Student Ambassadors: Arkansas

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Jessica Almaguer Headshot

Jessica Almaguer

jalmague@nyit.edu
She/Her/Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Labelle, Florida
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Florida International University (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: First Year Liaison for LMSA, ACOFP & Rural Medicine member

Why did you choose NYITCOM? NYIT particularly stood out to me when I learned of its opportunity to learn medicine and help those in a rural community. As an aspiring physician hoping to practice in underserved areas, OMM and the osteopathic approach to medicine are great to have in my metaphorical toolbelt so that I can administer the best possible care to my future patients, especially in areas with a lack of resources. I was ecstatic to discover a school that perfectly aligns with my calling.

What is special about NYITCOM? Being from a rural community myself, there is a sense of familiarity and comfort while learning medicine in a place similar to where I grew up. NYITCOM also highlights telemedicine and population health in our curriculum, which are both essential to know to be a well-rounded physician.

What are your future plans and goals? Throughout the United States, physician shortages have begun leaving several rural communities fraught for care. As someone who grew up in a rural community, I've learned and have witnessed the significant health disparities that rural and other underserved communities face. I hope to use what I learn from the curriculum so that I can further explore my passion for primary care in a rural setting.


Kerolos Bushra Headshot

Kerolos Bushra

kbushra@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Middle Tennessee State University (Biochemistry)
Clubs and Activities: RSO: Sports Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Student Osteopathic Medical Association, and Diversity in Medicine

Why did you choose NYITCOM? When I arrived here on interview day, I felt like I was at home. The professors and everyone in the community that I encountered was very kind. Additionally, NYITCOM at Arkansas State offers many resources that are not offered anywhere else. NYITCOM at A-State was also close to home. Together, these factors made me choose this medical school.

What is special about NYITCOM? NYITCOM at A-State emphasizes high quality education and serving the underrepresented individuals and those aspects were very important to me. I want to receive a sound education, and use it to help those that have limited access to healthcare. Almost every week, students have the opportunity to go and deliver medical care to underserved areas of Arkansas, and I am grateful to have this opportunity at my medical school.

What are your future plans and goals? I currently have an interest in Sports Medicine, Family Medicine, and Surgery, but until this moment, I am not set on a particular specialty. Hopefully, after rotations, I should be set on what exactly I want to do. I also hope that one day I can practice medicine in Tennessee and be near my family.


Chloe Busse Headshot

Chloe Busse

cbusse@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: San Marcos, TX
Highest Education: B.S.E & B.S
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Oral Roberts University: Electrical Engineering & Biomedical Engineering
Clubs and Activities: Military Medicine RSO, Wilderness Medicine RSO, Student Osteopathic Surgical Association, Christian Medical & Dental Association, American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians.

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose to attend NYITCOM, because of its commitment to integrate technological innovations with holistic patient-centered healthcare. Additionally NYITCOM focuses on structure-function relationships and teaching patients how to maintain a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that will improve their long-term healthcare outcomes.

What is special about NYITCOM? I really appreciate NYITCOM's holistic approach to learning medicine. As students, we learn how the mind, body, and spirit contribute to different healthcare outcomes.

What are your future plans and goals? I am primarily interested in specializing in either general surgery with a fellowship in trauma/critical care or emergency medicine. In the future, I plan on serving as a U.S Air Force physician. Additionally, I would like to integrate medicine and engineering to create innovations that will meet the dynamic nature of patient healthcare issues worldwide.


Kaitlyn Child Headshot

Kaitlyn Child

kchild@nyit.edu
she/hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Salt Lake City, Utah
Highest Education: MPH
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Utah - International Studies, University of Utah - Masters in Public Health
Clubs and Activities: RSO Membership: ACOI, ACOFP + Rural Medicine, SIMS, Wilderness Medicine Active in: Delta Care-A-Van, Rock Steady Boxing

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I made my decision to attend NYITCOM at A State because the mission, values, and priorities of the school aligned with my own. I knew that I wanted to be in a school that prioritized its community while providing opportunities for students to become involved in the health and wellbeing of the community.

What is special about NYITCOM? The resources for involvement and success that NYITCOM gives its students are uniquely valuable. I love being able to give COVID vaccinations to rural Arkansans and write monthly letters to my middle school pen-pal through the school. The real-world experience I'm getting now will only make me a better provider in the future.

What are your future plans and goals? I fall in love with so many specialties, I don't know where I will end up, but I have always been interested in geriatric and palliative medicine. Having had previous experience in public health and social work, I hope to prioritize community health and become involved with programs to advocate for health and wellness for my patient population - whomever they may be!


