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Welcoming the 2019-2020 AWS National Medical Student Committee

Thursday, August 29, 2019  
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Comprised of medical students, AWS Medical Student Committee works on student programs and issues. Here are the members of the 2019-2020 committee.

Learn more about AWS committees.

AWS NATIONAL MEDICAL STUDENT COMMITTEE 2019-2020

CHAIR:
Ashley Choi

Hometown: La Cañada Flintridge, California
Undergraduate: Johns Hopkins University '13
Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine '21
Graduate School: NIH-Duke Clinical Research Training Program ‘21


Ashley is a third year medical student at Duke pursuing a career in academic cardiothoracic surgery with specific interests in heart and lung transplantation, and health services research. As an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins, she was involved in cystic fibrosis research at the Center for Nanomedicine. Outside of lab, she enjoyed working with Baltimore students in afterschool programs, gaining valuable insight into the striking disparities in health and educational opportunities among students of color. After college, she joined Teach for America and taught middle school science in Seattle, WA. During that time, Ashley was elected Racial Equity Team Leader to represent her school in the district’s mission to develop culturally responsive curriculum. She recalls this experience as one of the most formative, shaping her daily interactions with patients. Now in her second of two planned research years, she is working towards a MHS degree in Clinical Research. She splits her time working in lab with pre-transplant desensitization therapies in non-human primates and clinical research examining transplant outcomes. In AWS, she served as Co- President of the Duke Chapter, Southeast Regional Representative, and, most recently, as Vice Chair of the National Medical Student Committee. This year, Ashley is honored to serve as Chair of the committee and support her team of aspiring surgeons. During her tenure, she will make it her personal mission to develop resources for underrepresented minority students. In her spare time, she enjoys playing volleyball and teaching Stop the Bleed in Durham.
(@AshleyYJChoi)
VICE CHAIR:
Camila Guetter

Hometown: Curitiba, Brazil
Medical School: Universidade Federal do Paraná ‘19


Camila is a recent MD graduate from Universidade Federal do Paraná in Curitiba, Brazil. In her third year of medical school, she was awarded a one-year scholarship to study Biomedical Sciences at UCLA. During her time in Los Angeles, she worked as a research student at the UCLA Translational Oncology Research Laboratories studying pancreatic cancer cell lines, and since then research has become one of her main passions. She later worked as a research student at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, studying pancreatic surgery outcomes and patient education. She was also a former student and teaching assistant in the Principles and Practice of Clinical Research program from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Camila is passionate about pursuing a career in academic surgery and is very active in AWS. She has been a member of the AWS National Medical Student Committee since 2017, in her first year as an International Representative and most recently as Social Media and Marketing Coordinator. She is also a member of the Publications Committee and currently serves as Medical Student Chair of the AWS Blog Subcommittee. She is looking forward to serving as Vice Chair for the National Medical Student Committee this year and to continue working alongside so many incredible aspiring surgeons towards AWS’s vision of Equity, Diversity & Inclusion for all surgeons.
(@camila_guetter)
NATIONAL CHAPTER CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR:
Andrea Rowland

Hometown: Modesto, CA
Undergraduate: University of California, Los Angeles '10
Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences '20


Andrea grew up in Northern California. After completing her bachelor's degree in Physiological Science at the University of California, Los Angeles, she worked as a medical assistant and then practice manager at a private dermatology practice in Santa Monica, California. While working, she completed the post-baccalaureate program at California State University, Los Angeles, after which she was accepted into the University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences, Class of 2020. She was honored to serve as the Midwest Regional Representative for the AWS student committee from 2018-2019 and is excited to continue her involvement this year as the National Chapter Campaign Coordinator. Andrea looks forward to a future in orthopaedics, and she currently works with the University of Toledo Orthopaedic Center, researching surgical outcomes in hand and spinal surgery. In her free moments, she enjoys running, practicing yoga, and FaceTiming her husband, Mark, and her fun-loving puppy, Coco Crisp.
(@ANRowland)
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION COORDINATOR:
Daisy Cruz

