Medical Outreach Chapters
Adam Celikmen, Team Leader
Greetings, my name is Adam Celikmen and I am a senior Kinesiology major at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I have not made any concrete decisions about my future career or continuing education, but it will more than likely involve healthcare. My interest in Public Health is what attracted me to Volunteers Around the World.
I plan on taking the experiences I have in healthcare now and applying them to wherever I go overseas. I am excited to start the first VAW Medical Outreach chapter at Amherst. Although the task seems daunting, I am ready for the challenge. I love my dog Abby, that is all you really need to know about me.
Alan Mallouhi, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Alan Mallouhi and I am a junior at Boston College. I am currently a Biology and Arabic double major and I am hoping to go to Medical school in order to become an orthopedic surgeon. I am excited to work with VAW because I believe medicine should be about making a world a safer place for everyone, even those who cannot afford it.
Being of Syrian descent I used to take many trips to my country, having frequented a country that cannot quite afford the medical care our country has been blessed with, it made me realize that this is something I want to work to change. Having family in an area of turmoil like Syria gave me the desire to do what I can to help the health of countries that need our help. I am hoping to be able to lead my first trip during summer 2016.
Alejandro Mejia, Team Leader
Hey! My name is Alejandro Mejia and I am a sophomore at Augusta University in Georgia. I am a Pre-Nursing major with hopes of becoming a registered nurse and then a certified registered nurse anesthetist.
I spend the little time I have between school and work watching/playing sports and hanging with my friends. I joined the VAW because I thought this would be a great opportunity to reach out to my home country, Panama, to help those in need of medical assistance. I also am very excited to recruit a new team of people who are willing to invest their time to help the organization and to help improve global health.
Alex Hoatson, Team Leader
Hi my name is Alexandria Hoatson and I am a sophomore at the University of Nebraska at Kearney! I am a pre-nursing major and will be applying to nursing school this fall (2017). This summer I traveled to Guatemala with VAW and fell in love with this program. The experience was unforgettable and I want to get others involved so they can experience it also! I am excited to share my passion of the medical field through this outreach program.
Alexander Gazo, Team Leader
Alexander Gazo first knew he wanted to be a Doctor when he was 8 years old; and his quest to earn the title has endured. As an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis, that perseverance has followed him not only into his studies, but also into his leadership as Team Leader for VAW.
“As a Pre-Med student, VAW introduced me into an organization and program that allows me to not only act as close to a Doctor as is legally possible, but I am able to help people from countries that truly need the help.”
Filled with compassion and enthusiasm, Gazo hopes to share those sentiments with his peers at Wash U and around the country through VAW.
Alice Wu, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Alice, and I am a current freshman at the University of Delaware. I’m majoring in Biological Sciences and I’m planning to add another major in the area of Medical Humanities. I hope to attend medical school in my path to becoming a general surgeon, and I’m beyond excited to pursue medicine and volunteering, two of my passions, in VAW!
Anna Chung, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Anna Chung and I am a freshman at the University of Redlands. I’m majoring in biology with the hopes of pursuing a career in dentistry and public health in the future. I look forward to making a lasting and meaningful impact in assisting VAW with its mission of improving global health.
Anne Zeng, Team Leader
Hi my name is Anne Zeng and I’m going into my third year at UC Berkeley where I study bioengineering with a focus on biomechanics. After graduation, I plan on taking a year or two off to work and/or travel before going to medical school.
I have been with the UC Berkeley chapter of VAW since my second semester freshman year, and it has been an incredible experience working with like-minded people to bring medical services to areas that have a difficult time obtaining these resources otherwise. Plus, I love visiting places all around the world and VAW allows me to travel with a purpose, rather than just being a tourist.
I look forward to another great year being a part of VAW!
April Marie Ramirez Habon, Team Leader
Hi! My name is April and I am a fourth year at UC Irvine with a Biology major and a Psychology and Social Behavior minor. I went to Panama with VAW on the summer of 2016 and had a blast. From the trip, I wanted to be more involved with the club and encourage others to volunteer in different countries!
Arielle Bernardin, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Arielle Bernardin and I am a freshman at Suny Old Westbury College. I am a psychology major and I will be applying to medical school upon graduation in 2021.
I am an aspiring Obstetrician-Gynecologist and hope to travel to third world countries to provide prenatal and obstetric medical care to people in need after completing residency. I am very passionate about volunteering because I love how volunteering unites people from diverse backgrounds with a common goal to help others. It is very exciting to be a part of the VAW family. I look forward to leading many trips in the coming years and brightening the lives of many people.
Averie Lico, Team Leader
Hi everyone! My name is Averie Lico, and I am a second year at Georgia Tech. I am currently studying Biology with a minor in Global Development as well as a minor in Spanish. I was lucky enough to be the Health Promotions Chair for Georgia Tech’s most recent trip to Albania. I loved collaborating with other members to think of creative ways to teach children about health. Additionally, global health is one of my biggest passions, and I plan on pursuing a Masters in Global Health after I graduate. I am beyond excited to continue growing with VAW as Georgia Tech’s newest Team Lead!
