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Class of 2021

Sarah Bessen
Sarah grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada. She graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a degree in Anthropology and a minor in Chinese. At Dartmouth, Sarah played on the Women’s Tennis Team, and worked as a peer tutor in Organic Chemistry, Animal Physiology, and Chinese. After college, Sarah completed a Master’s in Public Health at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice (TDI). At TDI, Sarah developed a STEM and Healthcare exposure program, aimed at increasing exposure to diverse careers in STEM and Healthcare, which was implemented across a few different schools in the Upper Valley. Her interests as a MedEd scholar range from incorporating the humanities into medical education, as well as understanding the way undergraduate and graduate medical education impact the supply and distribution of physicians across different specialties and geographies.

Natalie Del Favero
Natalie grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Before long, she found herself in Los Angeles studying Neuroscience and Human Evolutionary Biology at the University of Southern California. When not soaking up the sun, she worked with a federally funded program to promote reading comprehension and literacy in low-income preschools. After graduation, Natalie combined her love of the sciences with her desire to reach young malleable minds in the form of a children’s book series. The Quaint and Quizzical Cosmos was self-published on Amazon 2014 and has since been a bedtime story for thousands of children worldwide.

Natalie intends to keep her flame for curiosity and teaching lit throughout her medical training and future career. She is interested in Evolutionary Medicine (harkening back to her college years) to provide deeper clinical context and visualization tools to facilitate comprehension. In her free time Natalie enjoys spending time with her husband, reading about physics, watching basketball, and meditating.

Sylvia Guerra
Sylvia Guerra is originally from Texas and went to college at the University of Rochester where she majored in religion. She continued her studies at Harvard Divinity School where she earned a Master of Theological Studies in comparative religion, focusing on comparative mythology and critical theory. Shortly afterwards, she began her post-baccalaureate work at the Harvard Extension School, where she later worked as a Teaching Fellow for Organic Chemistry. Sylvia worked as a scribe for over four years, and was eventually responsible for scribe training, and developed new ways to help scribes learn complex medical material. Before coming to Geisel, Sylvia worked at the Cambridge Health Alliance as an HIV/HCV, STI, and substance use prevention community health worker where she engaged in curriculum design and delivery for youth, as well as in HIV testing/counseling, education, and prevention.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Sylvia has a variety of interests all related to the intersection between social justice and medicine. She is interested in creating more training opportunities for cultural competency/humility training for medical students, she would like to help expand health disparities content in medical school curricula, and is also interested in the intersection of spirituality and medicine. She loves teaching and hopes to find a way to integrate her diverse interests into a career in academic medicine.

Tae Wuk Ko
Tae was born in Incheon, South Korea and grew up in Auckland, New Zealand. He graduated from UCLA with a degree in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology and spent the past few years working in Health Information Management and volunteering at hospitals and free clinics. He first developed a passion for education while tutoring high school students from low-income and first-generation college backgrounds through the Upward Bound Program, where he helped to implement a Supplemental Instruction curriculum for peer-assisted study.

As a MedEd Scholar, Tae is interested in exploring ways to increase exposure to compassionate and holistic patient care in medical education and further developing opportunities for students to engage in peer-assisted learning. In the future, Taehopes to become involved in clinical education and contribute to sustainable global health.

Alex Lindqwister
Alex grew up in Peoria, IL and graduated from Stanford University with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Computation and a Master’s degree in Biology. While he initially focused on genomics and virology, he later became interested in social network analysis of forest-edge communities and computational epidemiology of spillover events. His interests in medical education stemmed from his experience as a teaching assistant for basic science courses, where he later became involved in curriculum restructuring and integrating non traditional teaching methods into introductory courses. During his graduate career, Alex designed, wrote, and taught his own introductory course entitled “Computational Frontiers in Biology” to encourage those without strong mathematics and computer science backgrounds to consider this exciting new area of research.

His interests as a MedEd scholar are on increasing on-ramping resources available to medical students with non-STEM backgrounds and modernizing the pre-clinical curriculum.

