Unlike any other medical student organization, AMSA is governed entirely by student leaders. Meet the premedical and medical students who are leading AMSA for the year ahead.
Perry Tsai, MD/PhD
Perry is the National President of AMSA. He recently graduated with his MD/PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. He grew up outside New Orleans, LA, enjoys singing, and plans to pursue psychiatry for residency training.
Isaiah A. Cochran
Isaiah has been part of the American Medical Student Association for seven years now. He has been a member of AMSA since his freshman year of college. He is now a third-year medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. He has served as a national leader in AMSA for six of the seven years he has been a part of AMSA. This is his fourth year serving on the Board of Trustees.
Isaiah’s goal for AMSA this year is to engage as many medical students as he can throughout the country, to bring them to the organization. In his eyes AMSA is the reason why he has made it this far in his pursuit of his medical education. He believes that AMSA truly does empower student physicians to help their patients in the clinic and to be activists for them outside of the clinic. As president-elect he wants to bring more notoriety to the organization and help to strengthen ties with organizations that have similar goals and aspirations as AMSA.
Isaiah has many academic interests, having done research at Yale and Harvard, in DNA research and clinical neuroscience, he feels that his work in AMSA was one of the main reasons he obtained these fellowships. He also wants to pursue a career oriented towards global health. Isaiah served as Global Health Chair for AMSA during his first year of medical school at Boonshoft. During the summer after his first year of medical school he went to Peru and worked alongside six other Boonshoft students. They worked with Peruvian medical professionals in Iquitos and along the Peruvian Amazon River Basin, delivering basic health care to Peruvian citizens. Isaiah is quick to point out that it was more of a learning experience for himself, and that he hopes to go back one day when he is equipped with more medical knowledge so he can really help the citizens of Peru. Isaiah was able to do this, by working with The People of Peru Project, an organization that ensures the people in Iquitos and along the Amazon River Basin receive longitudinal health care.
Some interests that Isaiah has outside of medicine are staying fit, playing tennis, watching many sports, playing piano, and spending time with his family and friends!
Vice President for Leadership Development
Devki is a fourth-year medical student at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and graduate of CUNY Brooklyn College where she majored in Cultural Anthropology and minored in Health and Nutrition. She is passionate about working towards racial and reproductive justice, reducing health inequities and promoting single payer health care.
AMSA has been a constant source of inspiration throughout her journey to and through medicine. Devki joined AMSA as a freshman pre-medical student and has been hooked ever since! She served as the president of her local AMSA chapter for two years and joined national leadership in 2014. She has held the positions of Women’s Programming Coordinator, REACH Chair, Health Care for All Chair.
As an undergraduate student, Devki led three public health and medical brigades to underserved communities in Central America, taught health workshops on STIs and HIV in New York City high schools, and conducted medical anthropology research on breastfeeding practices in a rural village of Nepal. She served as co-founder and president of her medical school’s chapter of White Coats for Black Lives and works with the national Diversity in Medicine Coalition. Devki enjoys watercolor painting, hiking long trails and cooking with her grandparents.
Vice President for Programming Development
Nicole is an MD candidate in the class of 2019 at the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Medicine. Nicole grew up in Arizona before attending Brown University, earning a Bachelor’s in Biology and Anthropology in 2012 and a Master of Science in Pathobiology in 2013. During her time at Brown, Nicole discovered her passion for public health and health equity through her work as a program coordinator for Health Leads. After school, she furthered this interest through her time as an AmeriCorps VISTA members working for the Arizona Department of Health Services in the Refugee Health Program.
Since starting medical school, Nicole has been involved with UNC’s chapters of AMSA, Physicians for Human Rights, and the Student National Medical Association. Nicole has been involved with AMSA for the last two years, having the opportunity to serve as the Health Equity Coordinator for the Health Policy Team, Course Director for the Advocacy Scholars Program for the 2016-2017, and as the Chair of the Health Policy Team the following year. Nicole is passionate about health equity, medical student advocacy, and social justice, and is excited to support AMSA’s continued pursuit of these ideals as the Vice President for Program Development.
Vice President for Membership
Thomas is a fourth-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. A Florida native, Thomas earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Central Florida in Molecular and Microbiology. Prior to medical school, he worked as a Massage Therapist and as an Emergency Medicine scribe. The combination of his hands-on experience as a Massage Therapist, and medical exposure from scribing, is where his passion to pursue a career in Osteopathic Medicine began. Most recently in his OMS-III year, he served AMSA on the national level as Regional Director: Region 3. In this role he worked closely with local and national leaders to communicate important announcements, coordinate events, and increase membership recruitment.
During his time as a member and leader, he feels AMSA has helped to empower his voice to the point that he can make an impact in helping to shape the future of health care policy. As Vice President of Membership, he hopes to help other members achieve their potential with AMSA the same way he has. His main goal for this year will be to increase membership in order to create a stronger collective voice of future physician leaders.
Vice President for Internal Affairs
Tanya is a third-year medical student at Northeast Ohio Medical University in Rootstown, Ohio. She is a BS/MD accelerated student and an alumna of Kent State University. A long time member of AMSA, Tanya has served nationally on the Community and Public Health team and as a Regional Director. Her passion lies in advocating for women’s rights and making education more accessible for girls around the world.<h/6>
Mackenzie is proud to be an active member and national leader of AMSA. She was born and raised in Wisconsin where she was able to enjoy activities throughout the changing seasons including hiking, camping, gardening, fishing, hunting, and getting cozy around a fire. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Gender and Women’s Studies with minors in Global Health and in Leadership from the University of Wisconsin- Madison. Mackenzie is currently a second-year medical student at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health as a part of the Wisconsin Academy of Rural Medicine program. She’s excited to continue her journey in medical school and stay involved in all of the amazing AMSA events ahead this year.
Yokaira is a fourth-year medical student from UNIBE School of Medicine located in Dominican Republic. Her journey as an AMSA leader began in 2015 as the president of her local chapter. Being more exposed to all the amazing opportunities AMSA has to offer, she aspired to be a part of the AMSA National Leadership. This led her to become International Regional Director followed by International Trustee, making this her second term as International Trustee as a member of the Board of Trustees. She was awarded the 2017 James Slayton Leadership of Excellence Award. Her passion for AMSA has grown tremendously throughout the years and she has always stayed true to the association’s values. Yokaira is in the works of pursuing a neurology residency. She was born in Dominican Republic but raised in Orlando, FL. Her favorite pastime is spending time with her friends and family and doing outdoor activities.
Haya Al Any
Haya recently graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Neurobiology from Arizona State University. She joined AMSA at her local chapter in 2015 and assumed two local leadership positions for the years 2016 and 2017 before joining the national leadership team as a premedical regional director and a vice chair for the IFMSA council for the year 2017-2018. Before she arrived in the United States in 2013, she was a first-year medical student at Baghdad School of Medicine in Iraq. Besides working with AMSA, Haya feels an obligation to use her resources to help the underprivileged and immigrant population. She has worked with organizations like the American Red Cross, the International Rescue Committee and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
As a Vice Chair for the IFMSA Council, Haya worked with several medical student associations from different countries to help exchange ideas between the premedical/medical student body in the United States and the medical student population in these countries. As a part of the initiative to establish new medical chapters of AMSA internationally, she worked with IFMSA leadership in her mother country, Iraq, to start the first AMSA chapter there which became the largest chapter in the Middle East with 1000 international member.
Rita K. Kuwahara, MD, MIH
Rita is excited to be AMSA’s new Graduate Trustee. She graduated from medical school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Prior to that, she received her Master’s degree in International Health at the University of Copenhagen and her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College, where she majored in Chemistry and Peace and Justice Studies with a Concentration in the Inequities in the Healthcare System in the U.S. and Abroad. She was previously the American College of Physicians’ National Health Policy Intern and is particularly interested in health policy and advocacy and addressing issues of access to care and the social determinants of health. She currently serves on the American College of Physicians’ National Council of Resident and Fellow Members and was previously a part of AMSA’s National Leadership team during medical school, when she served as AMSA’s former Vice President for Leadership Development and Global Health Chair.
Ton La, Jr.
Student Editor, The New Physician
Ton (T.J.) is a fourth-year MD/JD student at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Houston Law Center. He is also a Summa cum laude honors graduate of the University of Houston (UH). As part of National AMSA, T.J. serves on the Board of Trustees as the Student Editor of The New Physician magazine and previously served on the TNP’s Editorial Advisory Board May 2015 – May 2017.
In the past, T.J. volunteered over 1300 hours at Texas Children’s Hospital and the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center. As an undergraduate student, he was one of ten U.S. students to participate in the commemorations of the 70th Anniversary of D-Day in Caen, France; was the student editor of the UH Scholar Enrichment Program; competed in the 8th Annual Clinton Global Initiative University at the University of Miami; and helped launch the first Texas public Campus Kitchen chapter at UH as an affiliate of the Bonner Leaders Program. T.J. is also a pianist and a 3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo and Hapkido.
Kelly Thibert, DO
Immediate Past President
Kelly had the honor of serving as National AMSA President and is thrilled to be in her new role as Immediate Past President of AMSA. Alongside this role Kelly is a second year Resident of Family Medicine at Grant Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. She completed her medical training at Nova Southeastern University, College of Osteopathic Medicine and was awarded her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine and Masters of Public Health degrees in May 2016.
Kelly received her undergraduate degree in Molecular and Microbiology with a minor in Women’s Studies, at the University of Central Florida. During her undergraduate career she became heavily involved with AMSA on both a local and national level. She believes that the AMSA family helped her to realize that she could combine her love of medicine, humanism and activism into a singular fulfilling career. Now entering into her tenth year involved with AMSA she looks back on all of the lessons learned as a part of this “medical school without walls” and is happy to have been involved in such an educational, empowering, thought-provoking organization throughout the beginning of her medical career. Ever since she joined AMSA it has been her home away from home, a second family (#FAMSA). She says that joining AMSA was one of the best decisions that she ever made as premedical student.
Board of Medical Regional Directors
Catherine is a first-year medical student at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, she completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2017. Before moving to Ohio for medical school, she volunteered at local hospitals and the community Vietnamese learning program. Through working with sick and healthy children, she was driven to pursue a career in allopathic medicine.
During her first year in medical school, Catherine joined AMSA and participates as the secretary of her local chapter and the national Regional Director of Region I. Her most rewarding experience was attending Advocacy Day at the 2017 AMSA Convention and Exposition and learning that she had a voice that matters. As an AMSA member, she feels that she can induce more change. Catherine intends to inspire more members to actively participate in AMSA events.
Karimah L. Prescott
Karimah is a rising third-year medical student. In addition to pursing her MD, she is also completing a Master of Business Administration with an emphasis in health care. Karimah grew up in Atlantic City, NJ, and earned her undergraduate degree from William Paterson University. Karimah received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Math and Science with a concentration in Biology, and a minor in Public Health. Karimah was WPU’s recipient of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” as well as the only student to receive the “Woman of Vision Award” in 2014.
While in medical school, Karimah served as Events Coordinator for her local AMSA chapter for four consecutive terms. Karimah and her local AMSA chapter found a way to locate resources to provide primary prevention, health care education, and health screenings to the community free of charge. Through monthly community health fairs, she was able to witness the importance of community health, the prevalence of health disparities, and the importance of health education. These experiences fueled her passion for wanting to contribute to community health and social determinants of health on a larger scale. With the help of her fellow local chapter executive board members, she worked meticulously to foster professionalism, effective communication, organization, and personal development.
Karimah is very excited to join the National Leadership Team as Medical Regional Director for Region I. She wants to assist chapters with accomplishing their goals. She would like for chapters to know no goal is too out of reach, and they are capable of achieving every goal they set out for themselves. She would also like to assist and challenge chapters to take their chapter to new heights. Karimah wants to ensure all AMSA members have the tools they need to take control of their future in medicine.
Aakash K. Patel
Aakash is a fourth-year medical student at NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine. He received his undergraduate degree from NYIT as well, as a student of the B.S./D.O. program. Currently, inspired by his motive to play a greater role in medicine, he is also part of the combined DO/MBA program at the institution.
His journey with AMSA started during his OMS-1 year where he was intrigued by how active AMSA was within the student community. As a second-year student, he took a more active role in AMSA and became the chapter president. As President, his primary goal was to provide a better experience for his peers, which he promoted through service and wellness. He organized fundraising events for the local community and activities including afternoon yoga and pet therapy to promote overall community wellness.
As regional director, he hopes to reach out to more students and spread more awareness of all the opportunities AMSA provides for medical students. Aakash also plans to expand newer chapters and foster medical collaborations working with AMSA premeds. He looks forward to fulfilling his role as regional director and making a difference in the medical community.
Ulysses G. Gardner, Jr.