Baochau Nguyen, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Baochau Nguyen. I am currently a freshman at Johns Hopkins University studying Cellular and Molecular Biology with a Pre-Med track.
In my free time, I enjoy playing percussion with different musical ensembles. As a Vietnamese immigrant, the work that VAW does to provide those in other countries with healthcare is very meaningful to me. I have been given many wonderful opportunities and resources and would like to give those in underdeveloped countries many of the same resources that I have been gifted with.
Bhavyata Vaddavalli, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Bhavyata Vaddavalli and I’m a freshman at Santa Clara University. I’m majoring in biology and I’m on the pre-med track aspiring to become a surgeon.
I’m super thrilled to establish VAW at Santa Clara this year. I’m passionate about volunteering and I can’t wait to help people across the world through VAW.
Blake Taurone, Team Leader
My name is Blake Taurone, and I am a second year Junior at Utah State University. I am studying Biology with an emphasis in Human Biology and Pre-Medicine
Along with my major, I will complete a minor in Chemistry. My goal for the future is to attend medical school, and eventually pursue a career as a surgeon.
Bryant Transtrum, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Bryant Transtrum, I am a junior at Brigham Young University. I am currently pursuing a major in Exercise Science and hope to attend medical school after graduation in 2017.
I am excited for the opportunity to establish and lead a new chapter at BYU and look forward to our first medical outreach trip next summer 2015! I am passionate about medicine and cannot wait for the experience of serving those in need through VAW.
Calli Lowe, Team Leader
Hi everyone! I am a junior at Michigan State University studying cognitive neuroscience and hoping to go on to medical school after I graduate. This past school year, I joined our VAW chapter having no idea what to expect, but I can assure you that it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I had no idea how much a few weeks of service could change me.
I hope to organize lots of trips in the next few years to be able to share these experiences with others!! So thankful for this opportunity & I hope that everyone tags along with us as we travel the world!
Cameron Hurlburt, Team Leader
Hey guys, my name is Cam Hurlburt and I go to Campbell University. I am double majoring in biology and chemistry, and play club soccer here at CU.
I am looking to go on to Medical School to become a pediatric neurosurgeon. I believe that individuals from every country, no matter what, deserve adequate health care and the least that I can do is lead a team to help with that.
Carlie Caplan, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Carlie and I am a sophomore studying biochemistry at the University of Maryland on the pre-med track. I fell in love with volunteering abroad this summer in Cape Town, South Africa, and I am super excited to be working with VAW!
Chini Sheth, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Chini Sheth, and I am a senior at the University of
Georgia. I’m majoring in psychology with a minor in public health.
After graduation, I plan on pursuing a Masters in Public Health with
intended concentrations in public health policy and management and
health services administration.
In May 2017, I traveled to Berat, Albania with Volunteers around the
World, and it was one of the most eye-opening and rewarding
experiences I have encountered. Not only did I meet an amazing group
of people who enjoyed giving back to underprivileged communities, but
I also got an opportunity to learn about health care and how it
differs globally. Through VAW, I have been able to witness health care
across various cultures, work with incredible people, and donate my
time to a pivotal cause. I’m excited to broaden my horizons and
contribute my energy to VAW this year!
Chris Varlamos, Team Leader
Hello, my name is Chris Varlamos and I am a junior at the University of Michigan majoring in Psychology. I hope to attend Physician Assistant school after I graduate and eventually work in sports medicine and orthopedics. In my free time, I enjoy playing basketball, golfing, reading, and traveling all around the world.
I am really excited to be working with Volunteers Around the World and to be starting a chapter at the University of Michigan! I’m very passionate about volunteering and helping in the medical field so working with VAW is a perfect opportunity.
Daniyal Qadir, Team Leader
Hello everyone! My name is Daniyal Qadir and I am a rising senior at the University of Miami. I am a pre-med here at UM and loved having the opportunity to learn from doctors and assist helping those that really need it. I plan on going to medical school after graduating and was lucky to work with doctors that offered me advice and support on a path they have taken.
I was lucky enough to lead a trip to the Dominican Republic and fell in love with the experience and am looking forward to our next trip. I gained a valuable experience working with VAW, not only learning at a medical standpoint but also being immersed with a new culture. It really opened my eyes to see how many people around the world are not lucky enough to have the same access to medical treatment as many of us and has made me determined to help those I can. VAW is a lot more than just learning about how doctor’s treat patients, it makes you realize what becoming a doctor is really about. It is helping those in need.
Dariga Sultanova, Team Leader
Hello, my name is Dariga Sultanova. I am currently a senior at California State University, Sacramento, finishing up the Traditional Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing program. Afterwards, I plan on pursuing medical school to become a trauma surgeon.
Since my freshman year in high school, I have been involved with several organization aiming to help those in need. I had the privilege of volunteering in several countries such as Panama, Peru, Mozambique, and others. This summer, I returned to Peru with Volunteers Around the World and assisted as a co-team leader. Through all of my life experiences, I learned that there is ALWAYS a need, but, it takes certain minds and hearts to see that need and produce an action.
