About us

The Academic Associate Program is a one- or two-year, full-time, paid program in the North Shore-LIJ Health System’s Department of Emergency Medicine, located only 30 minutes from New York City. This position is designed for post-undergraduates who are interested in clinical research, biostatistics, quality improvement, and/or hospital administration. The program has five key areas of focus:

  1. Healthcare administration
  2. Research
  3. Performance Improvement
  4. Information Technology
  5. Continuing Medical Education (CME).

This breadth of focus provides Associates with a comprehensive perspective on the workings of an academic medical department. Academic Associates often apply to medical school but also go on to pursue other careers in fields such as public health, research, and healthcare administration.

Associates gain exposure to many aspects of academic medicine. They work primarily with physicians but also collaborate with other healthcare professionals including administrators, statisticians, nurses, and physician assistants (PAs). As a result, Academic Associates have a strong network of current and past fellows within the larger New York health care community.

Clincal Research

  • Identify, screen and consent patients for research studies in the Emergency Department while ensuring maintenance of ethical and legal standards, and compliance with local, state and national regulatory agencies.
  • Collaborate with physicians to plan, write, and execute new and ongoing studies in the Emergency Department.  This involvement lends many opportunities for co-authorship on various publications.
  • Assume on-call responsibilities for patient enrollment and other projects.
  • Oversee data collection and regulatory documentation while serving as liaison between the Institutional Review Board and Biomedical Research Alliance of New York (BRANY).
  • Write abstracts, manuscripts, and presentations while coordinating submissions to outside agencies, including, the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM), as well as other sub-specialty agencies.
  • Procure funding, negotiate budgets, and communicate with extramural funding sources (i.e. IRB, BRANY) and national coordinating sites for institutional and multi-center research studies.
  • Administer the Research Internship Program, including recruitment, training and ongoing intern management.
  • Travel, as necessary, for off-site projects and presentations at regional and national conferences around the country.

 Academic and Administrative Opportunities

  • Coordinate the Department of Emergency Medicine Committee meetings overseeing research, education, innovation, and faculty promotions.
  • Prepare Continuing Medical Education modules, workshops and regularly scheduled series.
  • Conduct quality assessments within the health system, and write departmental reports, reviews, and newsletters.
  • Participate in faculty development through the Emergency Medicine Career Advancement Program.
  • Engage with practicing physicians locally and nationally in professional meetings and other departmental, regional and national events.

Post-Academic Associate Success

Along with achieving careers in medicine, public health, and other fields, our most recent Academic Associates have gone on to attend a variety of renowned medical schools, including:

  • Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
  • Harvard Medical School
  • Medical University of South Carolina
  • Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Stony Brook School of Medicine
  • Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Emory University School of Medicine
  • Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
  • NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Albert Einstein School of Medicine
  • New York University School of Medicine
  • Sackler School of Medicine
  • SUNY Downstate School of Medicine 

Application process

Applications are currently being accepted for the 2016-2017 academic year. If interested, please email a resume and unofficial transcript to Andrea Bianculli, BS, BA and Colin Crilly, BA at (emaap@nshs.edu) with a brief letter expressing your interest in the program. In addition, please complete the application that can be found here. Decisions will be made on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. 