Ulysses is a rising second-year medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (WSU BSOM) in Dayton, OH. He graduated from The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) with a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science with a concentration in Radiation Therapy; some years later he returned to school to earn a Master of Business Administration degree to advance his career. Ulysses worked for 11 years as a radiation therapist in Houston, TX, and directly treated patients from around the world who were diagnosed with various forms of cancers. He served as a liaison between patients and the physician to accurately communicate the experiences and needs of the patients as they were receiving ionizing radiation with hopes to cure their illness and/or enhance their quality of life.
As a first-year medical student, Ulysses became involved in the American Medical Student Association (AMSA) right away because his desires aligned with the mission of the organization–including service, advocacy, and equal health care for all. He originally filled a vacant position as vice-president and now serves as president of the BSOM AMSA chapter. Ulysses is also a regional director with AMSA national. Ulysses is passionate about providing medical care and resources to the underserved, being a voice for those who are marginalized and often misunderstood, and being a role model for other minorities who desire to have a career in health care.
Ulysses chooses to dedicate his spare time to community service and to helping those who are less fortunate. In Houston, he volunteered with the AIDS Foundation-Houston where he was able to provide information to persons who were HIV/AIDS positive about resources available to them in the Houston area. Ulysses completed a medical missions trip in 2016 to the Dominican Republic to assist with surgeries for children with cleft palate and facial deformities with Austin Smiles Surgical Foundation. He will also travel to Jamaica through a global health initiative this summer to provide medical care to the surrounding communities of Jamaica. His desire is to use his medical training and resources to continue to provide health care to those who would not otherwise receive care, both locally and internationally.
Ashley is currently a medical student at Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine. She completed her undergraduate work in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Business Administration at the University of Toledo. During her undergraduate career and still on a per diem basis, Ashley works as a medical scribe in Emergency Medicine.
Ashley is from a small town in Northwest Ohio called Graytown, OH. In her free time, she volunteers as an assistant tennis coach for the high school she graduated from in Oak Harbor, OH. In addition to serving as 2018-2019 Regional Director for Region II, she will also be serving as vice president for her local chapter at Boonshoft. She first learned about AMSA last year through her local chapter and is extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to attend AMSA’s Annual Convention in D.C. this past year and participate in all of the activities and workshops that were available throughout the weekend. Ashley specifically enjoyed learning about AMSA on a National level and advocating for patients and future individuals going into medical careers during Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. She looks forward to this coming year and getting even more involved with AMSA.
Britney M.D. Howard
A native of Columbus, Georgia, Britney was born on the military installation of Ft. Benning, Georgia. She grew up around the world as the daughter of two military veterans. Some of her most memorable life experiences came from traveling to over 28 countries across three continents and experiencing an array of cultures. Britney’s passion for advocacy and raising awareness about global health issues prompted her to explore opportunities within the American Medical Student Association and as a fellow of the REAL Change Advocacy Program with RESULTS. She has not looked back since then.
Promoting advocacy and social justice starts with building a strong foundation on knowledge and then sharing that knowledge with the masses. From 2015-2016, Britney served as the global health education coordinator for AMSA national and conducted the Global Health Scholars program. Through this program, she had the opportunity to engage scholars from around the world, in meaningful discussions regarding global health issues. Some of these issues included lack of access to clean water, lack of access to education for females during their menstrual cycle (due to cultural intolerance and misconceptions about what it means to menstruate), discussing activism as it pertains to AIDS advocacy, and much more. In addition to educating students on how to be advocates for their patients in the health care setting, she challenged the students to write letters to their representatives of Congress in support of legislations that would benefit the general population including, but not limited to: The Reach Every Mother and Child Act and PEPFAR (The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief). Her work continued from 2016-2017 as the Global Health Committee Chair for AMSA National in which she worked on advocacy efforts concerning issues of global health, including but not limited to maternal and child health; access to medicines and quality, affordable health care for all; HIV, TB and other neglected diseases; refugee health; health and human rights; and ethical, sustainable service here and abroad. This year, Britney is proud to be back as an AMSA national leader, serving as the Region 3 Medical Director, and looks forward to connecting with each and every chapter and their leaders in Region 3!
In her spare time, Britney enjoys making hair and body care products from scratch, experimenting with flavorful recipes, aerial yoga; and exploring new sites with her fur brother Jake.
Chelsea is a first-year medical student attending the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She graduated with high honors from Cornerstone University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Chemistry. Chelsea came to medical school from a background of working with underprivileged youth and disadvantaged populations. She first discovered AMSA when looking into the annual Sim Challenge competition and has since discovered the advocacy and support that AMSA offers. Chelsea served as the lead of Nominations Committee for the 2017-2018 year and she is excited to take on the role of Regional Director to further advocate for public health. Among her interests are cooking and enjoying life with her family.
Maria “Masha” Lyuksyutova
Maria is a fourth-year medical student at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center School of Medicine and a Fightin’ Texas Aggie Class of 2015. She has been involved with AMSA since 2012 and was very active in her undergraduate chapter where she served as president of the 300 member organization her senior year.
Maria is serving her second term as Regional Director for Region IV. She wants to be a physician that motivates her patients to live a healthier and more fulfilling life. In her free time she loves to workout with her fiance, train for triathlons, garden and share about her “med” life on her instagram!
Haley is a third-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She is an Atlanta native that enjoys running, being outdoors, and spending time with family. She graduated from Valdosta State University with a B.S. in Chemistry and from Mercer University School of Medicine with a Master’s in Preclinical Sciences. As an undergraduate, she performed research on copper complexes as a delivery agent for medicinal agents.
In medical school, Haley serves as a 2020 Class Representative, tutors at a local elementary school, and is an 11th hour volunteer for the local nonprofit hospice organization. Haley conducted research at Emory University last summer on the response of motoneurons following a peripheral nerve cut or crush injury. Haley has traveled on medical missions to Nicaragua and Costa Rica, providing medical care to those in need. Her hopes are to one day do international medical relief work. As the Medical Regional Director for Region IV, she aims to make a difference within the AMSA community by increasing membership and promoting student involvement within the local communities and on a national level.
Molly C. Whitt
Molly came to medical school from a background working with homeless and at-risk youth in her hometown. While she loved working one-to-one with youth, she quickly became frustrated with the limitations of our inherently profit-driven medical system in addressing their underlying needs. Partnering with AMSA is Molly’s way of bringing about the change she needs for her future patients.
Michael is a first-year DO/MPH candidate at Touro University in California. He graduated from Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo with a degree in Biochemistry. Michael joined AMSA during his first year of his undergraduate and became involved nationally after attending AMSA’s Annual Convention in 2017. He is particularly interested in health policy and transitioning the U.S. to a single payer system. In his spare time he enjoys rock climbing and going just about anywhere with his dog. Michael is looking forward to working with everyone this year and making AMSA even better than it has been!
