Positive STRIDES Recognition Program

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 announce a new recognition and reward. The new NYITCOM Positive STRIDES Program was developed from the recommendation of the NYITCOM Diversity Work Groups and collaboration with the new NYITCOM Inclusion and Diversity Committee. This exciting new program provides the NYITCOM community (students/faculty/staff) an opportunity to nominate and recognize those 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 accepting nominations now!

How it works

The program provides a new forum for the NYITCOM community allowing you 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 (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.



Previously Recognized Members


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.