  • Yamauchi S, Bradburn K, Bianculli A, Jean-Louis N, Raio C, Katz J, D’Amore J. Assessment of the Clinical Effectiveness of Transient Ischemic Attack Work-Ups in the Clinical Decision Unit.
  • Valente C, Schleicher M, Kim M, Romanenko Y, Schulman R, Tiberio A, Greenblatt B, Salvador A, Kwon N, Jomsay D, Silverman R. Prevalence of Undiagnosed Dysglycemia in an Emergency Department Observation Unit.
  • Barata I, Bradburn K, Akerman M, Mahmooth Z, D’Angelo J, Raio C, Ward MF. Characteristics of Pediatric Patient Transfers from the Emergency Department: An Analyiss of HCUP Data.
  • Bharati K, Taraphdar T, Choudhary S, Granat L, Sheppard P, Acerra J. Patients Transferred to a Tertiary Care Center in Rural India Face Long Transport Times and Require Advanced Interventions During Transport.
  • Chapin E, Brady K, Leisman D, Snock A, Granat L, Ward MF, D’Amore J. Visualization of Foreign Body and Laceration by Fluorescein Dye Under a Woods Lamp in Soft Tissue Injury.
  • Boccio E, Wie B, Bradburn K, Bianculli A, Ward MF, Cassara M. The Confidence of Emergency Medicine Faculty in Evaluating Residents According to the Emergency Medicine Milestones.
  • LaMantia J, Yarris L, Weizberg M, Hart D, Farina G, Rodriguez E, Sunga K, Lucas R, Lockyer J, Mahmooth Z, Snock A, Ward MF. A Proposal to Utilize Multi-Source Feedback Instruments to Provide Feedback and to Access Competencies of Emergency Medicine Residents in the United States.
  • Kessler B, Cassara M, Farina G, Roit Z, Wie B, Sud P. The Use of Emergency Medicine Oral Boards Simulated Sessions to Evaluate Resident Abilities to Diagnose and Manage Serotonin Syndrome,
  • Leisman D, Wie B, Tevere J, Ward MF, D’Amore J. Can Emergency Department Compliance with a Basic 3 Hour Sepsis Bundle Reduce Mortality, ICU Utilzation, Length of Stay, and Hopsital Costs without Reliance on Physiologic Endpoints?
  • Wie B, Bradburn K, Kopelman Z, Boccio E, Ward MF, D’Angelo J, D’Amore J. The StO2 Non-Invasive Tissue Hypoperfusion Monitor as a Screening Tool for Early Sepsis Detection in the Emergency Department.
  • Sherman JM, Sheppard P, Hoppa E, Krief W, Avarello J. Let us use LET: A knowledge translation quality improvement initiative
  • Rentala M, Berry B, Tiberio A, Warren S, Mahmooth Z, Sheppard P, Mary Ward M.  Patient Satisfaction in the Clinical Decision Unit 
  • Barata I, Bradburn K, Mamooth Z.  Value of Pediatric Patient Profiles in the Emergency Department.

To view our archived abstracts, please click here.

Meet the Team

2015-2016 Class

Amy Allen, BA

Originally from Illinois, Amy graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 2014 with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Global Health. Amy moved to Qatar for a year after graduation to work at Weill Cornell Medical College as a general chemistry teaching assistant, where she worked with students from across the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. Amy is passionate about research, medicine, and international development. At Cornell, she founded a non-profit organization that is working with a rural community in Zambia to build a secondary school and was president of an organization that donated computers to low-income schools, hospitals, and non-profits around the world. During her sophomore year of college, Amy found that she wanted a career in medicine after spending two months in Zambia shadowing in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the country’s largest teaching hospital. Amy also has seven years of research experience in a wide variety of fields. After doing three years of research in high school in particle physics at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Amy conducted chemistry research at Argonne National Laboratory and Cornell University. Her research at Cornell resulted in three publications. Amy also explored research in the social sciences while in Zambia by working with a peer to design, conduct, and write a paper examining stigmatization and discrimination of epileptic patients in Zambia. The paper was published by a Zambian journal.  Amy loves exploring the world, meeting new people, and is an avid student of the Russian language.


Andrea Bianculli, BS, BA

Originally from North Massapequa, New York, Andrea graduated cum laude from the University of Delaware with a Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences, a Bachelor of Science in Neuroscience, and a minor in dance.  Andrea also obtained a Certificate of Business Essentials. During college, Andrea worked as an Emergency Medical Technician, served as a teaching assistant, choreographed for her dance company, and volunteered at a local nursing home, soup kitchen, and AI DuPont Children’s Hospital. Andrea served as the Director of Personnel for her ambulance organization, the Vice President of her dance company, and was a co-founder of the University of Delaware chapter of Red Watch Band – an organization that aims to educate college aged students on the signs and symptoms of fatal alcohol overdose, and the steps to take to prevent such deaths. For her senior capstone project, Andrea conducted interdisciplinary research combining her interests in both neuroscience and dance by investigating the connection between neuroplasticity and the improvement of dance technique. During her time as an undergraduate student, Andrea traveled to Tena, Ecuador to volunteer in mobile clinics providing free medical care to impoverished communities. Andrea looks forward to further participating in international medicine throughout her career as a physician. In her free time, Andrea enjoys reading, lying on the beach, spending time with her friends & family, and traveling around the country for Zac Brown Band concerts. This is Andrea’s second year working as an Academic Associate and she is currently applying to medical school for matriculation in the fall of 2016.


