Leadership & Staff

Bill Cresko

Bill Cresko
Executive Director for the Data Science Initiative
Lorry Lokey Chair
Professor of Biology


Bill Cresko is an expert in evolution, development, genomics and molecular biology. He is the founding director of the University of Oregon's Data Science Initiative, as well as professor of biology and associate vice president for research. Bill is interested in how the evolution of genes and developmental processes produces the amazing diversity of life on earth.

emily beck

Emily Beck
Assistant Research Professor of Data Science

Emily Beck joined DSI in 2020, applying her expertise in genomics and bioinformatics to connect basic biological and translational research at the University of Oregon. Prior to her work with the initiative, Emily was a postdoctoral research fellow in the UO’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution. The interdisciplinary nature of her research resulted in many collaborations bringing together laboratories from the Departments of Biology, Anthropology, and Human Physiology to address a wide range of systems genetics questions using computational approaches. Beck received her Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of Iowa in 2015.

stephanie bowers

Stephanie Bowers
Executive Assistant

Stephanie Bowers supports Bill Cresko, executive director of the Presidential Initiative in Data Science, and provides administrative support to the DSI office. Prior to coming to the University of Oregon, she worked as an office manager in the private sector for over seven years. Stephanie graduated with a BA from the UO in Family and Human Services in 2010.

gretchen drew

Gretchen Drew
Director of Operations

As director of operations for the Data Science Initiative, Gretchen Drew oversees operations and program development for the initiative. Gretchen has been with the University of Oregon since 2014, serving the Office of the Provost as a project manager and communicator and as a part of the university’s internal and executive communications team. Gretchen holds a BA in liberal arts from the Evergreen State College and an MS in Arts Administration from the UO.

jake searcy

Jake Searcy
Assistant Research Professor of Data Science

Jake Searcy is a data scientist focused on applying ML and AI algorithms to shed light on complex problems in society and science. Jake joined the University of Oregon's Data Science Initiative from Michigan where he worked for Ford Motor Company, developing novel AI methods in their Global Data Insight and Analytics department. He began his data science career as a University of Michigan particle physicist, building data pipelines and applying machine learning techniques to the vast datasets produced at CERN's Large Hadron Collider. Searcy received his Ph.D. from the UO in 2012.

joe sventek

Joe Sventek
Program Head, Data Science

Joe Sventek is a professor in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Oregon. Prior to joining the UO, Joe was a member of technical staff, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA; deputy chief architect, Advanced Networked Systems Architecture project, Cambridge, England; distinguished engineer, Hewlett-Packard Laboratories, Palo Alto, CA; director, Agilent Labs Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland; professor of communication systems, Department of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland; and head of School of Computing Science, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland.

lillian aoki

Lillian Aoki
Research Data Scientist

Lillian Aoki is a data scientist and ecosystem ecologist with a passion for using collaborative, open science to understand rapid environmental change. At DSI, Lillian facilitates interdisciplinary research by training students, faculty, and staff in data science tools and practices and collaborates on innovative projects particularly through integration of big, messy, and multi-modal datasets. Prior to joining DSI, Lillian conducted a post-doc at Cornell University, where she applied cross-disciplinary approaches, from remote sensing to molecular assays, to understand disease dynamics in seagrass meadows. Lillian received her PhD in Environmental Sciences from the University of Virginia in 2018, where she studied coastal ecosystem restoration and resilience.

cristin hulslander

Cristin Hulslander
Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies

Cristin Hulslander joined Data Science in 2020 at the time of the launch of the undergraduate program. As the interim director of undergraduate studies, Cristin advises students, oversees class planning and scheduling, works with admissions on recruiting efforts and helps coordinate student support services. In addition to being a part of the Data Science team, Cristin is a senior instructor in the Department of Biology where she teaches in the General Biology series.