Kevin Stanko
Kevin grew up in Simsbury, Connecticut and graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a degree in Biology. He then spent a year in Hanover working as a Teaching Science Fellow at Dartmouth. In this role, he served as a near-peer resource to students in introductory biology classes. He provided one-on-one teaching of class material and evidence-based study strategies, facilitated review sessions, and used student feedback to help professors improve current and future course offerings. Through this experience he became interested in the ways in which students learn, and how classes can be designed around this to help students learn more effectively.

As a MedEd Scholar, Kevin hopes to get involved in curriculum design. He is very interested in how pedagogical techniques of medical education are evolving at Geisel to incorporate more team-based learning and flipped classroom opportunities. He hopes to be involved in this change moving forward, as well as pursue the development of medical student-specific learning tools to facilitate transition into the high volume of material during the first year.

Class of 2020

Kinan Bachour
Kinan is from a small town in Syria called Safita. He was born in Saudi Arabia and has lived in Kuwait, Syria, and Lebanon. Syria is a place very dear to his heart and he has never spent a summer away from it (if you want to know more about what is going on in the Middle East, come see him!). He graduated from UCLA in the spring of 2016 with a degree in Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology. While at UCLA, he was involved in tutoring and mentoring programs, and worked with faculty to implement flipped core science classes in an effort to shift to more active learning. He also completed research on flipped classrooms and on methods to bridge the education gap between minorities, first generation college students and their classmates.

As an international student, and one of the youngest in his class, Kinan recognizes the difficulty in bridging and personalizing medical education for students of different ages, backgrounds, and experiences. As a Medical Education Scholar, he is interested in developing resources that will create an environment at Geisel that fosters opportunities for learning in non-traditional ways. He hopes to become involved in curriculum development.

John Damianos
John Damianos grew up on the seacoast of New Hampshire. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 2016 with a degree in linguistics modified with neuroscience and a minor in French. He studied abroad in France, TA'd courses in linguistics, French, and Modern Greek, and conducted original research in computational neurolinguistics. Outside of class, he dedicated himself to student health and wellness, serving as a Drug and Alcohol Peer Advisor, Undergraduate Advisor, and C. Everett Kooop Scholar in Addiction Studies. Focusing on improving campus climate around alcohol and other drugs, sexual violence, and sleep, John advocated for the use of Motivational Interviewing and personalized feedback sessions. He currently is a provider of the Brief Alcohol Screening Initiative for College Students (BASICS) for undergraduates.

As a MedEd Scholar, John is intent on continuing his work with Motivational Interviewing. Specifically, he aims to improve the teaching of MI among Geisel students and provide more opportunities to practice. He hopes to see every graduating Geisel student facile in MI, able to empower patients to make positive changes in their lives.

Bianca Di Cocco
Bianca grew up in New Windsor, NY and graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biological Science in 2014. She then spent two years in New York City where she worked as a clinical research coordinator on over 20 lupus clinical trials. In addition to research, she used that time in New York to explore some musical theatre opportunities and work on a few creative writing projects. Her interests as a MedEd scholar are on finding new ways to synthesis material to make the learning process less stressful. She is also interested in using different techniques from the arts in order to enrich the medical learning experience.

Reza Hessabi
I grew up around Los Angeles, CA and completed a Bachelor's in Neuroscience, with a minor in Middle East and North African Studies, at UCLA in 2012. While there I first discovered a passion for education while serving as a mentor/workshop leader to Muslim and Afghan Youth in the wider Los Angeles area. I also found fantastic science mentors at the labs of Dr. Ann Hirsch and Dr. Alcino Silva, whose values instilled in me a desire to always be curious and skeptical. After graduating I worked in politics before moving on to New Orleans where I completed a Special Master's Program at Tulane University. Along with my studies there, I taught at a Diabetes education class with Daughters of Charity. After graduating in 2014, I moved back to LA and spent the next two years continuing to pursue my passion for education by teaching with Kaplan. In my free time I help moderate an online, novel writing/critique group consisting of 230+ authors. I also help run The Samovar Network, a monthly online discussion panel of Afghan-Americans from across the world discussing issues relevant to our diaspora.

