Student Ambassadors: Arkansas

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Madison Carter Headshot

Madison Carter


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Crossett, AR
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Arkansas (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians (ACOEP), American College of Osteopathic Neurologists and Psychiatrists (ACONP), American Medical Women's Association, Anesthesiology RSO, Wilderness Medicine RSO

I chose NYITCOM because: As someone who grew up in a medically underrepresented area of the Mississippi Delta, using a career in medicine to help the people of the Delta region is something that I am passionate about. I was drawn to the COM by its mission to serve the Delta and its faculty's welcoming demeanor. I knew right away that NYITCOM was the perfect fit for me.

NYITCOM is special because: One thing that stands out to me about NYITCOM is that the members of the administration and faculty truly want to get to know each student. During the first semester, we were given the opportunity to have lunch with the Deans from both Arkansas and New York campuses. They had a conversation with each student and encouraged us to continue working towards our dreams.

Future Plans and Goals: I am interested in a wide range of specialties, so I have not yet made a decision about which one I will pursue. No matter the specialty, I plan to practice in a smaller city here in Arkansas where I can get to know the people in my community and help create a sense of unity and friendship among its members. I want to make a positive impact no matter where I end up!


Colton Crain Headshot

Colton Crain


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: McKinney, TX
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Central Arkansas (Chemistry)
Clubs and Activities: As I am a new student and there is a pandemic, this is on hold. However, I have attended various Zoom meetings for many organizations.

I chose NYITCOM because: I was living in Conway, AR after I graduated from UCA and NYITCOM was a medical school that was not too far away. I knew quite a few students that were here already and I was able to learn a lot about this school through them. One of the main points almost everyone made was how kind and supportive the students and faculty are. I also got to see what the curriculum was like and I was very interested. This college's focus on the underserved communities shows that it practices what it preaches and I'm interested in helping these communities.

NYITCOM is special because: I think what makes NYITCOM unique, especially in Arkansas, is how diverse it is relative to nearby medical schools. There are people here from all over the country and the fact that there is a campus in New York and Arkansas amplifies diversity. Additionally, this college's mission to serve the underserved is a noble one and it makes me proud to be a part of it.

Future Plans and Goals: When I applied to medical school, I was mostly interested in surgery and neurology but completely aware that I will likely change my mind. While I am still interested in both of those fields, my mind has been opened up to a variety of different paths. I'm more interested in primary care than before as I see it as helping those that need help the most. While I am still interested in a surgery specialty, my mind is completely open to other fields.


Dillon Daniels Headshot

Dillon Daniels


ddanie01@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Hometown: Jonesboro
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Arkansas State University (Interdisciplinary Studies)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA - Pre-SOMA Co-Chair, SOSA, EM RSO

I chose NYITCOM because: I fell in love with the school on interview day, and I wanted to be able to stay close to family and friends.

NYITCOM is special because: Primarily the close knit and personal nature of NYITCOM and the opportunity it has provided me to further my education while still being in close proximity to my family and friends.

Future Plans and Goals: Currently, my interests in specialties right now are fairly broad but I'm most interested in General Surgery, Emergency Medicine, and Interventional Radiology. I'd like a career where I can be on my feet and actively using my hands just as much as my mind to treat pathology. After completing my training I see myself staying in the southern United States where I can be close to family and friends. I'd love to provide medical assistance to schools by offering free physicals to student-athletes as well as being on the sidelines of sporting events in case medical attention is required. This is something that the physicians in my community did and is a service that I would like to provide as well.


Lauren Davis Headshot

Lauren Davis


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: M.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Carrollton, TX
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Texas A&M University (B.S. Biology and M.S. Biomedical Sciences)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA member

I chose NYITCOM because: The main reason I chose to attend NYITCOM was because of the Student Ambassadors that I encountered on my interview day. They all had great things to say about the COM and the faculty, were very friendly, genuinely seemed to all get a long and were very welcoming.

NYITCOM is special because: All of the faculty is supportive and are all willing to assist you however they can.

Future Plans and Goals: As of right now I am interested in Family Medicine, but I am keeping my options open.


Kadee Dempsey Headshot

Kadee Dempsey


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: BS
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Columbia, MO
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Central Methodist University (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: SGA - wellness committee

I chose NYITCOM because: I choose NYITCOM because of how comfortable I felt on my interview day! I came from a small undergraduate setting and I loved that the Arkansas campus offered the same feeling. Also, all of the people I met on my visit were so welcoming and encouraging! I knew NYITCOM offered everything I wanted and more.