I look forward to working with you to cause a positive difference in the world one person at a time.
Davesh Purohit, Team Leader
Greetings, my name is Davesh Purohit and I am a freshman who attends George Mason University in Virginia. I am currently majoring in Neuroscience and plan on double minoring in philosophy and entrepreneurship. I hope to get into medical school to become a pulmonologist and eventually an entrepreneur focusing on the medical field.
This is my first year joining VAW, and I have to say that I’m ecstatic to start a chapter in George Mason. I can’t wait to travel and see the world while volunteering for a great cause. The difference VAW makes to the world is recognized through over a hundred different VAW chapters world-wide. I can’t wait to be a part of those chapters and be a part of that difference.
David Polman, Team Leader
Hello, my name is David Polman. I am a rising Senior Pre-Medical, Biology Major at Villanova University pursuing minors in Business and Finance.
I recently led a group of Villanova students to Guatemala on a Medical Outreach Trip. I have found that VAW provided me with the opportunity to expand my medical experiences while fulfilling my philanthropic desires. I look forward to my next opportunity to work with the staff at VAW, to lead a new group of students and to further VAW’s presence on the campus of Villanova University.
Dev Patel, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Dev Patel and I am a sophomore at the University of Texas at Dallas. I am double majoring in Biology and Healthcare Studies with the goal of going to medical school. I am very excited to be part of UT Dallas’ first medical team!
We are currently planning our first trip for the summer of 2016, and I couldn’t be more excited. I look forward to the opportunity to make a difference and learn more about medicine along the way!
Elly Lilagan, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Elly Lilagan and I’m the team leader for the UC Irvine chapter of VAW. I am a pre-med third year student majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I hope to pursue medicine after graduation.
Emma Seccombe, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Emma Seccombe and I am a freshman at the University of Kentucky. I am a biology major with a Spanish minor, and I am on the pre-med track.
I plan on going to medical school to become an emergency medicine physician. I have a passion for making the world a better place, and that is why I am looking forward to getting out there and making a difference with VAW. I am so excited to be starting a chapter here at the University of Kentucky and I cannot wait to see the amazing things that we are going to do!
Erin Martin, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Erin Martin and I am a junior at Virginia Tech majoring in Microbiology. I am working towards going to Physician Assistant Graduate School with the goal to eventually work as a Sports Medicine PA or an Orthopedic PA.
I am so very excited to have the privilege to work with VAW and being able to make a difference in the world.
Eva Amram, Team Leader
Hi, I am Eva Amram and the founding Team Leader at Emory University! I am a Human Health major and plan to enter the medical field. I’m excited to be helping people, exploring new places, and putting together an awesome team of volunteers! I can’t wait to see the positive change we will bring.
Fabiola Horta, Team Leader
Hello everyone! My name is Fabiola Horta and I am a Health Science major with a concentration in Nursing at DePaul University.
As an incoming freshman I have joined Volunteers Around the World and I am excited to embark on a new journey as a Team Leader! I hope to learn a lot from this amazing opportunity and make an impact at my school but also at the country that we will travel to later in the year. I’ve always wanted to be a part of change and being able to help out those that do not have the resources will definitely be the experience of a lifetime.
Gayatri Menon, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Gayatri Menon and I am a rising junior at Georgia State University. I am majoring in Speech Communications and double minoring in Psychology and Communication Sciences and Disorders. I intend on going to graduate school for Speech-Language Pathology post-graduation.
Frequently visiting my family in India initially exposed me to areas with an immense lack of healthcare and poverty. Because of this, public health became a topic of interest to me and VAW gave me an opportunity to contribute to the betterment of it. My first VAW trip was this past summer, in 2017, to Berat, Albania. I am stoked to now be co-team lead for the GSU chapter! I look forward to using these experiences in my future healthcare profession.
Dr. Gina Piane, Faculty Team Leader
Gina Piane is an internationally recognized expert in the field of public health. Her 32 year career in public health began with the Cook County Department of Public Health near Chicago, Illinois, where she emerged as a leader in community and patient education. Her academic career includes tenured-faculty positions with Northern Illinois University and California State University, Long Beach. Dr. Piane came to National University in March 2009 to lead the development of the Master of Public Health program which enrolled its first students in March 2010. She was hired as the Chair of the Department of Community Health.
Dr. Piane’s research throughout the years has focused on health behavior in minority and international communities. She has developed programs that helped African-American elderly patients to control their blood pressure and to help pregnant women with diabetes through a safe pregnancy. Her public health research has included investigations of drinking and smoking among college students and best practices in public health education. Currently she is investigating Evidence-Based Public Health seeking to find community-level interventions that will prevent many of the half million deaths of women in childbirth throughout the world. Dr. Piane received a Fulbright Scholar grant to teach and conduct research in Nigeria in 2016.