As a MedEd Scholar I hope to improve the ability of medical students to integrate into the communities that surround them by incorporating more immersive experiences into the curriculum. Discovering the right questions, and the right people, to ask in order to best facilitate a deeper understanding of patient populations is something I wish to make a standard at Geisel.

Lauren Kascak
Lauren is from Trumbull, Connecticut. She studied Neurobiology and English as an undergraduate at University of Connecticut. Fascinated by the intersection between literature and medicine, and the power of illness narratives in both the clinical encounter and society at large, Lauren has completed the Master's Program in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and spent the past couple of years leading creative writing workshops for patients and clinicians. As a certified yoga instructor, she is passionate about self-care, preventive medicine, and evidence-based holistic healing modalities. Lauren recently graduated from Georgetown University with an MS in Physiology and Biophysics with a specialization in Complementary and Alternative Medicine. As a medical student, she is exploring ways to foster self-care and resiliency in medical education, as well as to elevate and sustain the culture of compassion at Geisel and Dartmouth-Hitchcock.

Cassie Kosarek
Cassie grew up in northern New Jersey and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2012 with a major in English and a minor in psychology. While at Bryn Mawr, she worked as an undergraduate writing tutor, helping students navigate everything from their first essays as freshman to research proposals, theses, and scholarship applications. After finishing an undergraduate thesis that examined a memoir of mental illness in the context of narrative medicine, Cassie went on to work as a member of the editorial staff at the Annals of Thoracic Surgery. While at the Annals, she became interested both in how physicians' writing influences clinical medicine and in the field of medicine itself. She completed her premedical prerequisites at the Bryn Mawr Postbaccalaureate Premedical Program in May of 2015 and worked as an emergency department scribe and content writer for several news outlets in the intervening year prior to her medical school matriculation at Geisel.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Cassie is interested in exploring the role of reading and writing in physician's professional lives and in improving medical students' readiness to contribute both to clinical and research medical literature.

Devanshi Mehta
Devanshi is from Warren, New Jersey and spent the undergraduate portion of her career at the University of Pennsylvania. During this time she chose to major in the Biological Basis of Behavior. She was also heavily involved in mental health education, pediatric genetics research, and visual art. At Penn, a passion for mental health advocacy coupled with a need for wellness in the student body inspired her to lead Active Minds, a mental health organization. As president, she led efforts to transform the atmosphere on campus by increasing students' awareness of mental health issues, serving as a liaison between students and the University staff employees, and public speaking about the importance of self-care, combatting perfectionism, and accepting rejection. She was happy to share what her team had accomplished when approached by The New York Times, ESPN, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today, which she hopes produces ideas for other schools to implement. She also pursued her passions in advocating for overlooked populations through genetics research and clinical volunteering at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. For the past 3 years, she led studies investigating gene expression, food diets, hearing loss, limb development, and neuronal mechanisms in rare genetic diagnoses, with a primary focus on Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) and CHOPS syndrome. She was grateful to teach her findings to the patients, families, and clinicians at the national CdLS conferences in Costa Mesa, California and Orlando, Florida.

As a MedEd scholar she is excited to increase compassionate care in medical education, increase patient and physician exposure in preclinical years, and help optimize a holistic education for Geisel students. In the future she hopes to work at a teaching hospital where she can continue to practice, be involved with research, and teach.


Past Members:

Class of 2019

Jaleesa Akuko
Jaleesa Akuoko was born in Chicago IL, and grew up in Southeastern Wisconsin. She graduated from the University of Chicago in 2012 with a degree in Biological Sciences, and studies in French Literature. As an undergraduate, Jaleesa conducted research in the Center for Health and Social Sciences, as well as in the Department of Behavioral Neuroscience and Psychiatry. She was a four-year varsity member of the University of Chicago Track and Field team, and served as team captain in her senior year. In 2015, Jaleesa received her MSc in Biology from NYU with a focus on neuroscience. As both an undergraduate and graduate student, she led several undergraduate courses, and became fascinated by the various ways in which one can answer the question "why?"