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM has quickly become my home! I have enjoyed being a part of a community that is so supportive and encouraging.

Future Plans and Goals: I want to go into rural medicine!


James Donohue Headshot

James Donohue


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: M.S.
Pronouns:
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Southern Illinois University (Physiology)
Clubs and Activities: Member of Student Osteopathic Surgical Organization, Christian Medical and Dental Association, and Student Osteopathic Medical Association.

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose NYITCOM at A-state because of all the positive reflections student ambassadors said about the school and campus on interview day. They described how invested faculty and staff are in our education. I strongly felt that I would not become another statistic in the medical school's history but rather receive the guided quality medical education I was searching for to become the healthcare leader I plan to be. Training in Jonesboro, Arkansas, also serves as the perfect location for a medical school. It allows service and practice in an underserved region and is secluded enough for me to focus on my education without the common distracts present in urban environments.

NYITCOM is special because: It cannot be said enough just how accommodating and friendly the staff are. Where other universities may be more concerned with research and statistics, NYITCOM and its staff are continually ensuring each and every student receives the best possible medical education they can offer. By willing to go above and beyond to ensure student success, despite even being in the middle of a pandemic.

Future Plans and Goals: After successfully obtaining my medical degree, although my intended plans have changed several times, and still may, I hope to pursue a residency position in general surgery followed by a one-year fellowship in acute surgical critical care. My girlfriend and I wish to move north for colder weather and to start a family. I would like to serve as a general surgeon and critical care intensivist for a smaller area hospital in whichever state my girlfriend and I chose, while also occasionally taking trauma coverage at the closest trauma center.


Logan Druessel Headshot

Logan Druessel


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Bloomington, IL
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Southern Illinois University Carbondale (Physiology)
Clubs and Activities: ACOEP, IMRA, SNMA, SOMA, SOSA, Sports Medicine, Wilderness Medicine

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose here over other schools because I felt like this was where I could thrive. I felt very welcomed on interview day and was excited to hear about all the different ways I could get involved in the community. The location has a similar size and feeling to that of my hometown. Jonesboro is not too far from where my family and friends reside and having that support system close by is a huge help.

NYITCOM is special because: The faculty are amazing and will do whatever they can to help you become a successful physician. Many of the Second Years are very invested in our success as well and have given us countless words of advice and tools for our success. Our administration has done an amazing job making adjustments due to COVID and I believe we are in a much better position than most medical students across the nation.

Future Plans and Goals: I am interested in Emergency Medicine and the surgical specialties, especially Orthopedics. Currently, I am wanting to practice in Tennessee.


Samira Fazli Headshot

Samira Fazli


sfazli@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: MS/MBA
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Dallas,TX/Toronto,ON
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Texas at Arlington (Biology) University of Texas at Dallas (MS in Healthcare Management and MBA)
Clubs and Activities: Morale Committee Rep for the SGA; First year liaison for the EMRSO; SOMA member

I chose NYITCOM because: When I came to the interview, I saw how truly warm and welcomed I was. It was also my top choice for school because of NYITCOM's strong academic record and longstanding respect in the medical community. I had done a fair bit of research about the NYITCOM prior to interviewing and applying and was thoroughly impressed with the positive feedback I saw online and from other people that knew about the school.

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM goes beyond simply teaching us medicine and OMM. The school focuses on teaching us to be good members of society and leaders in the community, so that we can not only help those that are in need of healthcare services, but also prevent members of the community from getting sick in the first place. They emphasize different aspects of medicine and community, especially in the Delta region, where the population is underserved and require our assistance in improving their outcomes.

Future Plans and Goals: I hope to practice emergency medicine in the future; however, I am open to learning about other specialties as well. My goal is to serve not only the underserved populations within the US, but also in other countries around the world for some time.


Andrea  Gamiz Solis  Headshot

Andrea Gamiz Solis


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Dallas, TX
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Texas at Austin (Neurobiology)
Clubs and Activities: LMSA RSO, Pediatrics RSO

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose to attend NYITCOM because I knew I wanted to be part of community that was supportive and united. This was evident with how students spoke of their peers, faculty, and staff. The students all seemed to know each other really well and everyone I met was warm and welcoming. During my interview, we spoke about transforming healthcare and advancing wellbeing for all, especially for vulnerable population in the Delta, through this conversation I learned that becoming a part of this program would allow to make a difference, teach me to incorporate leadership, medical knowledge, and social service to not only improve the health outcomes of my community but be an upstanding advocate for those facing health and social inadequacies.

