Department of

Public Health Seminars:



Jordyn Wallenborn, Fourth Year PhD Student



Current MPH Students

Alison Molitor:

I received my undergraduate degrees in Journalism/Mass Communication and Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2013. Upon moving to Richmond in the summer of 2013, I had the opportunity to work with Sports Backers, where I was able to see first-hand the impact of working directly with the community to encourage physical activity and healthy living. Fast forward three years, and I now do research at VCU in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Together, these experiences helped me to develop a particular interest in primary care and underserved and rural populations.

I chose VCU because of its emphasis on hands-on learning and its faculty and staff who have valuable real-world experience that they are more than willing to share with students. The flexibility that the program offers allows students to create an educational experience that truly fits their interests and needs in order to excel in the Public Health field after graduation.



Amelia Thomas, BA, MPH Candidate:

Amelia is a MPH candidate at VCU with a special interest in maternal child health. Amelia received her BA in Public Health Studies from Johns Hopkins University, where she was also a three-year captain of the Women's Volleyball Team. Upon graduating, Amelia became a volunteer with WorldTeach Costa Rica and taught English in a rural elementary school. Next, Amelia took her new language skills and her interest in maternal and child health to become a Bilingual Parent Educator for CHIP of Greater Richmond at a local non-profit called Family Lifeline. She also started a new vocation as a Birth Doula. As an MPH student, Amelia is working as a Data Coordinator for the Strong Start Initiative that aims to reduce preterm births, and improve outcomes for newborns and pregnant women.



Allison DeLaney, PT, BCC:

Allison comes to the MPH program with 17 years of healthcare experience in both the role of physical therapist and as hospice chaplain/bereavement coordinator.   She graduated from the physical therapy program at the University of Florida in 1999.  She then ventured outside her home state to volunteer with Amate house, a Catholic volunteer program for young adults, and served as a full time physical therapist at Schwab Rehabilitation which served primarily patients on Medicaid or without insurance.  The experience was deeply transformative and lead her to get a M.A. in Theology at Catholic Theological Union in 2004, to become a chaplain resident at Loyola hospital, and ultimately to merge her interests in physical and spiritual health to become a Board Certified Chaplain in 2006.

She has always had an interest in holistic healing which honors the complexity of our physical, emotional, social and spiritual selves.   Her research interests include spirituality and healthcare, and more specifically how interdisciplinary teams can provide more coordinated, holistic and effective care to vulnerable populations. 

Allison lives in Williamsburg, VA on a farmette with her husband, 8 and 11 year old sons, and father.



Hannah Ming, B.S., CHES:

Hannah graduated from James Madison University in 2016 with a B.S. in Health Sciences with a concentration in Public Health Education. During her time at JMU, Hannah served as a Resident Advisor to incoming first year students for three years. In April of 2016, she became a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES). During Hannah’s final semester at JMU she interned with the Crater Health District’s Community Health and Prevention team out of the Petersburg Health Department. Hannah’s focus is in reproductive health including family planning and sexual and domestic violence prevention specifically focusing on youth and women populations. Hannah volunteers with the VCU Wellness Resource Center working as a volunteer confidential advocate for Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking and Advocacy Services. Following her completion in the MPH program Hannah intends to gain further clinical experience by obtaining her nursing degree.

“I believe there are many disparities facing women and youth across the world. Working in public health is a way to serve in the healthcare field that I have loved my whole life while fighting for the equity and justice that we all deserve. VCU gives me the opportunity to work closely with college students, youth, and women all in the same location. The Richmond community offers me the opportunity to start something that matters through innovate health promotion and prevention programming. I truly value to hands-on experiences of the MPH program as well as the years of varying experiences that the faculty, staff, and other students have to share.”

Hannah spends equal time between her two homes in Richmond and Dinwiddie County with her two dogs, Jake and Oreo. Hannah is a proud advocate of self-care which includes her own processes of writing fiction, watching medical and Sci-Fi dramas, and singing Christmas music all year around.



Ford Tim:

I received my BA from St. John's College in Annapolis, a Master's in Religious Studies with a concentration in Engaged Buddhism from Naropa University in Boulder, and my last Master's in Patient Counseling from here at VCU. I've spent the last 15 years as a hospice and palliative care chaplain, the last ten of which were here with Thomas Palliative Care team at Massey Cancer Center. I have additional professional training in 'Thanatology' (death education), Meditation, and Advanced Care Planning. I hold joint faculty appointments in VCU's schools of Allied Health and Medicine. Currently I am one of the content directors for the Medical School's longitudinal course on the Physician and Patient in Society.

This Fall I was fortunate enough to be one of eight to receive a fellowship from the Transforming Chaplaincy project which is a Robert Wood Johnson grant jointly administered by Rush and Brandeis Universities. The purpose of this project is to train and support the next generation of professional chaplain researchers interested in clinical spirituality research. This generous award has allowed me to retain my teaching role in the School of Medicine but otherwise concentrate full-time on the MPH program.

My research interest initially will be the effect of patient's spirituality on their healthcare decision making. With the amazing work already being done by both VCU and jointly with the Honoring Choices Virginia initiative to expand support for advance care planning in the Richmond area, I am excited to remain connected to VCU while pursuing my research.



Litta Paulson:

I attended VCU as an undergraduate and earned my B.S. in Biology here. During my undergrad studies, I developed an interest in Public Health and decided to pursue an MPH degree. I am interested in Health Education and Prevention, especially among women in low-income communities. I chose the MPH program at VCU as it is known for its rigor and well-roundedness. Also, I had fallen in love with Richmond City and did not want to it leave yet. It is very difficult to move away from the VCU family once you are a part of it!



Patrick F. Godette Jr.:

I received my undergraduate degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Virginia Commonwealth University in Spring 2017. During my time as an undergraduate, I participated in the Academic Scholars Program in Real Environments (ASPiRE) a two-year living-learning program. Through ASPiRE, I deepened my understanding of topics such as Richmond's history, community outreach, and civic action as well as having the opportunity of earning over 200 hours of co-curricular service. My knowledge of Biology and the added experiences from the ASPiRE program helped shape my decision to pursue a Master's in Public Health.

As a lifelong hobby, I love creating my own multimedia projects. I do this through animation, videography, and drawing comics. One project I’m currently working on is centered around an animated version of myself and some (exaggerated) experiences in my life. And my time as a new MPH student will definitely be featured!



Leslie Bobb:

Leslie is originally from the Virginia Beach area, and comes to Richmond via a nearly 20 year detour in Los Angeles county. There she earned her B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Communications from California State University, Bakersfield. She then focused on working, raising her son, and having incredible experiences while she tried to figure out what she wanted to be when she grew up. She has been working at VCU in the Department of Internal Medicine for over 8 years and really enjoys working with the brilliant faculty and staff the DOIM claims. After 10 years, she has built an eclectic collection of educational, professional, and personal experiences. She now has certifications in integrative health, health coaching, and nutritional therapy as well as a passion for teaching people about food and health. Her focus is on traditional diets and health nutrition and she is on a mission to empower as many people as she can to take control of their health.

She currently lives in the “east end” with her teenage son, an aspiring author and editor, and her four-legged fluffballs. She is working on a project at VCU with a colleague, designed to bridge the gap between physician dietary recommendations and patient compliance. She is also working towards fulfilling her mission through her company, Cultural Revivalists. She doesn’t really have “free time” in all that, but makes time for hiking and brewery hopping in the name of self-care. She is working towards her M.P.H. degree part-time and continuing to work full-time for VCU. Her plans for post-completion are constantly changing, but she has developed a love for Richmond and continues to call it home for some time.



Abby Cadua:

I graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014. As an undergraduate at VCU, I developed a strong background in the research field mainly focusing on counseling children with mental illnesses and mindful meditation. However, it was not until I completed my internship at the VCU Institute of Drug and Alcohol Studies that I truly realized the significance of research. Not only did this opportunity teach me about research but it also sparked my interest in working with substance users and addiction. The focus of that particular program was centered on providing medications to participants; I found that I was more interested in programs and resources that addressed the social and mental problems involved with addiction and substance use. Therefore, I transferred to VCU’s Department of Health Behavior and Policy. Here, the definition of public health became clear to me. Although I currently work with family caregivers of cancer patients, my current position as a Research Coordinator is teaching me how to collect and interpret quantitative and qualitative data. This information is living evidence and proof that stakeholders, policy makers, and government officials can use to hopefully improve caregivers and their loved one’s lives. I decided to pursue my Master’s in Public Health because I aim to use both my research and educational experiences to understand the complex epidemiology of addiction to provide better support for addicts and their loved ones.