Hometown: South Los Angeles, CA
Undergraduate: University of California, Riverside ‘13
Medical School: University of California, Davis ‘20


Daisy is currently a fourth year medical student at the University of California-Davis. Prior to medical school, she completed her undergraduate studies at UCR where she obtained a dual degree in Biological Sciences and Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology. Following her undergraduate studies she worked at AltaMed Health Services in Los Angeles, as an AmeriCorp member for 2 years where she led a reproductive health clinic for teens and taught sexual education at local high schools. Her passions include working with the underserved Latino population, and increasing the diversity of underrepresented minorities in surgical specialities. In her spare time, Daisy enjoys cooking Mexican food, hanging out with friends and dancing merengue.
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR:
Jihane Jadi

Hometown: Holly Springs, NC
Undergraduate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‘17
Medical School: UNC School of Medicine ‘21


Jihane is currently a third year medical student at UNC School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, she completed her undergraduate studies at UNC Chapel Hill where she obtained a dual degree in Chemistry and Psychology/Neuroscience. Eventually, Jihane seeks to pursue a career in academic surgery where she plans to combine her passions for surgery, research, and mentoring. This past year, she served as the Southeast Regional Representative and is looking forward to continuing her involvement in AWS. Outside of medicine she enjoys running, traveling, and watching Carolina basketball.
(@jadijihane)
RESEARCH COORDINATOR:
Cheryl Zogg

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN
Undergraduate: Macalester College '11
Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine '22 (MD-PhD)

Research: Harvard Medical School

Cheryl is an MD-PhD student born and raised in the Midwest. Originally from Fargo, ND, she came out east for school and have since come to call New England her home. Most days she can be found traveling back and forth between Harvard and Yale as she strives to complete work on her PhD in surgical health services research. Her personal research focuses primarily on trying to understand access-to-care as it intersects with insurance, health policy, and social determinants of health among high-risk surgery patients. In her spare time, Cheryl is an avid dancer, traveler, and bookworm who loves to research, mentor, and teach. Following graduation, she anticipates a career in academic surgery with an intention to pursue clinical practice in trauma and EGS. She is looking forward to returning for her second year as research coordinator and continuing to be involved in AWS. Last year, she had the incredible opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of aspiring female surgeons. She was blown away by what the committee accomplished and is excited to see what the new year brings!
(@CherylZogg)
ASSISTANT RESEARCH COORDINATOR:
Lyra Olson

Hometown: Middlebury, CT
Undergraduate: Princeton University ‘16
Medical School: Duke University School of Medicine ‘24 (MD-PhD)


Lyra is a third year student in Duke’s Medical Scientist Training Program and a second year graduate student in the Department of Pharmacology, where she is working to develop novel anti-inflammatory agents in the lab of Dr. Bruce Sullenger. As an undergraduate at Princeton, she studied obesity-associated neuroinflammation in the lab of Dr. Elizabeth Gould while pursuing degrees in Psychology and Neuroscience. At Duke, she serves as Outreach Chair for the MSTP, coordinating the volunteer efforts of the program’s trainees and guiding undergraduates interested in the dual-degree path through their decision to apply and the application process. She recently joined Duke’s AWS chapter as the MSTP representative, with a goal of developing an improved resource guide for students new to research. Lyra is also a defensive handler for the Raleigh Radiance, North Carolina’s professional women’s ultimate team and is captain of Phoenix, North Carolina’s elite women’s club team. She is a champion for gender equity in the ultimate community. She looks forward to applying into orthopedics at the distal end of her PhD.
MENTORSHIP COORDINATOR:
Adesuwa Ewere

Hometown: Houston, TX
Undergraduate: The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
Medical School: The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston ‘21


Adesuwa is a third-year medical student at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. Growing up, she always had an interest in medicine, but never considered a career in surgery. That is until she shadowed a breast surgical oncologist while interning at MD Anderson. Through her undergraduate and medical education, she has been privileged to study healthcare delivery systems, the history of Western medicine, and prescribing practices in the Dominican Republic, Italy, and Kenya. Currently, she is studying Global Health as part of a co-curricular track at UTMB and aims to continue studying medicine internationally. She works part-time to recruit and prepare underrepresented minority premedical students to successfully apply to medical school. Her primary research interests include global surgery, medical education, health disparities, and effective models for mentorship. She hopes to pursue a career in academic surgery that will allow her to meld her research interests along with her passion to serve others in the capacity of a surgeon, educator, and researcher. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, singing, traveling, and watching medical dramas.
(@AdesuwaEwere)
SOCIAL MEDIA/MARKETING COORDINATOR:
Shan Lansing

Hometown: Grants Pass, OR
Undergraduate: Oregon State University ‘16
Graduate:Oregon State University ‘17
Medical School: The Ohio State University ‘21


Shan is a 3rd year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. Originally from southern Oregon, she attended Oregon State University where she earned a dual Bachelors in Chemistry and Biohealth Sciences. She continued at Oregon State University for a Masters in Analytical Chemistry. Her thesis focused on optimizing an RNA biosensor to be used in molecular diagnostics for early cancer detection. Her current research is more patient-focused; she is the lead medical student on a randomized clinical trial to improve surgical outcomes by increasing communication with patients during the post-discharge period. Ultimately, Shan seeks to pursue a career in rural general surgery, aiming to provide compressive surgical care for an underserved community. In her free time, she enjoys running, cooking, and cross-stitching.
(@ShanSLansing)

REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVES:

WEST REPRESENTATIVE:
Alexandra Hernandez

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA
Undergraduate: University of Washington ‘12
Medical School: Oregon Health and Science University ‘20


Alex is a fourth year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Originally from southern California, she exchanged the desert for mountains when she became a pacific northwest transplant after moving to Seattle in 2008. She is passionate about health equity and increasing diversity in medical training, and as a medical student has been involved with educational outreach to schools and communities, pipeline initiatives, and DACA advocacy. At Oregon Health and Science University she discovered her love for surgery and chose to complete a Master of Clinical Research degree in preparation for a career in academic surgery. Her research interests focus on patient reported outcomes after traumatic injury, health disparities, and gender equity. With her free time Alex enjoys creating new recipes, running, biking and exploring the endless number of trails in the Pacific Northwest.Alex is a fourth year medical student at Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU). Originally from southern California, she exchanged the desert for mountains when she became a pacific northwest transplant after moving to Seattle in 2008. She is passionate about health equity and increasing diversity in medical training, and as a medical student has been involved with educational outreach to schools and communities, pipeline initiatives, and DACA advocacy. At Oregon Health and Science University she discovered her love for surgery and chose to complete a Master of Clinical Research degree in preparation for a career in academic surgery. Her research interests focus on patient reported outcomes after traumatic injury, health disparities, and gender equity. With her free time Alex enjoys creating new recipes, running, biking and exploring the endless number of trails in the Pacific Northwest.
(@ahayshernandez)
SOUTHWEST REPRESENTATIVE:
Nallammai Muthiah

Hometown: Long Island, NY
Undergraduate: Cornell University ‘17
Medical School: University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine ‘22


Nallammai is a second year medical student at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She studied Human Development at Cornell University, focusing particularly on the neuroscience of human behavior. Pursuing this interest in neuroscience, she is currently conducting pediatric neurosurgery research at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. Throughout her undergraduate and graduate careers, she has enjoyed immersing herself in her community. She loves to engage with high school and undergraduate students aspiring to pursue careers in science and medicine. Outside of medicine, she is an avid runner always on the look for adventurous routes. She is also a clarinetist and a crafter—in fact, one of her favorite activities is making extravagant, sometimes crazy, DIY projects with her 9-year-old sister.
(@nallimuthiah)
MIDWEST 1 REPRESENTATIVE:
Sophia Roberts

Hometown: Coral Springs, FL
Undergraduate: Yale ‘14
Medical School: The Ohio State University College of Medicine ‘20


Sophia is a fourth-year medical student at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She grew up in sunny South Florida and attended Yale to study Molecular, Cellular & Developmental Biology. After college she worked at The Rothberg Institute for Childhood Diseases. During medical school she has led the Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group while conducting research in cardiac surgery, lung transplantation and surgical education. She also worked with her mentor in general surgery to develop a robotic and minimally invasive surgery curriculum for medical students. She hopes to pursue a career in academic cardiothoracic surgery. In her free time, Sophia enjoys cooking, running and playing soccer.
(@SophiaHRoberts)
MIDWEST 2 REPRESENTATIVE:
Lena Trager

Hometown: Westchester, NY
Undergraduate: Washington University in St. Louis '16
Medical School: University of Minnesota '22


Lena is a second year medical student at the University of Minnesota. She is a native New Yorker and majored in classics at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to studying Latin literature, Lena was a Global MedPrep Scholar at Fudan University in Shanghai where she enjoyed learning Mandarin and medical anthropology. Before medical school, she conducted cardiac electrophysiology research at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, and last year was a Summer Scholar in Thoracic Surgery at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Lena plans to pursue a career as an academic surgeon scientist, and is passionate about heart and lung physiology with a growing interest in cardiothoracic surgery. At the University of Minnesota, she is the founder and president of a new AWS chapter and is involved in several tutoring and mentoring organizations. Next year, Lena is excited to embark on a Sarnoff Cardiovascular Research Fellowship. In her spare time she enjoys running, biking, and swimming in Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes, and brainstorming new vegan recipes.
(@LenaETrager)
NEW ENGLAND REPRESENTATIVE:
Abra Shen

Hometown: Toronto, Canada
Undergraduate: Massachusetts Institute of Technology '16
Medical School: Harvard Medical School '21


Abra is a third-year medical student at Harvard pursuing a career in academic plastic and reconstructive surgery. She earned her bachelor's degree from MIT, where she double majored in Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Theater Arts. During medical school, she co-founded the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Interest Group and served as Co- President of the Harvard AWS chapter. She is currently conducting research in fibrosis and angiogenesis in the Longaker Lab at Stanford as a 2019-20 Sarnoff Fellow. Abra is also interested in the intersection of art and medicine and co-founded the Longwood Chorus, a non-profit organization that brings professionals in healthcare and science together with music. In her free time, she enjoys seeing theater shows, trying new foods, and singing.
(@AbraShen)
MID-ATLANTIC REPRESENTATIVE:
Alice Trye

Hometown: Sicklerville, NJ
Undergraduate: Marymount Manhattan College
Medical School: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School ‘21


Alice is a third year medical student at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School. Her interest in surgery began during undergrad while shadowing a breast surgical oncologist in New York City. Her current research projects include the assessment of barriers to surgical supply access in Sierra Leone post- Ebola crisis. She is passionate about global surgery and working to eliminate healthcare disparities in minority populations. She is keeping an open mind about surgical specialty until rotations, but is currently interested in general surgery and surgical oncology. In her free time, Alice enjoys going to the gym, traveling and blogging.
SOUTHEAST REPRESENTATIVE:
Amber Priester

Hometown: Supply, NC
Undergraduate: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ‘18
Medical School: Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University ‘22


Amber is a second year student and current AWS chapter president at ECU’s Brody School of Medicine. Having been accepted into her institution’s Medical Education and Teaching Distinction Track, she is excited to conduct medical education research in the upcoming year. Prior to medical school, Amber studied biology and anthropology at UNC Chapel Hill, where she also conducted research in electrophysiology. Amber is currently drawn to a career in academic surgery, which she feels would allow her to engage in her passion for teaching and mentorship. In her spare time, Amber enjoys reading a good book next to a sunny window, cheering on the Tar Heels, and exploring the outdoors with her beloved dog, Vagus.
(@AmberPriester2)
SOUTH REPRESENTATIVE:
Elisa Atamian

Hometown: New York, NY
Undergraduate: Boston University ‘14
Graduate School: Boston University ‘16
Medical School: Tulane University School of Medicine ‘20


Elisa is a fourth year medical student at Tulane University in New Orleans. After receiving her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Human Physiology at Boston University, she spent a year in her hometown of New York City completing a research thesis at NYU which discussed DNA damage leading to infertility. Her interests include Plastic Surgery and specifically craniofacial surgery, which led her to complete a summer Research Fellowship at NYU where she studied many aspects of Facial Transplantation. She continues to stay engaged in various clinical research studies at her home institution. She is drawn to the creativity and challenge of being a surgeon and plans to pursue a career in Plastic Surgery. In her free time Elisa loves to explore New Orleans, try new foods, and listen to all the live music it has to offer. She also loves pilates and boxing!
(@ElisaAtamian)
INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, EUROPE:
Hannah Thomas

Hometown: Midland, Ontario, Canada
Graduate School: UCSF Institute for Global Health Sciences ‘20
Medical School: University of St Andrews ’17 / University of Edinburgh ’21


Hannah is a 5th year medical student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. She previously completed her pre-clinical medical training at the University of St Andrews, where she earned a BSc. (Hons) for her thesis on genetic variants of malaria in Sarawak, Malaysia. Through several formative clinical exposures and research positions, Hannah became interested in pursuing a surgical career. She is chiefly passionate about developing sustainable evidence to support investment in safe surgical care in low-resource settings. As the Chair of InciSioN UK, the national global surgery working group in the UK, Hannah collaborates with many organizations, both local and international, to develop and advocate for safe surgery initiatives. She also works as a research student with the Surgical Informatics (GlobalSurg) group in the Department of Clinical Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, investigating global trends in surgical patient outcomes. Currently Hannah is pursuing her Masters in Global Health at the University of California, San Francisco, where she will focus on global surgery initiatives. Outside of medicine, Hannah rows with her university club, enjoys skiing and travelling.
(@Hannah_Thomas4)
INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, CANADA:
Xiya Ma

Hometown: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Medical School: Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal


Xiya is a 6th year MD-MSc student at Université de Montréal with a passion for global surgery, medical innovation and research. She recently completed her masters in experimental medicine focusing on peripheral nerve regeneration and biocompatible neurotechnological interfaces. Xiya currently co-chairs InciSioN (International Student Surgical Network), the world’s leading global surgery trainee organization, and acts as Vice- President for Internal Affairs for CITAC (Clinician Investigator Trainee Association of Canada). Xiya is an aspiring plastic and reconstructive surgeon: she hopes to lead an academic surgery career while combining her love for advocacy and innovation. Outside of medicine, she spends her time painting, learning new languages and volunteering at the city youth council in Montreal.
(@ma_xiya)
INTERNATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, ASIA/AUSTRALIA:
Dania Khawaja

Hometown: Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia
Medical School: Bond University ’22


Dania is a second-year medical student at Bond University, aspiring to be a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon in the field of regenerative medicine, with special interests in face and hand transplantation. To pursue her career, she is a surgical assistant in an inner-city hospital for a specialist Plastic Surgeon, whilst simultaneously undertaking research and writing articles for journals regarding new reconstructive flap techniques and implementing revolutionized pathology for greater surgical care. She is an active member of her medical school, attending multiple surgical, physician, and rural workshops. To further develop her future, she is a co-owner in creating a medical centre for family practice and specialists. Dania has a sharp desire to educate and works as a private tutor for school and university students, whilst maintaining multiple social media accounts to motivate and light a spark of passion in others. In her leisurely time, she enjoys weightlifting, creating YouTube videos, and spending time with her friends and family.
(@DaniaKhawaja)