Chikaodiri Chukwu Headshot

Chikaodiri Chukwu

cchukwu@nyit.edu
She/Hers/Her

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Southern Arkansas University (Nursing)
Clubs and Activities: American College of Osteopathic Internist (ACOI), Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), Dermatology RSO (AOCD), Student National Medical Association (SNMA).

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose NYITCOM because of the welcoming environment and the devotion of the faculty to student success. More importantly, I wanted my medical training to inculcate service, and advocacy for the medically underserved.

What is special about NYITCOM? The community at NYITCOM is diverse and warm. Although I am thousands of miles away from home, I am grateful for the wealth of support that helps me navigate the many challenges of medical school.

What are your future plans and goals? I have strong interests in Internal Medicine and Dermatology but I am keeping my mind open to other specialties. Regardless of the specialty I chose, I would like to integrate some surgical procedures in my practice. I would like to serve in a medically underserved area also engage in International service.


Brandon Doty Headshot

Brandon Doty

bdoty@nyit.edu
he/him

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Jonesboro, AR
Highest Education: BSN, MSW
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Arkansas State University (Nursing, Social Work)
Clubs and Activities: SGA Academic Affairs Committee, SOMA LGBTQ+ Health Co-Chair, ACOI First Year Liaison

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I am a Jonesboro native. I remember well how exciting it was when we learned that NYITCOM was coming to Arkansas State. When I began to learn more about the school and came to know some current and former students, I found that the school's principles and values aligned with my own. I was inspired by how passionate they were about enriching healthcare in the Delta region.

What is special about NYITCOM? NYITCOM puts a great deal of effort and resources into creating a more inclusive healthcare system that looks and sounds like the people that it serves, and I find that encouraging for the future of healthcare in the Delta region. They also invest so much time and effort into not only our success, but making sure that the physicians they produce will be the best of the best.

What are your future plans and goals? My areas of interest are Internal Medicine and Interventional Cardiology. I hope to end up in a setting where I can have an active practice while also being able to teach.


Samira Fazli Headshot

Samira Fazli

sfazli@nyit.edu
she/her

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Dallas, Texas
Highest Education: BS, MS, MBA
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Texas in Arlington (Biology), University of Texas in Dallas (MS in Healthcare Management, MBA)
Clubs and Activities: I am part of SOMA and the Emergency Medicine RSO. I also enjoy hiking, reading, painting, and spending time with friends and family.

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose NYITCOM because of the sense of community I felt when I interviewed at the school. The student involvement within the school as well as in the local community is something I wanted to be a part of.

What is special about NYITCOM? NYITCOM's impact on the Delta region is very multifaceted. Not only do programs like the Delta Care-a-van that provide health education and vaccine clinics, but we also volunteer at schools and within some non-healthcare-related aspects of the community. The goal to impact the community and help those around us is what makes NYITCOM at Arkansas State so special to me.

What are your future plans and goals? I hope to one day practice either Emergency Medicine or Internal Medicine. I also plan to volunteer for a year in a third world country to provide care to those with limited or no access to care.


Marie Fong Headshot

Marie Fong

mfong01@nyit.edu
she/her

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Marion, AR
Highest Education: B.A.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Memphis (Sociology)
Clubs and Activities: National Liaison Officer - Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), Vice President - American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians (ACOFP), Medical Student Pride Alliance (MSPA)

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose to attend NYITCOM because of its involvement in the Jonesboro community, proximity to my family, and the holistic training of osteopathic medicine. With more research and awareness about social determinants of health being the largest contributing factors of wellness, I felt osteopathic medicine would allow me the best training to treat future patients with a preventative approach rather than treatment oriented approach.

What is special about NYITCOM? When I interviewed at NYITCOM, I felt truly valued as a potential addition to the community at this institution, rather than just a number. Since being here, I have felt very supported by the faculty and can tell they genuinely want to help us succeed. I also love how many service opportunities NYITCOM has to get involved in the community; it helps me stay rooted in my "why" I chose medicine.

What are your future plans and goals? Right now I'm most interested in family medicine with obstetrics, but I am open to many specialties! I'm also working towards my Master's in Public Health, so I intend to utilize that in the future with health policy and advocacy.


Gina Gherardini Headshot

Gina Gherardini

ggherard@nyit.edu
She/Her(s)

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Barnhart, Missouri
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Missouri State University (Cellular & Molecular Biology)
Clubs and Activities: Pediatrics RSO and OB/GYN RSO

Why did you choose NYITCOM? The admissions faculty and student ambassadors made me feel like I would be joining a family. I also enjoy that it is only 3.5 hours from my hometown.

What is special about NYITCOM? My class has truly become like one big family. I know that everytime I walk through the doors of Wilson Hall, I will see a friendly face of the welcoming and caring faculty or my fellow classmates.

What are your future plans and goals? My current goal is to come back to the St. Louis area as an OB/GYN. I am also toying with the idea of eventually pursuing a fellowship in fetal/maternal medicine.


Alexis Louk Headshot

Alexis Louk

alouk@nyit.edu
she / her / hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Murfreesboro, TN
Highest Education: B.A.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Huntingdon College (Biochemistry and Applied Mathematics)
Clubs and Activities: ACOP Treasurer, Sports Medicine RSO, CMDA RSO, SOMA Member

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose to attend NYITCOM because of the community atmosphere present and the opportunities they provide to allow you to thrive as a physician. Everyone is so supportive and would do anything to help anyone who needs it. They also offer programs like the Delta Care-a-Van, which allows you to get real patient experience as early as first year which is such a valuable experience.

What is special about NYITCOM? AgaIn, I would have to say it's really the community atmosphere and the overall feeling that everyone wants you succeed in your medical journey. The professors, deans, fellow classmates, and everyone associated with NYITCOM are willing to help in anyway they can when we need it and I believe that is a very special characteristic of a medical school. I could not be more grateful to be pursuing my DO at a place that cares so much about their student doctors and fosters an environment full of acceptance and community.

What are your future plans and goals? As of now I have a strong interest in Pediatrics, but I am trying to keep an open mind in terms of specialties. Ultimately I just want to make a difference in a community and positively impact my future patients, no matter where I end up practicing.


David Mathews Headshot

David Mathews

dmathe18@nyit.edu
He, Him, His

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Little Rock, AR
Highest Education: B.A
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Pomona College (Asian Studies - History and Japanese Language)
Clubs and Activities: Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), SGA - Class of 2025 Wellness Committee Representative, RSO - EM

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose NYITCOM-JB for a variety of reasons, including feeling welcomed and appreciated from the very beginning of my interaction with the administration, staff, and students. In addition, as a native of Arkansas, I personally connected with the school's mission to improve healthcare access for underserved and rural populations here in the state and region. Finally, though our campus is relatively new, I believe the reputation of education attached to the NYITCOM name and our sister-campus in New York for more than 44 years provides brand-name recognition and greater opportunities with residency programs across the country.

What is special about NYITCOM? I truly love the community at NYITCOM-JB. Everyone is welcome and my fellow students go out of their way to support each other as we progress through the challenges of medical school together. I cherish these relationships now and will only continue to do so as we graduate and move into our respective medical practices in the future.

What are your future plans and goals? Though I am still investigating what type of medicine I wish to practice, I am leaning towards the Emergency Medicine or Internal Medicine specialties, specifically focused on pediatrics.


Cynthia Maza Perez Headshot

Cynthia Maza Perez

cmazaper@nyit.edu

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Orlando, Florida
Highest Education: B.S
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Central Florida (Biology)
Clubs and Activities: Latino Medical Student Association Delta Care-a-van SIMS

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose NYITCOM for multiple reasons including the setting. I knew I wanted the opportunity to experience the challenges of healthcare in a different state. However, what solidified my decision was how at-ease I felt during my interview! I also had the opportunity to learn more about the school and its involvement with the community, through programs such as the Delta care-a-van.

What is special about NYITCOM? I firmly believe that the people that surround you can make all the difference in this journey. For me, the connections I have built with my peers and mentors at NYITCOM are what make it special. Even through the pandemic, I feel that the faculty and staff at the COM have created opportunities for us to build a support network.

What are your future plans and goals? At the moment I am staying open to experiencing various specialties before making a decision. Some areas of interest include family medicine and orthopedics. Ideally, I want to practice in a setting, rural or urban, where I am able to closely interact with the community and give back.


Ashley McCray Headshot

Ashley McCray

amccray@nyit.edu
she, her, hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Lithonia, Georgia
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Georgia (Biological Science); Michigan State University (Global Health)
Clubs and Activities: Student Government Association (Class of 2025 Diversity Committee Representative), The Scope Podcast (Committee Member), PenPals Mentor, Student National Medical Association, Student Osteopathic Medical Association, American Medical Student Association

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose to attend the Arkansas campus of New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine, because of its founding emphasis on increasing the number providers within the underserved Delta region. I wanted the chance to learn medicine in a place centered on this framework because it aligns with my goal of serving underserved patients in my future practice. I also appreciated the inclusion of global health and population health studies within the curriculum.

What is special about NYITCOM? NYITCOM at A-State is special for its inclusivity and effort to make sure each student reaches their highest potential. The Jonesboro campus environment is welcoming, and one can easily see the enthusiasm many faculty and staff have for helping students learn and grow throughout our time as medical students.

What are your future plans and goals? My rural family history and experiences in serving socioeconomically diverse patients has inspired me to practice medicine within an underserved community in the future. My domestic and international global health experiences have strengthened my interest in health disparities, and I am hopeful to make an impact in this area throughout my career.


Taylor Nason Headshot

Taylor Nason

tnason@nyit.edu
She, Her, Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Lorton, VA
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Monmouth University (Molecular Cell Biology)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA, SGA, SIMS, ACOOG

Why did you choose NYITCOM? What really drew me to NYITCOM was the high emphasis put on serving underserved and rural communities. An institution that aims to mold students into ones that serve jeopardized populations with holistic and compassionate care, demonstrates values that I have always held. NYITCOM focuses on creating great physicians not just future physicians.

What is special about NYITCOM? What makes NYITCOM so special is how many rare impactful opportunities they offer throughout and outside the curriculum. Meaningful opportunities like the Delta Care van, Medical Spanish courses, youth outreach programs and many more, are experiences that shape the overall student doctor. I’m grateful for all NYITCOM has exposed me to.

What are your future plans and goals? I am very open to whatever the world has next for me after medical school as long as I am offered the opportunity to serve those who are underserved or in disadvantaged communities. The hope would be to one day open a clinic specifically in one of these areas aimed at providing better healthcare to the families.


Katelin Pacella Headshot

Katelin Pacella

kpacella@nyit.edu
She, Her, Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Chicago
Highest Education: M.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): IL
Clubs and Activities: AMSA Jonesboro Chapter Secretary, American College of Osteopathic Emergency Physicians Member, Wilderness Medicine Member, Student Osteopathic Medical Association Member, and Student Initiative in Medical Simulation Member.

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I choose to attend NYITCOM at A-State because it felt like home and everyone here treats you like family. The faculty, staff, and student body are all very kind, helpful, and truly strive and desire for every person to succeed. Walking around campus feels like home and I am so grateful to be here in such a positive and enriching environment.

What is special about NYITCOM? The diversity amongst our student body and faculty is what I believe makes NYITCOM so special and unique. Everyone here has a very unique story, perspective, and knowledge set that it is so valuable, impeccable, and imperative to our education as an osteopathic physician and to our growth as human beings. I value all of the lessons I have learned so far here at NYITCOM and I am excited to continue to build upon that throughout my time here.

What are your future plans and goals? My plan with my medical degree is to work in underserved and underprivileged areas, both domestically and internationally, on mission trips such as Doctors Without Borders and those affected by natural disasters. My area of specialty that I currently would like to pursue would be Emergency Medicine or Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine. I am keeping an open mind however for when I reach my clinical years and learn from my experiences on clinical rotations.


Avianne Robinson Headshot

Avianne Robinson

arobin03@nyit.edu
She/Her/Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Memphis, TN
Highest Education: B.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): LeMoyne-Owen College (Biology; Chemistry Minor))
Clubs and Activities: RSO Involvement: Internal Medicine RSO, Emergency Medicine RSO, General Surgery RSO, SOMA, SNMA, & LMSA

Why did you choose NYITCOM? What drew me into the school was its very obvious community involvement and impact within the Jonesboro area. In that regard, I could tell they held students to a much higher standard than just being a physician who only focused on disease ,but actually treating patients in a more holistic sense. It was evident that they really wanted us to understand life for the patients outside the office setting. I valued a school that I felt would encourage me to go beyond what's expected of me ,and truly immerse myself in an overall lifestyle of community service.

What is special about NYITCOM? In addition to the standard curriculum, NYITCOM places a big emphasis on community service and community awareness. I loved the idea that courses such as population health and others allow students who may not be exposed to certain adversities gain that very important knowledge. As well as giving students the space to discuss some of those misconceptions ,and form more positive thought processes that would benefit their future patients.

What are your future plans and goals? My career plan for my medical degree is ever changing at the moment. I've chosen to keep a fairly open mind while exploring all the different possibilities. I do know that I want to serve disadvantaged populations and that I likely won’t choose a very specialized field as I love the idea of being well rounded.


Maddi Singleton Headshot

Maddi Singleton

mware01@nyit.edu
She, Her, Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Rogers, Arkansas
Highest Education: B.S. Biology Biomedical Professions
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): University of Arkansas - Fort Smith (Biology Biomedical Professions)
Clubs and Activities: American Board of Family Physicians (ACOFP), Rural Health Chair, American College of Osteopathic Pediatricians (ACOP), Secretary, Christian Medical and Dental Association (CMDA), Secretary Student Osteopathic Medical Association (SOMA), Senior Community Outreach Director

Why did you choose NYITCOM? There are so many reasons I chose to go to NYITCOM! The opportunities to grow as a student physician are endless at this school! Volunteering with the Delta Care-A-Van and giving my first ever vaccine was such an amazing experience that I will hold onto forever. This school truly tries to make a differences in the delta region, and I am so thankful that I get to play a small part of giving back to the state that raised me!

What is special about NYITCOM? The family atmosphere of this school is one of the most special aspects about NYITCOM. When interviewing with NYITCOM, the biggest thing that I remember was how welcoming this school was to everyone. The very first day I stepped foot on the NYITCOM campus, I was flooded with the feeling of being welcomed into a family away from home and that feeling has never left!

What are your future plans and goals? Currently right now I am open to anything because everything excites me as a new student physician! Thinking ahead to the future, I think I will end up in either family medicine, pediatrics, or internal medicine! But really, I will just be so excited and thankful to finally get to live the dream and help other out in the community!


Jasmine Stewart Headshot

Jasmine Stewart

jstewa10@nyit.edu
She, Her, Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Martinsville, VA
Highest Education: B.A (Public Health) M.S (Biomedical Sciences)
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Agnes Scott College (Public Health), New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine (Biomedical Sciences)
Clubs and Activities: Class of 2025 Vice President, Anesthesiology RSO, SIMS RSO, American Medical Women’s Association, American College of Osteopathic Internists, American Osteopathic Association

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose NYITCOM because from the moment I walked on this campus for my interview, it felt like home. Everyone was so nice, students and faculty were smiling, so this felt like a place that I could call home for the next 4 years. Also, coming from Atlanta, GA, there's some really great food here! (Don't sleep on Jonesboro, AR cuisine lol)

What is special about NYITCOM? It's very rare as a first year medical student to study in the morning, attend lab, then afterwards head to a small town 1.5 hrs away from school in order to work with that community in the Delta Care-A-Van. Being able to engage with patients while going through pre-clinical years by administering vaccines and providing education regarding the current pandemic is such a privilege at this stage in our career. NYITCOM-AR is very special in this way and being able to work within this community can really help with remembering our "why" when times get tough.

What are your future plans and goals? After graduation, I am hoping to match into either Trauma Surgery, ENT or maybe Internal Medicine. I would love to stay along the Delta area for a few years after training in order to provide for a city or town with healthcare access barriers.


Ashley Vickers Headshot

Ashley Vickers

avickers@nyit.edu
She, Her, Hers

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Dumas, AR
Highest Education: M.S.
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Southern Arkansas University ( Nursing), Kansas City University ( Master of Science-Biomedical)
Clubs and Activities: Christian Medical and Dental Association American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and Rural Medicine Student Osteopathic Medical Association American Medical Student Association

Why did you choose NYITCOM? Being from Arkansas, I knew I wanted to be somewhere close to home. The location of Jonesboro-NYITCOM not only allows me to obtain an education, but also engage in community activities that pursue care and focus towards helping restore health care disparities in Arkansas.

What is special about NYITCOM? The environment and commitment of faculty and staff for student success not only through academics, but through the community engagement as well. The support for Arkansas rural communities through outreach with the Delta Caravan.

What are your future plans and goals? Family Medicine practice with emphasis on rural areas. I want to not only work in one area, but several. I hope to travel, provide services, and help restore access to healthcare for individuals.


Kelsey Vinson Headshot

Kelsey Vinson

kvinso01@nyit.edu
She/Her

Campus: Jonesboro
Hometown: Jonesboro
Highest Education: B.S/B.A
Undergrad/Grad School (Major): Arkansas State University (Biology and Chemistry)
Clubs and Activities: SOMA

Why did you choose NYITCOM? I chose NYITCOM specifically the Jonesboro campus due to the focus on providing care to the underprivileged, rural communities that reside in the delta region. Choosing NYITCOM allowed me to learn first hand in the communities I plan to help in the future.

What is special about NYITCOM? The most special part of NYITCOM is the community outreach because both campuses work to reach out on many different levels to help the surrounding areas. Also, the knowledge gained from professors of the two campuses in two different types of populations is a unique experience that I feel will allow us to consider many types of patient perspectives.

What are your future plans and goals? I would like to use my degree to serve underserved populations. I would like to practice family medicine or fertility medicine in the delta region.