Gina Piane has been often recognized for her teaching excellence. She has been lauded for incorporating active and experiential learning into her classrooms and for mentoring students to improve their writing. Dr. Piane has led student groups on educational tours of the health systems of India, Kenya, Tanzania, Thailand, Chile, Brazil, Ecuador, Cambodia and Cuba.
Grace Carey, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Grace Carey, and I’m a Public Health student at Kent State University concentrating in Global Health. After my undergraduate studies, I am going to be continuing my education here at KSU, working towards my Master of Public Health.
I am so excited to establish KSU’s first VAW chapter, and I am looking forward to representing KSU and VAW overseas!
Grace Van Gysel, Team Leader
Hi there, my name is Grace Van Gysel and I am a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. I am on the nursing major pathway and I apply to the nursing school this spring (2018).
I enjoy volunteering and helping the community for the better good. I look forward to being a part of the VAW team and leading a group to help others across the world.
Hadley Leatherman, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Hadley Leatherman and I am a Senior at the University of Southern California. I am a pre-med student majoring in Psychology. I hope to become an orthopedic surgeon and I plan to continue my education next year at either Harvard, Johns Hopkins, or Columbia.
I travelled to Cusco, Peru through VAW last winter break and encountered the most practical and hands-on medical experience I’ve ever had as an undergraduate student. I also thoroughly enjoyed exploring the country and meeting other like-minded students. I am a strong advocate of pre-med students gaining exposure to medicine abroad and am very excited to recruit an energetic, curious, and adventurous group of students to travel to Cambodia next winter break!
Jaina Chu, Team Leader
My name is Jaina Chu. I am currently a sophomore at Brandeis University on the pre-med track majoring in Health: Science, Society, and Policy while also minoring in Hispanic Studies.
My future academic plans include acquiring an MPH in epidemiology and an MD. In the future, I plan to work in impoverished communities to provide good quality of health.
I became interested in VAW because of its focus on medical and dental outreach and this year I joined the Brandeis VAW. I am excited to bring the club presence onto campus and be able to engage with other communities. I look forward to establishing a strong volunteering presence not only in impoverished countries but also in the Waltham community.
Jane Huang, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Jane Huang and I’m a sophomore at Yale University. I am majoring in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology and hope to attend medical school after college.
I traveled with our chapter to Peru last year, which was an amazing and unforgettable experience. I’m excited to work with VAW this year to help make a difference in international communities and to learn more about global health issues.
Jelissa Washington, Team Leader
Hello, my name is Jelissa Washington and I am a Biochemistry major with a minor in Nanoscience. The reason why I decided to start a chapter at Hampton was due to the fact that I am extremely passionate about global health.
Jessica Zammitti, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Jessica Zammitti. I am currently a senior at the University of South Carolina, majoring in Public Health.
After I graduate, I plan to take two years off to travel and gain clinical experience before applying to PA school. This past summer I had the privilege of volunteering in Albania with VAW. I am excited to plan this year’s trip and invite new students to gain exposure to medicine abroad!
Joey Llewellyn, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Joey Llewellyn and I am currently a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at UC Davis. After graduating, I plan on attending medical school in hopes of becoming a surgical oncologist.
Although I have only been with the UC Davis chapter of VAW since my spring quarter freshman year, it has been such an incredible and memorable experience thus far. After only attending one medical outreach to Panama with VAW, I am totally addicted to “volunteering my time” and “donating my energy” towards offering medical necessities to those in need of it. Also, I love to visit new countries while immersing myself in their culture and VAW allows me to do so while having a meaningful purpose. Outside of VAW, I love to participate in various sports such as triathlon and skiing, playing the piano, research, and watching anime. I look forward to working and having fun with this year’s VAW crew!
Joey Wong, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Joey Wong and I am a first year at the University of California, Santa Cruz with a proposed major in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I am very excited to start this chapter at my school and to meet and work with people who have the same interest in the health field as I do. I am looking forward to the opportunities and the experiences VAW will provide me with.
Kajal Patel, Team Leader
Hey! My name is Kajal Patel and I am a senior at the University of Georgia! I am a pre-med student majoring in International Affairs. After becoming a physician, I plan on traveling the world and helping people in underserved countries that don’t have access to or can’t afford proper healthcare in organizations just like VAW!
I have always been interested by how aspects such as healthcare and foreign policies are so distinct around the world and how other countries and individuals can come together to make a change. Through Volunteers Around the World, I’m looking forward to getting more involved with global health issues and making a difference in a region of the world that needs it. It is so exciting to see extraordinary organizations like VAW growing and expanding and I am thrilled to be a part of it!
Kara Yovanovich, Team Leader
Hi guys! My name is Kara Yovanovich and I am currently a junior at the University of South Carolina. I’m an exercise science major, and my plan is to attend PA school when I graduate.
I had my first experience with VAW in the summer of 2017 when I had the opportunity to travel to Albania on a medical outreach pilot trip. I was shocked to see how large of an impact VAW made on the city we worked in in such a short amount of time. I love being a part of VAW not only for the medical aspect of the organization, but also for the amazing people I got to meet and the places I got to explore. I am so excited to see VAW grow at USC and attend my next medical outreach program in summer 2018!
