Jarod Barnhart

Jarod Barnhart (undergraduate student, volunteer, October 2020-current) is majoring in Statistics. Jarod has interests in Biostatistical applications and methodology development. Jarod expects to graduate from the UCF in Spring 2022. Upon his graduation, Jarod plans to enter a graduate school where he hopes to continue studying biostatistics and earn his PhD. Outside of school, his interests include playing music, watching football, and playing Magic: the Gathering.




Albert Osom, B.S.

Albert Osom (full-time researcher, Statistics major, May 2020 – August 2020, currently a volunteer) is perusing Master’s degree in Statistical Computing. Before joining the team, he was working as a graduate teaching assistant at the Department of Statistics. Albert earned his B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics from the University of Ghana, Legon. Albert developed an interest in biostatistics when he performed data analysis in the field of infectious diseases during his undergraduate studies. Upon his graduation, Albert intends to continue his education and join a Statistics or Biostatistics PhD program with a focus on public health. Albert’s current research interests include Bayesian frameworks and applications of nonparametric Bayesian methods. In his free time, he enjoys paintballing and playing soccer.


Dr. Alex Goponenko

Alexander (Alex) Goponenko (Volunteer, graduate student majoring in Computer Sciences, September 2019 – December 2020) expects to graduate with Master’s degree in Summer 2020. He has PhD in Chemistry. Dr. Alex’s current interests include Machine Learning, Big Data, and Software Development. Dr. Alex joined the team to explore statistical methods and gain experience analyzing important data. In his free time, he enjoys riding a bike around the city and traveling around the world.

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Nathaniel Miller
Nathaniel Miller

Nathaniel Miller (undergraduate student, October-November 2020) is participating in the Discover, Immerse, Visualize, and Excel in STEM Program offered by the College of Engineering and Computer Science Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Nathaniel is pursuing Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and Computer Science. He became interested in biostatistics after taking Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases. He plans to go to graduate school to study to further his academic career. His goal is to become a researcher and lead research that helps improve the health of people around the world. In his free time, Nathaniel enjoys reading as well as programming and baking.


Julia Webb, B.S.

Julia Webb (BSBS Rotation Student, October 2020) is pursuing an MS in Biotechnology, having graduated from UCF in the Spring of 2020 with a BS in Biomedical Sciences. She is interested in the scientific approaches that can be used to analyze big biomedical data with an ultimate goal of improving healthcare. After earning her MS, she plans to continue into a PhD program. In her free time, Julia enjoys playing the piano, golfing with friends, and spending time in nature.



Kai Janicki, B.S.

Kai Janicki (BSBS Rotation Student, September 2020) is pursuing Master’s degree in Biotechnology. They graduated from the University of Central Florida in May of 2020. Kai became interested in biostatistics when they were taking a course in epidemiology. After completion of their degree, Kai hopes to attend an MD program. In their free time, Kai enjoys roller skating, knitting, and hanging out with their cats.




Camilo Gomez, B.A.

Camilo Gomez (Graduate student researcher, Statistics major, Data Mining track, August 2019 – May 2020) expects to graduate with Master’s degree in Spring 2021. Camilo graduated from Florida International University in July 2019 with a B.A. in Economics and minor in Statistics. During his undergraduate program, Camilo developed a passion for statistics and statistical applications in health science and business. Camilo’s goal for the next 5 years is to become a statistical computing expert. In his free time, Camilo likes to play soccer, work out and advance his knowledge in computer science.



Parth Patel

Parth Patel (undergraduate student researcher, majoring in Biomedical Sciences with minor in Statistics, January  – May 2020) expects to graduate in Spring 2022. Parth plans to attend a MD, MD/PhD or PhD in Biostatistics program shortly upon his tenure at UCF. Parth is currently a Peer Mentor at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences. Peer Mentoring is an academic service that empowers students via providing them constructed advising and co-curricular learning opportunities that support academic success. In his free time, Parth likes to volunteer, play basketball, and cook.



Nour Tanbari

Nour Tanbari (undergraduate student researcher, majoring in Biology, January – April 2020) expects to graduate in Fall 2020. Upon her graduation, Nour will continue her studies within the field of medicine. Nour enjoys broadening her knowledge in many different fields and is interested in learning more about statistical methods used in healthcare research. Nour is currently a volunteer at the East Florida Hospital. Moreover, she aids smaller organizations like The Learning Exchange. She moved to Florida from Montreal, Quebec in 2016, where she used to enjoy figure skating and skiing.tre


Jay Desai

Jay Desai (Undergraduate student researcher, major: Biotechnology, minor: Computer Science and Mathematics, June 2019 – December 2019) plans to graduate in Spring 2021 and attend medical school shortly after his graduation. He is currently serving as Vice President of International Medical Outreach, a student-led non-profit dedicated to expanding awareness about medicinal practices and living standards in other countries. In his free time, Jay likes to volunteer, play intramural sports, and travel.



