin Bastaich

Ph.D. Student

Dustin Bastaich [View Image]

Dustin Bastaich

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello, my name is Dustin. I received my B.S. in Mathematics with a concentration in Statistics from Virginia Commonwealth University. In my free time I like to golf, watch sports, and read. I also enjoy working on independent projects such as doing analysis on fantasy sports.

Joseph Boyle [View Image]

Joseph Boyle

Ph.D. Student

Joseph Boyle [View Image]

Joseph Boyle

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! My name is Joseph Boyle. I completed my undergraduate degree in Statistics at UNC-Chapel Hill. I am interested in disease modeling and mapping as well as methods in adaptive clinical trials. Outside of the department, I enjoy long distance running, exploring new places, and fine-tuning my coffee-brewing process.

R. Rasnick [View Image]

R. Rasnick

Ph.D. Student

R. Rasnick [View Image]

R. Rasnick

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello, my name is Rasnick. I am originally from northeast Tennessee. I have an associate’s degree in Mathematics from Northeast State Community College. I then attended East Tennessee State University where I tutored and taught statistics while obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Statistics, and a master’s in Mathematics. My outside interests include American Sign Language, playing Nintendo games, and playing Pathfinder. I have a black cat named Jake who I love with all my heart.

Dongho Shin [View Image]

Dongho Shin

Ph.D. Student

Dongho Shin [View Image]

Dongho Shin

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! My name is Dongho Shin. I was born and raised in South Korea and received my undergraduate degree in Business Administration at Hanyang University. I worked as a Marketing Assistant at LG Chemical for about a year and as a Strategic Assistant at Lotte Department Store in Korea for 3 years. I earned Master's degree from South Carolina. My thesis focused on "Inflated standard errors of MCMC estimates in IRT". Now, my research interests include applying MCMC methods to analyze biomedical data. Beside statistics, I like playing all kind of sports and look forward to intramural sports at VCU with the Biostatistics family. I also really enjoy watching Major League Baseball (Go Ryu!) and the English Premier League (Go Sonny!).

Atika Farzana Urmi [View Image]

Atika Farzana Urmi

Ph.D. Student

Atika Farzana Urmi [View Image]

Atika Farzana Urmi

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi, my name is Urmi, and I joined VCU as an international student. I completed my B.S. and M.S. in Statistics from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Before joining VCU, I was working as a faculty member at the American International University in my country. My research interests primarily concern chronic diseases, specifically cancer and diabetes. Apart from studying, I like travelling, reading and playing with my pet.

Chen Wang [View Image]

Chen Wang

Ph.D. Student

Chen Wang [View Image]

Chen Wang

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi, my name is Chen Wang, and I am from China. I received a M.S. in Statistics from the University of Delaware. After that, I worked as a Statistical Programmer and then a biostatistician in a global CRO for five years, primarily working on projects related to oncology. In my free time, I enjoy playing with my children and going to the gym.

Year 1

Rasha Alsaadawi [View Image]

Rasha Alsaadawi

Ph.D. Student

Rasha Alsaadawi [View Image]

Rasha Alsaadawi

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi! My name is Rasha. I joined VCU as an international student from Palestine. I earned my B.S. degree in Mathematics from Al-Azhar University-Gaza. After that, I obtained my M.S. degree, also in Mathematics, from Jordan University of Science and Technology, Jordan. Recently, I have acquired a growing interest in biostatistics, and I am excited to delve into it more deeply at VCU. Outside of school, I enjoy reading books, hiking, and playing with my cat, Harry.

Hane Chen [View Image]

Hane Chen

M.S. Student

Hane Chen [View Image]

Hane Chen

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! My name is Hane Chen. I completed my undergraduate degree in Clinical Medicine from Shanghai Second Medicine University and Master’s degree in Internal Medicine from Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I served as a cardiologist for several years and then worked as a medical advisor in pharmaceutical companies. I have been living in Richmond since I moved to the US two years ago. I like the Richmond area because of its friendly people and beautiful seasons. In my free time, I enjoy gardening, hiking, reading and walking with my family.

Edem Defor [View Image]

Edem Defor

Ph.D. Student

Edem Defor [View Image]

Edem Defor

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! I am Edem Defor. I was born and raised in Ghana where I had my undergraduate studies in Statistics and Computer Science at the University of Ghana. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Master’s degree in Biostatistics. My broad research interests include nonparametric statistics, model selection and validation methods, metabolic syndrome, and health disparities. I like to discover new places during my free time.

Khoa Le Anh Huynh [View Image]

Khoa Le Anh Huynh

Ph.D. Student

Khoa Le Anh Huynh [View Image]

Khoa Le Anh Huynh

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi! My name is Khoa Huynh, and I am a Ph.D. student. I completed my undergraduate degree in Mathematics with a Statistics concentration at the University of Cincinnati, now continuing my education at VCU. I like traveling, eating and playing games (Mobile Legends!!!!).

Scott Silvey [View Image]

Scott Silvey

M.S. Student

Scott Silvey [View Image]

Scott Silvey

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hello. My name is Scott! I earned my undergraduate degrees in Statistics and Biology from the University of Virginia. I am excited to continue my education at VCU and to apply my knowledge to the real world. In my free time, I enjoy running, listening to music, and playing basketball.

