Department of

Public Health Seminars:


Topic: The Strong Black Woman and metabolic syndrome: Preliminary results from pilot work to explore social determinants of health in high risk communities

University of Virginia School of Nursing, PhD, Nursing, December 2013|
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Nursing, BS, Nursing, 2007|
Medical College of Virginia, MA, Public Health, 1999|
University of Virginia, BA, Anthropology/Pre-health, 1996|



qin-shenQin Shen:
I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Preventive Medicine in 2007 from Capital Medical University (CMU) in China, and received my Master’s degree in General Practice Medicine from the same university in 2010. I am interested in social epidemiology, which is relatively new and in great need in China. I came to VCU to learn the state-of the-art theories and methods of epidemiology.  Upon completion of my PhD program, I plan to return to China, implement my expertise in both national and international contexts, and contribute my efforts to public health.

I love VCU’s Epidemiology PhD program. Here I can work with professors who have diverse research expertise in epidemiology and are willing to share their knowledge and study experience with students. The interest of each student is fully respected, and courses and training are tailored according to students’ interests. In addition, I like the cozy study and working environment in our department. As an international student, I feel at home in the PhD program.



susanChaProfileSusan Cha:
I received my MPH in 2010 from VCU and a BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia. After earning my MPH, I worked as a Congressional Fellow on Women and Public Policy in the Office of Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D California).  

I hope to become a more effective epidemiologist and become well-equipped to influence public health policies through applied/translational research and education. My research interests are: (1) reproductive and infant health (2) adolescent behavior (3) environmental/social determinants of women’s health (e.g. breast cancer, osteoporosis, depression) (4) health disparities among minority populations.  

I appreciate the smaller teacher to student ratio in the Department of Epidemiology compared to other PhD programs. It fosters a greater environment for collaboration and inter-disciplinary learning. VCU's program also offers great flexibility for students to design a curriculum that incorporates their subject of interest.