Deeksha Sharma, M.S.


Deeksha Sharma (Biostatistician, June –November 2019) has completed her masters degree in Applied Statistics from Purdue School of Science, Indianapolis, IN, in May 2019. She is an active member of the American Statistical Association (ASA) and three ASA’s sections: Survey Research Methods Section, Statistical Computing and Statistics in Epidemiology. Deeksha’s short-term goals are to advance her SAS and R programming skills. She is always ready to help other team members in their research projects. Her future goal is to be a Biostatistics expert with strong analytical knowledge and computing skills. Her hobbies include traveling, cooking and singing.


Valory Anne S. Vailoces

Valory Anne S. Vailoces (Undergraduate student researcher, major: Biomedical Sciences, January 2019 – September 2019) is a Burnett Medical School Scholar in the class of 2021. Valory plans to become a physician and is considering dermatology, pediatrics and oncology as potential areas of her future specialization. Before Valory joined the team, she had an internship at the Mayo Clinic, co-authored an ophthalmology review manuscript and created illustrations for a Florida Hospital radiology team. In addition to her course- and lab-work, she serves as a committee member on the international board for Hearts for the Homeless and as the Florida District Editor for Circle K International. When Valory isn’t at the lab or school, she is competing in triathlons or playing volleyball and soccer.

Pratyaksh Nayyar

Pratyaksh Nayyar (Undergraduate student volunteer, major: Economics, May 2019 – August 2019) is pursuing a B.S. in Economics and following a pre-medical sciences route at UCF. Pratyaksh plans to graduate in Fall of 2021 and hopes to attend medical school shortly after. He joined the team to learn more about public health issues and how to use his background in economics and biostatistics to understand and help combat many of the public health and healthcare delivery issues the country is facing. He is involved with volunteering in the Orlando community at Second Harvest Food Bank and Nemours Children’s Hospital. In his free time, Pratyaksh likes to read, cook, exercise, play basketball, spend time with family and friends and explore the city of Orlando.

Dr. Trung Ha

Dr.Trung Ha (Postdoctoral research associate. April 2017 – August 2019) joined the team in April 2017. He received his PhD in Statistics from the University of Florida in 2016 under the supervision of Dr. James Hobert. Trung’s dissertation was titled “Convergence Analysis of Birth-Death Markov Chains and Gibbs Samplers”. Prior to coming to the US, he worked as a researcher at the Hanoi Institute of Mathematics in Vietnam and as a teaching assistant at the Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam. Trung has also received a Vietnam Education Foundation Fellowship. Trung has an outstanding knowledge of statistics, as well as exceptional computing skills in SAS®, R, Visual Basic, and C++. Currently, he is working on a number of interesting projects related to survey methodology and the social sciences. In one such project, Trung is leading research to explore the longitudinal differences in rates of smoke-free homes in the US. Trung has also recently joined three sections of the American Statistical Association: Survey Research Methods Section, Social Statistics Section, and Bayesian Statistical Science Section. His hobbies include travel and photography.

Fatima Hussain

Fatima Hussain (Undergraduate student researcher, major: Biomedical Sciences, January 2019 – August 2019) plans to major in biomedical science and minor in political science, and graduate in 2022. Upon her graduation, Fatima wants to  attend the UCF Medical School. She joined the team to learn more about disparities in healthcare practices and research methods used in behavioral medicine. She is involved in the UCF Honors Congress, Pre-Professional Medical Society, Muslim Student Association, Knights Lions Club, and International Relations Club. Fatima also enjoys volunteering, traveling, and martial arts.

Victoria Owens

Victoria Owens (Part-time scientist, B.S. Statistics, October 2017 – June 2019) was a T-LEARN alumna with a major in Statistics. As a team member, she helped prepare literature reviews, reports, and papers, perform analyses, and write SAS codes. She loves to learn and teach: she has worked as both a math tutor and martial arts instructor. She is enrolled as a master’s student in the Joint Program in Survey Methodology at the University of Maryland (College Park) and will graduate in 2021. Her favorite things include strategy games, alpacas, noncompetitive outdoor activities, and tree swings. In August 2019 Victoria became a graduate student at Survey Research Methodology Program at University of Maryland and started working as a graduate research assistant at Westat!

Johnny Elmalakh

Johnny Elmalakh (Undergraduate student volunteer, major: Health Sciences, June 2019) plans to join a medical school in Fall of 2020. Johnny joined our Lab to learn more about research tools used to assess  health disparities and smoking cessation behaviors. He also works as a scribe in the emergency room which makes him correlate all the information he learns in the research to the medical field. In his free time, he is usually traveling, playing/watching soccer, volunteering at health facilities and spending time with friends and family.