Colin Crilly, BA

Raised in Ventura, California, Colin Crilly graduated from Vassar College with general and departmental honors as a double major in Biology and Political Science. An inductee into the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Colin conducted cell biology research at Vassar College for three years, using confocal microscopy and genetic manipulation techniques to study Drosophila egg development. In addition, he has spent two summers engaged in biomedical research, examining asthma-induced airway constriction at the University of California, San Francisco as well as nutrition-dependent skeletal muscle synthesis at Baylor College of Medicine. Colin was President of the Vassar Debate Society for two years and active in Model United Nations, receiving multiple awards and working as a Teaching Assistant for the program in his senior year. As an Executive Board member of Pro-Health, Colin led fundraisers for Partners in Health and Planned Parenthood along with running a toiletry drive for low-income residents of Poughkeepsie who could not purchase such items with food stamps. He spent a semester studying abroad at University College London, where he mentored students at an underserved primary school and assisted with marketing and publicity for a TEDxUCLWomen conference. His favorite activities include hiking, visiting art museums, going to concerts, and finding the best Indian lunch buffet in every borough. Colin is currently applying to medical school for matriculation in the fall of 2016.


Jeanie Gribben, BS

Originally from North Woodmere, New York, Jeanie graduated with high distinction from Cornell University with a B.S. in Human Development and a minor in Nutrition and Health. At Cornell, Jeanie conducted research on memory development and cognitive impairment as part of the Memory and Neuroscience Lab, and she served as the Lab Coordinator during her senior year.  She worked as a Teaching Assistant for Anatomy and Physiology Lecture and Lab and acted as Vice President of the Cornell chapter of Kappa Omicron Nu, the National Human Sciences Honor Society. Jeanie served as secretary of her dance group and co-editor for a student-published neuroscience journal, and she was involved with campus public health through the university health services department. Jeanie has spent time mentoring younger students and volunteering at a rehabilitation center, a childcare center, and at several hospitals in the greater New York area. She currently volunteers for the Island Harvest Food Bank as part of the Nutrition and Wellness Task Force. She loves traveling and spent one summer studying in Madrid, Spain. Jeanie enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, dancing, and music. She is applying to medical school for matriculation in the fall of 2016.


Michelle Kikel. BS

Originally from Northport, New York, Michelle graduated from Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science in Integrative Neuroscience. While at Binghamton, Michelle performed interdisciplinary microbiology and bioengineering research, studying the effects of bacteria on bronchial epithelial cells of patients with Cystic Fibrosis. A member of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Interdisciplinary Research Program, Michelle has presented her projects at numerous conferences and to the Binghamton Biofilms Research Group.  Michelle has volunteered at Lourdes Hospital, working in orthopedics, pediatrics, women’s health, and emergency medicine. After being accepted to the North Shore-LIJ Summer Healthcare Exploration program, she shadowed medical staff in eight different departments, observed numerous surgical procedures, and attended multiple Grand Rounds, floor rounds, and education forums. While attending school, Michelle worked as a Resident Assistant for two years, along with being the Outreach Coordinator for Irish Student Union and Treasurer for the Pre-Physician Assistant Society. In her free time, Michelle enjoys training for half-marathons and exploring hiking spots throughout the country. Michelle is applying to medical school for matriculation in the Fall of 2016. 


Jeremy Van de Rijn, BS

Originally from Voorhees, New Jersey, Jeremy graduated from Bucknell University with a B.S. in Cell Biology/Biochemistry. At school, Jeremy conducted research with Japanese quail on the relation between stress and aging. He also worked in a molecular biology laboratory at Rowan Graduate School of the Biomedical Sciences researching the yeast mitochondrial genome. Jeremy trained Special Olympians in swimming all four years of college, served as the Interfraternity Council Community Service and Philanthropy Chair, was the Vice President of Sigma Phi Epsilon, and created the first annual B+ Challenge at his university in order to raise money for the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. In addition, he worked as an organismal biology teaching assistant and a student medical transport driver while at Bucknell. In his free time, Jeremy enjoys golfing, snowboarding, and hanging with friends. He recently became interested in parkour and currently trains at a local gym. Jeremy hopes to become a physician and is applying to medical school for matriculation in the fall of 2016.