Board of International Regional Directors
Sai Sankeerth Madakasira
Jason Ge Fang
After starting at MUS, Jason became immediately active in community outreach, including organizing fundraisers and volunteering at local community projects. After becoming President of the local AMSA chapter, he pushed AMSA to have a larger presence on campus and in the community. He also works as the Communication Lead for the Science Innovation Union, a UK-based non-profit that tries to bridge the gap between academia, industry and governments to build a new generation of bio-entrepreneurs. In addition to his academic work, he is also committed to helping his peers, acting as Class President and a student mentor for Virginia-based Hope Medical Institute. Jason is excited to advance AMSA’s goals of education and advocacy as the International Region Director.
Board of Premedical Regional Directors
Victoria Sabina Kasprzak
Rico Carter II
Tanisha Mary Rivera
Community and Public Health
Leigh is a third-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She received a B.A. in Biological Sciences and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Florida State University and an M.S. in Medical Science from the University of South Florida. While completing her undergraduate education, she helped organize cycling trips across the United States to raise money for Multiple Sclerosis research. Leigh has also worked as a medical scribe and clinical research coordinator for Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease research.
One of her favorite memories as an OMS-I was competing in SimLympics, a competition organized by her school’s AMSA chapter involving teams of medical students who work together to solve patient cases. As an OMS-II, Leigh performed research on pulmonary arterial hypertension and served as secretary for her school’s AMSA chapter. When she isn’t studying, Leigh enjoys spending her free time mountain biking, kayaking, and doing yoga. As AMSA’s CPH Chair, she looks forward to strengthening AMSA’s presence as an organization committed to improving community wellness.
Verónica I. Acosta Ruiz
Verónica is a pre-medical student at the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. She will be earning a Bachelor of Science in Biomedicine in Summer 2018 with minor concentrations in Microbiology and Chemistry. She has been working as an auditor assistant for almost a year while assisting in a rental company too. She has been part of the Dean’s List receiving a certificate of excellence in four of her undergraduate years and has participated in many extracurriculars at her university. Verónica’s first encounter with the association was at the 2018 AMSA Convention which made her realized how much she wanted to become part of an association that helps her grow in many ways.
Veronica plans to move to the state of Texas this summer where she is going to apply to medical school. In the meantime, she will continue working, studying and expanding her extracurriculars so that she can be a competitive applicant.
Rajan M. Desai
Rajan is a recent graduate from the University of Texas at Austin where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. A Houston native, Rajan has desired to pursue a career in medicine since middle school, inspired to work towards the profession by his love for serving others and science.
Rajan first encountered AMSA as an undergraduate through his local chapter, which at the time was a small, service-oriented organization. He elevated his UT-Austin AMSA chapter in his term as president by increasing membership and involvement with local community organizations. Rajan also founded a local AMSA Advocacy Team for the purposes of increasing health literacy in the local Austin community. Rajan hopes to combine his passion for medicine, public health, and health policy into a career that advocates for those that are not fortunate enough to have equitable access to healthcare.
Keifer Walsh is a third-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. Originally from Arkansas, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology and master’s in Cell & Molecular Biology from Colorado State University. He is also an Ensign in the U.S. Navy and is pursuing an M.B.A. from the Sorrell College of Business at Troy University.
During medical school, Keifer has served as president of his school’s AMSA chapter and participated in AMSA’s Health Care For All Scholars Program. Keifer believes that policy change is accessible and necessary as we hope to make our voices heard as the future of medicine. He is passionate about health policy and is thrilled by the opportunity to work with AMSA’s Health Policy Team this year.
Paulo Andres Rodriguez De La Nuez
Gender & Sexuality Policy Coordinator
Paulo is currently sophomore at Hillsborough Community College in Brandon, Florida, pursuing a major in BioMedical Sciences and a minor in Public Health. Paulo became interested in the medical field because of his mother who as been a nurse her entire life. He has decided to go down the path of Plastic Surgeon when he got the opportunity to shadow one in 2015. Paulo served as Vice-President of Communications of the Hillsborough Community College AMSA chapter the previous year. He recently started volunteering in the Emergency Department at Florida Hospital Tampa and hopes to get back into shadowing soon. If you don’t see him hitting the books he’s probably out fishing with his best friend Rico or playing Fortnite with the boys to release some stress.
Health Equity Coordinator
Benjamin is a Masters of Public Health candidate at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. This Fall, he will start his first year as a medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine, and has accepted an officer commission from the United States Army under the HPSP.
Benjamin grew up in Orlando and earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida with majors in Microbiology and Political Science and a minor in Health Disparities. During his undergraduate years, Benjamin volunteered extensively in clinics for underserved patients and contributed to research that sought to address underrepresented populations for the Community Health Needs Assessment for Alachua County. Benjamin was also one of the founders of the North Central Florida chapter of the grassroots anti-poverty organization, RESULTS, leading efforts to help secure the passage of the READ Act and commitments by the United States to invest in global health efforts. During the 2017-2018 year, he received further advocacy and policy training through the REAL Change Organizing and Advocacy Fellowship with RESULTS.
Having served as an Advocacy Liaison since his first AMSA National Convention in 2016, and Senior Advocacy and Policy Liaison in 2018, Benjamin is deeply passionate about leading AMSA advocacy to fight for health care rights and the future of health care in the United States and around the world. As the Health Policy Health Equity Coordinator, he is committed to bringing attention to ways to advocate for protecting critical safety net health programs and rural health care, and expanding access to affordable care for underserved communities.
Global Health Policy Coordinator
Ashley Barker is a recent graduate of the University of Mississippi and currently resides in California. She obtained her B.S. in Biology with minors in Chemistry, Neuroscience, and Psychology. During her time at Ole Miss, she served on the executive board of her local AMSA chapter for three years. This is also her third position serving as an AMSA national leader. Being hard-of-hearing led her to create a website: medicalasl.com. She works with many organizations to advocate for the deaf/hoh population as well as other minorities. She is also a grassroots advocacy ambassador at the National Down Syndrome Society.
In her gap years, Ashley will continue to work in advocacy for many underserved populations. Another item she wants to accomplish is global health care advocacy as well as being an advocate for the populations (previously mentioned) abroad. She is hoping traveling during her time off will allow her to gain insight on how the world views medicine and minorities. She is currently researching a few different Masters programs and leaning towards MPH in Global Health and/or MA in Deaf Studies: Language and Human Rights. As the Global Health Policy Coordinator she hopes to help pave the way to obtain better health care and human rights globally.