NYITCOM is special because: Despite the fact that we don't all really know each other in person, given the situation we are in, the students really do look out for each other. The faculty and staff want us to succeed and want for our experience through medical school to be as smooth as possible. I have gained some great friendships that I know are going to help me through these next 4 years.

Future Plans and Goals: I really like ophthalmology, as it intersects multiple aspects of medicine that I enjoy. I am trying to keep an open mind and look forward to rotations. Ultimately my goal is to be a compassionate and empathetic physician serving the most underserved patient populations.


Makayla Goggins Headshot

Makayla Goggins


mgoggins@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Webb City, MO
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Arkansas (Kinesiology)
Clubs and Activities: American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians - member, Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA) - Public Relations Co-Chair

I chose NYITCOM because: From the moment I walked into NYITCOM on my interview day, I could feel something different about the environment this school held. It was immediately made clear to me how much the COM cared about its students, and how much the students cared about each other. NYITCOM holds osteopathic values at the highest regard while also giving a dedicated medical curriculum. These were both a top priority when choosing which medical school was the best fit. The quality of the community, in addition to outstanding academic program, were the final winning factors for me.

NYITCOM is special because: This first semester of medical school I have experienced has had its unique challenges because of the pandemic. A large challenge my class has faced has been not getting to know any of the faculty or fellow students face to face. Despite all of this, however, I have felt extremely supported from both the COM and my classmates. Although a lot of communication has been through email or zoom, it has been so reassuring to have constant updates and encouragement from many NYITCOM faculty. Even though my classmates and I mainly know each other through our phone screens, I can still feel the community environment that I know this school seeks when selecting its students.

Future Plans and Goals: My current plan is to become a pediatrician. I have always enjoyed working with children, but serving as a long-term volunteer at Arkansas Children's Northwest Hospital really showed me that my passion lies in pediatric medicine. I grew up in a town of about 10,000 people, and I loved the community aspect a small town like that provides. My goal is to be able to serve a small town similar to the one I grew up in where there is a need for more pediatricians.


Michael Habtemariam Headshot

Michael Habtemariam


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: BS
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Carrollton, TX
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Baylor University (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA research co-chair, Emergency medicine RSO, SOSA

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose to attend NYITCOM because of the academic environment it has created here, as well as the aspirations the COM has to provide quality healthcare to people in our country that are often overlooked and underrepresented

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM is special to me because it's located on an undergraduate campus which ends up creating a unique academic environment compared many other medical schools. The atmosphere of NYITCOM at Arkansas State feels very lively and energized, which motivates me to get up and study everyday

Future Plans and Goals: I am keeping an open mind and waiting until third year rotations to figure out what specialty is for me, but as of now I am very interested in Emergency medicine. I am also open practicing medicine anywhere life takes me!


Ashton King Headshot

Ashton King


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Collierville, TN
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Mississippi College (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: SGA finance representative, Research, Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA), Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), ACOEP- Emergency Medicine RSO, American Medical Women's Association RSO

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose NYITCOM because of their mission and their learning environment. I knew from reading about them that I already felt like I belonged there and then on my interview day it confirmed everything. The faculty and staff go above and beyond for us. Along with our normal curriculum, we are given many opportunities to expand our knowledge and provide for our community.

NYITCOM is special because: Not only is the faculty and staff cheering us on, but every student is working with you to help you succeed.

Future Plans and Goals: I am currently keeping an open mind for all fields, but have loved my previous experiences in surgery, obgyn, emergency medicine, and anesthesiology. No matter what specialty, I plan on serving my community to the best of my ability and continuing assisting in overseas medical mission trips.