2014-2015 Class

Katie Bradburn, BA

Originally from Anderson, South Carolina, Katie attended Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she graduated magna cum laude with degrees in Chemistry and Religion.  She spent one semester of her undergraduate career abroad in Chile, studying Public Health and the traditional medical practices of a local indigenous community, the Mapuche.  During her stay, she completed research on the relationship between spirituality and medicine in the modern world.  She continued this research upon her return in her Senior Honor’s Thesis, in which she completed a scientific and spiritual analysis of the therapeutic activity of herbal medicines.  This project was awarded the Currin Medal in recognition of its merit as an outstanding thesis.  Katie was also selected for the Easley Medal by the Religion Department for overall excellence during her undergraduate career. Additionally, during Katie’s college career she worked as a Habilitation Technician for a special needs child.  It was this work specifically that inspired her to work in healthcare and one day serve as a pediatric health care provider. Katie loves traveling, meeting new people, long runs, and dancing in her free time. Katie is now a first year medical student at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC.

Kathryn Brady, BA

Originally from Rye, New York, Kathryn recently graduated from Bowdoin College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a minor in Economics. At Bowdoin, Kathryn conducted advanced independent research in evolutionary genetics as a research fellow during her senior year. She worked to sequence the complete mitochondrial genome for the follicle mite species, Demodex kutzeri, found on elk hosts. This work has exposed the genetic differences between this more virulent mite species and its counterpart that inhabits human hosts. Her clinical research background includes contributions to a study examining rates of encephalopathy in HIV-positive pediatric patients, evaluating its effect on school performance. Heavily involved with Bowdoin’s Alternative Spring Break Program, Kathryn developed and led her own trip focused on Nutrition and Food Accessibility in New Orleans. She also ran cross-country at Bowdoin during her four years and continues to be a passionate runner, now training for a half-marathon. Outside of her major activities, Kathryn also served as an advocate for survivors of sexual assault on campus and mentored younger students in the sciences by engaging them with her year-long research project. In her free time, Kathryn enjoys traveling, running, and eating baked goods. Kathryn will be applying to medical school for matriculation in 2017.

Lauren Granat, BS

Lauren Granat graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Human Development, with a concentration in Aging and Health, and a minor in Nutrition and Health.  During college, Lauren worked as a Writing Tutor, competed for the Gymnastics Team, volunteered as an Orientation Leader, and conducted Alzheimer’s disease research in the Memory and Neuroscience Laboratory.  After graduating, Lauren completed her post-baccalaureate pre-medical coursework at Hofstra University and volunteered as a Research Intern in the Department of Emergency Medicine at North Shore University Hospital.  Lauren is fascinated by the brain and loves making jewelry, hiking, vegetarian Mexican food, Grey’s Anatomy, gymnastics, and soy lattes. Lauren is currently a first year medical student at the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine in Old Westbury, NY.

Dan Leisman, BS

A native New Yorker, Dan Leisman graduated cum laude from Brandeis University where he pursued an interdisciplinary course of study in “Health: Science, Society, and Policy”. Before joining the Academic Associate team, Dan was active in pediatric nephrology research at Cohen Children’s Medical Center. He was the lead investigator on a study that examined the effect of blood pressure variability in children with primary vs. secondary hypertension, which was published in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension. Dan gave a platform presentation on the same study at Pediatric Academic Societies’ (PAS) 2014 Annual Meeting in Vancouver, the largest international conference focused on child health research. He contributed to acute kidney injury research that has been presented at PAS and American Society of Nephrology conferences, and worked on hypertension research that has been published in Pediatric Cardiology. In college, Dan worked full-time for the Escort Safety Service, a division of Brandeis’ Department of Public Safety which runs all campus transportation services. He spent two years as Head Coordinator, where he led the four-member management team in overseeing daily operations, coordinating major campus events including commencement and student move-in, and directly supervising over 100 employees. Dan was a member of Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity, and served as the chapter’s president during his junior year. Dan is a classically trained musician who enjoys everything from classical to jazz to deep house. He enjoys traveling, DJing, and would describe himself as a “steak enthusiast.” Dan is now a first year medical student at Ichan School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York, NY.