Katelyn Hagstrom, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Katelyn Hagstrom and I am a third-year pre-medical student at Ohio State majoring in microbiology and molecular genetics with a minor in neuroscience. I hope to attend medical school after I graduate and become an emergency medicine physician. I have a passion for medicine, traveling, and helping our global community.
My experiences and the people I have met during my trips to Peru and Guatemala with VAW have broadened my horizons and changed my outlook on life. These trips have affirmed my desire to pursue a medical career and have made me feel more connected to the world around me. I am excited to take part in continuing this organization at Ohio State!
Kayla Johnwick, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Kayla Johnwick and I am a freshmen at Mississippi State University. I am majoring in Biological Sciences and plan pursue medical school after graduating. I am super excited to be working with VAW as Mississippi State’s medical Team Lead!
Ketty Monica Toussaint, Team Leader
Hello everyone, my name is Ketty Monica Toussaint and I am a Premedical and Health Studies major at MCPHS University. I hope to attend medical school after I graduate. I am very excited to be a part of VAW and I can’t wait for the opportunities to come.
Kylie Adamec, Team Leader
Hello all! My name is Kylie and I am a sophomore at Loyola University Chicago studying biochemistry and theology. I currently have a large span of interests for the future including pursuing pre-med or becoming a secondary education teacher of science. My ultimate goal however is to inspire others to follow their passions such as I have.
Growing up in a small town in Wisconsin, I always knew I wanted to be a part of something larger in our world a make a difference in the lives of others. Having the opportunity to work with VAW has allowed me to do this and so much more than I every could have imagined. Since becoming a part of the Chicago chapter’s Albania Medical Outreach in 2015, not only has my education of the medical field expanded, but it also gives me the inspiration every day to keep pushing through all of the difficult times in my life. VAW has given me a new outlook on life that makes the difficult track of medicine worth it.
Jack Melhorn, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Jack Melhorn and I currently the Team Leader for VAW’s first European chapter! I am currently studying Human Geography and Economics at Loughborough University in the UK. I’m most excited to get involved with VAW because my number one passion in life has always been traveling with a purpose.
I had an extremely international background, living in six different countries before I was ten years old. However, joining an organisation like VAW allows you to travel, and help the world at the same time. It’s a win-win situation like no other! I could not be more excited to get our new chapter up and running!
Jessica Hasteadt, Team Leader
Hi! I’m Jessica, I’m a junior at Coastal Carolina in Jacksonville , NC. I also attended East Carolina University for two years. I’m studying nursing and hoping to do emergency medicine or pediatric oncology. I’m so excited to travel, see the world, and go out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to making a difference and volunteering my time and energy to improve the lives of others.
Karina Lozano, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Karina Lozano and I am a senior at UCLA. I am majoring in Psychobiology and aspire to be a pediatrician in the future. I went on my first trip with VAW to the Dominican Republic in 2015 and completely fell in love with the project. I am excited to return as a team leader and continue to work with underserved communities.
Kelsey West, Team Leader
Bonjour! I’m an aspiring doctor with interests in disaster response, refugees, and teaching. My journey with VAW started with Guatemala in 2013. I’ve returned to lead more Alaskan students to help disadvantaged populations and gain insight into global health.
I seek experiences that challenge me, like working in the ER, local community service leadership, backpacking in Morocco, and learning French and Spanish. VAW remains my most inspirational experience. In the future, I hope to work with teaching hospitals and organizations like the International Medical Corps, CDC Epidemiological Intelligence Service, or United Nations.
Kendall DeSantis, Team Leader
Hey y’all! My name is Kendall DeSantis and I am a junior at Cornell University majoring in Biomedical engineering with an emphasis on biomechanics or molecular/cellular systems. I traveled with VAW to Cambodia this summer for Cornell’s first trip and fell in love both with the people and the country.
The first day our mobile clinic was met by over 70 patients waiting in line to be seen, many arrived hours before our bus. Every day was more of the same amazing people in need of medical care waiting to be treated, all with positive attitudes and ever so thankful we were there. I was so grateful to be part of this medical group, They taught me about the huge demand for rural patient care and the need for teamwork to overcome the obstacles that occurred. I am looking forward to helping other Cornell students share in the experience what I was able to have in Cambodia. Here’s to many more trips!
Kristen Cuadra, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Kristen Cuadra and I am a junior at the University of Florida. I am majoring in Health Science and I hope to pursue a career in emergency medicine. I am excited to see the VAW grow at UF and I am eager to work with students who find medical outreach as important as I do.
Laurie Clark, Team Leader
Hello! my name is Laurie Clark. I am a senior Biology major at the University at Albany on the pre-medical track. My goal is to become a family medicine physician. I went to Jarabocoa, Dominican Republic this August. I was a part of a team of 20 doctors and volunteers. Every day we traveled to different villages and brought a mobile clinic with us.
I worked with many doctors while shadowing, taking vitals, and running the pharmacy. I was able to directly interact with the patients and help them both physically and mentally. Overall we helped hundreds of patients get free consultations and medications for their health needs. The experiences I had while volunteering were life changing and the conversations I had with the patients will stay with me forever. This trip has confirmed more than ever that I want to become a family physician. I am very excited and honored to continue the VAW chapter at UAlbany.
Lee Brackman, Team Leader
I was born in Athens, Georgia and I attended private catholic School from kindergarten through twelfth grade. I played several sports in high school and eventually chose to play football in college. I attend Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina with hopes of attending medical school after graduation. I have been on mission trips to Haiti before and I believe it is somewhat of a calling for me. Im excited to be a part of the VAW team!
Lily Akrapongpisak, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Lily Akrapongpisak and I’m going into my third year at UC Berkeley with a major in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a concentration in Neurobiology, and a minor in French. After graduation, I’m hoping to attend medical school. My ultimate dream would be to eventually work for Doctors Without Borders.
Manny Estrada, Team Leader
Hi, my name is Manny Estrada and I am a rising sophomore at Rice University! I am a Biochemistry and Cell Biology major with aspirations to become a physician/scientist, specifically in the oncology field. I have such a passion for learning about global health and serving all of humanity. I am excited to be a part of the VAW team and I am very eager to make an impact!
I went on my first VAW trip to Peru this past summer. I can honestly say that those two weeks included some of the best experiences of my life. Because I was born and raised in Guatemala, I can relate to the injustices and impoverishment that too many Latin American countries fall victim to. I hope and know that serving on the VAW team will be a great outlet for me in regards to giving back to my Latin American community, or any community that is in desperate need of attention.
Marina Zhang, Team Leader
My name is Marina Zhang and I am in my second year at the University of Sydney. I am currently completing a double major in immunobiology and neuroscience. I have a strong interest in the development of healthcare throughout the world, and plan to pursue a career in medicine in the future.
Matias Buedo, Team Leader
Hi, my name is Matias Buedo and I’m currently a senior Neuroscience and Spanish major at the University of Miami. I am aiming to go to medical school in the future and figure out exactly what specialty I want to follow there. I traveled to the Dominican Republic with VAW and had an amazing time that I couldn’t possibly describe with words. I am excited to help VAW grow across my campus and across the world.
Mikala Austin, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Mikala Austin and I am a rising junior at Georgia State University. I am currently a Chemistry major with a PreMed/Biochemistry concentration. I hope in the future that I will go to Medical School and become a Pediatrician.
I love to travel and learn about different cultures. Ever since I was three, I began to learn Spanish and my goal is to not only become a fluent Spanish speaker but an African American Medical professional who has a skill set that many do not. This past summer, I had the opportunity to volunteer in Albania with VAW and although I wanted to go to a Spanish speaking country, I enjoyed every single aspect of the trip, which is why I will be the co- team leader for Georgia State’s chapter for the summer of 2018! I look forward to these next couple of years as well as providing other students with same the opportunities to become future leaders and medical professionals.
Molly Hicks, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Molly Hicks and I am pursuing an Anthropology major with a minor in Biology at Butler University. I hope to attend medical school after graduation so that I can continue to help people in my community and abroad through medicine.
I am always eager to travel and experience new cultures, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to gain experience in medicine while learning about another area of the world. I am eager to establish VAW at Butler and broaden my horizons through this wonderful program!
Molly McCormick, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Molly McCormick and I am a senior at Fordham University. I am a Biology major and Business Administration minor with an ultimate goal of becoming an orthodontist. This past winter I traveled to Cusco, Peru with my VAW team and had such an amazing experience. I’m very excited to co-lead a trip to the Dominican Republic over spring break in order to share this opportunity with others!
Myla Duane, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Myla and I am a Junior at the University of California Riverside. I am majoring in Sociology and am in the progress of picking up Education as a minor. I love working with organizations that help to make a lasting impact in other countries.
I have volunteered in places such as Nicaragua and Indonesia and I am so exited to have an opportunity to volunteer with VAW so that we can emphasize the importance of global health!
Nancy Rutishauser, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Nancy Rutishauser and I’m a junior at Fordham University. I’m a Biology major, Spanish minor on the pre-med track. So far I’ve traveled to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala with VAW and can’t wait to lead another trip this year!
Natalie Coca, Team Leader
Hi my name is Natalie Coca, and I am a senior at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). I am a Biology major and Global Health minor, and will be applying to medical school. In the summer of 2015, I traveled to the Dominican Republic with VAW as part of the medical outreach team. The doctors that I shadowed and the people we provided services to reaffirmed my passion to purse a career in the medical field. I am excited to share my experience with others and look forward to leading my first trip this year.
Nathalia Schettino, Team Leader
Hi guys! My name is Nathalia Schettino. I am currently a sophomore at NYU studying Neural Science. I am very interested in a career as neurologist and I am super excited to be part of VAW.