Yashwanth (Yash) Makkapati Headshot

Yashwanth (Yash) Makkapati


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: M.S.
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Plano
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Texas at Dallas (Neuroscience)
Clubs and Activities: Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (First Year Liason), Student Government Association (Student Affairs Committee Class of 2024 Representative), Student Initiative in Medical Simulation (Academic Director), Pediatrics RSO, Osteopathic Military Physicians * I should note that Student Initiative in Medical Simulation is not official yet, we've just submitted the paperwork*

I chose NYITCOM because: Due to COVID, I unfortunately did not really have a chance to meet other students or visit the campus. I chose NYIT based on the location close to home, the prestige of the school, and because I heard from everyone I talked to or asked online about the school about the sense of community here. That was the most important factor to me, and I found my expectations exceeded upon coming here. Even though I'd never been anywhere to Jonesboro, I never felt alone amongst my classmates and friends that I've made here

NYITCOM is special because: The feeling that everyone cares about your success and is looking out for you is great. I get that vibe from everyone, students and faculty alike. It makes all of us more at home, more successful, and honestly just happier to know that you're part of a community. You can ask anyone around for help, and they'd go out of their way to make sure you're taken care of.

Future Plans and Goals: I want to be a general surgeon in the US Army. I have a strong interest in public health and health systems, so after my Army service I would love to pursue an MPH and work either in policy, education, or healthcare administration


Garrett McKamie Headshot

Garrett McKamie


gmckamie@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Texarkana, AR
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Central Arkansas
Clubs and Activities: SOMA, Internal medicine club, Wilderness medicine club

I chose NYITCOM because: I have always had a strong passion for the small town life. I had the option to leave Arkansas for both and M.D. and D.O. Program elsewhere. However, I knew that leaving Arkansas would never sit well with me. Farther away from my family and my 'roots' would make the hardest time of my life even harder

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM hads the small town atmosphere that has the ability to place you any where in the US you want to be

Future Plans and Goals: My end goal is to become an internal medicine physician in Texarkana and treat people in the environment that I was raised in


Tina Mirzakhanian Headshot

Tina Mirzakhanian


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): San Diego State University (Biology) San Francisco State University (Pre Health Professions Certificate)
Clubs and Activities: American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians, Social Medicine Certificate Program

I chose NYITCOM because: My parents immigrated to the United States from Tehran, Iran as refugees in the late 1980's. They worked tirelessly with a minimum wage wage to raise my sister and I. My parents did not attend school in the U.S and were unable to afford educational resources. Eager to pursue higher education, I was able to seek different educational opportunities such as a Pre Medical Enrichment program at University of California, Los Angeles or a Clinical Care Extender internship to gain clinical experience which helped pave my path toward the field of medicine. There were some challenging and difficult times through the years, including becoming a first generation college graduate. I knew I wanted to attend a medical school where I would gain the proper education and training to be able to work with minority patients or those who stem from under privileged backgrounds like myself. I chose NYITCOM because the institution's values fit mine and they truly believe in diversity and inclusion of all people.

NYITCOM is special because: When I decided to move 25 hours away from home, I knew it was not going to be easy. Moving from a big city to a small town was without a doubt a challenge, but I have adapted well. My transition was easier than expected because of the faculty and my peers that are always there for support when I need it. I am lucky to have a wonderful lab group and virtually meet other classmates here at NYITCOM. I can confidently say that I am comfortable and feel like NYITCOM is my 'home away from home.'

Future Plans and Goals: During my post bacc and gap years, I dedicated my time working with children. In San Francisco CA, I tutored at the Boys and Girls Club after school program. The students that attended this program were considered minority or underprivileged. Many of my students could not read at their appropriate level, could not solve simple math problems, and had bad behavior such as utilizing foul language. My experience working with the students was very special to me because I truly feel as though I made a difference in their lives. Several students lived with foster parents or their families provided no educational support at home and they never completed their homework. I created helpful tools to engage students in their academics and by the end of the year, students ran up to me as I entered the facility, shouting 'Tutor Tina, help me! Help me!' Those moments are ones I will always remember. In addition, I worked as a teacher's assistant and used Applied Behavioral Analysis to assist students with moderate to severe autism. Through this experience as a one-on-one assistant for children with Autism, Down's Syndrome, and Epilepsy, I gained a passion working with children with developmental disabilities. Furthermore, as I shadowed a Pediatric Neurologist at the Los Angeles County-University of Southern California Medical Center, which is considered a rural part of Los Angeles, I witnessed families with limited resources and governmental assistance receive treatment for their ill children. These families were so grateful for the adequate care they received and volunteering here was a rewarding experience. Therefore, my goal is to enter a Pediatric specialty whether it is neurology related, primary care, or developmental and behavioral focused for children residing in rural areas.


