Dental Outreach Chapters
Akhila Dasari, Team Leader
Hey there! My name is Akhila Dasari and I am currently a freshman at George Mason University. I am currently double majoring in Neuroscience and Mathematics and am also on the pre-dental track.
This is my first year being a Team Leader for VAW and am very excited to travel the world to help children in developing countries. I plan on going to dental school and later specialize in orthodontics.
When I’m not busy with school, I love to learn different languages and am currently learning Korean and enjoy watching k-dramas in my free time. I also love working with kids of all ages and am very excited to make fun experiences abroad :)! I am looking forward to establishing a chapter at George Mason.
Anna Bollag, Team Leader
Hey! I’m Anna Bollag and I am a third-year Biochemistry major at Georgia Tech interested in pursuing a career as a pediatric dentist. I am super excited to begin the dental outreach chapter of VAW at GT after attending a VAW medical outreach trip to Albania in summer 2017. It is incredible to be able to see the impact that VAW is making in these underserved communities and it is even more amazing to be able to be a part of making the difference. VAW helps to fulfill my passions of helping others, traveling abroad, and experiencing life. I’m excited to see this new chapter emerge and grow and I can’t wait to serve more communities.
Brittany Valledor, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Brittany Valledor and I am a Junior at the University of Florida. I am a pre-dental student who is double majoring in Spanish and Nutritional Science. I am thrilled to be the Team Leader for the VAW Dental Team at the University of Florida!
I first volunteered with VAW in the summer of 2015 on a Dental Mission to Jarabacoa, DR. With hard work, I was able to become Team Leader and lead our school’s chapter back to Jarabacoa this summer for our second annual Dental Mission. I look forward to another year of working with VAW and helping to bring smiles to people all around the world who need our help the most!
When not working with VAW or other pre-dental organizations, I like to spend my time cooking and baking. I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends as well as traveling.
Celine Das, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Celine Das. I am a Senior at New York University majoring in chemistry and minoring in psychology. I am pre-dental and plan on going to dental school in the future. I hope to become a pediatric dentist so I can touch children’s lives and show them how to start good hygiene habits young.
I first heard about VAW my sophomore year at NYU and thought this was a great way for me to share my passion with people all around the world. I went on the VAW Dental trip to the Dominican Republic in the Winter of 2016 and not only did I meet some of my closest friends now, but I also learned a lot about dentistry in the process.
Outside of school, I enjoy photography, staying active, and cooking. I also love to travel and experience new countries and cultures. I am thrilled to be a part of VAW and am looking forward to the great year we will have!
Cynthia Devendran, Team Leader
Cynthia is a senior majoring in Biology specializing in Genetics and minoring in Entrepreneurship. She was the Team Leader of Stony Brook’s Dental Outreach to The Dominican Republic in 2016.
Cynthia loves exploring health fields in different nations and hopes to attend many more outreaches in her future to help children and residents gain proper dental care and knowledge. As President, she hopes to spread the word on campus about the great opportunities and experiences VAW provides to pre-dental students.
Danielle Bassaragh, Team Leader
Hey everyone! My name is Danielle Bassaragh. I am a pre-dental student at Stony Brook University and I major in Sociology. I was the team leader of Stony Brook’s Dental Outreach to the Dominican Republic in the Summer of 2017.
I am now the Vice President of VAW Stony Brook Chapter. My dream in life is to one day become a dentist, and own my own practice. VAW was the perfect organization for me to get involved in because it combined my two passions of dentistry and community service. VAW provided me with a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Dominican Republic to serve underprivileged communities. I had the ultimate first-hand experience of assisting and shadowing different dentists from Dominican Republic. The days I spent in that beautiful country were truly some of the most amazing, educational, and influential days of my life. I hope to bring what I learned from VAW trip to my future career in dentistry. My goal as Vice President of VAW Stony Brook Chapter is to encourage others on my campus to join our VAW family, so we can all continue to work together to help and bring smiles to people in need.
Dhrasti Patel, Team Leader
Hey! My name is Dhrasti Patel. Currently, I am a pre-dental student at Temple University and major in Biology. I work as a Pharmacy Technician at Rite Aid and Dental Assistant at Alpha Dental Excellence. In addition, I am a member of my Pre-dental Club at Temple and hold a E-board position for MedLife.
Outside of school, my hobbies include traveling, reading and spending time with my family and friends. I am thrilled to be a Team Leader for VAW. I look forward to going abroad to help underprivileged countries receive better dental care.