Mackenzie Schleicher, BA

Born in Londonderry, NH and graduated cum laude from Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME with a major in Biology. Mackenzie has spent significant time in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit (SICU), Operating Room, Department of Outpatient Physical Therapy, Department of Dental Medicine, as well as the Department of Anesthesia at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. In the summer of 2013, Mackenzie served as a research coordinator in the Department of Anesthesia studying the neurological complications resulting from prolonged Trendelenburg position during robotic hysterectomies. The abstract for this research study was accepted by the ASA was presented in Texas in October 2014. Mackenzie went on to complete an Advanced Independent Study in the Department of Neuroscience at Bowdoin College regarding this same topic, entitled “The da Vinci Robot: Its surgical application and the need for standards of proficiency”. Mackenzie is a four-year Sarah and James Bowdoin Scholar and a three-time Academic All-American Lacrosse Athlete.  During her junior year, Mackenzie traveled abroad to St. Andrews, Scotland to study cell biology and zoological sciences; she also traveled to France, Germany, and Poland. During her senior year, Mackenzie served as Vice President for the class of 2014. She was also heavily involved in Women’s Varsity Lacrosse, the Public Health Volunteer Group, Out Allies, and a program to feed the homeless, called Food Forward. Mackenzie served as a calculus and chemistry tutor, as well as a lacrosse counselor and coach for Bowdoin College.  She loves running, fishing, listening to music and staying healthy. Mackenzie is in the process of applying to dental school for matriculation in the fall of 2016. 

Patrick Sheppard, BS

Originally from New Hampshire, Patrick Sheppard graduated with high distinction from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) with a B.S. in Environmental Engineering and International Studies. At WPI, Patrick was involved with Engineers without Borders. He was also a Writing Tutor at the WPI Writing Center and a Research Associate on a project to integrate Chinese area studies into WPI’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) curriculum. His junior year, Patrick went to South Africa where he grappled with some of the social barriers facing water and sanitation provision in urban slums. This project was an honorable mention for WPI’s President’s IQP Award, and abstracts for the project were accepted to conferences at both Tufts University and UNC Chapel Hill. The summer after his junior year, Patrick worked as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at Clark University on a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded project to analyze the social impact of invasive species as well as the responses to these species from different sectors and at different scales. His senior year, Patrick traveled to Shanghai Jiao Tong University on another NSF-funded project to study the impact of inorganic nanoparticles on the performance of polymeric membranes used for water and wastewater treatment. This project was a top three finalist for WPI’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Advisory Board MQP Award. Outside of school, Patrick enjoys skiing, going to the beach, and watching Netflix, and he was also a member of Alpha Chi Rho. Patrick is a first year medical student at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL.

Alexandra Snock, BA

Originally from New York, Alex graduated from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health and a concentration in Community Health and Health Education. Upon graduation, Alex was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Throughout her undergraduate career, Alex worked with underserved populations in Baltimore as a student medical assistant at a local community health center, as an intern at a non-profit that provides business attire to women transitioning from welfare to work programs, and as a research assistant at the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center. In addition to her passion for serving the needs of the Baltimore community, Alex is also very interested in global health. She had the opportunity to study mental health in Uganda and traditional medicine in India, Vietnam, and South Africa, and work as a research assistant in Peru. Alex enjoys trying out new recipes and listening to murder mystery audiobooks during her daily commute. She is now pursuing opportunities related to her interest in public health in San Jose, CA.

Chris Valente, BS

Born in Fairport, NY, Chris graduated magna cum laude from Bucknell University in January 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. While in college, Chris worked in an organic chemistry lab, where he conducted polymer research. His paper, titled “Dimerization of Poly(methyl methacrylate) Chains Using Radical Trap-Assisted Atom Transfer Radical Coupling” was published in the polymer journal,Macromolecules, in March 2014. Chris also interned for the gastroenterology department at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA, where he conducted clinical research in an effort to standardize the use of the HIDA scan. He worked as a calculus tutor throughout college and was also involved in Bucknell’s Reunion Weekend, during which he served as an ambassador for the school’s alumni. In his free time, Chris enjoys traveling, playing sports, and spending time at the beach. Most importantly, he is an avid New York sports fan. Chris is a first year medical student at SUNY Downstate College of Medicine in Brooklyn, NY.