Ellie Mueller Headshot

Ellie Mueller


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: BS
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Stillwater, MN
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Wisconsin-Madison (Microbiology)
Clubs and Activities: SOSA; IMRA; Wilderness Med; Sports Medicine;

I chose NYITCOM because: Ultimately, it was the gut feeling I received from my interview day. Although I know it sounds cliched, NYITCOM felt like home from the second I arrived to my interview. Additionally, I knew I wanted to attend an osteopathic school based on the emphasis on anatomy education and movement of the human body. The Fit Physician study and resulting Movement in Medicine Club resonated with me since running, cycling, and yoga is a big part of my life. Finding a medical school that cares about promoting student health -both physical and mental- was truly exciting.

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM is a supportive community. Although I have mostly met faculty and peers via zoom, I truly feel that everyone here has my back. As students, we have vast opportunities to get involved with the community, explore research, and network with colleagues here in Arkansas and in New York.

Future Plans and Goals: Coming into medical school, I had research experience in the OR while working alongside a neurosurgeon and microsurgeon, who showed me just how incredible surgery is. However, I am excited to keep my mind open to other areas of medicine. I find myself intrigued with a wide range of specialties for vastly different reasons, and I cannot wait to get into third year rotations and find my niche.


Melissa Nathan Headshot

Melissa Nathan


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Charleston, IL
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Eastern Illinois University (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: Latino Medical Student Association - First Year Liaison, Student Initiative in Medical Simulation - Founding Member, Student Osteopathic Surgical Association - Member, American Medical Women's Association - Member

I chose NYITCOM because: I will never forget my interview at NYITCOM. It was raining quite a lot but navigating the day was made easy from the start when a medical student in a white coat was standing outside of the parking garage ushering the interviewees inside. I remember thinking it was very selfless that a medical student would be doing that for us. It was my first ever medical school interview and somehow everyone at the COM made me feel excited but at ease. A large part of this feeling came from the circulating Student Ambassadors and faculty I met on my interview day. They all exuded positivity, they were all friendly, and by the end of interview day I felt like I could ask any one of them anything. That experience was ultimately the biggest factor in why I decided to attend NYITCOM and it has been the best decision I've ever made.

NYITCOM is special because: From the day I stepped foot at NYITCOM for my interview, I knew it was something special. The sense of community was strong and the mental, physical, and emotional well-being of the students seemed just as important as the educational aspect of their lives. I also wanted a school that would be able to personalize their education to my needs and aspirations. I feel that every single faculty member at NYITCOM is invested in the students' success. To be a part of NYTICOM is to be part of a family that cares for you every single step of the way. NYITCOM is special because it lives out its mission in everything it does. I feel good going to a school that helps surrounding communities thrive and always innovates new approaches to closing the health disparity gaps in the Delta. Every day I am inspired by the new ideas proposed by faculty members and my peers alike, and I feel very lucky to be a part of it all!

Future Plans and Goals: I hope to pursue a surgical specialty and plan to help marginalized communities. I want to work alongside policy makers to improve health outcomes for these populations.


Diana Olvera Headshot

Diana Olvera


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S., B.A.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Queretaro, Mexico
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Arkansas (Biology & Spanish)
Clubs and Activities: Student Osteopathic Medical Association, American Medical Women's Association, Diversity in Medicine + Global Health Outreach, Latino Medical Student Association - First Year Representative, Wilderness Medicine - First Year Representative

I chose NYITCOM because: NYITCOM was the school I felt the most excited about. This school gave me literal goosebumps when I first started learning about it. It aligned with everything I want to stand for and everything I believe in.

NYITCOM is special because: People genuinely want you here. There is so much support and understanding all around you. People are always willing to lend a hand wherever it's needed.

Future Plans and Goals: I plan on working in underdeveloped nations for a good part of my medical career, but other than that, I'm not entirely sure. I don't know what specialty I'll choose yet, but Emergency Medicine is looking like a good option.