As a Geisel student and MedEd scholar, she is excited to explore the growth of diversity and cultural competency training in medical education, the role of narrative medicine and otherness in patient-physician encounters, and strategies to optimize small-group facilitation in medical education.

In the future, Jaleesa hopes to work as an academic physician in a teaching hospital, where she can pursue research and teach in conjunction with her clinical responsibilities.

Annie Cravero
I grew up in a little town called Hanover, NH and completed my undergrad at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. While at Bates I double majored in French and Biochemistry, and led a club focused on environmental activism and climate change education. After graduating from Bates in 2013, I worked several temporary jobs including a summer on the field crew at Cedar Circle Farm in East Thetford, VT. In January of 2014, I started working at Dartmouth Health Connect, a primary care clinic in Hanover. I served many different roles at the clinic and was eventually promoted to a health coaching position, a role that helped me develop skills in motivational interviewing and behavior change coaching. As a medical student, I have become interested in how medical schools are teaching motivational interviewing and preparing future doctors to not only to treat disease, but also support patients in making positive life changes that will help them stay healthy. As a Medical Education scholar I plan to work with the faculty on how to improve this aspect of the Geisel curriculum, and to organize workshops for my fellow students on how to become a motivational interviewing master!

Tsuzumi Kanaoka
Tsuzumi was born and raised in rural Tottori, Japan. As an immigrant with cultural and language barriers, navigating through the American educational system was a challenge. Fortunately, she met many supportive mentors who helped her get to where she is now. Inspired by her mentors' unconditional generosity and extraordinary teaching skills, she initiated an independent study project as an undergraduate, studying how evidence-based teaching methods could effectively help adults learn sciences. Tsuzumi's deep appreciation for her own mentors, especially to the Emergency Medicine physician who worked with her, drives her commitment to medical education.

As a MedEd Scholar, she works with The Dartmouth Institute (TDI) Preference Laboratory to develop Shared Decision Making training programs for interdisciplinary health providers. She is the 2016 student representative for the Geisel Academy of Master Educators (GAME) as well as in leading the MedEd applicant selection process.

Thomas Kuczmarski
I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and graduated from Williams College in 2012. At Williams, I was a Chinese and Psychology major and a member of the cross country and track & field teams. After college, I lived in Taiwan for one year and taught English at two elementary schools and a psychiatric hospital on a Fulbright grant. From 2013 to 2015, I worked as a clinical research coordinator in the Emergency Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital. In my free time, I enjoy running, playing basketball, backpacking, and watching Chicago sports teams. I am particularly interested in optimizing study methods for medical students. In specific, I hope to demonstrate the importance of spaced learning, rather than massed learning (i.e. cramming), and to create more opportunities for students to engage in spaced learning.

David Leander
David was born in Daegu, South Korea, and was raised in St. Louis, Mo. He attended Northwestern University, and graduated in 2010 as a triple major in Materials Science, Economics, and Spanish with a minor in Global Health Studies. David was involved in athletics as a dedicated member of the varsity cheerleading team, serving as captain in his final years. He studied abroad in Mexico City through a public health summer program, assisting in data collection for metabolic syndrome research by interviewing subjects in Spanish. David pursued two other significant undergraduate research projects in biomaterials and public health.

After graduation, David worked for three years as a Project Manager at Epic Systems, a leading electronic medical records company based in Madison, Wis. During his first year of work, he continued his passion for performance through cheerleading and stunting with the professional basketball team, the Milwaukee Bucks. Through his work at Epic, David led implementations of software systems in emergency departments, and traveled to over 80 hospitals across the country. After pursuing a post-bacc and taking the MCAT, David continued to work with Epic software as a consultant while interviewing for medical schools.

His interest in Med Ed Scholars is based in the technology involved in medical education, specifically electronic medical records. He hopes to integrate learning about how to use this necessary documentation system as first and second year medical students head to On Doc and prepare for 3rd year rotations. He feels that an attitude towards embracing technology starts in medical school!

Sandy Rao
Sandy graduated as a neuroscience major from Hamilton College. She loves teaching and has a special place in her heart for corny science puns (come find her if you have any). While at Hamilton she tutored fifth graders in math, wrote and delivered a nutrition curriculum for tenth graders, and competed in many public speaking competitions. At Geisel, she hopes to focus on improving communication in medicine through public speaking and oral presentation workshops. In her free time, which is sparse as a medical student, she enjoys expressing her inner artist by volunteering at the AVA gallery with "Art for Kids" and going tandem kayaking. If she had to describe herself with one word, it would be enthusiasm.

Sean Sun
Hello. I am a first year medical student from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. My current project involves creating an online program that integrates all student-created study materials from past years into a single database. If all goes according to plan, first and second years will have access to many years of organized study materials by the end of this academic year.

I graduated from UC Berkeley in Spring 2015. In undergrad, I was an avid tutor, study group leader and committee member for education. When I have free time, I like to ski, paint, play piano/guitar/tennis, run, eat, and travel.


Class of 2018

Philip Montana
Philip Montana has been an educator for almost 15 years. He has taught elementary, middle and high school as well as college and post-bacc students. Additionally, he has worked as substitute faculty at Connecticut College and Boston Conservatory. Most recently, he worked as the Head Laboratory Teaching Fellow at both Harvard College, Extension School and Summer School where spent time redesigning the labs to shift the focus from simple data collection to a stronger emphasis on real conceptual understanding. He is currently a teacher at the Lebanon Ballet School. He also serves on the Medical Education Committee as one of the Class Curriculum representatives and works as member of Geisel's admissions committee.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Philip established the Peer Tutoring program at Geisel and oversees this program in 2015-2016.

Rebecca Masutani
Rebecca Masutani was born and raised in Hawai'i. Prior to entering the Class of 2018 at the Geisel School of Medicine, Rebecca worked as a Senior Education Associate at the Medicare Rights Center, where she counseled Medicare beneficiaries on Medicare rights and benefits, delivered Medicare presentations to the community, wrote periodicals on health care topics, and developed an online Medicare learning program for health care professionals. In her spare time, Rebecca acts as a medical school liaison for the Upper Valley Memory Café and also leads the Geriatrics Interest Group at the Geisel School of Medicine.

Rebecca is the president of the Medical Education Scholars for the 2015-2016 academic term. As a Medical Education Scholar, she has organized events related to medical education and has worked on program logistics and planning.

Mike Connerney
Mike Connerney grew up in Scarborough, Maine, and La Paz, Bolivia. His research experience at Boston University gave him exposure to excellent mentors, and since then he has aspired to guide and teach his future students with the same level of understanding. At Boston University, Mike double majored in Psychology and Biology with a specialization in Neurobiology, graduating with a minor in Music. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he completed an M.S. in Medical Sciences at Boston University School of Medicine in 2014. During his master's program, Mike tutored several medical courses and was a TA for Medical Histology. Currently at Geisel, Mike is tutoring CTO and assisting with the CTO laboratory component. Outside of class, Mike serves as a teacher for Medical Spanish, is a co-leader for Migrant Health, and coordinates the Spanish conversation tables group Café Español. He enjoys cooking, playing piano, and taking advantage of the great outdoors.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Mike has organized events related to medical education, with topics pertaining to motivational interviewing and transitioning to clerkship years. Mike also helped develop the Medical Education Scholars website in 2015.