Benjamin Wie, BA

Benjamin Wie is a second-year Academic Associate, and will be focusing his efforts on the clinical research studies in the North Shore University Hospital Emergency Department this year. He has played a key role during his first year on several major Performance Improvement projects in the department, including patient flow initiatives and preparations for The Joint Commission surveys. In addition to research, he will continue to be heavily involved in the department’s efforts with the Surviving Sepsis Campaign.  He graduated from Cornell University in 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology & Society.  At Cornell, Benjamin conducted research in Neurobiology and Behavior as a Rawlings Cornell Presidential Research Scholar for four years.  These studies examined the mechanisms of learning and recall for olfactory-based learning in mouse and rat models.  Benjamin also played on the Cornell Buds Ultimate Frisbee team, and started on the defensive line his senior year as the Buds advanced to the College National Championship Tournament for the fifth consecutive year.  He was a backpacking guide with Cornell Outdoor Education (COE) and led various backpacking trips throughout the year along with Outdoor Odyssey, a pre-orientation trip for incoming freshmen.  He got his introduction to outdoor education through being a facilitator at the Cornell Team & Leadership, and worked closely with COE’s world-class trainers as Lead Facilitator his senior year.   Outside of his major activities, Benjamin also tutored Organic Chemistry and was trained to be a counselor for EARS, Cornell’s student-run counseling and therapy service.  In his free time, Benjamin enjoys attending concerts, road tripping the East Coast, cooking, and spending time outdoors. Benjamin is a first year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, NC.

2013-2014 Class

Katie Bradburn, BA 
Patrick Sheppard, BS 
Ben Wie, BA

Alexa Dattilo, BA 

Originally from Topeka, Kansas, Alexa graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology with specializations in Neuroscience and Cancer Biology. In college, Alexa volunteered for hospice, Chicago Lighthouse and Service for Sight through her sorority, and Health Leads, an organization in which advocates collaborate with physicians, social workers, lawyers, and community organizations to connect clients with the necessary resources to improve underlying factors that contribute to their overall health and quality of life. In addition to this, Alexa’s research experience is broad, including work in a biosafety lab with Herpes-Simplex Virus 1, brain-machine interface and its potential future application to prosthetics, a genetics lab researching the genes responsible for anxiety and drug addiction, and the pros and cons of transradial procedures in interventional cardiology. Alexa was a Panhellenic Council member in charge of Events, a recruitment counselor (for two years), and a member of Delta Gamma. She studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain her senior year, was a member of the Pre-Medical Student Association, and a teaching assistant. In her free time Alexa enjoys cooking and baking, creative writing, riding horses, and exploring New York.  Alexa is currently a second year medical student at New York Institute of Technology Osteopathic School of Medicine in Old Westbury, NY.

Alexa Dryer, BS 

Originally from Summit, New Jersey, Alexandra graduated cum laude from Lehigh University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and minors in Chinese and Spanish. Alexandra received 1st place at the IEEE Morton Student Contest for her senior design project, an Endurance Hydration Meter. She was able to merge her Electrical Engineering background with her interest in medicine when she began epilepsy research at Lehigh University; examining post-traumatic epilepsy induced signaling pathway disruption using neural circuit architecture for the application of high throughput drug screens. This study was accepted for publication in the Journal of Neuroscience in May 2013. Alexandra was the Vice President of Chapter Operations for her sorority on Lehigh’s campus, as well as the Director of Member Development and the Assistant Director of the Innovation and Leadership Residency. She was a tutor for Calculus and Spanish throughout college, and a member of the campus Emergency Medical Services. Her international involvement began with a CURE International Missionary trip to Kijabe, Kenya, where she spent two weeks shadowing surgeons in a children’s hospital. She enjoys running, cooking, traveling, and modern art. Alexandra is now a second year medical student at St George’s University School of Medicine in Grenada.

Claudia Gambrah, BA

Born in Ghana but raised mostly in Texas, Claudia graduated cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis with a double major in Biochemistry and Spanish with a concentration in public health. Claudia has worked on public health projects at both the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. During her senior year, Claudia received Latin honors for two theses projects: “Johannesburgo y Cape Town: Estudiocomparitivo de los efectos de apartheid” and  “Un rechazo de groupthink: La crónica de Mexico.” During her undergraduate career, Claudia was very involved with the Association of Black Students, serving as President during her senior year. She also tutored Latin American youth in a program called Puertas and taught anatomy and physiology at a local high school. She loves running, dancing, eating ice, listening to music and watching her favorite TV shows on Netflix. Claudia is a second year medical student at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Zach Kopelman, BA 

Originally from Atlanta, Zach graduated cum laude from Bucknell University with a B.A. in Biology.  During his senior year, Zach served as the president for the Order of Omega Honor society organizing community service and appreciation events for the student body.  Throughout his undergraduate career, Zach conducted cancer research with PC-3 and K7MZ cell lines under the direction of Dr. Mitchell Chernin.  He was a peer=specialist specializing in the health fields at Bucknell’s career development center organizing various health society related events.  Zach was also a student leader and steering committee member for the Bucknell Brigade through which he traveled to the most impoverished areas of Nicaragua bringing medical care and supplies to locals.  He loves skiing in the winter, lying on the beach, scuba-diving in the summer and golf year-round.  Zach is now a second year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine – Georgia Campus in Suwanee, Georgia.

Zayan Mahmooth, BS, MSPH

Zayan was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka and lived and studied in Maryland since he was 12. Zayan completed his B.S. in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in three years, where he was awarded the Outstanding Graduating Senior in Bioinformatics. During his undergraduate career, he founded the campus Debate team, serving as President. He also mentored disadvantaged Baltimore youth through the Choice program and the Incentive Mentoring Program and volunteered on weekends at Education Based Latino Outreach. Zayan completed his graduate degree in public health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, during which he focused on health systems in the International Health department. He was part of the research team on two mental health interventions for torture survivors in Iraq and an evaluation of a mobile health intervention for weight loss for the medically underserved in Baltimore. Zayan is now a second year medical student at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia.

Tammy Tavdy, BS 

Originally from Forest Hills, New York, Tammy recently graduated magna cum laude from Brandeis University with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. She holds minors in both Chemistry and Theater Arts, and was named to the Dean’s List for all semesters. In addition to serving as Orientation Leader and peer-mentor for biology majors, she has extensive volunteer experience in both medical and non-medical settings. Her volunteering includes working for a nursing home’s recreational therapy program, serving as a “Brandeis Buddy” for developmentally disabled adults, and informing prospective students and their families in her undergraduate Office of Admissions. She was also a Structured Study Group Leader for the Organic Chemistry Department, and was responsible for teaching recitations, holding office hours, and grading students’ work. In her spare time, Tammy enjoys Zumba and cycling classes, trivia nights, cheering on the New York Knicks, and hopes to do some more traveling in the future. Tammy is currently a second year medical student at New York Institute of Technology Osteopathic School of Medicine in Old Westbury, NY.

Lara Weiss, BSPH

Originally from Short Hills, New Jersey, Lara graduated cum laude in Spring 2012 from Tulane University with a Bachelor’s degree in Science and Public Health. She completed a minor in Business Administration. She was inducted into several national and international honors societies throughout her studies. At Tulane, Lara was involved with several organizations including Alpha Epsilon Phi Sorority and Autism Speaks U. She has extensive volunteer and work experiences in both clinical and non-clinical settings. Following her graduation, Lara conducted clinical research at Mount Sinai School of Medicine investigating the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders and Fragile-X Syndrome. In her free time Lara enjoys indoor cycling, running, swimming and yoga. She is a second year medical student at Sackler University School of Medicine in New York, NY.

James Zhou, BA 

Originally from Ottawa, Canada, James graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University with a B.A. in Biology and Society. In his senior year, James completed his honor’s thesis by examining the protective effects of cysteine dioxygenase deficiency on obesity and weight gain in CDO-knockout mice. James enjoys traveling and has visited Uganda to teach health education and Haiti to implement sustainably-managed water projects. During his undergraduate years, he served as a teaching assistant for introductory physics recitation and laboratory sections. James was also involved in various photography projects and volunteered with several agencies around the Ithaca, NY area. In his free time, James enjoys cleaning, vacuuming, photography, and collecting fountain pens. He is now a second year medical student at New York University School of Medicine in New York, NY.

2012-2013 Class

  • Mark Wu, BS
  • Robert Medairos, BS
  • Emily Kintzer, BA, BS
  • Stephanie Haddad, MD
  • Jenny Goltser, BS
  • Andrew Chen, BA
  • Eric Boccio, BS
  • Natali Baner, BS

2011-2012 Class

  • John Pizzuti, BS
  • Andrew Loftus, BS
  • Danielle Gurr, BA
  • Jill Castaneda, BS
  • Kathryn Bailey, BA
  • Rahela Aziz-Bose, BA

2010-2011 Class

  • Megan McCullough, BA
  • Alvin Lomibao, BS
  • Karen Tenner, BS
  • Robert Spencer, MS
  • Katie Miele, MA
  • Maxwell Mathias, BS
  • Jessy Gatt, BS
  • Sandra De Cicco, MD