Student of the Month
Every month, one student is nominated by their peers from each class for altruistic spirit and commitment to service. We extend our warmest congratulations to:
Thomas Richter, OMS-IV
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Nomination Quote: "Tom has been incredibly helpful to myself and other 3rd years. He has spent many hours giving us tips on how to best approach 4th year and prepare ourselves to be strong candidates for residency. He pulled no punches in using his resources to help us out. He personally set me up with a childhood friend of his who is at a residency program I am looking at. Tom has been a phenomenal mentor and friend the entire time I've been at Touro. He helps a lot of his peers and underclassmen feel much better about the daunting nature of medical school. He is a selfless mentor who goes above and beyond to help others out. Thank you for your time and consideration."
Krista Rounds, OMS-III
Hometown: Whitesboro, NY
Nomination Quote: "I am currently rotating at Oneida Hospital with Student Doctor Rounds. I had a meeting with a hospital administrator who raved about how professional, courteous, and hard-working Krista has been with all of her preceptors. She has received amazing evaluations and has gone above and beyond to help her colleagues. She was very helpful in helping some students decide where to go for their 3rd year rotations, and has been a constant source of support for many of her friends. She is one of the few students who are consistently present for student didactics, and shows respect for all members of the hospital staff. Nominating Student Dr. Rounds for student of the month is long overdue. She has my full endorsement for this recognition, and I hope your committee feels the same."
Melissa Zahl, OMS-II
Hometown: Point Pleasant, NJ
Nomination Quote: "Melissa has been an absolute Allstar in the Touro Community. She organized a number of phenomenal events as the President of ACOS as well as several others including charitable organizations like ORSI. She has always excelled at organizing community events whether it be for charity, education, or fun, but fortunately they are usually all of the above. Bake sales, bowling, surgeon guided dissections, trivia, raising awareness and funds for charity, she has found a way to bring the students of our school together in so many ways. This has been especially important considering how scattered and isolating many of the years of our education has been. Not to mention that she's just an incredibly nice, smart and helpful person. I'm honestly surprised she hasn't gotten SOTM before."
Kimberly Brafi, OMS-I
Hometown: Highland Mills, NY
Nomination Quote: "Kim is one of the most incredible people I've ever met. The passion and spirit she brings to the classroom is contagious and inspiring. When beginning my time at Touro, I was nervous to raise my hand an ask questions, daunted by the expectations of medical school and what other students and faculty might perceive as silly. Maybe without realizing it, Kim set an example for the entire class that there is no shame in asking questions and even after an explanation, admitting that you are still confused. It made me open up as a student to participate by both asking questions and contributing answers. My learning experience and hunger for knowledge was immensely heightened by realizing the friendly and supportive environment I was in, thanks to students like Kim. She taught me to make the most out of my education and never sit back when I know I need more assistance. Not only is Kim so determined to succeed, she is determined to help others do the same. A quality I so wrongly did not expect from my peers amidst the medical school admissions process. Each day Kim sits amongst the class helping others understand concepts and work through tough problems. I am so in awe of her undying drive and kindness that this nomination was a no brainer..."
Jennifer Rose, MS
Hometown: I grew up in Las Vegas, NV but moved to South Florida in high school. My family now lives in Lake Worth, FL
Nomination Quote: "Jenn is an outstanding student and friend! Even when she is dealing with so much she always finds the time to check in on her friends. She has helped numerous people in her class with difficult physio topics, serving as sort of a pseudo TA. She also always goes to class in person and is an active participant with both the professors and fellow students. She is truly a ray of sunshine and a dedicated student."
Giftty Obadan, OMS-II
Hometown: Houston, Texas
Nomination Quote: "Giftty always goes out of her way to help others; I have seen her countless of times helping students in the anatomy lab. She is patient, flexible, assertive and humble. She sacrifices so much of her personal time to put Power Point together for TA review. She is always willing to go over materials and help find ways to enjoy our journey at Touro. She has a great passion for anatomy and does an amazing job at sharing her knowledge.
Furthermore, she is the best mentor one can ask for always a text or a phone call away always ready to help or find the best approach to take moving forward. Giftty possess the many qualities a mentor should have. An enthusiastic and empathetic person, she provided honest feedback and take time to support when necessary. She is truly invested in the success of her mentee and I appreciate having her as a mentor."
James Goldin, OMS-I
Hometown: Monroe NY
Nomination Quote: "James has SAVED our class many times with technical issues. Whenever the a professor (or student) has a technical issue, James jumps out of his seat and is always willing to help. He stays with the professor until the problem is fixed. With our transition to Zoom/hybrid lectures, there have been many challenges. James has attended every class in person to make sure that our classes are running smoothly. He has helped almost every professor in one way or another- from setting up the clickers, to helping Dr Braun get Zoom to recorded and helping just about every professor with the notorious mic issues. He has been doing this since the fall semester and has really been an asset to everyone during remote learning. We are very thankful for James and his willingness to help with any tech issues. He is ALWAYS willing to help, goes above and beyond to make sure our classes are successful. You will often hear students calling out for "JAMES" whenever their is a technical issue and James always helps with a smile! THANK YOU JAMES FOR ALL OF YOUR HELP and keeping us going during these challenging time!"
Emily Bueti, MS
Hometown: Brewster, New York
Nomination Quote: "Emily is always kind and willing to help everyone. She's always full of enthusiasm for everything we do and always has a super positive attitude. She is a true joy and ray of sunshine. We can always count on her to find ways to make us smile and encourage us the best way she can."
Santino Patrizi, OMS-III
Hometown: New Hyde Park, NY
Nomination Quote: "You cant go wrong choosing Santino for student of the month. Former President of ortho club and VP of SSP, [he] is out there saving lives everyday with the ambition of becoming the best ER doc..."
Simal Ali, OMS-II
Hometown: Horsham, PA aka “just outside of Philly”
Nomination Quote: "Simal is such a passionate advocate of lifestyle medicine. She is an outstanding leader for our new LMIG and has worked so hard to establish a brand new club that we have been recognized by the national American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) - our national parent organization as an outstanding new chapter. She is a pioneer in establishing a club with new structure that allows all our student leaders to follow their unique passions in lifestyle medicine and I truly believe she will make a difference at our school and in our local community."
Rachel Madore, OMS-I
Hometown: Milford, CT
Nomination Quote: "Rachel is an inspirational student to work and learn beside. Her warmth and charisma reach far beyond just the OMS - I class. She is a mentor for both MedAchieve and AMWA, as well as a volunteer for the Warming Station. Her determination and passion for social justice drive her work ethic and will be the key pillars of her career as a patient-centered physician. She is involved in research on campus which focuses on women’s health and is a proponent for inclusion and diversity - most importantly she puts these values into practice during each interaction with professors, colleagues, and peers. I know my medical journey thus far would not be filled with the same amount of laughs if it weren’t for her friendship (and her adorable puppy Herbert, who is basically the therapy dog for Touro COM)!"
Hannah Forman, MS
Hometown: Washington, DC
Nomination Quote: "Hannah is one of the most hardworking people I know. You can always find her in the library for some quiet studying together, and she is always happy to talk through confusions with you."
Nicholas Lupano, OMS-III
Hometown: Waldwick, NJ
Jonah Duran, OMS-II
Tegan Gallina, MS
Christian Rafla, OMS-III
Nomination Quote: "..is incredibly humble...and is the best candidate for this honor and I'm sure he would appreciate the recognition for all of his hard work."
Herisha Shah, OMS-II
Nomination Quote: "Herisha organized the rotations panel for 2nd year students and helped organize the Warming Station holiday decoration. She did a phenomenal job with both initiatives that benefit Touro students and the Middletown community."
Imanni Welcome-Laing, OMS-I
Nomination Quote: "I believe Imani should receive student of the month because she is a kind soul. She makes each and every student feel like they are family by embracing them with hugs and smiles. She is currently speaking on behalf of student’s mental health. She is working with Ms. Lenora in figuring out different activities and outlets for students to improve the mental health of our student body. I believe she should receive the student of the month award because she had helped many students during their hardest time in this semester by offering support and quality time."
"She’s always positive and one of the hardest workers I’ve ever met!"
"She is a very kind person and I always see her making sure that everyone is doing okay. She really lights up my day!"
Shaikh Wahid, MS
Nomination Quote: "Each time I see him in the hallways of the library he always is smiling and is so friendly to everyone in the class. He’s always offering to help, and that is something that I appreciate in this tough program."
Angela Ho, OMS-III
Nomination Quote: "Angela Ho has been an advocate and an example for first generation students interested in medicine. She has been a presence in the online community that continues to inspire others to pursue their path in medicine. She is very easy to talk to and is very responsive despite her busy schedule."
Andrew Bertollo, OMS-II
Nomination Quote: "Andrew has been an amazing TA in both Physio and OMM not only working with first years in group TA reviews, but dedicating significant time to working with students individually and in small groups to aid our understanding of the material. He is incredibly patient and thorough in his explanations, even when balancing his own academics. Thank you Andrew!!"
Benjamin Rourke, OMS-I
Nomination Quote: "Goes out of his way to help out his community. Always friendly."
Desiree Raymond, MS
Nomination Quote: "She has shown great leadership abilities."
Hemaxi Desai, OMS-IV
Nomination Quote: "She has always gone out of her way to help others whether it be her peers or patients more than any other student I have seen. As medical student liaison at GHMC this past year, she always made sure that students felt heard and were getting the most optimal education during clinical years as well as preclinical years as a TA to immunology and OMM."
Jolie Brustein Cotler, OMS-II
Nomination Quote: "... [Jolie] is doing everything that she can to use her knowledge to help other students succeed during their time at Touro. She has gone above and beyond in her newfound role as a a TA in Anatomy by meeting with students over zoom, over the phone, in Z space, or in any other way that she can...
Beyond that, Jolie also worked tirelessly to hand match so many of the OMS-I and Master’s students to their mentors. She put so much time and effort into matching individuals with the hopes that the mentoring program would allow for individuals feel connect to the community at Touro...
Jolie ...has done so much to help students within the LGBTQIA+ community feel not only welcomed, but has allowed them to begin to recognize that they are crucial members of the community at TouroCOM and that they have a safe space to be their true selves as they pursue their passions for medicine....she was so excited to get to talk to first years during their orientation about pronouns. This served as a major jumping off points for many students to learn about being an open and accepting physician and community member, and it was the first time that a talk like this was ever given to incoming students during orientation!.."
Mohammad Farooq, OMS-I
Nomination Quote: "He has gone above and beyond to make sure that their classmates accommodated the best they could to their new lives as med students. He always answers questions with a smile and sacrifices free time to help others. He was on top of his responsibilities as class rep for anatomy and made sure there was no stone left unturned as far as exam info we needed and requests/questions from fellow students."
Jacob Sonnenklar, MS
Nomination Quote: "Always polite, always reminds everyone when quizzes are due, when we are off for classes, etc... Very nice person, love to have him around."
"Jacob is always providing resources whether it be videos, mnemonics, pics, etc that are beneficial to our classes. He's always sending encouraging or motivational messages to keep everyone in our class going!"
"He is always sharing resources and motivating our class!"
"His good morning text and almost daily reminders really help the class out! Always send out resources and lending a hand to class documents and sharing."
Chidumebi Nwokolo, OMS-IV
Nomination Quote: "she has worked tirelessly with organizing this year's Match Day, graduation, and for helping her fellow students through the SOAP and scramble. She has advocated for her fellow students, speaking on our behalf to the Dean's and Provost in order to obtain a graduation gift. She has also been working extensively to create SOAP & scramble guides so that following years will have the advising necessary to meet these challenges. While she did not act alone in these endeavors, and the work of her fellow students both here at Middletown and Harlem has been extensive, I think that her breadth of participation makes her shine above and beyond the rest."
Brenten Marshall, OMS-III
Nomination Quote: "Brenten is one of the most selfless and humble students in our class. He takes the time to help everyone in our subgroup and other groups as much as he possibly could. He has great work ethics, and I learn a lot from his interactions with physicians, residents, and patients. He is always willing to carry the load of work and he does it well with a good spirit. Working with him in rotations is always an absolute pleasure."
Ubaidat Abdul-Rahman, OMS-II
Brittany Zaita, OMS-I
Aaminah Jamal, MS
Shreya Prashar, OMS-IV
Nomination Quote: "She is a fantastic future family doctor. Very caring and attentive to her patients. Always ready to help those around her even while juggling lots of things in her personal life. She is an example of humanism in medicine."
Shriraj Patel, OMS-III
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Life Before Touro: Prior to coming to Touro, I was an undergraduate student at the University of Richmond. Here, I explored the Civil Right’s movement’s origins and the lasting social implications of the freedom struggle of the mid-20th century in Richmond, Virginia. I understand that this history has had reverberations in the field of medicine; NEJM calls “race and medicine” a public health and human rights crisis. I am dedicated to using this understanding to influence the way I practice medicine in a positive manner as a future physician.
Favorite Quote: “I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
Childhood Dreams: I learned quickly that professional basketball was not possible.
Hobbies: After entering medical school, I have a newfound appreciation for free time that I can spend with friends and family; I enjoy spending time with these loved ones traveling, hiking, playing sports, and all other outdoor activities under the sun.
Fun Fact: I was disc jockey in college who went by the name DJ Spindian.
Nomination Quote: "He goes above and beyond what is expected of him as a classmate and student doctor. Every week he reminds his colleagues if they need to present during morning report....He acts as a spokesperson, and is willing to speak up about ways to improve the rotations... All of the attendings hold him in high regard and take his comments seriously... He is a great representation of Touro and receives high remarks not only from attendings, but from patients as well. While on his IM rotation, he had 4 patients list him as the provider who made their stay most enjoyable...."
"He goes out of his way to help his fellow classmates. He also started helping all the second years that got Oneida rotations site.... and has been also helping with vaccination clinic there. I follow him in the Oneida in our schedule site and most patients have great things to say about him."
Tina Anjali Jagtiani, OMS-II
Nomination Quote: "Tina strives to always be active and supportive to all community and club events. She plays a major role as the SSP president - organizing and leading several service and club events while always being a mentor and supportive classmate to others. She is selfless, caring, and understanding. She always puts 110% into everything she is doing."
"Tina is extremely hard working and dedicated. As president of SSP, she engages in countless activities to better the community!"
"Tina is so selfless, smart, and an all-around amazing student. She is very involved in school and the community."
"She is a leader, an excellent student and a wonderful peer. She goes above and beyond with everything she does. Not only is she the president of SSP, but she is also a TA for biochemistry and physical diagnosis. On top of her extracurriculars, she is a fantastic student that excels in the classroom. She is truly one of a kind and absolutely deserves to get Student of the Month."
"Tina always goes above and beyond to put others first."
Negar Heidarpour, OMS-I
Hometown: Laguna Niguel, CA
Life Before Touro: I am a proud daughter of two amazing Persian American immigrant parents. I was born and raised in Iran. When I was 12 years old, my parents packed their bags and moved across the world to give me and my brother the opportunity to have a better life and the chance to make our dreams reality. Fast forwarding a couple years… I completed my undergrad at University of California Irvine. After graduation I worked as a tutor at the community college near my house all while volunteering at the hospital at Newport Beach. Shortly after I became the Department Coordinator for the Emergency Department where I worked with our team of volunteers to assist the hospital staff and the patients.
Favorite Quote: “I stand on the sacrifice of a million women before me thinking what can I do to make this mountain taller so the women after me can see farther” – Rupi Kaur
Childhood Dreams: To be a violinist at the Philharmonic Orchestra.
Hobbies: Painting, reading Persian poetry with my dad, hiking and trying different sour candies.
Fun Fact: I started threading eyebrows when I was 16 years old and I took it as a professional job throughout my college to pay for my college expenses.
Nomination Quote: "Negar is always willing to help and support anyone. She has a thirst for knowledge and efficiency that is like none other. She is charitable, kind and present. I admire her ability to support and advise any and every person she comes in contact with. She always says, “if you aren’t helping people, what are you doing.” She embodies what it means to be a physician and friend.
"She is so helpful and always willing to lend a hand! She is sacrificial and always willing to give encouragement and kindness!"
Tru Huynh, MS
Hometown: Hoai an, Vietnam/ Dallas, Texas.
Life Before Touro: I worked at Walmart pharmacy for 14 years and have been busy with family and community as usual. It was nothing special for me until Touro College accepted me into the Master's program.
Favorite Quote: "Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm." - Winston Churchill.
Childhood Dreams: To be a gardener or a farmer.
Hobbies: Play guitar, drum, and sing, tender the garden, play soccer, watch cartoons, and play chess.
Fun Fact: I am a 55 year old student at Touro College in Middletown, NY.
Nomination Quote: "He is always enthusiastic and unfailingly optimistic about what we are learning and about life in general. He always has a smile on his face, and he has the most generous heart. He will not hesitate to offer his help to a struggling peer, and will do so for no other reason than wanting to be of service to another individual. He truly embodies all of the qualities of a fantastic future physician."
Brittany Kramer, OMS-IV
Hometown: Seoul, South Korea/New York City, NY
Life Before Touro: Prior to Touro, I was a psychology major and studio art minor at NYU. I love art and wanted to make it a part of my college education. I was also an ROTC cadet and then commissioned as a Army Medical Service Corps Officer. I also worked a phase 1 clinical research assistance in immunotherapy at MSKCC. On the weekends, I worked as a brunch bartender for a French restaurant in Williamsburg.
Favorite Quote: "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucius
Childhood Dreams: I really wanted to fly
Hobbies: photography, reading, video games
Fun Fact: I co-founded a literacy nonprofit organization, Start Lighthouse in response to widespread school and library closures last March. It’s been incredible to see my passion project come to life.
Faraz Eshaghi, OMS-III
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Life Before Touro: Before Touro, I faced continual discrimination in my birth country, which denied us educational opportunities because of our religion. After years of mistreatment, my family fled the country. I was grateful for the chance to live and study in a free society that respects people of all races, backgrounds, and religions. I graduated UCLA in 2013. After I graduated undergrad, I started working multiple jobs to help my family with the rent until I started Touro’s Master’s program in 2017.
Favorite Quote: “Do you know why front windshield is so large and the rear-view mirror is so small? because our past is not as important as our future, so look ahead and move on.”
Childhood Dreams: When I was a child, felt sad about the fact that I would not be able to live my dreams, so I wanted to be ninja turtle (Michelangelo) to get freedom we deserved, but that didn’t go as planned.
Hobbies: I enjoy playing basketball and surfing. I also love learning new languages.
Fun Fact: I'm a great dancer or at least I think I am.
Elizabeth Price, OMS-II
Hometown: Elmhurst, IL
Life Before Touro: I was born and raised on deep dish pizza (it is NOT pie!) in the Chicago suburbs. I attended college in Ithaca, NY, where I fell in love with rural New York for the first time. I moved back home for my gap year to work at Northwestern and got engaged, and was ecstatic when NY took me back again for medical school!
Favorite Quote: "Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think." -Christopher Robin
Childhood Dreams: I have wanted to be a doctor for as long as I can remember. When I was 10, I underwent a series of surgeries at the Chicago children's hospital, and have wanted to be a pediatrician ever since!
Hobbies: I love to hike, volunteer, make puzzles and travel.
Fun Fact: I am Disney obsessed, so I always name my pets after Disney characters. I currently have a fish named Hercules and a cat named Simba!
Andrew Bertollo, OMS-I
Hometown: Kinnelon, NJ
Life Before Touro: I completed my undergrad at Rutgers while working in EMS and primary care community health programs in multiple hospital systems around New Jersey.
Favorite Quote: "If you always worry about falling off your bike, you’ll never get on in the first place” -Lance Armstrong
“Homer has a question…” -Dr. Binstock
Childhood Dreams: To cycle across the country from coast to coast and to visit every national park in the country.
Hobbies: Woodworking, pyrography, hiking, camping, cycling.
Fun Fact: I have 10 siblings and live on a little farm on a Girl Scout Camp.
Khadija Malik, MS
Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
Life Before Touro: Graduated from CUNY Brooklyn College & then was a senior scribe at an urgent care for over a year.
Favorite Quote: “Too many people spent their lives performing a role they thought they were supposed to play as opposed to simply being who they were” - Nicholas Sparks
Childhood Dreams: To be a doctor (boring, but factual haha).
Hobbies: Mainly reading
Fun Fact: I'm an adventure junkie and absolutely love diving into new sports/ activities and traveling, but I recently realized that without knowing how to swim, my options for adventures are limited. So I finally signed up for swimming classes with my friend and will begin learning how to swim next week. No more drowning experiences for me (hopefully).
Stephens Griner, OMS-III
Hometown: Valdosta, GA
Life Before Touro: After graduating from undergraduate, I worked as a cook in a nice restaurant and also a tech at a mental health hospital. These jobs instilled a great work ethic, and I met many great people that I still call friends today. Working at the mental health hospital was the first time I experienced healthcare firsthand, and I count it as a very formative time.
Favorite Quote: “I’m not superstitious, but I am a little stitous” - Michael Scott
Childhood Dreams: Currently living it, I was always interested in science and am so grateful I have the opportunity to be a physician.
Hobbies: I enjoy playing and watching soccer, attempting to learn how to play the guitar, and more recently, I found that I enjoy playing chess.
Fun Fact: Something people may not know is that I am half Italian. My mom is from Naples, Italy, and I enjoy visiting my family there when I can.
Anh Pham, OMS-II
Hometown: Winnetka, California
Life Before Touro: My biggest dream growing up was to be a pediatrician, so I spent much of my time working with children before coming to Touro. In college, I worked at a daycare and tutored first graders. I taught small groups of ninth-grade students at City Year. I also really enjoyed volunteering and shadowing at a pediatric hospital for five years.
Favorite Quote: “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” - Walt Disney
Childhood Dreams: kindergarten teacher, ballerina, pianist, writer
Hobbies: Traveling, running, playing the piano, reading, baking, writing short stories
Fun Fact: When I was 9, I wore a pink outfit instead of the allowed uniform to my first violin concert, where I played in the first row of the string section.
Nikoloz Gvetadze, OMS-I
Hometown: Tbilisi, Georgia
Life Before Touro: I graduated from Kennesaw State University with Bachelor's in Exercise Science in 2017. I worked as an EMT until I was accepted to Touro's Master's Program.
Favorite Quote: “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” ― Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go!
Childhood Dreams: To be a Maiar overseeing MiddleEarthTown.
Hobbies: I enjoy baking. I started with cheesecakes mainly and then proceeded to cookies and pies. Hopefully, I will open up a bakery one day. I am also an avid fan of Lord of the Rings, and I am looking forward to The Silmarillion story being adapted into a TV show.
Fun Fact: I broke only one bone in my entire life: the zygomatic bone.
Serena Young, Masters
Hometown: Aberdeen, NJ
Life Before Touro: I graduated from the University of Delaware in 2020 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. All 4 years, I helped organize arts and crafts for the children at the local Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Hospital. I absolutely adored the children there and got some pretty big hugs too. I didn’t get to end my senior year as planned, but onto new adventures :)
Favorite Quote: “Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning how to dance in the rain.” Although a cliché quote, I live by it wholeheartedly
Childhood Dreams: I wanted to be an orthodontist because I thought braces were exciting with all the color options to choose from. It is safe to say, braces were not as fun as I thought, and I changed my career path accordingly. Oops
Hobbies: weightlifting, hiking, trying new recipes, and dancing around the house
Fun Fact: I have visited 39 out of the 50 states, and my goal is to hit all 50
Soma Deall-Williams, OMS-II
Hometown: Queens, NY
Life Before Touro: Life before Touro was centered around my career as a Registered Nurse for 5 years within the health systems of U-Penn and Jefferson Health engaging in cancer research, working in a Bone Marrow Transplant Unit and caring for individuals in a medical surgical setting. There is a certain sense of exhilaration that flows through me when I enter a hospital, as odd as that may sound, I feel content knowing that this is the environment for which I need to serve a purpose. These experiences and my desire to expand upon my educational foundation fueled my decision to pursue becoming a physician.
Favorite Quote: I have 2 of them - "Play by the rules, but be ferocious." "Don't let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning."
Childhood Dreams: To have a big happy family of my own, to be in the medical field, to give back to and take care of the best parents a kid could have
Hobbies: Shopping, bonding with my husband, cooking, baking, playing with makeup, pampering myself, relaxing at the beach
Fun Fact: I've been learning how to tattoo for the past 4 years through the teachings of my husband :)
Nicholas Gatto, OMS-I
Hometown: Warwick, NY
Life Before Touro: I've had a long and winding road on my path to medicine, but it was all worth it to get where I am now. I was born in Ohio, but I've lived in Brooklyn, Boston, and Jersey City and now I've never been so glad to be back home in Orange County, NY. My background is mainly Biotech and IT, but I've dabbled in all sorts of things.
Favorite Quote: "There's nothing on my horizon except everything. Everything is on my horizon." Dwight K. Schrute
Childhood Dreams: Video game tester (or really anything involving video games)
Hobbies: Technology, Film/Television, Video Games, Cooking, Travel (once upon a time), Gardening, Hiking, and Spending time with my cat Keiko, dog Nacho and especially my wife Keri. I love tinkering with technology, I built my desktop computer, and love experimenting with new hardware and software. Shoutout to the 3D Printing Club, let's make something incredible!!!
Fun Fact: I was an extra in the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (A soldier in Season 3 Episode 1, get a magnifying glass and don't blink). It was a crazy experience to see what goes into even a short scene. They took a whole day of production to amount to about 5 minutes of usable footage. Every scene you see on screen is probably the most usable take out of 20+ shots. Something as small as a car alarm or a sneeze is enough to make the shot unusable. So much of the audio is added in post production that they ask people to pretend to clap on set instead of actually clapping.
Kacper Bury, Masters
Hometown: Valley Stream, NY
Life Before Touro: I got a B.S. in Biology with minors in Gerontology and Chemistry at SUNY Oneonta in 2019. During my time at SUNY Oneonta, I had the opportunity to scribe in the local E.R. while also being the President of the E.M.S. department. During my gap year, I scribed in an orthopedic office for a knee and shoulder surgeon and ironically tore my ACL in the first couple of months of working there.
Favorite Quote: "It ain't about how hard you hit. It's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That's how winning is done!" -Rocky Balboa
Childhood Dreams: My dream was to work in the sanitation department as a garbage man. I was fascinated about how the trucks were able to pack everything into their storage units (I still am if we're being honest) and I found it super cool when the workers held on to the back of the truck going from bin to bin.
Hobbies: Videogames, snowboarding, and soccer. I love the adrenaline rush that comes with all of these hobbies whether it’s trying to win Warzone, racing down a snowy mountain, or going one on one with the last defender.
Fun Fact: Growing up, my first language was Polish. While my parents were teaching me this language, I would teach my parents the English that I learned in pre-school. In high school, I was an assistant teacher in a Polish school and taught younger kids how to speak Polish fluently.
Mark Wesolowskyj, OMS-III
Hometown: Downers Grove, IL
Life Before Touro: I graduated from Loyola University Chicago and then went on to work as a simulation technician for Loyola University’s nursing and medical schools.
Favorite Quote: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”-Theodore Roosevelt
Childhood Dreams: I wanted to become a doctor.
Hobbies: Playing golf and other sports, watching movies, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Fun Fact: I speak Ukrainian fluently and growing up I went to Ukrainian school in Chicago every Saturday, graduating at the top of my class.
Alexa Walsh, OMS-II
Hometown: Washingtonville, NY
Life Before Touro: I graduated Mount Saint Mary College in 2018 and joined the MS program the following fall!
Favorite Quote: “Real Gs move in silence like lasagna” -Lil Wayne circa 2010
Childhood Dreams: Always wanted to be a narcotics investigator like my dad...safe to say that didn’t work out.
Hobbies: I love to draw!
Fun Fact: I live on a farm here in Orange County, NY.
Kathryn Munson, OMS-I
Hometown: Centreville, VA
Life Before Touro: I was a registered nurse on active duty in the Navy for 10 years where I worked mainly trauma and emergency room. I was assigned to multiple duty stations all over the US. I also was stationed in southern Spain for 2 years. In addition, I deployed to Afghanistan from 2009-2010, working with mainly British and Danish health staff at a level 2 trauma hospital. I was selected for LCDR but left active duty in 2017. After that, I worked for a year as a clinical research nurse at the National Institutes of Health in support of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. I then went back to ER nursing so I could work shifts around my classes at Georgetown as I worked toward an MS in Epidemiology.
Favorite Quote: Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.
Childhood Dreams: To become a Tornado chaser (heavily influenced by the movie Twister).
Hobbies: true crime podcasts and spoiling my cat
Fun Fact: I've donated over 40 inches of hair to Children With Hair Loss
Sheeva Bahrampour, Masters
Hometown: Franklin Lakes, NJ
Life Before Touro: I studied Kinesiology and Chemistry at Temple University in Philadelphia and graduated May 2020.
Favorite Quote: "Anyone can cook." -Ratatouille
Childhood Dreams: My childhood dream was to become a doctor (unsurprisingly), and briefly, to become a paleontologist.
Hobbies: I love to bake and cook, and I've begun to teach myself how to knit, as well.
Fun Fact: I can and will pick out the perfect watermelon from the grocery store every time.
Megan Crants, OMS-IV
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Life Before Touro: I double majored in cognitive science (with concentrations in neuroscience and philosophy of the mind) and creative writing at Johns Hopkins University, then did a post-baccalaureate premedical program at University of Rochester for one year, then worked at an addiction treatment center in Chicago for two years. It's been a long journey and I've loved every minute of it!
Favorite Quote: "Dwell in possibility," - Emily Dickinson
Childhood Dreams: : I love creative writing so I always wanted to be an author as a child. I still hope to pursue writing throughout my medical career.
Hobbies: Creative writing and science writing, electric guitar, piano, photography, recreational volleyball, rock climbing, and tennis.
Fun Fact: When I was young my family had a big fish tank that HGTV filmed for a feature on home aquariums. I spent hours and hours studying about all the coral and fish so that I could give educated TV interview answers, but the only footage of me that they chose to air was a clip in which I was imitating a cleaner shrimp happy-dancing while eating his breakfast.
Anthony Song, OMS-II
Hometown: Midlothian, VA
Life Before Touro: Prior to Touro, I had the pleasure of living/working in Silicon Valley and exploring a bit of the West Coast. During the application process, I came back home to be a full-time nanny to my newborn niece and had the honor of being with her for the first 8 months of her life.
Favorite Quote: "Keep your head up in failure and your head down in success." - Jerry Seinfeld
Childhood Dreams: To be a paper salesman.
Hobbies: Spending time with family and friends, eating, playing sports, and watching Messi play soccer.
Fun Fact: Cookie Monster's real name is Sid.
Troy Moody, OMS-I
Hometown: Poughkeepsie, NY
Life Before Touro: BS in Biochemistry and Philosophy Minor at SUNY New Paltz. Attended Roy C. Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, NY where I was very active in their theater club, Masque and Mime. Trained for 10 years in TaeKwonDo, earning my 2nd degree blackbelt at age 14 and taught for 4 years.
Favorite Quote: “Luck is when hard work meets opportunity.” - David Foster
Childhood Dreams: To be an astronaut or to be a super spy. To be 007 in space was ideal. Also to teleport - all the travel with no waiting.
Hobbies: Hiking, Yoga, Weight Lifting, Video Gaming, Reading, Running, Cooking
Fun Fact: I broke my left foot when I was 13 years old just proximal to my growth plate. If I was an adult I would have needed surgery. Luckily I only had a cast, then a brace for 8 months. Called a Lisfranc injury, it was common in the Revolutionary/Civil War when soldiers fell off their horse with their foot caught in the stirrup. Now my left foot is a full size smaller than my right.
Athena Masi, Masters
Hometown: Egg Harbor Township, NJ
Life Before Touro: I was living in Philadelphia, PA working for Charles River Labs as a Formulations Technician for about a year before I moved here to Middletown, NY. I loved every second of my job and even got to help with a few of the Covid-19 drugs.
Favorite Quote: “If you don’t sacrifice for what you want, what you want will become sacrificed.”
Childhood Dreams: To become a pediatrician and focus closely on children with special needs.
Hobbies: I love to run and snowboard. When I need to de-stress I prefer to deep clean my whole apartment. I also love to cook and I bake amazing breads. I believe I have perfected banana bread and pumpkin cheesecake bread.