Medical Education & Professionalism Policy Coordinator
Apara grew up in Florida and loves spending time kayaking in the natural springs nearby. She completed her undergraduate at the University of Florida with degrees in biochemistry and statistics. She discovered her interest in public health through her minor and research in health disparities.
Apara is currently taking time off before medical school and working as a scribe through the Emergency Department. She first joined AMSA in her freshman year and served as a director for her local chapter for the Mental Health committee for two years. She is passionate about mental health advocacy and reducing stigmas surrounding these issues. She also continues to work with underserved populations through a student-run clinic in her community including education and prevention outreach efforts. She is excited to join the national leadership and work to make health care accessible to all patients.
Alex David Waldman
Alex graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in May 2016 where he earned comprehensive honors degrees in both Neurobiology and Spanish, while simultaneously earning certificates in Global Health, European Studies, and Stem Cell Sciences. At the university, he immersed himself in a wide variety of extracurricular activities. As a member of the Biology Core Curriculum Outreach Ambassadors, Alex coordinated monthly bedside science outreach events at American Family Children’s Hospital for patients employing the process of inquiry-based learning. In addition, he helped create new educational materials to teach students the molecular mechanism of HPV-mediated cervical cancer pathogenesis.
Following graduation, Alex entered the MD/PhD program at Emory University School of Medicine as a National Institutes of Health Oxford-Cambridge Scholar. He will conduct a dually-mentored DPhil at the National Institutes of Health and University of Oxford between his preclinical and clinical medical studies. As a preclinical student, Alex pursued his goals of improving his Spanish cultural competences during his tenure as president of the Medical Spanish Interest Group. His experience culminated in helping to organize the annual Hispanic Health Fair in Gwinnett County.
Overall, as a future clinician-scientist-educator and current AMSA Medical Education Chair, Alex aims to advocate for improved Medical Spanish visibility and promote medical student financial literacy.
Emma I. Morales Cestero
From San Juan, Puerto Rico, Emma is an undergraduate student at Regis College. She is studying to double major in Biology and Neuroscience, is a member of the Regis College Honors Program, various National Honor Societies, and her university’s NCAA DIII Women’s Volleyball team. She performs behavioral and histological research surrounding the topic of Traumatic Brain Injury and founded her local AMSA premedical chapter in Spring 2017 to help grow and strengthen resources for her premedical colleagues. Having been able to establish and continue leading Regis College’s AMSA premedical chapter has aided her with skills on how to advocate for medical education opportunities in the most respectful and effective way possible. She’s excited to be able to do the same for many more as she takes on her new role as Medical Education Advocacy Coordinator.
Besides school, research, and volleyball, Emma enjoys the beach and spending time with her family in Puerto Rico. In the future, she hopes to become a physician and return to the island to help with the physician and medical resources shortage there.
Mona is a third-year medical student attending the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She graduated from Rutgers University in New Jersey, with a B.S in Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Microbiology. As an undergraduate she participated in research focusing on electrical precursors to slips events and their use in biomedical applications. She went on to receive her Master of Biomedical Science from Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. During graduate school she performed research on potential novel treatments for multiple myeloma. Additionally, she conducted a clinical quality assurance study of adherence to sepsis guidelines at University Hospital in Newark, NJ. Prior to medical school, she was an Emergency Room medical scribe for two years and worked as a Quality Assurance Associate for a pharmaceutical company.
In medical school, Mona served as the Sergeant at Arms for her local AMSA chapter. She also went on a medical mission trip to Jamaica last year with NOVA Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine. Mona has been a member of AMSA since she was an undergraduate. As Medical Education Programming Coordinator, she strives to help make changes that can positively impact current and future medical students.
Professionalism & Ethics
Blake is a third-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. Originally from Charlotte, NC, he graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a BS in Biology. He then attended Wake Forest University where he obtained his Master’s in Bioethics and received the Most Outstanding Thesis Award for his thesis work on the EMT Code of Ethics. He also completed VCU’s graduate post baccalaureate health sciences program. He has experience as an EMT, an EMS instructor, a Kaplan MCAT Instructor, and as an ophthalmology tech. In medical school, he served as an Anatomy TA, the Student Government Association Director of Community Outreach, and an e-board member of the Internal Medicine Interest Group. In his spare time, he enjoys golf, baseball, and all things North Carolina sports.
Blake likes to learn about cells and cytokines as much as the next medical student, but he is truly passionate about medical ethics and the importance of the impact of medical humanities on patient care. Having the privilege to learn how to heal the sick and improve their lives is an incredible opportunity, but for Blake, it’s not simply about taking care of patients, its about how we take care of patients and how we learn to do that that matters most. He is looking forward to working with AMSA members to create more future doctors that practice medicine both competently and compassionately.
Caleb is a fourth-year medical student attending the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. He graduated from Missouri State University as an alumni of Phi Gamma Delta with a B.A. in Cell and Molecular Biology. As an undergraduate, he performed research on Hurler’s Syndrome and the detection of thromboembolism using aptamer-based nanoconjugates. Originally from St. Louis, Caleb enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, and learning the intricacies of the medical world.
In medical school, Caleb has served as an Anatomy TA, Student Ambassador, and Director of SimLympics for his local AMSA Chapter. Last year, he served as AMSA?s National Medical Regional Director of Region III. In addition, Caleb spent a month volunteering at Bomu Medical Hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, last year, providing medical services to those in need. As the Professionalism and Ethics Advocacy Coordinator, he strives to facilitate the growth of others, inspire new leaders, and provide positive change to the AMSA community.
Ellen Pappas is a third-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in Neuroscience at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. A Minnesota native, she spent time after graduation working in a variety of health fields. She worked as a medical scribe in Emergency Departments and an Orthopedic Center, a sterilization technician for a dental clinic, and as a discharge clerk at an urgent care calling patients to ensure their understanding of post visit instructions and to answer any questions they had.
During her first two years of medical school, Ellen acted as a Primary Clinical Skills Teaching Assistant, Student Ambassador, and the SimComp Committee Leader for her local AMSA Chapter. As SimComp Committee Leader, she planned and oversaw all aspects of a team-based medical simulation competition, from two months of training to a two-day event that challenged twelve teams to think critically through potentially life-threatening scenarios.
Ellen looks forward to her role as Programming Coordinator for the Professionalism and Ethics Action Committee. She is passionate about teamwork, cultural and religious cognizance in health care, and fostering open discussions that are relevant and accessible to the modern-day health care professional.
Akanksha is a fourth-year medical student at American International Medical University. She was born and raised in Hyderabad, India. Akanksha attended the 2018 AMSA Annual Convention and participated in Advocacy Day, where she was inspired by the sense of community and enthusiasm for activism within the organization and to apply for a national leadership role. She is excited to serve as a national leader. Akanksha wants to be a physician but that is not her end goal: Her dream is to go back to India and open a multi-specialty hospital that utilizes the skills of empathy and positivity in patient-care. She hopes to achieve great things with AMSA and hopes to be inspired by her peers and mentors.
Advocacy Development Coordinator
Dariusz recently graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of South Florida. He was born in Poland and traveled to the United States with his family at a very young age and has grown up in Sarasota, Florida. He has not had the smoothest of journeys up and through undergrad, which provided the opportunity to educate his peers through experience.
Dariusz was introduced to the concept of advocacy while in attendance at the 2016 AMSA Premedfest and followed up by becoming a AMSA advocacy liaison for Florida at the 2017 AMSA National Convention in Washington, D.C. This experience taught him that premedical students have just as strong a voice in impacting the future of health care policy and social justice. AMSA’s Lobby Day inspired him to seek for a means to promote advocacy at the local level. His dream is to be a physician that is involved in creating health care policies that provide affordable and accessible health care to all. As AMSA’s Professional Development Advocacy Development Coordinator, he plans to promote advocacy at the local and national level through training, education and coordination of AMSA chapters.
Education Development Coordinator
Ramneek is a third-year medical student at Trinity School of Medicine. A central Massachusetts resident, she completed her Bachelors in Neuroscience and Biotechnology with a minor in Psychology from Assumption College. After graduating, Ramneek worked as a Phlebotomy/EKG Technician and a Medical Technologist while also pursing her Masters in Healthcare Administration from Capella University. Ramneek always showed an interest in being involved in networking, community outreach and charity programs whether it was for school or work.
At Trinity SOM, Ramneek began her involvement with AMSA by serving as Chapter President, where she focused on promoting community outreach and enhancing the student network. Ramneek acted as the Trinity SOM Chapter Representative for the AMSA House of Delegates at the 2017 AMSA Convention. She is enthusiastic about continuing her involvement with AMSA by serving as the Education Development Coordinator on the Professional Development team. In this role, Ramneek hopes to bring her leadership skills and educational background to assist in coordinating skills trainings, fostering proper documentations, collecting data and collaborating among team members. Ramneek is excited to work with her new peers as part of the growing AMSA family.
Trainee Development Coordinator
Mustafa is a medical graduate from Middle East, currently enrolled in a Master’s degree program of public health at University of Illinois at Chicago. Through his medical school he developed a great experience and accomplishments. With different medical student associations through his deep involvement and evidenced commitment, Mustafa began his journey with AMSA when he co-founded AMSA medical chapters at Middle East and established AMSA chapter at his university, and he is so excited to take on the role of Trainee Development Coordinator and increase his involvement with the AMSA family.
Wellness & Student Life
Coco Victoria Gomez Tirambulo
Coco is a pre-medical student who graduated from Brandeis University with a B.S. in Biology and minors in Chemistry & Environmental Studies. Currently, she is a CDC – Healthy Brain Research Network scholar and cognitive aging researcher at the University of Arizona Center on Aging, focusing on fall prevention and the identification of cognitive aging neural correlates.
Growing up in Tucson, AZ, and being raised in her parents’ adult care home has cultivated Coco’s interest in patient wellness, preventative medicine, and other Integrative Medicine modalities. Curiosity led her to join AMSA’s Integrative Medicine Scholars Program in 2016; and in 2017, she became Wellness and Student Life (WSL) Action Committee’s Programming Coordinator and then Chair. She will be joining AMSA for her second term as Chair of the WSL Action Committee.
Coco’s goals for WSL are to focus on wellness, self-care, and self-love this year by disseminating resources across chapters to enhance and improve the AMSA community of educators, students, physicians, and many more individuals. She hopes that WSL will be able to increase transparency between patient and physician by humanizing the physician experience and creating a dialogue to help all members of the health care team heal, change, and move forward. In her free time, Coco enjoys going on photo-adventures, hiking, and trying out new foods with her friends.
Hannah M. Hendrix
Hannah graduated from Wright State University in 2018 with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and will begin medical school at the Ohio State University College of Medicine this fall. She is passionate about medical education and women’s health. To take a break from studying, she enjoys singing, baking, and reading long series of novels–Terry Brooks’ Shannara series is a current favorite!
Gender & Sexuality
Ashi is a senior at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She is studying Public Health, Biological Sciences, and Entrepreneurship & Innovation. Ashi is passionate about ameliorating underlying barriers and disparities that prevent oppressed and vulnerable populations from accessing tools to live healthy and happy lives. Specifically, she is an activist as a part of the menstrual movement; she is passionate about reducing preterm birth and infant mortality in Detroit, raising awareness about trans health, and addressing sexual assault on college campuses. Detroit–the true American city in her eyes–has fueled her passion to target these challenges and serve her community.
LGBT Advocacy Coordinator
Sarah Spiegel is a third-year medical student at New York Medical College. She served as president of the LGBT Advocacy in Medicine club at NYMC during her second year of medical school. As president she helped pioneer curriculum reform to include LGBTQ health throughout the pre-clinical years, started an LGBTQ student-faculty mentor program, and helped to organized free HIV/HCV screening events both at NYMC and the local homeless shelter.
Sarah obtained a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology at Connecticut College and went on to achieve a masters in synthetic organic chemistry at Boston University. She worked in the biotech industry on developing targeted nanoparticles for chemotherapy delivery for two years before attending medical school. She is a passionate advocate for the LGBTQ community and hopes to use her position as a medical student and as AMSA LGBTQ Advocacy Coordinator to further improve LGBTQ content in medical education and serve the community.
Roxanna Orozco Stapleton
LGBT Programming Coordinator
Roxanna is a second-year pre-medical post-baccalaureate student at American University in Washington, D.C. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Washington in Psychology and in Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies. Before pursuing a path towards medicine, she worked as a mental health counselor and case manager in a psychiatric hospital. This experience led her towards a path in medicine, where she hopes to always highlight the potential disparities in health care accessibility and safety for minority populations.
As a pre-medical post-baccalaureate student, Roxanna and a group of her cohorts decided to start an AMSA chapter at her current university to help other post-bac and undergraduate pre-medical students. Serving as the Director of Media and Recruitment, she works closely with the president and Director of Diversity and Inclusion to create an helpful and inclusive space that will aid students in their medical school journey. As the Gender & Sexuality LGBT Programming Coordinator, she hopes to bring LGBTQ+ issues and concerns in health care and medicine to the forefront in order to foster a healthy and welcoming space for students and members of the community.
Women’s Advocacy Coordinator
Pranali is a premedical student studying Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University. She aspires to pursue an MD/MBA degree and transition into Hospital Administration after practicing medicine for several years. Her medical interests lie in neurology and gynaecology but her dream is to open a revolutionary hospital in India, her home country, which not just focuses on physical healing but also mental, emotional, and spiritual healing.
She has served with AMSA National as a leader before and undertook the project of making a short film about ‘Empathy in Healthcare’. She is also a hard-headed feminist and an advocate for women’s health care and for that reason will be serving as the Women’s Advocacy Coordinator for the 2018-2019 year.
Women's Programming Coordinator
Abigail is a premedical student studying Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University and is also pursuing a certificate in Biomedical Research and a minor in Genetics. She was inspired to take on a national leadership role after working in a women’s health clinic and noticed disparities in women’s health that she hopes to push change for. Abigail hopes to become a surgeon one day and possibly work for Doctors Without Borders. She is excited to work with AMSA and Gender and Sexuality Committee and make the most of her time as an undergraduate.
Mary Ella Wood
Mary Ella is a fourth-year medical student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed her undergraduate degree in Biology at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, CA. During her undergraduate studies, she volunteered as an EMT at a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, monthly–an experience that sparked her passion to pursue a career in global health. In addition to spending time in Tijuana, she has traveled to many other countries to learn about their health care systems including Guatemala and Argentina most recently. She has a particular interest in refugee medicine, women’s health, and sustainability in global health practices.
Outside of her medical studies, Mary Ella writes for her blog, Mod Med. Through her blog, she intends to empower people to work towards their dreams as she writes about becoming a doctor in this day and age. She also writes about controversial issues in medicine and global health as well as maintaining a balance while having a career. Mary Ella ultimately wants to pursue a career in obstetrics & gynecology. She hopes to work with people around the globe to collectively improve health care practices, increase access to medicine worldwide, and advocate for global women’s health issues.
Luke is a third-year DO/MPH student at the Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine. He is an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve, being a recipient of the Navy’s HPSP Scholarship. He has a BA from the University of Alabama, where he majored in Theatre and minored in Biology and Sociology. Luke’s AMSA debut was as Fundraising Committee Leader for his school’s chapter, where he sold pen lights to raise money for the chapter. Because of his dedication to the job, he quickly developed a reputation around his school as “the pen light guy.” This is how Luke found his home at AMSA, and he is excited to develop a new reputation around the country as “the Global Health Advocacy guy.”
Luke is a native of Dothan, AL, where his school is located, and he is very passionate about bringing more high-quality primary care to the region. He is a fan of the Alabama Crimson Tide and the New Orleans Pelicans; his favorite book is Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov; and he holds the (very correct) belief that pineapple does go on pizza.
Ann is a second-year medical student at the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine. She is originally from Northern Virginia and graduated from the University of Richmond with a B.A. in Health Care Studies. In college, Ann studied abroad in Switzerland, which sparked her passion to pursue a career in global health. Her first semester there was with the SIT Global Health and Development program in Geneva, where she completed a capstone project on the U.S. and Swiss health care systems. Ann then spent her second semester at the University of Lausanne, while interning at the World Health Organization’s Program on Emergency and Essential Surgical Care. She also got involved with IFMSA, an international medical student group, participating in their PreEuRegMe reproductive health workshop, which led to her interest in becoming more involved with AMSA. Ann hopes to pursue a career in primary care and global health. As Global Health Programming Coordinator, she is excited to work with new people who share the same passion for improving health care around the world.
Race, Ethnicity & Culture in Health
Luis Carlos Perez
Luis is a rising fourth-year medical student at Baylor College of Medicine from McAllen, Texas. Luis completed his undergraduate degree in finance at the University of Texas-Pan American, where he also focused on his government minor and second degree in Biology. During his undergraduate education, Luis interned at the U.S. House of Representatives, where he engaged policy daily. With this knowledge and experience, he is driven to be an advocate for patients and physicians through both government and advocacy organizations.
Back in Texas, Luis is an active member of several advocacy organizations where he also serves as an officer. Luis also conducts research on health disparities and the actions at the hospital and state level that can decrease these disparities. Another passion of his is teaching–Luis currently teaches health advocates in the community who then educate others, and serves as a mentor to undergraduate students interested in medicine through the Premedical Honors College at UTRGV. He joins AMSA for his third year as Chair in the Race, Ethnicity and Culture in Health Committee.
Catherine Lucci Alfuin Reyes
Catherine is a Guam native raised in Texas. She completed her undergraduate studies in Nursing and Biology at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. In college she was a Research Coordinator for clinical trials, most notably coordinating Phase III trials. After graduating she worked as an ICU nurse delivering direct patient care and as a Research nurse facilitating in Evidence-based medicine. This will be her second year as an AMSA member and the Advocacy Coordinator for the REACH committee. Her experience continues to fuel her passion and motivation to expand her knowledge for caring and treating her patients by becoming a physician.
Timothy (Tim) is a pre-medical student taking a gap year before applying to MD programs this summer. He graduated from Texas A&M University with a Biomedical Science major. He has been involved with his local AMSA chapter since freshman year. As an undergraduate, he hosted seminars for AMSA and brought in health care professionals to inform medical and pre-medical students about relevant health care issues in the U.S. Additionally, he held an executive board member position in the Minority Association of Pre-Medical Students. There, he worked to support future underrepresented minority pre-medical students and increase the number of clinically excellent, culturally competent and socially conscious physicians. He also works as a medical scribe in an underserved rural medical clinic, learning about many health disparities the community faces.
Tim’s passion is advocating and working with underrepresented minorities in health. He believes that the first step to establishing diversity and inclusion in health care is empowering future health care professionals. As the REACH Programming Coordinator, he looks forward to promoting cultural competency and diversity in health care.
Nicole currently attends the Medical University of Lublin and dreams of merging Eastern and Western medical practices harmoniously. She was initially introduced to this idea when she interned at the UCLA Center for East-West Medicine and saw firsthand how Medical Doctors, Acupuncturists, and Massage Therapist can work simultaneously together.
As a University of California, Davis, graduate with a B.A. in Design and having completed her pre-medical requirements at the University of California, Los Angeles, Nicole’s non-traditional background has given her a unique vision on what type of practitioner she would like to become. For the past two years, Nicole has served as a Course Director for the Integrative Medicine Scholars Program and hopes to expand the growth of the Scholars Programs as the AMSA Academy Chair through positive change and encouragement. On her spare time, Nicole likes to listen to music, journal, and practice yoga.
Sonya Parashar, MD
Sonya Parashar is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine, where she will also be an incoming internal medicine resident. She received her B.A. in Biology and Ancient History from the University of Pennsylvania. In her free time, she can be found reading, learning how to cook, listening to podcasts, and planning trips to national parks.
Rachel is a senior at the University of Houston, pursuing degrees in Biology and Psychology, with minors in Spanish and Medicine and Society. As an undergraduate, she performed research on CD8+ T-cell phenotypes in pediatric patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and Lupus Nephritis at Baylor College of Medicine. In her free time, she enjoys arts and crafts, singing with an all-girls A Capella group on campus, and spending time with family and friends.
Throughout her undergraduate career, she has enjoyed volunteering as a mentor for refugee students in Houston through the Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees (PAIR), and served as the President of the PAIR-University of Houston Chapter. She attended the Clinton Global Initiative-University 2017 Conference with her team members to develop a summer program aiming to provide reproductive health workshops to refugee high school students. She is committed to studying and improving child wellness, and hopes to gain a broader understanding of current issues in health care while serving on the Editorial Advisory Board for The New Physician magazine this year.
Robin Ulep, MD
Robin is a Neurology resident at the University of Virginia. She is a recent graduate from the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School with an international medical background from both Brisbane, Australia, and New Orleans, Louisiana. She graduated with honors from Brown University, where she majored in Biology with a focus in Physiology and Biotechnology. As an undergraduate, she contributed to the Brown Daily Herald and performed in the female spoken word group, Archipelag-a. Following graduation, she joined Teach For America as a high school Special Education teacher.
Robin has been a contributor to The New Physician magazine for the past three years and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the past year. She is excited to be joining the Editorial Advisory Board again this year. Her interests include medical education and exploring the humanities in medicine. She hopes to encourage more international medical students to engage in dialogue about social issues in medicine.
Aquila is a third-year medical student at Saint James School of Medicine. She graduated from Niagara University in New York with a B.S. in biochemistry and two minors in psychology and biology. During undergraduate, she conducted research on metabolite concentrations in various breast cell cancer lines. Through her local AMSA chapter, Aquila has logged over 100 hours of providing vital sign screenings to underserved communities in the West Indies. She is passionate about mental health and hopes to obtain a residency in psychiatry.
AIDS Advocacy Network
Keanan is a fourth-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine. He graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) in 2014 and got his Master of Public Policy from UVA in 2015. He is passionate about social justice, access to medicines, and infectious disease. Keanan plans to do an internal medicine residency and provide primary care to an urban, underserved community.
Megan is currently pursuing an M.D. at Johns Hopkins University and believes strongly that health care is a human right. Megan is researching infection in ECMO patients through the Cardiac Surgery Fellowship in the historic Blalock Cardiac Surgery Lab at Johns Hopkins. She is also pursuing pediatric neuro-intensive care research on traumatic brain injury.
As an undergraduate at Clemson University, she pursued a degree in biochemistry with minors in modern languages (Spanish) and political science. Setting her sights on a career in medicine and policy, she founded and was the president of Clemson’s AMSA chapter. Through her involvement in AMSA, she rallied on Capitol Hill and met with local congressmen on issues related to health care, specifically access to care for those who are HIV positive. Her past research projects have spanned a variety of fields from biochemistry to anthropology to political science. She has volunteered abroad in Peru, Nicaragua and rural Uganda. These interactions, coupled with her own personal experiences, intensified her desire to help serve those who lack access to health care as both a physician and leader of policy change.
Med Students for Gun Safety Campaign
Martha ``Mattie`` Renn
Mattie is a second-year medical student at Columbia University who graduated from the University of Chicago in 2016 with a BA in Cellular and Molecular Biology and a minor in Human Rights. While in college, she got involved with teaching opportunities on the South Side of Chicago and biophysics research. Now, in med school, she is passionate about interprofessional education, gun violence prevention, improving mental health and wellness amongst medical trainees, and supporting children separated from their families following the recent Family Separation Policy.
Mattie is new to AMSA and is incredibly excited to connect with the AMSA family on issues surrounding gun violence prevention and firearm safety. In her free time, she loves to bake cupcakes, watch Chopped with her friends, ice skate, and sing ’90s pop hits as loudly and off-key as possible.
Vishnu is a second-year medical student at the Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2014 and received his Master of Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy from Yale School of Public Health in 2017. Vishnu is passionate about the health and education of children and adolescents and is an aspiring pediatrician.
Health Care for All Campaign
Sreya is a fourth-year medical student at VCU School of Medicine. She strongly believes that universal access to quality, affordable health care is a right, and credits her time at her undergraduate institution, University of California, Berkeley, to strengthening her resolve regarding social advocacy and the actions an individual can take to effect change. She has been involved as a leader of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) at her home medical institution and hopes to continue to fight for the rights of her patients long into her medical career.
Janae is a first-year medical student at A.T. Still University’s School of Osteopathic Medicine in Arizona. She studied Biology as well as Politics and Government with an emphasis on health care policy at Pacific University in Oregon. She was inspired to pursue advocacy in health care policy as a future physician after learning about other health care models around the world that result in better health outcomes. She is passionate about guaranteeing quality and affordable access to health care services for all. She previously worked as a medical scribe, EMT, and medical screening coordinator which provided insight into the high administrative costs and poor preventative care incentives in our current system. She hopes to become a surgeon that provides compassionate care and emphasizes the importance of the social determinants of health in patient care.
Hanan is currently a senior pursuing a B.S. in Public Health at Wayne State University with departmental and university honors with intentions to receive an MD/MPH. She is passionate about fighting social injustice and health inequity and is a mentor and activist for disadvantaged populations, specifically those in her community. She has traveled to Washington D.C. multiple times to stress the importance to legislators for equity in health care. Her legacy has always been to make an impact and be a leader for the MENA population. Growing up in Dearborn, Michigan, a city with a large Arab immigrant population, she has faced many limitations based on gender stereotypes. She fights to advocate for the underserved minorities and is reminded daily of her goal to be a renowned advocate for her community in healthcare. Hanan is determined to break the stigma for Arab women to inspire others to do the same.
Just Medicine Campaign