Erin D'Agostino
Erin D'Agostino went to Bowdoin College and completed majors in Neuroscience and Visual Arts. Erin knew that she wanted to pursue medicine, but that before medical school, wanted to apply the awesome things she had learned in her Neuroscience major concretely. For that reason, Erin became a high school teacher. Specifically, she became a special educator: Erin taught high school students with language based learning disabilities. During that time she also worked on a masters in special education, did clinical research in developmental pediatrics, and volunteered at a Russian neuropsychological orphanage. These experiences fueled her desire to work both as an educator and as a doctor. Her particular interests lie in motivation, metacognition, and adverse childhood experiences, and what role they play in learning and development.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Erin has researched learning motivations and strategies of medical students. She also helped develop the MedEd Scholars peer mentoring program, acting as the Geisel Academy of Master Educators (GAME) representative in 2015-2016.

Raphi Gold
Raphi Gold is a member of the Geisel School of Medicine Class of 2018, originally from Long Island, NY. She graduated from Harvard College in 2013, where she studied neurobiology, and received a master's degree in public health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2014. Raphi is interested in the experience of medical students, both with the curriculum and beyond it, including study strategies and personal resources. She also hopes to explore the way population health, epidemiology and preventative medicine are taught to medical students. Beyond the four years of medical school, she hopes to incorporate teaching into her future career.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Raphi helped oversee the MedEd interview and selection process in 2015.

Jenny Zheng
Jenny Zheng is from Toronto, Canada. She completed a teaching degree from the University of Toronto and taught high school chemistry and science for a year prior to entering Geisel. Teaching and has always played a big role in her upbringing - with several educators in her family, Jenny is constantly reminded of how the artful delivery of knowledge can influence the life of another. Jenny is interested in curriculum design and improving medical students' experiences as we transition from the classroom, to clerkship, to residency and beyond, with an emphasis on addressing mental health concerns.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Jenny has organized events on topics related to medical education, such as transitions to clerkship years. She also helped develop the Medical Education Scholars website in 2015.

Peter Kahng
Peter Kahng grew up in a town called Northport on Long Island. He attended Amherst College where he majored in biology. Following his graduation in May, 2013, Peter moved to Boston to serve a year as an AmeriCorps member with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts in the Disaster Services department. Additionally, he taught ExamKrackers MCAT courses throughout the year and privately tutored for the MCAT through Cambridge Coaching Company. Since then, teaching and medical education have steadily moved closer to the forefront of Peter's mind with an ultimate goal of being a physician in academic medicine.

As a Medical Education Scholar, Peter helped oversee the MedEd interview and selection process in 2015.


Class of 2017

Auriel T. August
Auriel first became interested in education and teaching after falling in love with her AP World History teacher in high school. "As a science nerd, anyone who could make me care about history must be a magician!" As an undergraduate at Duke University she helped organize outreach programs to local primary schools hoping to foster interest in math and science in minority youth. After matriculating to Geisel, Auriel became Dartmouth's OSR representative to the AAMC helping to foster effective changes in medical education both at Dartmouth and in medical schools across the nation. In addition to her work with the MedEds and peer tutoring she served as a member of the medical school Admissions Committee, Physicians for Human Rights, and Medical Students for Choice. In the future, Auriel plans to stay in academic medicine in whichever field she chooses in the hopes of teaching the next generation of physicians.

Rachel R. Blitzer
I love to learn (some would say I'm curious to a fault) and I have always been interested in the process of education itself. As we delve further in to schooling, much of that learning falls on our own shoulders; we have an imperative to gain knowledge and experience even if the material is presented in a less-digestible way. I'm interested in how the student can get the most out of a given learning experience, whether that is through new study techniques, different schemas/lenses, or many other techniques. As a Med Ed Scholar, I was able to help re-work part of the On Doctoring training material; it was heartening to give back to Geisel and help to shape the curriculum from which I have gleaned so much. I am also fascinated by the ways that teaching helps us learn, and one of my goals is to strengthen the current Connect 4 program in the coming year.

Tiffany L. Brazile
A former dancer and personal trainer, Tiffany Brazile performed and taught throughout the U.S. and abroad, pioneering cultural exchange and educational outreach programs. While earning a second bachelor's degree Ms. Brazile worked as a Supplemental Instruction Facilitator in Biology and as a private STEM tutor in New Jersey. She now serves as a mentor for 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures through the New York Academy of Sciences' Global STEM Alliance. Her current research focuses on improving project-based educational opportunities for both medical and engineering students so that they can develop the skills required to effectively collaborate and innovate.

Jonathan Burgess
Jonathan Burgess is a published natural foods chef, former owner of Alive Natural Foods Catering Company and Johann the Conqueror's Vegan Baking Company. After graduating summa cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, he completed research internships at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health researching the effects of diet and lifestyle interventions on healthcare professionals and patient populations. He was formerly the Manager of the Wellness Program at Ipswitch, Inc, a 300-person information technology company in Lexington, Massachusetts. His interests in medicine are to explore the frontier of preventive and proactive medicine in an effort to foster cultural change towards a healthier nation.

Samantha A. Connell
I am originally from Peterborough, New Hampshire. I attended Johns Hopkins University for college and received a degree in biology and philosophy. I then went on to complete Teach for America in inner city Baltimore where I taught middle school math and science. I will be matching in pediatrics this spring and plan to pursue a career in academic medicine with focus on medical education.

Aaron J. Steen
The doctor's role of educator is easily overlooked compared to the roles of healer and scientist. I worked with Dr. Ann Davis, our former Dean of Student Affairs, to establish an extracurricular student group to promote conversation and skills development for a select group of interested students. I'm proud of how the group has grown to become a major contributor to curricular and learning environment improvements at the Geisel School of Medicine. In addition to the Med Ed events, I have written/edited an interactive anatomy and embryology iPad text, developed a clinical teaching elective, and collaborated on a variety of faculty projects.

I'm a fourth year student (Class of 2016) applying in dermatology. My fiance and I live in White River Junction with our two wonderful dogs...and three wonderful roommates. I'm an avid and lifelong soccer fan, I love to garden, and I look forward to being to able to travel again some day.

John J. Hon
John Hon is a rising third year currently on an academic scholar year. His experiences in teaching range from tutoring and mentoring middle school students in New Orleans to teaching English in rural Korea.

Obinna G. Ofoche
My name is Obi Ofoche and I am a current Third Year Medical Student at Geisel. I hail from the city of Baltimore, MD and am graduate of the University of Maryland College Park. After a year of Post-Bac at Drexel, I decided to take a year off from pre-medical education and join AmeriCorps as a volunteer teacher at charter high school situated in North Philadelphia geared toward the lower income residents of the city. My aspiration toward incorporating teaching into future career was born here and wherever my medical education takes me, I would need the instruction of future physicians to be integral to my practice. This was the reason for my joining of the Medical Education Scholars; to be a part of community of students that is committed to the same goal of instruction and teaching excellence that is vital for the future of medicine.

Charis Ripley-Hager
I am originally from Atlanta, Georgia and completed four years in the Army before finishing my undergraduate degree in Biology at Georgia State University. I have held a strong interest in education throughout my training. As an undergraduate student, I worked as a teaching assistant for a pre-nursing Human Anatomy and Physiology lab during which I had the opportunity to create my own classes for the lab. As a member of MEd Scholars, I created one of our teach the teacher classes about writing objectives. I am currently working with 2 other students to develop a fourth year elective for the MEd Scholars and other students interested in medical education. I am applying into General Surgery and hope to continue working as educator throughout my career.

Marietta E. Smith
Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Marietta Smith is a member of the Geisel Class of 2017. As a Med Ed Scholar, she is interesting in exploring the history of medical education, nutrition and culinary medicine, and leadership development. In 2014-2015, she and Katie S. ran a focus group about nutrition education in medical school, and she and Dave W. coordinated a lunch event about careers in academic medicine that featured a discussion with two Geisel faculty members. She also serves as a Curriculum Representative for Geisel Student Government and the Medical Education Committee.

Kathryn M. Stephsenson
A California native, Katie came to Geisel with a background in public health and clinical research. She joined the Med Ed scholars in 2014 with an interest in cooking, nutrition and how to best develop these skills in medical students. She looks forward to a career in academic medicine.