Alyssa Panganiban Headshot

Alyssa Panganiban


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Glendale Heights, IL
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Loyola University Chicago (Molecular Biology)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA (Student Osteopathic Medical Association) National Outreach for Diversity Chair

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose to attend NYITCOM because of its strong mission in meeting others where they are at, and bringing medicine to those that need it most. Previously as bilingual medical scribe at low-income clinic in Chicago, I recognized the hardships faced by many patients. Their barriers to quality care include seeing certain specialists, obtaining medical testing, or receiving affordable medications. I helped patients navigate through these barriers so they can receive the well-rounded care they deserve. Looking forward in my medical career, I would like to continue building my understanding of the increasing inaccessibility to quality healthcare in medically underserved communities and eventually work towards improving healthcare. Through the Delta Care-a-van, SOMA, and other student-led organizations, NYITCOM provides many wonderful opportunities for students to give back to Jonesboro residents and many surrounding communities.

NYITCOM is special because: Professors and faculty truly want to see students succeed and thrive at NYITCOM. Our Academic Enrichment Specialists (AES) continually check-in on students and provide them with resources that fit their learning style. Additionally, AESs have organized various study groups within members of our class that allow students to virtually discuss difficult topics and to learn from one another. Our school counselor, Ms. Mosbey promotes effective mental health practices that help students find balance within their personal life and heavy work load. Professors provide office hours, and given COVID-19 restrictions, many professors have offered to meet with students outside their office hours. Overall, our faculty and staff listen to our concerns, are receptive to our suggestions, and help guide us in the right direction.

Future Plans and Goals: With my Osteopathic Medical Degree, I hope to practice in an underserved community within the Delta Region as a Pediatrician or Family Practice Physician. I am also interested in obtaining a Masters Degree in Public Health.


Alexandra (Julia) Petrusan Headshot

Alexandra (Julia) Petrusan


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: M.A.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Mount Prospect, IL
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Grinnell College (Biology and Spanish), Loyola University (Master of Arts in Medical Science)
Clubs and Activities: Student Osteopathic Medical Association, American Medical Women's Association, Interdisciplinary Medical Research Association

I chose NYITCOM because: During my interview at NYITCOM-JB I could picture myself as a part of the community. Everyone I had come into contact with seemed so positive, warm, and welcoming. Learning about all of the different opportunities offered by the school, I knew that this was somewhere I could thrive while obtaining my medical education.

NYITCOM is special because: I am originally from the suburbs of Chicago, and one of the most special things to me about NYITCOM-JB is that I can first-hand see the medical attention required within the Delta region. Also, the wonderful opportunities where students can step into the community and assist in addressing disparities within the region.

Future Plans and Goals: I am interested in Ob/Gyn


Ashley Prabakar Headshot

Ashley Prabakar


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Hoffman Estates, IL
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Loyola University Chicago (Healthcare Administration)
Clubs and Activities: ACOP - First Year Liaison, SGA - Wellness Committee Representative, ACONP, AMWA, IMRA

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose NYITCOM because of the energetic and warm environment I experienced on interview day. All the students and faculty seemed to know each other on a personal level and truly care for each other. The school embodied a supportive, nurturing atmosphere which is what I was looking for in a medical school.

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM offers many interesting courses that provide their students with a well-rounded education in many aspects of healthcare. For example, the COM includes population health and telemedicine courses in our curriculum that will better prepare us to be physicians in the future. These courses teach us to be aware of the various ways we can deliver healthcare to diverse populations.

Future Plans and Goals: I am open to any speciality, but I have a strong interest in pediatrics as I like working with children. In the future, I hope to open my own clinic using my business background.


Adrian Ressing Headshot

Adrian Ressing


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Hometown: Chicago, Illinois
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Ohio State University (Athletic Training)
Clubs and Activities: 1st year liaison for the Sports Medicine RSO

I chose NYITCOM because: During my interview, the entire school, faculty, and students were very welcoming and made me feel right at home.

NYITCOM is special because: Everyone here is a big family and they all want you to succeed and are there no matter what to support you along your journey.

Future Plans and Goals: I am keeping an open mind, but as of now I am very interested in Orthopedic Surgery and Radiology. I would love to end up back in Chicago later in life but I am open to living anywhere.


Sabrina Schwab Headshot

Sabrina Schwab


sschwab@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Lucas, TX
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Biology major, Chemistry minor
Clubs and Activities: ROS - Sports Medicine, Family/Rural Medicine, General Surgery, and Christian Medical and Dental Association

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose to attend NYITCOM for multiple reasons. On my interview day, everyone was so happy, and it truly felt like a family that I wanted to be apart of. I loved hearing about the Delta-Care-a-Van, and knew I wanted to be involved in this. I admired the community outreach programs like engaging with high school students, as I believe that educating and encouraging the next generation is essential for a better and healthier tomorrow. Additionally, serving underserved communities is very important to me, and the emphasis this school places on the underserved communities is very special to me.