Hosna Esmaelsadah, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Hosna Esmaelsadah and I am currently a sophomore at Hofstra University. I am pursuing a major in Health Science and a minor in Biochemistry, and I am also on the pre-dental track. Over the past year, I’ve had the privilege of shadowing different dentists, as well as working as a dental assistant, which definitely helped me solidify my interest and passion in this occupation.
I believe VAW is an organization that provides fantastic opportunities to serve various underprivileged communities around the world, and at the same time explore the profession of Dentistry. I am very excited to be the team leader at Hofstra University, and I look forward to all the great experiences ahead!
Hudda Baig, Team Leader
Hey everybody! I’m Hudda and a junior at Stony Brook University as a Spanish major along with a minor in biology. This is my first year as the President of the VAW Stony Brook Chapter!
My first hands-on and shadowing dental experience happened following my freshman year through VAW, in Dominican Republic and it solidified my goal to pursue dentistry. This outreach trip combined both of my passions-speaking Spanish as well as promoting oral health voluntarily for underserved communities. VAW taught me a great amount in the matter of just one trip. I learned that before money and yourself, your patient’s oral hygiene is the most prerogative of all and you must do what you can to help them.
VAW helped me realize that I’d like to practice dentistry through diversity and community service. After traveling to Dominican Republic, my hope to gain fluency in Spanish and skills in dentistry grew. I hope to bring what I learned and will learn from VAW, to my career in dentistry Every year I’m learning more and seeing how much the VAW Organization is growing, and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it as well as promoting our chapter at Stony Brook University.
Jordan Jacobs, Team Leader
I am a junior attending the University of Michigan, majoring in Biopsychology, Cognition, and Neuroscience. I have always wanted to help others, and dentistry is the perfect outlet. I grew up watching my dad run his own private practice, and I have gotten to know many aspects of dentistry and desire to build my own practice one day.
Outside of school, I spend my time dancing for a tap team and contemporary team on campus. I love art, photography, piano, baking, and the list goes on. I keep myself occupied with dance, a pre-dental club, and now VAW!
I am super excited to be a part of something so great, and am looking forward to establishing a chapter on my campus! I cannot wait to arrange a successful trip and complete my mission of wanting to help others receive dental care.
Julia Persky, Team Leader
Hey everyone, my name is Julia Persky! I’m a junior at the University of California, Berkeley, studying Molecular Environmental Biology. I am excited to be working as a team leader for VAWDO here at Cal. I’m on the pre-dental track, and I participate in Cal’s pre-dental society on campus. I also co-facilitate a class that mentors and advises students who are interested in various pre-health tracks.
One of my most valuable experiences was the VAWDO trip I took Dominican Republic last summer, which is why I want to encourage others to have a similar positive experience through the program. Beyond improving my Spanish and being a brilliant trip filled with fun experiences, I really managed to develop my love and passion for dental work and volunteering.
In my free time I enjoy hiking through Berkeley’s beautiful hills to find amazing views of the SF Bay, and during the rainy season I like to go hunting for mushrooms and other fungi.
Kelly Allen, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Kelly Allen and I am a senior at University of Alaska Anchorage where I study biological sciences with a focus in pre-dentistry. My dream is to be a pediatric dentist as well as travel frequently to provide dental care to those in poverty stricken areas. I am thrilled to be the team leader for Alaska’s first ever VAW dental outreach trip as well as travel to Thailand in December with the AKVAW Medical Outreach.
My free time is spent volunteering at a local elementary school, shadowing dentists and oral surgeons around town, and exploring the incredible outdoors.
Kizinia Hamm, Team Leader and Vice President
Hello! My name is Kizinia Hamm, and I am the Vice-President of the Hofstra dental chapter. I am a sophomore at Hofstra University, majoring in Health Sciences and I am on the pre-dental track.
I plan to attend dental school, and to then specialize in orthodontics. I had the amazing opportunity to travel with VAW to the Dominican Republic in Summer 2015, and I look forward to volunteering again with VAW.
Lea Sarment, Co-Team Leader
Hi! I am currently a junior in engineering at Virginia Tech. I am very passionate about providing dental care to underprivileged areas.
I loved working with Volunteers Around the World in the Dominican Republic and can not wait to continue expanding this organization!
Marina Makram, Team Leader
Hey there! My name is Marina Makram and I am a junior at New York University majoring in Psychology and minoring in Chemistry. I hope to pursue medical school after graduation and to let my passion guide me to a specialization!
