Ahead of the Game
Pictured: Kelsey Fisher (center) with classmates and Rock Steady Boxing co-coordinators Erik Mikelinich (left) and Kaylee Bressler (right).
Finding community and building relationships has been central to Kelsey Fisher’s time at New York Tech. After achieving her undergraduate degree in South Carolina, at Clemson University, she wanted to be closer to her childhood home on Long Island for medical school. “NYITCOM was located in the ideal area for me to remain home with my friends, family, and partner Spencer Shain (OMS-II),” she says.
She also believed that New York Tech would give her the skills she needs to become a neurologist. She is now gaining first-hand experience in that area, working with Adena Leder (D.O. '99), neurologist and director of the Rock Steady Boxing Parkinson’s program at New York Tech. Their research team is collaborating on a project that focuses on women with young-onset Parkinson’s disease—a demographic often overlooked when it comes to receiving care and resources. “New York Tech, and my incredible mentor Dr. Leder, have helped me on my path to becoming a future neurologist by providing me the opportunity to hear these stories first-hand and participate in clinical research for these young women,” she says.
Fisher furthers her passion for neurology and her work on Parkinson’s disease outside of the classroom as well. She volunteers as a co-student coordinator at New York Tech’s Rock Steady Boxing program, which helps those with Parkinson’s manage symptoms. “The experience has taught me the importance of exercise for physical and mental health,” she says, “And how anyone can do anything they set their mind to.”
She says that her extracurricular involvement at New York Tech, her research with Dr. Leder, and her role in Rock Steady Boxing, have each helped her learn the importance of collaboration when it comes to patient care. “After all, healthcare is a team-based system. We all need to work together to help those in need,” she says.
Fisher also loves the community service opportunities that occur at New York Tech. “One of my favorite experiences was participating in the American Parkinson’s Disease Association Optimism Walk in October 2022. Even though it was raining, so many students came to fundraise and show support. We raised over $15,000!”
When asked what advice she has for new students, she says they should prioritize building friendships and a strong support system. She met her best friend at orientation, and now they study together every day. “Find your academic support group and study buddy. With classes online, it can be very easy to fall into an isolated head space. Learning from others is truly valuable and aids in your learning experience!”