NYITCOM is special because: I love the emphasis the school places on serving underserved communities. I also admire the fact that as a medical student, I have the opportunity to get out into my community and help educate and serve those around me. NYITCOM already feels like a family to me, and during a pandemic and being far from home, it is wonderful to feel this family aspect.

Future Plans and Goals: I have an open mind because honestly everything excites me at this point, but I know that I want to serve underserved communities. I am interested in family medicine, OBGYN, general surgery, and sports medicine. Whatever I become, I hope to make a lasting impact on peoples lives and to truly make a difference.


Karissa Skibinski Headshot

Karissa Skibinski


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Troy, MO
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Saint Louis University (Biochemistry)
Clubs and Activities: Student Government Association (SGA)- Finance Committee Representative, Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA)- Community Outreach Co-Chair, Active Member of Sports Medicine RSO, Student Osteopathic Surgical Association (SOSA), American Medical Women's Association (AMWA)

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose to attend NYITCOM because of its commitment to serving the surrounding community including many underserved areas. I was drawn to the student involvement in many of the community programs which aims to create physicians that are leaders in their community. This was important to me because becoming a physician has always been about the people and NYITCOM proves that they want to better their community through their programming and health education.

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM is special because of the community. Every person from faculty and staff to your classmates want you to succeed. The COM fosters a collaborative environment that will aid their physicians to utilize teamwork in their future to provide the highest quality care to their patients.

Future Plans and Goals: I plan to work in an underserved community but have not decided on rural or urban. I am interested in orthopedic surgery but remain open-minded to other specialty options.


Kelsey Vinson Headshot

Kelsey Vinson


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S. and B.A.
Pronouns: She, Her, Hers
Hometown: Jonesboro, AR
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Arkansas State University (B.S Biology) (B.A Chemistry)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA member

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose to attend NYITCOM because they have a great advantage over technology and community outreach. These were the biggest factors for me. I was excited for the simulations lab and the telemedicine component. I feel these are super beneficial and will be implemented in the future. Therefore, a school that already had these in place was very exciting. Also, community outreach is a huge part of becoming a physician. As this has always been my community, I was happy to see the help and educational component that they are a part of!

NYITCOM is special because: I think NYITCOM is special because it feels like a small family. Everyone is there to listen and help the students become the best physicians they can be. They focus on more than just getting the material into your brain. They try to encourage staying mentally healthy, and they are receptive to changes and additions that the students think would be beneficial. They make sure you have all the resources to become a great physician, such as the knowledge, mannerisms, empathy, and stability. These are things I feel some colleges were not upfront about, and they are all big parts of educating future physicians.

Future Plans and Goals: I still have so many specialties that interest me. I am hoping I can narrow it down when moving into clinicals. Right now, I am between family medicine, OB/GYN, hematology, oncology, and endocrinology. These are all fields that fascinate me. I am hoping to stay local in the delta region due to the increased need. Also, my family is here, and it is easy to stay close to home.


Benjamin Wagner Headshot

Benjamin Wagner


sajb@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S.
Pronouns: He, Him, His
Hometown: Carbondale, Il
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Eastern Illinois University (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: EM RSO member, IM RSO member, Anesthesiology RSO member, ACOFP and Rural Medicine member

I chose NYITCOM because: I chose NYITCOM because of the people. One of the most important parts of med school to me is that you get along with your peers. In 4 years, everyone you attend medical school with will be doctors and I think it's vital that you trust those people. When I interviewed every current med student and interviewing student was kind and friendly. To me, medicine is not just about being competent, but also about compassion. This is the only school I interviewed at that made me feel that.

NYITCOM is special because: NYITCOM is special to me because they view their students as more than just a number or score. I truly feel valued by the community. Coming from a small university where I could always talk to any professor I wanted to at any time, it's very special that I can always reach out to our faculty whenever I need anything. It is important to have people to lean on in med school and I'm glad I chose NYIT for that reason.

Future Plans and Goals: I am currently interested in EM, IM, FM, or anesthesia. Each sound enticing to me and I have not been able to narrow down my list yet. I am looking forward to my clinical years to learn more!