Nicole Alimena, Team Leader
My name is Nicole Alimena, and I am currently a freshman at Cornell University. I am majoring in Biological Engineering with a focus on Biomedicine and Genomics. I plan to pursue veterinary medicine; specifically, I hope to be a veterinary surgeon at an international level.
I am very excited to work with VAW because I feel that collaborative health assistance across countries is crucial; helping other nations, particularly those disadvantaged and lacking crucial resources to provide the best medical care, helps improve the standard of living for everyone and thus overall public health. I currently travel internationally to assist veterinarians; I have been able to experience how much both the animals and people need medical assistance in areas such as Peru or the Dominican Republic. I am working to expand VAW at Cornell and cannot wait for our next VAW trip this year!
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.”
Ravdeep Gill, Team Leader
Hey, my name’s Ravdeep Gill and I am a first year student at the University of Virginia. I plan to major in Neuroscience with a health and well-being minor, with the ultimate goal of attending medical school! I am very excited to be the team leader and the chapter president for the very first VAW trip/chapter at UVA and I am looking forward to getting this organization up and running. I hope to learn as much as I can from this unparalleled medical outreach program, where I will be able to make a difference in others’ lives and learn more about medicine!
Ravina Kumar, Team Leader
Hi there! My name is Ravina Kumar and I’m currently a junior studying Biology at Hofstra University in efforts to pursue a career in medicine. It was an honor to join VAW’s medical chapter in fall 2015 and the team on their journey to Panama in winter 2016.
As a high school student, I was actively involved in Model United Nations and have delegated in committees such as the World Health Organization and UNICEF. This early exposure, along with my strong interest in the sciences, inspired me to learn more about global health and issues that concern the quality of life of people living in developing countries.
In such a short amount of time, VAW has given me countless opportunities to learn so much about medicine, global health, and myself. I truly believe it’s the little things that make big things happen. The amount of memories and lessons I have taken away from my amazing experience in Panama will resonate with me forever. As team leader, I hope I can expand the VAW medical chapter to other schools throughout Long Island and share this experience with an amazing team for the upcoming year.
Roman Sanchez-Martinez, Team Leader
Hello my name is Roman Sanchez-Martinez! I am currently a sophomore attending the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley as a biomedical science major with an emphasis in genetic and molecular basis of chronic diseases and with a minor in biological science. Working with Volunteers Around the World is a brand new experience for me and I am really excited to take on the challenge to travel to third world countries in order to provide medical support to those in need.
Being a Mexican, I have lived through difficult situations due to limited resources therefore I am determined to give back to those who are currently living through harsh conditions. I am thrilled to work with this organization, and what it holds for the future!
Samantha McCoy, Team Leader
Samantha is currently a junior at Michigan State University and double majoring in Genomics & Molecular Genetics and Psychology. She works as a Genetic Counseling Assistant for Dr. Alpa Sidhu in the Department of Pediatrics in Michigan State’s College of Human Medicine in addition to doing research with Dr. Brian Schutte on craniofacial abnormalities, specifically cleft lip and palate, in mice and canines.
She plans on attending medical school and further specializing in either Pediatric Hematology Oncology or Pediatric Surgery. Samantha credits VAW for solidifying her passion for pediatric medicine, since she participated in our Summer ’16 Medical Outreach to Bocas Del Toro, Panama and worked with dozens of children each day.
Samantha Sanchez, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Samantha Sanchez and the founding Team Leader at National University in San Diego, California. I am in my last semester to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Health specializing Health Care Administration. I am an Active Duty Navy who is pursuing to become a Medical Service Corps Officer.
I travelled to Siem Riep, Cambodia through VAW on December 2016 with University of Alaska, Anchorage and it motivated me to start a chapter in my own University. Medical outreach and Public Health has been my passion and I plan to obtain a PhD in Global Health.
Sami Kubota, Team Leader
Hi everyone! My name is Sami Kubota and I am currently a sophomore at the University of San Francisco majoring in nursing. Following graduation, I hope to work as an emergency medicine nurse and the dream after that is to work with an NPO or NGO to provide medical care to less fortunate countries.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to establish a chapter in San Francisco and form a group of like-minded individuals. I look forward to making many memories and a meaningful impact with VAW!
Sangami Pugazenthi, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Sangami and I am a sophomore at Vanderbilt University studying Medicine, Health, and Society & Human and Organizational Development. After graduating from Vanderbilt I hope to get an M.D and an M.B.A. to work on developing affordable and sustainable healthcare solutions in underprivileged areas around the world. I am very excited to work with VAW as Vanderbilt’s Team Leader!
Shrenik Gadagkar, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Shrenik Gadagkar and I am a junior at the University of Pittsburgh! I am a pre-med student majoring in Psychology with a certificate in Conceptual Foundations of Medicine. After graduation, I plan on getting my Masters in Public Health before attending medical school to become an Emergency Medicine doctor.
I’ve always had the dream of fusing my healthcare and study abroad interests together and with the help of VAW, I can not only achieve that for myself but also for students at Pitt. I’m starting this VAW chapter to show everyone what a great organization this is and with the hope that students, for years to come, will get to travel and be a part of this life-changing experience!
Simeon Gboun, Team Leader
My name is Simeon and I am third year student and I am majoring in EMS, in the premed track. I am very excited to bring VAW to my university; I am sure this experience will greatly benefit my career goals in life.
Steven Gerry, Team Leader
Ciao. My name is Steven Gerry and I am a junior pre-medical student at the University of Southern California. I am majoring in Neuroscience with a double minor in Spanish and Entrepreneurship.
I am very excited to take over as our chapter’s new team leader, and am hopeful to plan very successful trips to both Peru and Thailand in the following year. I have organized and taken part in similar volunteer trips to both Guatemala and to Nicaragua in the past, and I have seen the impact that a short visit can make with the right equipment and a motivated team.
As someone with a great interest in medicine, travel, and the study of different languages; I could not ask for a better program to facilitate the fusion of the three.
Susan Chow, Team Leader
Hey everyone! My name is Susan Chow, and I am sophomore at New York University intending to major in neural science with a minor in sociology. I am super honored and excited to be a part of NYU’s first medical chapter of Volunteers Around the World!
I am passionate about volunteering, and I strongly believe that everyone can do their part to make a difference in the world. VAW offers an incredible experience for us as students because it allows us to not only travel abroad but also to help out under-served countries.
This upcoming January in 2016, NYU’s medical chapter is planning our first mission trip to Guatemala. All of the current volunteers are thrilled to get started and we’re in the process of fundraising and finishing up recruitment. After our first trip, I can’t wait to plan more trips as well as expanding this chapter and establish a strong foundation for future successive teams at NYU.
Symphony Fletcher, Team Leader
Hello! My name is Symphony Fletcher and I am currently a second year studying Anthropology at the University of Chicago.
Post graduation, I plan to attend Medical School and specialize in Neurology. This year will be the first year that VAW is on my campus so I’m really excited to be a part of starting our chapter.
Tenesha Boyd, Team Leader
Hi Everyone! my name is Tenesha! I am currently attending Rutgers University pursuing a Masters of Science in Biomedical Sciences. I plan on attending medical school in the near future. I am very excited to start a VAW chapter in my school and work with others to contribute to global health. Volunteering, traveling and medicine are my passions and I look forward to recruit others who also have similar interests towards medical outreach.
Tien Vo, Team Leader
Hello everyone! I am a freshman at the University of Washington-Seattle pursing a double major in Biology and Spanish, with a minor in Global Health.
Volunteerism and travel have always been great passions of mine, and I hope to serve the global community through medicine. I am grateful for the opportunity to lead a new chapter of Volunteers Around the World at the UW. It is going to be an exciting year, and I cannot wait to share my passion and serve those in need with you!
Tom Arikian, Team Leader
Hi! My name is Tom Arikian and I am a Fordham University Post-Baccalaureate student. I attained a dual Bachelor’s Degree in General Science and Psychology at Fordham in 2017 and I aim to achieve an MD in Emergency Medicine. Outside of school, I enjoy playing piano and guitar, soccer, tennis, surfing, snowboarding, and traveling.
I accompanied VAW on a trip to Guatemala in Spring 2017, and was particularly drawn to the medical focus of the program. I am extremely excited to be leading a trip this Fall and look forward to introducing others to the wonderful experiences ahead.
Mrs. Tinnikka A. Robertson-Jones, Faculty Team Leader
Hello, my name is Tinnikka A. Robertson-Jones, I currently serve as Assistant Professor at Hampton University in the School of Nursing. I have close to 15 years of experience in the healthcare field with a focus on acute/critical care, clinical practice, community health, education and research. I am Board Certified as an Adult Health Clinical Nurse Specialist. I continuously seek opportunities to serve. I love people, diversity and culture and helping anyone in need. It is rewarding to immerse in the culture of the communities VAW serves.
I regularly serve locally by volunteering with community outreach programs; providing screening and education on health promotion and disease prevention. I have a personal interest and commitment towards underrepresented populations and health disparities; understanding that many chronic illnesses are inevitable, however if education, preventative health care and screening can lessen the prevalence, morbidity and mortality of vulnerable populations, it is a noteworthy cause.
I had the pleasure of being a VAW Faculty Team Leader for a Hampton University team in the May 2017 to Guatemala and it was a life-changing experience for me that I didn’t want to end. I am so thankful to VAW for the global impact they are having and I am truly honored and thankful to continue support their mission and vision. I look forward to ongoing opportunities to serve and support the invaluable efforts and impact VAW continues to have on the world.
Yasmine Payne, Team Leader
My name is Yasmine Payne. I am currently a junior at Loyola University Chicago with a major in biochemistry and a minor in Spanish. I was born and raised in Santa Rosa, California. I am fortunate enough to have gone on two VAW trips to Peru and Panama, both of which were some of the best experiences of my life. I am excited to be currently planning the Winter 2017 trip to Peru! In my free time, I love to exercise, read, and hang out with my family and friends.