I am passionate about being a help to the underserved and am fervent about using my talents and all of my abilities to help the underprivileged. I am excited about visiting the Dominican Republic for the first time in the Winter of 2016 and to be a part of the incredible experience that Volunteers Around the World allows!
Martine Saad, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Martine Saad and I am a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in biology. I plan on attending dental school after graduation
I currently work as a lab assistant in the pre-clinic at OSU College of Dentistry. I am passionate about dentistry and helping underprivileged communities. I am so happy to be apart of VAW and ready to help change lives of people around the world with some dental work and kindness!
Meghan Schooley, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Meghan Schooley, I am a senior at Michigan State University majoring in Human Biology, with a minor in Spanish, and a dream of becoming a dentist. I have been a part of Volunteers Around the World at MSU for two years and have traveled twice to the Dominican Republic as a volunteer. This past year I was the Language and Education Chair for our trip. The trip really solidified my interest in dentistry and overall was a very eye opening experience. Volunteering in impoverished communities is a life-changing experience and something I would like to continue to do throughout my career.
In addition to being a member of VAW, I am the vice president of member recruitment for my sorority Alpha Phi and I am a member of pre-dental club. I also volunteer with Read to Succeed and help plan fundraising opportunities for my sorority. I also enjoy running, being outside, and spending time with my friends and family!
Nicole Hoard, Team Leader
Hi everyone! My name is Nicole Hoard and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina- Columbia. I am an exercise science major, with an emphasis on pre dental, and working on a psychology minor. This is my first year leading a dental outreach program and I couldn’t be more excited about what the future holds for me with this unique organization.
I first discovered my passion for VAW through a pilot, medical outreach trip to Albania in the summer of 2017. Through this trip I learned not only medical skills, but a passion for travel service that I became consumed by. I wasted no time founding a dental chapter (as team lead) and planning a medical outreach trip (as vice president) to Cambodia for May of 2018.
In my free time I enjoy boating around my home town in the eastern North Carolina/OBX region, and any kind of outdoor activity. VAW has given me an opportunity to thrive in an environment that pushes me outside of my comfort zone, and I can’t wait to see what my future holds through VAW.
Nirali Patel, Team Leader
Hey guys! My name is Nirali Patel and I am currently a junior at the University of Mississippi. I am majoring in Biology and plan to become a pediatric dental surgeon. I have always had a strong interest in helping others and medicine. After becoming a practicing physician, I plan on traveling around the world to provide medical care for children who are underprivileged.
I am ecstatic to carry on my passion through Volunteers Around the World by volunteering in countries where medical work is needed. Becoming a part of such an amazing organization and being able to establish a chapter within my peers on campus is a humbling feeling. This will be my first year working with VAW and I cannot wait for the experiences and knowledge that will come on the trips!
Patrick Patel, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Patrick Patel and I am a 4th year pre-dental student at the University of Texas at Arlington. I am currently majoring in Biology and minoring in Business Administration and the current team leader of the newly formed UTA chapter of Volunteers Around the World. As team leader I plan on putting a team together for this upcoming summer to either volunteer in Peru or the Dominican Republic. I believe VAW is a wonderful opportunity to help everyone expand clinical experience about the dental field by learning from hands on experience.
Currently, I am in two Pre-Dental Societies on my campus and also working as a Dental Assistant at an orthodontist office. During my free time I enjoy playing golf, interacting with new people, and love trying out new places to eat. I am super excited to be able to have the opportunity to provide knowledge and oral health care to various underprivileged communities, and at the same time gain cultural enrichment. I know this will be one of my most remarkable experiences and I can’t wait live it!
Prakrit Subba, Team Leader
Namaste! My name is Prakrit and I’m a junior at UMass Amherst. I am an international student from New Delhi, India and I am a Biology major on the pre-dental track. I come from a family of dentists and I will be a 4th generation dentist in my family. In the most literal sense, I grew up in a dental office and I had the amazing opportunity to watch my parents work on their patients which motivated me to become a dentist myself.
From my dental volunteering experience in India and in the DR, I have come to realize that I have a calling to work on improving oral health in developing countries and I would like to pursue this calling in the long term once I start practicing in India.
I am a believer and I am also involved with Intervarsity, a Christian campus ministry for college students. I am also a huge Bollywood (Hindi Film Industry) fan and I have a talent of recommending bad movies to my friends.