Emily A. Walzl [View Image]

Emily A. Walzl

Ph.D. Student

Emily A. Walzl [View Image]

Emily A. Walzl

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hi, my name is Emily! I was born and raised in Alexandria, Virginia, and I’m excited to explore Richmond. I received my B.S. in Statistics and B.S. in Psychology from the University of Delaware. In my free time, I enjoy swimming, hiking, baking, and playing board games.

Part Time

Serenity Budd [View Image]

Serenity Budd

Ph.D. Student

Serenity Budd [View Image]

Serenity Budd

Ph.D. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! My name is Serenity, and I am a master’s student in the Department of Biostatistics. I received my undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Vassar College. In my free time, I enjoy dancing, reading, and hiking.

Kristine L. Kenning [View Image]

Kristine L. Kenning

M.S. Student

Kristine L. Kenning [View Image]

Kristine L. Kenning

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Ethan Lotz [View Image]

Ethan Lotz

M.S. Student

Ethan Lotz [View Image]

Ethan Lotz

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Kara Rademeyer [View Image]

Kara Rademeyer

M.S. Student

Kara Rademeyer [View Image]

Kara Rademeyer

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hi! I’m Kara (pronounced car-uh). I am a Ph.D. student working in the School of Pharmacy and am now also an M.S. student in the Clinical Research and Biostatistics program. I graduated from VCU School of Pharmacy with my Doctor of Pharmacy degree. My research interests revolve around HIV, drugs of abuse (opioids), and the beneficial effects of cannabis on a HIV infected brain. Outside of school, I work "as needed" as a pharmacist, I am a huge outdoor girl and can always be seen carrying around my water bottle.

Nicole Vissichelli [View Image]

Nicole Vissichelli

M.S. Student

Nicole Vissichelli [View Image]

Nicole Vissichelli

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

I completed both medical school and residency training in Internal Medicine at VCU Medical Center. I am currently completing my fellowship in Infectious Diseases and will be pursuing a MS in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Program as well as additional fellowship training in Epidemiology.

Sonja E. Volker [View Image]

Sonja E. Volker

M.S. Student

Sonja E. Volker [View Image]

Sonja E. Volker

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Rahul Wadnerkar [View Image]

Rahul Wadnerkar

M.S. Student

Rahul Wadnerkar [View Image]

Rahul Wadnerkar

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hello! I am Dr. Rahul Wadnerkar. After obtaining my M.B.B.S. from Nagpur University in India,
I completed my residency in Internal Medicine at Sisters of Charity Hospital in Buffalo, New York.
I am very excited to start learning about clinical research with the help of dedicated faculty members.
In my free time, I like to play tennis and practice Indian classical music.

Laura Williams [View Image]

Laura Williams

M.S. Student

Laura Williams [View Image]

Laura Williams

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hi! I'm Laura, and I'm a M.S. student. I have lived in Richmond since I was in high school and received a B.S. in both Biomathematics and Statistics from VCU. I am currently employed as a Statistical Analyst at Precizion Solutions, and in my free time I enjoy reading, playing with my cat, and spending time with friends and family.

Ryan Winstead [View Image]

Ryan Winstead

M.S. Student

Ryan Winstead [View Image]

Ryan Winstead

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hello, I’m Ryan Winstead! I graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with my Pharm.D. in 2016. I then completed two years of pharmacy practice and solid organ transplant residencies with the University of Kentucky. I am currently a clinical transplant pharmacist in the Hume-Lee transplant center at VCU Health, and I am beginning my first year of the M.S., Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration. I chose this program to enhance my research skills to be able to conduct statistically-sound, high-impact studies in the field of transplantation. In my spare time I enjoy playing tennis, being outside, reading, and collecting house plants!

Fang Yuan [View Image]

Fang Yuan

M.S. Student

Fang Yuan [View Image]

Fang Yuan

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

Hello, my name is Fang Yuan. Beijing, China is my hometown. I received my Bachelor’s in Clinical Medicine at Capital Medical University, Beijing, China. After completing a one year internship at Anzhen Hospital, I came to VCU for my Master’s in Biochemistry. Upon graduation, I started my career in cancer research at Massey Cancer Center. In the Fall of 2018, I enrolled in the M.S. in Biostatistics, Clinical Research and Biostatistics Concentration program, and I am very excited to start a new page of my life journey. Outside of school and work, I enjoy hiking along the river, cooking/baking and watching BBC shows and Disney cartoons.

Jing Zhang [View Image]

Jing Zhang

M.S. Student

Jing Zhang [View Image]

Jing Zhang

M.S. Student

Biostatistics

I received my Ph.D. in Mathematics in 2012 from the University of Virginia, and I am currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at Virginia State University. My research experience in interdisciplinary collaboration and undergraduate supervision sparked my interest in biostatistics. I am excited about the opportunity to study in the VCU Biostatistics graduate program and work with the talented and dedicated people here. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my family.

View graphic versionView graphic versionView graphic version