Jeremy Sheiber

Jeremy Sheiber (Undergraduate student volunteer, major: Biomedical Sciences, Molecular Microbiology track, December 2018 – April 2019) plans to graduate in Fall 2020. He is pursuing either an M.D. or a Ph.D. with the desire to continue working in the field of international medicine. Jeremy’s interest in research stems from a passion to understand and positively contribute towards the human experience. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys practicing yoga, volunteering with a variety of health affiliated organizations, listening to and playing music, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.

Srishty Arora

Srishty Arora (Epidemiologist, February – April 2019) joined the team in February 2019 and left in April 2019. She received her MPH in Epidemiology and Biostatistics from the University of Southern Mississippi in December 2018. During her MPH program, she worked as a volunteer research assistant where she assisted in writing literature reviews and performing statistical analyses using SAS and SPSS. As a part of her curriculum, she also worked as an Epidemiology Intern at Department of State Health Services, Houston, Texas. Prior to coming to the US, she received her Bachelors of Dental Surgery from India. As a part of the team, she helped in refining the research questions, preparing and running software codes and conducting literature reviews. In the future, she plans to pursue her Dental Public Health career by getting into a DPH residency from a reputed university. In her free time, she likes to cook, write and listen to music.

Alex Gulyayev, B.S., B.A.

Alex Gulyayev (Part-time scientist, B.S. Biomedical Sciences, B.A. Business Administration, January – March 2019) graduated from UCF in 2018 with a BS in Biomedical Sciences. He also holds a BA in Business Administration. Alex joined the team as a volunteer in January 2019 to follow his interest in biostatistics. He has a passion for math and biomedicine. He also has experience in Information Technology and holds A+ and Network + certifications. In his spare time, Alex enjoys reading classic literature and science articles. He also loves sports and is a big fan of ice hockey. Alex left the team in March 2019.

Monica Ramos

Monica Ramos (Undergraduate student volunteer, major: Biomedical Sciences, January 2019) worked on the team in January 2019. Monica is a UCF student obtaining a Biomedical Science degree. She plans to graduate in Fall 2019 and pursue an M.D. after graduation. Monica has recently returned from a medical trip in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam volunteering in the rehabilitation hospital, orphanage, and in the Special Needs program. She hopes to one day join the Peace Corps and provide relief to those in need. She also enjoys playing the flute, traveling abroad, and taking pictures. She would like to pursue research to make her a better practicing physician in the future.

Brooke Vantoorenburg

Brooke Vantoorenburg (Undergraduate student volunteer, major: Biomedical Sciences, December 2018 – January 2019) joined the team in December 2018 and left in January 2019. Brooke is a UCF student obtaining a Biomedical Sciences degree with a Psychology minor. She plans to graduate in Spring 2021 and pursue a M.D. following graduation. Brooke desires to receive a better understanding of the factors which affect public health issues in order to be better prepared for patient experiences in the medical world. Her favorite things to do include watching and playing sports, enjoying the Florida sunshine, and eating sweets.

Riley Gilette

Riley Gilette (Undergraduate student volunteer, major: Statistics, September – October 2018) volunteered with the team in September and October 2018. She is a current undergraduate student at UCF majoring in Statistics. Currently, she is finishing up her B.S. courses and beginning to pursue paths towards graduate school for Fall 2019. Her aims are to earn a master’s and PhD in statistics or biostatistics and continue a career in the field of biostatistics research. She enjoys participating in research to further expand her knowledge and assist in the growth of information. Aside from her research and coursework, she loves reading, cats, and enjoying live music.

Dr. Yujiao Mai

Dr. Yujiao Mai (Postdoctoral research associate, July 2017 – October 2018) joined the team in July 2017 and left in October 2018. She worked as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Notre Dame from August 2014 to June 2017. Dr. Mai received her PhD in Quantitative Psychology, MS in Developmental and Educational Psychology and BS in Computer Science and Technology from the South China Normal University. Yujiao’s research interests include addictive behaviors. Dr. Mai has exceptional expertise in software development, psychology and statistics. Her family lives in China. She likes Chinese music performed on the Chinese zither or bamboo flute. She also enjoys hiking, playing basketball, and soccer.

Dr. Monsur Chowdhury

Dr. Monsur Chowdhury (Postdoctoral research associate, May 2018 – August 2018) joined the team in May 2018 and left in August 2018. He earned his PhD in Statistics from the University of Manitoba, Manitoba, Canada under the supervision of Dr. Saumen Mandal in 2016. Dr. Monsur’s dissertation was titled “Optimal Designs for Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Factorial Structure Design.” He has also received two M.Sc. degrees: one in mathematics with a specialization in statistics from Georg August University, Goettingen, Germany; the other in statistics from Shahjalal University of Science & Technology (SUST), Sylhet, Bangladesh. Prior to joining the team, Dr. Chowdhury worked as a lecturer and instructor at the International College of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg, Canada. He is fluent in two languages, Bangla and English. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his family and playing with his little daughter. His hobbies include travelling and bicycling.

Julie Arias, B.A.

Julie Arias (Part-time scientist, B.A. Spanish, UCF non-degree student, December 2017 – August 2018) graduated from UCF in 2008 with a B.A. in Spanish and a minor in Latin American studies. In 2017, she went back to school to pursue a career in statistics and public health. She joined the team in January 2018, and will be participating in the Crohn’s disease research initiative. Other responsibilities include performing analysis of behavioral and biomedical data, preparing literature review sections for reports and presentations, writing scientific reports and making presentations. Currently, she is taking courses at UCF and working on completing her prerequisites to apply to graduate school for the fall of 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the violin, touring the local theme parks and beaches, and spending time with her friends and family. Julie left the team in August 2018.

Dr. Thanh Pham

Dr. Thanh Pham (Postdoctoral research associate, September 2017 – June 2018), joined the team in Sep 2017 as a statistician in Biostatistics at the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Central Florida. He earned his PhD in Educational Statistics, Evaluation and Research at the University of South Florida in December of 2017. Dr. Pham also has a M.A degree in Applied Economics from Ohio University. He has expertise in applied statistics, educational measurement, and economics. The specific areas include complex multilevel and multivariate models using SAS, Mplus, SPSS, and R. He has several publications in statistical software, educational and applied statistics journals. He also presented his work in various national and regional conferences including Joint Statistical Meeting, American Educational Research Association, National Council on Measurement in Education, and South East SAS Users Group.

Richard Pack, B.S.

Richard Pack (Part-time scientist, B.S. Biomedical Sciences, UCF non-degree student, October 2017 – June 2018) is a recent graduate of UCF’s BS in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology. Richard joined in October 2017 following his interests in investigating racial and economic disparities in healthcare and in toxic habits. He left the team in June 2018. Richard participated in the team’s research by helping to prepare reports and develop software codes in SAS®. Before joining the team, Richard previously worked as a resident advisor at a transitional home and later as a medical scribe. At this time he is looking forward to applying to medical school. Richard devotes much time to volunteering- both at Nemours Children’s Hospital and at his church where his wife coordinates children’s and women’s ministries. His hobbies include indulging in frequent hikes with his dog and tending to his garden.

Selena Leonardo

Selena Leonardo (Undergraduate student assistant, major: Biomedical Sciences, September 2016 – May 2018) is an undergraduate student at UCF. She is working toward getting her BS degree in Biomedical Sciences. Selena joined the team as a volunteer student in September 2016; but because of her keen interest in smoking cessation and racial/ethnic health disparities, she became a full student worker in April 2017. Selena actively participated in the team’s research activities. She helped prepare software codes in SAS®, performed statistical analyses, and prepared reports. She has already made a poster presentation at UCF (see the News section) and plans to make several more presentations in 2017-2018. Before joining the team, Selena worked in the Emergency Department of Florida Memorial Hospital Medical Center, where she assisted nurses, helped transport patients, and attended to patients’ other needs. She has also volunteered at the Halifax Medical Center, where she worked at the information desk. Currently, Selena is a member of the American Statistical Association and UCF’s Neuroscience Alliance. Her career goal is to become a pediatric surgeon. She enjoys spending her free time with her family, fishing and snowboarding. Selena left the team in May 2018.

Dieuzil Titus (Graduate student volunteer, major: Statistics, October – December 2017) volunteered in the lab in October, November, and December 2017.

Ankit Bisht

Ankit Bisht (Graduate student assistant, major: Computer Science, April – June 2017) is a Computer Science graduate student at UCF. He joined the Master’s program in the Fall of 2016. Ankit worked in our team in April, May and June 2017 as a part-time student worker. He helped prepare the SAS® codes, conduct literature search, and develop this webpage! Ankit sees his future as a data scientist. His hobbies include swimming and playing cricket.


Dr. Chiung-Ya Tang (Postdoctoral research associate, January – April 2017) worked in our team from January to April 2017. She has a PhD in Child Development and Family Studies, with emphasis on Family Studies and Gerontology from Purdue University-West Lafayette. She has worked as a Research Consultant/Contractor at the College of Health and Public Affairs, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL.