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Positive STRIDES Recognition Program

In an effort to recognize outstanding members of our NYITCOM community who make Positive STRIDES in making our college a better place in this world, we are pleased to provide a special recognition program. The NYITCOM Positive STRIDES Program was developed from the recommendation of the NYITCOM Diversity Work Groups and collaboration with the NYITCOM Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. This exciting program provides the NYITCOM community (students/faculty/staff) an opportunity to nominate and recognize those outstanding members of our community that complete good-kind-positive-inclusive acts that help make the NYITCOM community an even better and more positive place in the world!

We are now accepting nominations! Please provide specific examples and details when nominating an individual for this program. Thank you.

How it works

The program provides a forum for members of the NYITCOM community to nominate other NYITCOM community members for their good-kind-positive and inclusive act(s).

Click here to read full program details
Click here to nominate someone

Positive Strides Recognized Community Members (JUNE 2021)

Olivia Ballone, LI Campus, OMS II: Olivia regularly volunteers at the People Loving People Food Pantry of Oyster Bay, NY and recently organized a special Community Donation Drive for the pantry. Through her strong efforts, hundreds of personal care, health, and food items were collected from NYITCOM students for distribution to local community members. These needed supplies went a long way in helping clients of the pantry. In addition, Olivia personally delivered all of the donations to the pantry.

Bradford Carley, AR Campus, OMS II: Bradford received numerous nominations for his positive and entertaining efforts toward raising money for the St. Baldrick Foundation to fight pediatric cancer. His unique fund-raising strategies put smiles on many faces, and inspired over 100 people to donate, resulting in $2,200 raised! Throughout the initiative, Bradford proactively campaigned on his own, using social media to advertise the shaving off of his shoulder length hair. His Instagram posts included a variety of techniques including: song, dance, and even a speech. Despite being in the middle of a pandemic, his social media posts reached a multitude of his classmates—many of which he has still yet to meet in person. During this socially distanced year, Bradford's fundraising efforts were a special and enjoyable opportunity for the class to rally together for a great cause.

Saif Fiaz, AR Campus, OMS III: Efforts to implement the Arkansas #VaccinateNortheastAR Initiative required a number of AR campus students to step up and volunteer, and Saif always answered the call for participation. He consistently took a leadership role at numerous vaccination events and proactively helped train other student volunteers on the procedures for implementation of the vaccination events. Said an NYITCOM Administrator, "Saif is always willing to assist in whatever ways are needed and he is an outstanding team member."

Dr. Bianca Lee, LI Campus, Assistant Professor, OMM: Dr. Bianca Lee has been volunteering her personal time one day a week at Nassau University Medical Center to help give back to the public by overseeing and helping to provide COVID-19 immunizations to the community. In addition, she also teaches in the OMM Department two days a week, and is always willing to come in to help teach extra OMM sessions, and glad to stay after class to help medical students when needed.

Mairead Moloney, LI Campus, OMS III: Since skin cancer is so common, yet also one of the most preventable forms of cancer, this past March, Mairead decided to organize a Sun Protection Kit collection drive on campus to collect sunscreen, UV protection sunglasses, hats, and SPF lip balm for homeless women and children at Bethany House of Long Island, N.Y. Through her dedication and efforts over 70 complete kits and 100+ additional supplies were collected and donated. These donated kits and supplies are essential for individuals who may not have resources to purchase sun protection supplies or do not have easy access to a dermatologist for skin cancer screenings. This worthwhile initiative organized by Mairead was truly an excellent way for NYITCOM students to help give back to their local community.

Tenisha Roming-White, AR Campus, Assistant Director, Clinical Education: Tenisha received numerous nominations from colleagues, several noting her willingness to consistently work over and beyond the traditional schedule of Monday through Friday business hours to help and assist others. She is known for often answering her phone late at night and weekends. One colleague noted, Tenisha, aka 'Elmer', is the glue that keeps our department together. She happily assists colleagues and is noted as being selfless, consistent, thorough, and humble. Tenisha is constantly providing help to others. When called upon for her assistance, she is always pleasant, supportive, and available to help.

Breanna Stirewalt, AR Campus, OMS II: Along with the responsibilities of her studies as a new medical student, during the pandemic Breanna made time in her schedule to sew masks for those in need. In addition, she has also promoted community education about COVID-19 and safety protocols, and is constantly supporting her peers with words of encouragement, helpful study tactics, and delicious baked goods.

Mohamad Yasin, LI Campus, OMS IV: Mohamad has been working to create an application to help with the disabled population's accessibility to NYC parks, subways, streets, pharmacies and much more. To promote these efforts, Mohamad has helped film various locations with his GoPro Hero camera and upload them for further analysis. Even with his other time consuming commitments, including both family and medical school responsibilities, Mohamad always wants to help the disabled population and further assist them with their everyday activities.

Previously Recognized Members

March 2021

Brandon Burg, OMS III: In response to the unusual needs arising from the COVID pandemic, Brandon hosted a Technology Drive to collect used iPads, iPhones, and chargers which were then donated to local hospitals to help patients communicate with loved ones when in isolation during their hospital stays

Alexander Campbell, OMS III: Alex has proactively worked to help educate the public about COVID transmission and "best practices" for helping to keep healthy. After speaking at a community housing facility on the topic, he realized this information could not effectively help if the community members did not have access to face masks. He then decided to use his own finances to purchase 1000 masks for low-income individuals who were at high risk for serious health complications from the virus.

Scott Hinson, Academic Enrichment Specialist: Through his altruistic efforts within the community and at NYITCOM, Scott consistently helps many people in need, as exemplified through his recent tornado clean-up efforts, and numerous additional volunteering activities focused on benefiting others. He demonstrates a positive uplifting attitude and is consistently willing to help others.

Amanda Milburn, OMS III: Amanda has been working to create a dance therapy class for high functioning adults on the autism spectrum. She has been inspired by her love of dance to create this program in the hopes of promoting social development and fostering companionship through movement and dance. In spite of the challenges of the current pandemic, Amanda has been working to find creative solutions to bring her vision to reality.

Eilish Moogan, OMS I: Eilish was nominated by numerous individuals and praised for her exceptional kindness, supportiveness, and helpful outreach to her colleague medical students. She often provides guidance, emotional support, takes time to listen, and shares her study ideas, materials, and resources. She is a classmate that consistently goes the extra mile to help others.

Sarah Jane Muder, OMS II: In April 2020, Sarah started an initiative for NYITCOM students to write letters to home bound seniors. This effort resulted in over 600 cards being sent to seniors in nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Long Island, NY. In addition, in the summer of 2020, Sarah also organized a program with the Campaign Against Hunger in Queens, NY, for medical students to help build a community garden. This creative initiative promoted a sense of comradery between our medical students and the local community.

Danessia Villatoro, Patient Navigator: Always positive and helpful to patients and colleagues, Danessia started a diaper and baby wipe drive in the Family Health Care Center, and also created a community resources list to help struggling families in need.

Melody Young, OMS II: Melody consistently displays passion and dedication toward helping others. She recently organized a successful pen pal program between NYITCOM medical students and elementary school students. She also leads the NYITCOM Disaster Relief Partnership Group as the President, and has proactively worked on numerous community related events and fundraisers.

November 2020

Noora Khiraoui, OMS 1, is being recognized for helping to spread awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in medicine and the NYITCOM community by courageously bringing attention to disparities in our educational materials.

Ian Persits, OMS IV, is being recognized for creating and leading a group that collected PPE equipment for hospitals in Queens, NY during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matthew Heller, D.O, Assistant Professor, is being recognized for being a very strong role model and advocate for NYITCOM students and for proudly representing NYITCOM within our community.

Aurel Apple, OMS IV, is being recognized for founding the Long Island, NY organization, Meals from Med Students, which coordinated meal deliveries to local hospitals for healthcare workers serving on the frontlines during the early stages of the COVID19 pandemic. Aurel's proactive fundraising efforts resulted in thousands of dollars being raised and the delivery of over 4000 meals to healthcare workers in the New York area.

Randy Stout, PhD., Assistant Professor, is being recognized for his extensive efforts during the acceleration of the COVID 19 pandemic. Dr. Stout collaborated with faculty and staff across NYIT to work with hospital physicians and private sector experts to design and create ventilator splitters, PPE, bi-pap connectors, and face clips that were in critically short supply in hospitals in NYC and Long Island using 3D printer systems at the NYITCOM Center for Biomedical Innovation and throughout NYIT.

Sarika Hira, OMS, II, is being recognized for striving to identify a way to brighten the days of children affected by the COVID-19 virus. After presenting her idea to the ACOP chapter at NYITCOM, over 400 homemade cards were sent by medical students to brighten the days of children in the hospital.

Brady Stevens, OMS IV, is being recognized for his efforts toward promoting voter registration and political engagement within the medical professions. His recent efforts of helping to set up and train other medical students to work phone and text banks to provide voters with essential information were instrumental in making sure people were able to exercise their power to vote.