Pritesh Deva, Team Leader
Hey! My name is Pritesh Deva a current senior at Virginia Tech. I am a pre-dental student majoring in Biological Sciences and Psychology and was the team leader of our Dental Outreach to the Dominican Republic Winter 2016.
VAW is a truly amazing experience for all majors and is especially helpful with those contemplating a healthcare career. The trip to the Dominican Republic was one of the most valuable and eye-opening experiences for me, as it has influenced my decision on pursuing dentistry and helping those in under-served communities.
Now the current President at Virginia Tech, I really can’t wait for this upcoming chapter to experience the same. Go Hokies
Priya Patel, Team Leader
Hello!! My name is Priya J Patel, and I am now in my senior year of college at Georgia State University. I am a Biology Pre-dental student, and have been Co-President of VAW’s Dental chapter at GSU for the past 2 years.
VAW has been an absolutely amazing experience for many, and it has always been an honor being able to be part of the process. The satisfaction that VAW allows volunteers to feel is gargantuan by making an impact in the globally underserved areas. I’m extremely eager to see this year’s chapter come together for one mission. As Mother Theresa would say, “Give your hands to serve, and your hearts to love.”
Resham Gehani, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Resham Gehani and I am a 3rd year pre-dental student studying Microbiology and Human Development & Family Consumer Sciences at the University of Georgia.
I am extremely involved on campus and also in the local community around UGA. After graduation, I plan to attend Dental School and go on to specialize in Orthodontics.
I believe VAW is an amazing opportunity to help communities by providing healthcare services and also educating them. I am extremely excited to be able to lead a trip to the Dominican Republic to provide dental care to underprivileged communities and learn so much about dentistry myself! I know this will be a remarkable experience and I am looking forward to it!
Saad Hasan, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Saad Hasan and I am a Junior Neuroscience major at the University of Texas at Dallas. After building a close relationship with my pediatric dentist, I wanted to give the profession of dentistry a try. Throughout my high school career I was fortunate enough to be involved at Baylor College of Dentistry with summer programs and dental organizations which solidified my interest in the profession.
I enjoy the idea of waking up each day to put a smile on every patient’s face. I believe that VAW is an AMAZING opportunity to fulfill my altruistic passions while educating myself further in the dental field. I am very excited to take a team from UTD to Jarabacoa in May 2015 and cannot wait to become a DDS so that I can serve those who do not enjoy the benefits I have.
Sara Oleson, Team Leader
My name is Sara Oleson; I am a student at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, and Co-Team leader of the newly formed UNL chapter of VAW. I am currently pursuing an undergraduate degree in Nutrition Science, while completing prerequisites for Dental School. I am a returning student with a degree in nursing, and work as a nurse as well as an Orthodontic Assistant alongside my collegiate studies.
Through my experiences working in various healthcare fields, I have been afforded many local opportunities to volunteer my skillsets. These opportunities revealed a passion for public service that drives my motivation both academically and personally. I’ve always dreamed of branching into global volunteer work, and am thrilled to finally be able to do so with the help of VAW!
I’m very excited for the future of our VAW chapter! It is a fantastic portal for students to expand clinical experience, advocate for the underserved, and gain cultural enrichment, all while getting to know some of the great practitioners of tomorrow!
Sarah Nagamine, Team Leader
Hi! I’m Sarah Nagamine, a junior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst majoring in Communication Disorders while on a pre-dental track. My dream and aspiration is to become a dentist. In the states, I have had numerous opportunities to shadow dentists, but nothing compares to the opportunities that VAW gave me. Traveling to poverty stricken areas and working in a makeshift clinic setting really adds to the whole experience.
Working with the VAW will allow you to participate in once in a lifetime opportunities. During the summer of 2017 I went on my VAW trip to the Dominican Republic and I can easily say that it was the highlight of my summer. I had such a great experience participating in a VAW trip and am very excited to now be a part of the team. When working with the VAW team on a trip, you’re not only there to learn, you’re there to help as well. You’re making a difference in people’s lives. And to me, that is very impactful.
When I’m not busy with school work, I enjoy doing a number of different things in my free time. I’m fortunate to grow up on the California coast so I spend a lot of free time at the beach or outdoors in general. I also enjoy volunteering my time at my church helping out with different church activities. I’m looking forward to sharing my great experience with the VAW with others and hope I can continue to help others as well!
Shelby Blum, Team Leader
Hey There! My name is Shelby Blum and I am currently a student at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln. I’m a Dental Hygienist returning to school to pursue dental school.