Fun Fact: I love to travel! I lived in Peru for a few months and also have traveled to Guatemala and Haiti to help communities in need and hope to always be able to do this.
Mackenzie Kimball, OMS-II
Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan. Go blue!!
Life Before Touro: Before my life at Touro, I attended NYU and proceeded to transfer to and graduate from the University of Michigan with a degree in Neuroscience. When I wasn’t in the library, I spent most of my free time working as a print fashion editor for an all student-run fashion and pop culture publication at the University of Michigan, called SHEI Magazine; creating photo shoots and comfortable spaces where I could help make all types of people feel and look beautiful, added a healthy, creative balance to my science-heavy course load. I also worked as a scribe, which gave me loads of experience writing SOAP notes!
Favorite Quote: My favorite quote might initially sound cliché, but my grandma used to sign every card with “Peace. Love. Laughter.” It is simple, but something I strive to live by each and every day. (The quote also has 17 letters, which is crazy to me... stay tuned and read my fun fact to find out why!)
Childhood Dreams: For as long as I can remember, I told my mom I wanted to be just like Dr. Green-Lee, my pediatrician, because she is so kind, smart and comforting. I yearned to exude that type of excellence one day and help people like she helped me grow into the woman I am today. Let’s just say, it was very difficult for me to switch to an adult primary care physician! Although, I did always dream of becoming an actress or fashion designer... maybe I'll tackle those after medical school!
Hobbies: I enjoy hiking, attending sporting events, visiting museums, making fun mnemonics for all the things we have to remember, dissecting in anatomy lab, listening to crime podcasts and dressing up to visit fancy restaurants around town.
Fun Fact: My maternal grandma gave birth to 17 kids in 20 years!!
Livingston Graham, OMS-I
Hometown: Boca Raton, Florida
Life Before Touro: I worked as a research assistant for Florida Atlantic University. I helped develop Raman-based experiments designed to teach undergraduate students’ fundamental chemical concepts. I also worked as a pharmacy technician for 4 years while taking care of my brothers and sisters.
Favorite Quote: "When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor."- Elon Musk
Childhood Dreams: Biomedical Engineer! I wanted to design medical devices to help improve lives then I decided to become a doctor.
Hobbies: Building computers, Watching TV, Hiking, and Cooking.
Fun Fact: I enjoy the ketogenic diet!
Mohammad Farooq, Masters
Hometown: I was raised in Bensalem, PA
Life Before Touro: I completed my Masters of Public Health from West Chester University during the summer of 2019, and went on to work for a hospice company. Unfortunately, after the COVID pandemic struck, the company was forced to shut down. I was able to find work as scribe in the Emergency Department for Nazareth Hospital, where I saw just how badly COVID was hitting greater Philadelphia. It only helped solidify my commitment to medicine.
Favorite Quote: "Intelligence is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad"
Childhood Dreams: I wanted to be a Pokémon master, but being a doctor is the next best thing.
Hobbies: I love cooking. Give me a recipe and I'll make it happen.
Fun Fact: I made a spontaneous trip out to California last year to see a friend where we rented a car to Yosemite the next morning
Trent Williams, OMS-III
Hometown: Washingtonville, New York
Life before Touro: I worked at Regeneron pharmaceuticals making drugs (monoclonal antibodies) for Phase I, II and III clinical trials.
Favorite Quote: "Test by test, patient by patient, you’ll do your best to help others"- Conor Moloney
Childhood Dreams: I wanted to become a doctor or a pro snowboarder.
Hobbies: Golf, soccer, snowboarding
Fun Fact: I grew up twenty minutes from Touro and have three sisters.
Rochenarda Joseph, OMS-II
Hometown: Miami, Florida
Life before Touro: Living my best life somewhere on South Beach. Actually I was busy working towards my goal of gaining admission into medical school. After obtaining my bachelor's degree, my resilience led to me completing two masters degrees. I am passionate about health disparities that plague minority communities and knew that I could make an impact as a minority physician.
Favorite Quote: "Beware of destination addiction: The idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, or even with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it will never be where you are."
Childhood Dreams: Krusty Krab manager
Hobbies: Supporting my friends/family as they pursue their goals, sleeping, makeup, shopping, interior decorating, reading, and of course studying for boards.
Fun Fact: If I am eating dry food and it gets wet, then I can't eat it. Example: my sandwich has too much mayo or my taco becomes moist. Game over.
Dajana Borova, OMS-I
Hometown: Cliffside Park, New Jersey
Life Before Touro: Before Touro, I worked as a research coordinator at Weill Cornell Medicine. This was one of my favorite jobs because not only did I learn so much about research and medicine, I had the opportunity to meet some really great people.
Favorite Quote: “When you can’t change the direction of the wind — adjust your sails.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.
Childhood Dreams: As a child, I dreamed of being an actress, but I also had a huge passion for medicine and science. I pursued the more realistic dream, given my lack of acting skills. Maybe one day I can become a medical advisor for a television show to realize both of my dreams!
Hobbies: Yoga, watching Netflix, going on long walks, hanging out with my nephews.
Fun Fact: I learned how to ride a bike when I was 22 years old!
Anna Tran, OMS-III
Hometown: Frederick, Maryland / Northern California
Life before Touro: I have a degree in agriculture and I worked for the USDA for a few years counting cows as a statistician. I've since been a teacher, doula, and stay-at-home mom.
Favorite Quote: I believe it was Sir Issac Newton who said, "If I have seen further, It is by standing upon the shoulders of giants." This is a good reminder to me that we don't function alone. Everything that we accomplish is due in part to someone else's work. I can say the same about medical school. I am very grateful for those at Touro, both faculty and fellow students, who supported me when I needed it, enabling me to progress as a person and a future physician.
Childhood Dreams: I never wanted to be a doctor or astronaut like most others in medical school. When I was a child I always wanted to be one of those people who guided airplanes on the tarmac with what looked like at the time to be giant "glow sticks". In reality, the job as a ramp agent is very demanding and the airlines are very lucky that I didn't become one, because I have a hard enough time parking my car at times!
Hobbies: Making pizza (I have a wood burning oven), gardening, spending time with family, collecting books
Fun Fact: I belonged to a ghost hunting team before coming to Touro. I joined the team on a whim thinking it would be a good way to meet new people. The team leaders were very serious about their craft, buying thousands of dollars worth of monitoring equipment. We didn't catch anything too wild but enough happened that left me scratching my head.
Karolina Bezdickova, OMS-II
Hometown: Central Valley, New York
Life before Touro: 2018 Stony Brook graduate. Go Seawolves!
Favorite Quote: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.” -Albus Dumbledore
Childhood Dreams: Visit all 7 Wonders of the World- I have been to 3 so far!
Hobbies: I enjoy skiing and hiking in my spare times
Fun Fact: I am fluent in Czech.
Philip Eber, MS
Hometown: Manalapan, New Jersey
Life before Touro: I received my Bachelor of Science in Biology, from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Madison, NJ. During my time there I was a member of the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society. I was a volunteer in the Emergency Department at Morristown Medical Center. I was also a brother of the Sigma Chi Fraternity where I served on the executive board acting as the Fundraising & Philanthropy Chair, helping to raise thousands of dollars for the Huntsman Cancer Institute. I also had the privilege to serve a 2nd term on the executive board as the Alumni-Relations Chair.
Favorite Quote: "Sometimes all you need is just for somebody to believe in you in order to be able to accomplish maybe what you never thought you could" - Drew Brees
Childhood Dreams: I grew up playing football and swimming. Initially, my childhood dream was to become an Athletic Trainer for a professional sports organization. Through volunteering and shadowing, I found medicine to be my true passion and began to aim my focus towards a career in medicine.
Hobbies: When I am not studying my hobbies include just relaxing with my family and friends down by the shore. I enjoy playing video games and listening to music.
Fun Fact: A fun fact is that I used to be a College Swimmer at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Alex Heglin, OMS-II
Hometown: Yankton, South Dakota
Life before Touro: I got my degrees in Medical Biology and Finance at the University of South Dakota and my master’s degree in Microbiology and Immunology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. I was a bioinformatics researcher at USD, mostly focusing on medulloblastoma.
Favorite Quote: “A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
Childhood Dreams: Since my mom is a radiologic technologist, I have always wanted to become a radiologist (although my kindergarten time capsule said I wanted to be a “racecar”).
Hobbies: Hiking, cooking, camping, music, knitting, assembling IKEA furniture.
Fun Fact: I play 13 instruments. I played piano in a jazz concert with Bob Mintzer, percussion in a concert with Frank Zappa’s bassist, and trombone and bass for 10 musicals throughout high school and college.
Andrew Bell, OMS-I
Hometown: Marlboro, New Jersey
Life before Touro: After graduating from Monmouth University, I worked as a behavioral therapist for children with developmental disabilities and I created a 3-D printing business that made inexpensive devices to help children with ADHD. During this time, I also worked at Ocean Medical Center in NJ as a scribe and I suffered from a very complicated GI illness that I struggled with for years. I was unable to apply to medical school for a while because of this, but after a little help from my friends and physician mentors, I recovered. I began working as a music therapist for adults struggling with addiction and a tutor for anatomy/physiology while I finally had the chance to prepare my application
Favorite Quote: “Be content with what you have; rejoice in the way things are. When you realize there is nothing lacking, the whole world belongs to you.” – Lao Tzu, Tao De Ching
Childhood Dreams: I wanted to be a hero and save the world from disaster.
Hobbies: Philosophy, playing guitar, cooking, research, tabletop Dungeons and Dragons
Fun Fact: Growing up, I was in a hardcore metal band that played about 40 shows around the northeast.
Jessica Kroner, Masters
Hometown: Tomkins Cove, NY
Life before Touro: Ever since being diagnosed at the age of 5 I have been actively involved in JDRF, an organization on the forefront of research, and a community for those living with Type 1 Diabetes. This is where my passion for healthcare and helping others (especially children) began. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in Biology from Franklin & Marshall College. During my time in undergrad I worked as an EMT, taught second graders science, worked in a research lab, and was actively involved in Jewish Life on campus.
Favorite Quote: "Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light" - Albus Dumbledore
Childhood Dreams: My dreams to become a physician started with a strong desire to become a pediatric endocrinologist to help cure Type 1 Diabetes. As I have explored the field of medicine and gained new experiences my passion for the pediatric field has remained strong, although my interest in a particular specialty continues to evolve.
Hobbies: Traveling, family time, baking and taking naps.
Fun Fact: The furthest place I've traveled is Okinawa, Japan, where I stayed on a U.S. military base for 4 weeks
Joshua Malinis, OMS-II
Hometown: Manila, Philippines
Life before Touro: I was an immigrant from the Philippines who went to Aurora university an hour away from Chicago. Through that school, I was exposed to community service and have developed a passion for service. My love for science and community service have resulted in me pursuing a career in medicine first as a nursing student, then an ER scribe, and eventually a medical student.
Favorite Quote: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13
Childhood Dreams: I have always aspired to become a scientist. My interest of learning about the sciences has been a deep passion of mine, especially medicine, physics, and engineering. I remember fondly of breaking stuff to see if I can put it back together. Watches were particularly intriguing due to their refined engineering qualities.
Hobbies: Playing video games, watching movies, hiking, and cooking.
Fun Fact: When I first arrived in America, I had a Filipino accent on my English. Now, I have an American accent on my Filipino.
Matthew Cosciello, OMS-I
Hometown: Seymour, CT
Life before Touro: I came to Touro straight out of my undergrad at Hofstra University, where I obtained a bachelor’s in Biology and lived a busy life as an EMT, peer teacher, resident assistant, and orientation leader.
Favorite Quote: “You didn’t come this far, only to come this far.”
Childhood Dreams: My grandmother was a nurse, and the stories she told me as a child inspired me to go into medicine. In high school, I started shadowing surgeons and anesthesiologists, who further inspired me to pursue being a doctor.
Hobbies: I love to snowboard, travel, work out, and I also play guitar and piano in my spare time.
Fun Fact: I can solve a Rubik’s cube in under a minute!
Anthony Guccione, OMS-II
Hometown: Dedham, Massachusetts
Life before Touro: I graduated from Saint Michael's College with a Biology Major and a Chemistry Minor. After college, I moved to Middletown, NY to live with my fiance and then worked as an ED scribe at St. Luke's Cornwall Hospital and Orange Regional Medical Center.
Favorite Quote: "Work hard in silence, let your success be your noise."
When I was little I always wanted to be: I wanted to be a Spy Kid, but realized it wasn't a real thing so I moved on to be a soccer star. When I realized I wasn't really athletic, I decided that I wanted to be a doctor.
Hobbies: Skiing, playing with my dog Bailey, eating diner food.
Fun Fact: I snowmobiled 50 miles through Yellowstone National Park where I saw a white wolf and bison.
Monica Mikhael, OMS-I
Hometown: Detroit, Michigan
Life before Touro: I went to Michigan State University, GO GREEN! I worked as a scribe for 3 years and managed and baked donuts for my father's shop. I received my Master's degree from Touro College in 2019.
Favorite Quote: "Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens." -Gibran Khalil Gibran
When I was little I always wanted to be: I always wanted to be a power ranger but after numerous applications I was denied that dream. So, I settled for the CIA.
Hobbies: Sketchy Micro, basketball, soccer, tennis, dabke Lebanese dancing, movies, traveling.
Fun Fact: I am fluent in Arabic.
October & November 2019
Alexandra Timberlake, OMS-II
Hometown: Rochester, New York
Life before Touro: I graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2015 with a double major in Biochemistry and Psychology. I then graduated from Roswell Park Cancer Institute with a Master’s in Cancer Science. After that, I went on to work at Unity Hospital in Rochester, NY working as a Patient Care Technician on the Cardiac-Stroke unit for a year before being accepted to TouroCOM.
Favorite Quote: “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”
When I was little I always wanted to be: I always wanted to be a veterinarian, but I think around high school I changed my mind and decided I wanted to be a physician.
Hobbies: I like to run. A lot.
Fun Fact: I was on the swim team during college and have some pool records in different events that are still standing today.
Ubaidat Abdul-Rahman, OMS-I
Hometown: Clifton Park, New York
Life before Touro: Before Touro I was a phlebotomist for a year, and I conducted breast cancer research at the GEN*NY*SIS center for Excellence in Cancer Genomics.
Favorite Quote: “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince
When I was little I always wanted to be: I always wanted to become a doctor.
Hobbies: I like reading, hiking and badminton and playing candy crush.
Fun Fact: If I wasn’t doing medicine, I would be a baker.
Jayson Lowery, OMS-II
Hometown: Crestview, Florida
Life before Touro: I had the honor of serving in the U.S. Army. I retired in 2013 as a Chief Warrant Officer after 20 years of service.
Favorite Quote: “We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it.”
When I was little I always wanted to be: Medicine
Hobbies: Restoring vintage hand tools.
Fun Fact: I have an identical twin brother named Jeff who is a Hospitalist M.D. living in Leesburg, GA.
I am a world traveler and have been to many places such as: the Philippines, Mexico, Korea, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, Ireland, Hungary, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo, Albania, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Turkey, Kenya, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Egypt, Iraq, Afghanistan, Jordan, and the United Arab Emirates.
Tolulope Akinshola, OMS-I
Hometown: Silver Spring, MD
Life before Touro: I went straight from undergrad to the Master's program at Touro.
Favorite Quote: "Always remember you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and more loved than you know."
When I was little I always wanted to be: I always wanted to be a doctor, but I changed my mind to becoming a Marine Biologist. I changed it back when I realized I couldn't swim.
Hobbies: Cooking, traveling, reading, and listening to music.
Fun Fact: I was on an African Dance Team in college and danced in front of the new mayor of Philadelphia.
Aqsa Nadeem, OMS-II
Hometown: Yonkers, NY
Life before Touro: Before medical school, I was a biology and math teacher at a Catholic High School, preparing my students for the New York State Regents exams.
Favorite Quote: "Kindness is a Mark of Faith, and whoever is not kind has no faith" - Prophet Muhammad
When I was little I always wanted to be: To be a Doctor
Hobbies: Watching the Knicks lose, shopping, and going to the movies.
Fun Fact: During college, I was very interested in policy and law. I ended up working for the New York City Council and the office of the Borough President of Manhattan. One of the most interesting politicians I met during this time was Rahm Emanuel, the former Chief of Staff of the Obama Administration.
Simon Innabi, OMS-I
Hometown: Yonkers, NY
Life before Touro: I graduated from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology. In 2019, I received a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies in Biological and Physical Sciences at Touro College. During the program I gained knowledge and clinical experience that furthered my desire to pursue a career in medicine.
Favorite Quote: "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." -Jimmy Dean
When I was little I always wanted to be: I always wanted to be a doctor as a child.
Hobbies: I love playing all types of sports (especially football), drawing, and playing the drums.
Fun Fact: I love country music.
Abigail Dominguez-Trujillo, OMS-I
Hometown: Miami, Fl
Life before Touro: I worked for Florida International University’s NeighborhoodHELP program providing free healthcare services to the underserved communities of South Florida. This experience showed me the importance of giving back to our community and the impact I would like to make as a future physician. On my free time I enjoyed soaking up the sun and enjoying the life and culture Miami has to offer.
Favorite Movie & TV Show: Elf & The Office
When I was little I always wanted to be: a veterinarian
If I wasn't a doctor I'd be: a police officer
If I could be a fictional character I'd be: One of the cooks from Harry Potter. Lets be honest, they do not get the credit they deserve.
Alexa Walsh, Masters
Hometown: Washingtonville, NY
Life before Touro: I graduated in May from Mount Saint Mary College and started at Touro a few months later!
Favorite Quote: "Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together" -Marilyn Monroe
Favorite TV Show: Law and Order SVU
Jermeen El-Zabet, OMS-I
Hometown: Woodridge, IL
Life before Touro: I graduated from Benedictine University in 2016. I worked four different jobs during my two years off, three of which were not related to medicine.
Hobbies: reading, teaching myself new languages, and learning about the history of art, poems, manuscripts, etc.
Fun fact: I was born and raised in Egypt, and I moved to the US at the age of 16. Before then, I lived in a pyramid and rode a camel to school (just kidding).
Favorite Quote: “It wasn't meant to be... Or, maybe, it was meant not to be.” ~ Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
If I could be a fictional character I'd be: Elastigirl
Nezar Zeidan - Masters
Hometown: Hauppauge, New York
Life before Touro: I worked as a PCA at St. Francis Hospital and spent my free time volunteering as an EMT
Favorite Quote: "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take. Wayne Gretzky" - Michael Scott
When I was little I always wanted to be: A detective
If I had super powers I'd pick: the ability to be in multiple places at the same time
I could be a fictional character I'd be: Sherlock Holmes
Susie Ghobrial, OMS-II
Hometown: Niagara Falls, NY
Favorite Quote: “"Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult life"- Bruce Lee”
Favorite TV Show: It's a Tie between House/Bloodline
When I was little I wanted to be: A pharmacists
If I could be a fictional character I'd be: Woody from Toy Story
Chidumebi Adaeze Nwokolo, OMS-II
Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria
Life Before Touro: I got my undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering from Oral Roberts University after which I worked for a year as an Emergency Department scribe at the University of Maryland and got an MPH with a concentration in Community Health and Development at Emory University.
Favorite Quote: “April showers, bring May flowers”
If I had super powers I’d pick: Telekinesis
Hobbies: Brunch, Fiction reading, Prose writing, Bargain shopping, Singing loudly to music and Cooking