Current and former students

About Us

Dr. Wang has been fortunate to be able to mentor a number of highly qualified students.


Shelby Hatch, M.S.

Coming Soon!

Zachary Nichols, M.B.A., LCDCI

Zachary is currently a doctoral student in addictive disorders and recovery studies (ADRS) at Texas Tech University. He is a licensed chemical dependency counselor and holds an M.B.A. Prior to Texas Tech, Zachary worked at the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas. His research interests include the workplace and substance use, interpersonal violence (IPV), decision trees, and choice psychology. 


Brooke Bell, Ph.D.

Dr. Bell has seven years of experience evaluating social service programs through externally sponsored projects for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Her doctoral dissertation examined responsivity in rehabilitation programming for offenders within the Windham School District (WSD) to differentiate who has a greater likelihood of success in the Cognitive Intervention Program (CIP2).

Dissertation: Responsivity in rehabilitation programming for offenders


Deepti Bhatia

Deepti worked as a Research Assistant for Dr. Wang in 2015 – 2016, focusing on projects for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. She graduated with a Master of Science in Software Engineering in 2016 and is currently working for Oracle’s Data Science team-building machine learning and natural language processing systems for marketing products.

Kelly Chroback, M.S.W., LMSW, Ph.D.

Kelly was a doctoral candidate in the Addictive Disorders and Recovery Studies (ADRS) program at Texas Tech University. She received her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Her research interests include the effects of substance use and mental health conditions on individual risk of perpetrating violence. Her doctoral dissertation examined the effects of substance use on violence among offenders released from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ).

Dissertation: The effects of substance use on violence

Dasha Cochran, Ph.D.

Dasha is a program evaluator with more than ten years of evaluation experience. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology, a master’s degree in Counseling, and a Bachelor of Science in Economics. Her passion is bringing the world of program evaluation and economics together by supplying the necessary data to make informed decisions toward greater program effectiveness. Dasha strives to inform her clients about the relative value of their interventions and find ways to improve program effectiveness while minimizing costs.

Dissertation: Cost–Benefit Analysis of the Windham School District’s Correctional CTE Program

Jacob Curtis, Ph.D.

Jacob joined Dr. Wang’s lab as a research assistant in 2014. While in Dr. Wang’s lab, he completed projects for the United Way of Amarillo and Canyon, Goodwill Excel Center, and Texas Department of Criminal Justice. His dissertation was titled, “On Using Machine Learning to Predict Recidivism.” After graduating with his PhD in 2018 he joined H-E-B as a data scientist. At H-E-B he oversees projects related to using machine learning to predict out of stock products and using time series analysis to identify trending items.

Dissertation: On using machine learning to predict recidivism

Uyen Doan, B.S.

Uyen joined Dr. Wang’s team as a student assistant and participated in managing AWS servers such as Lightsail and EC2. She also discovered her interests in creating websites along with programming in R and helped put together R scripts for future use. She graduated from Texas Tech University in May 2023 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science.

William "Buddy" Gerber, MPA, Ph.D.

Buddy has worked in the addiction treatment industry for more than five years in an administrative and clinical support role. While earning his Master of Public Administration, he acted as a graduate assistant at the Center for Collegiate Recovery Communities at Texas Tech University.

Dissertation: The Effects of Substance Type and Use on Public Safety: A Machine Learning Analysis

Sarah Hirsch, B.S.

Sarah started as a research assistant for Dr. Wang in the summer of 2019 and graduated in December of 2019. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Forensic and Correctional Psychology.

Ryan Kelley, B.S.

Ryan started working for Dr. Wang in September 2019; while an undergraduate research assistant, his concentrations were R programming language and IT support. From January 2019 to August 2019, Ryan was cooping with L3Harris Technologies (formerly L3 Technologies) in Greenville, Texas as a Software Engineer. There he worked in Python and C++ to develop maintenance applications while using Agile methodologies.

Orion Koepke, B.S.

Orion worked for Dr. Wang during 2017 and 2018. He graduated from Texas Tech University in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with minors in both business and mathematics. Since graduation he has been working in Greenville, Texas, at the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) Segment of L3Harris, which is a defense contractor. 

John Manacup, B.S.

John received his Bachelor of Science in Computer Science at Texas Tech University in Spring 2022. He showcases his skills by being proficient in C/C++, Java, Python, and R. Additionally, his projects vary in areas such as web development (C#, .NET), mobile development (Android, Java, Kotlin), machine learning (R, XGBoost, H2O), and Java app development (Java, JavaFX, SQLite). He writes subroutines that would make data science workflow smoother and easier to implement for the general public. This includes creating functions that includes machine learning mechanism, data management, data pre-processing and data cleaning processes.

Adia McGhee, B.S.

Adia is a psychology major, computer science minor. Her interests include social and cognitive psychology, and computer programming. She has worked in a human-robot interaction lab, in addition to completing a study on phishing attacks done over email.

Samuel Meeks, Ph.D.

Samuel discovered an interest in quantitative research while interning at the Institute for Measurement, Methodology Analysis and Policy during his undergraduate career at Texas Tech. Current research interests include machine learning, low base-rate outcomes with asymmetric cost, and using data to drive policy.

Dissertation: Evaluating class imbalance and asymmetric costs using machine learning

Haleigh Nettles, B.S.

Haleigh is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at Arizona State University. While working toward her degree, she is interning at the Arizona Justice Project and is a research assistant at the Office of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research. After graduation she hopes to pursue a career in forensic social work and work with offenders.

Nicole Patterson, B.S.

Nicole received her bachelor’s degree in human sciences with a focus in addictive disorders and recovery studies; community family, and addiction sciences; and general business from Texas Tech University. She is currently pursuing a dual master’s degree in public administration from Tech with a master’s degree in public health from Texas Tech University Health Science Center. She also is a Teaching Assistant for Substance Abuse Prevention for Dr. George Comiskey.

Ricardo Ruiz, B.S.

Ricardo worked for Dr. Wang beginning in the fall of 2017. During the summer of 2019, Ricardo interned at Charles Schwab working on an application to test APIs to retrieve brokerage balances and positions.