This will be my first year traveling with Volunteers Around the World and I’m so excited to spread oral health care and education to underserved communities. I’m a very passionate and loving person and am so proud to be a part of such a wonderful organization called to action!
Shruti Ravindramurthy, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Shruti Ravindramurthy and I am a senior at the University of California, Berkeley. I am currently majoring in Integrative Biology and minoring in South Asian Studies, and I am planning on going to dental school after I graduate.
Currently, I am part of the Pre-Dental society at Cal. I am also the president of Narika at Berkeley, which is a club that I founded to benefit the off-campus organization that helps South Asian victims of domestic violence in the Bay Area. In my free time I love to paint, shop, and explore new places in the Bay Area.
My experience going abroad with VAW was incredible and reinforced my love of dentistry and giving back to the community. It is my goal to organize a great trip for other pre-dental students at Cal so that they can have a fantastic experience like I did!
Sunay Srinivas, Team Leader
Hello! I’m Sunay Srinivas, a senior at the University of Texas at Dallas, majoring in Biochemistry. I have had the privilege of being involved with VAW since my freshman year of college, where the UTD team went on their first trip to the Dominican Republic. Such an opportunity opened my eyes to the amount of enjoyment that service and volunteering can bring to a person. Since then, I have joined the UTD chapter on trips to Peru and Guatemala.
Throughout my experience with VAW I have developed a passion for helping communities at home and abroad. I am excited that this year I have the opportunity to bring my amazing experience to other students and show them how valuable service is. In this way, I hope to cultivate lasting positive changes in these various communities and in my fellow students.
Tanin Ferdosian, Team Leader
I am a sophomore attending the George Washington University where I will be majoring in biological sciences and minoring in Health Sciences on the pre-dental track. This is the first year that GWU will be having a VAW Dental chapter and I am so excited to be a part of establishing it here as a Team Leader.
Here at school, I am a part of the French Club, the Red Cross Disaster Actions Team, and the Iranian Student Association. I also am a research volunteer where I work 6 hours a week in GW Hospital’s Emergency Department.
After spending my summer in Israel on an Archaeological Dig through Case Westerns Dental School of Medicine, I solidified my interest in going to Dental School and hopefully pursuing Oral Surgery. Through my love for service, travel, and Dentistry, I know that VAW will be an incredible experience and I hope to share the amazing opportunities that VAW brings with other students at GWU.
Ty Weisenburger, Team Leader
My name is Ty Weisenburger; I am currently a junior at Brigham Young University (BYU). I am a Business Management Major and pre-dental student. I love to serve in different capacities that initiate learning and growth. I am the Secretary for one of the largest Pre-Dental Club’s in the nation and for our ASDA Chapter at BYU. I volunteer once a week as a dental assistant with an organization called Share a Smile. I have a unique “fire” for dentistry that drives me to help people.
In my spare time, I enjoy outdoor activities with my wife Alexis, playing basketball, and serving others. I am excited to be a team leader for VAW. My experience in the Dominican Republic was impactful for my future.
Vandan Patel, Team Leader
Hey! My name is Vandan Patel and I am currently a sophomore at Auburn University. I am pursuing a major in Biomedical Sciences and I am on the pre-dental track.
I have had the chance to shadow dentists in the past two years, which has allowed me to truly understand why I wish to pursue a career in the dental field. I became interested in dentistry during my junior year of high school when I started narrowing my future career and college choices.
VAW is a great organization as it allows for opportunities to serve under-privileged countries throughout the world, and at the same time explore more into the profession. The country of Peru has always been on my list to travel to and I am planning on going there with my chapter this upcoming year. My hobbies include watching and playing most sports, model united nations, and engaging with my friends and family.
Yeshin Kwon, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Yeshin Kwon and I am a senior at Cornell University. I am majoring in Biology & Society and hoping to attend dental school in the future. I founded the VAW Dental Outreach on my college campus so that pre-dental students, such as myself, had the opportunity to get involved in dental community service and help underprivileged individuals around the world.
During the summer of 2017, I was the Team Leader for our outreach trip to the Dominican Republic. This trip was one of the most eye-opening, educational, and impactful experiences I have taken part in and I look forward to volunteering with VAW again!
In my free time, I love to stay active and play sports. One of my favorite memories from my trip to the Dominican Republic was trying to teach the kids there some soccer moves that I picked up throughout the years. Overall, I had an awesome experience with VAW, which reinforced my love for dentistry and serving others. I’m excited to continue to organize future dental trips from my school so that more people can come together to help underserved communities and make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate.