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Geisel ’20s on the team

Abigail Alexander

Hello! My name is Abigail (Abby) Alexander and I am from Freedom, New Hampshire. I graduated from Bates College in 2014, where I was a Neuroscience major and a Spanish minor. I completed my undergraduate thesis in a neurophysiology lab studying how opioids affect neural processing in rodents. While at Bates I also played soccer, ran indoor and outdoor track, and volunteered in a free health care clinic for homeless individuals. Since graduating, I have been working as a research assistant in the Behavioral Genetics Laboratory at McLean Hospital, which is a psychiatric hospital and neuroscience research center affiliated with Harvard Medical School. My primary project is aimed at developing and characterizing an animal model of an immune-mediated subtype of autism spectrum disorder, but I have also been involved in projects aimed at better understanding the relationship between addiction and depression. During my time at McLean, I have also volunteered as a mentor on an inpatient unit for adolescents struggling with substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. In my free time I enjoy playing soccer, running, skiing, and hiking. I am really looking forward to meeting everyone at Geisel and starting this new endeavor!

Colin Belanger

I'm Colin, hailing from my hometown just outside of Detroit, MI. Always open for adventure, I was able to move across the country for my undergraduate years at Pomona College in beautiful southern California. Majoring in Molecular Biology, I savored the small community and scholastic atmosphere, endless enthusiasm for new perspective, and outdoor voyages offered all over the state. Alongside my own "out-of-major" craving for seminars on colonial American history, my major focus in molecular biology included a senior capstone project focused on the mechanisms of mammalian DNA repair. While home for the summer during my college years I volunteered at a local hospital in various departments, most notably the ER, Surgery, and Chronic Wound Care sub-wards; my nights included a job as a dishwasher (and later, busboy) with a local restaurant. Outside of class on campus I fulfilled a number of interests and roles, including: a work-study job at the IT help-desk, tutoring under-severed students from the surrounding LA Hispanic community through Upward Bound, and leading a mental health advocacy organization on campus to erase the social stigma of mental illness. For two years after graduation I continued my craving for research while working at Rockefeller University, perfect for my background in molecular biology alongside my own broader passion to pursue challenging questions in the medical research field. In addition, living in NYC within the historically Hispanic neighborhood of Bushwick--alongside my previous Upward Bound experiences--has continually driven me to provide healthcare resources and ease of access to the underserved. Personally, I love delicious food (still trying to find a lengua taco in New Hampshire...) and exploring new places--whether canoeing and camping in the woods or visiting awesome cultural spots and museums in town. I'm very excited for the Upper Valley region, and what the next few years have ahead!

Sarah Bennett

My name is Sarah Bennett. I am from Carmel, Indiana where I lived with my family of four younger stepsiblings, one older brother, and my parents. I attended Carmel High School before attending Dartmouth College, class of 2016. At the College I ran varsity cross country, indoor and outdoor track, competing in the steeplechase. Outside of athletics, I was involved in Integrare Ministries and Find the Courage. I was a Human Biology major with a Social Inequalities minor and enjoyed studying the ways that society impacts health. My favorite things to do are hike, run, visit family in D.C., Indiana, North Carolina and West Virginia, and camp at the Dartmouth College Grant. I look forward to entering Geisel School of Medicine as a part of the class of 2020.

Meghan Bullock

I graduated in 2005 with a BA in public health from Johns Hopkins University. After graduation, I searched for my vocation in a variety of healthcare settings including as a Behavioral Health Technician/Case Manager Technician in the inpatient psychiatry unit at Phoenix Children's Hospital, in a physical therapy clinic, and volunteering for a year in Honduras with the Episcopal Church in their HIV/AIDS clinics. Inspired by my work in Honduras, I applied to nursing school while working as a research assistant at the Arizona State University College of Nursing. After graduating as a registered nurse from the University of Arizona in 2010, I worked on the inpatient hematology/oncology/bone marrow transplant unit at the University of Arizona Medical Center (UAMC). At UAMC I served as a charge nurse, participated on unit-based committees to improve hospital policies and procedures, precepted nursing students, new graduates, and newly hired experienced nurses, and was selected as part of the first group of trainees for a Spanish Medical Interpreter program. I've also continued to return to Honduras as a volunteer interpreter and nurse on medical mission trips. In my most recent role as a nurse in an outpatient oncology clinic, I cared for many patients who travel (sometimes at a distance of greater than 100 miles) from rural communities in Southern Arizona to Tucson for their medical care. My work as a nurse, along with previous healthcare experiences, led to a strong interest in learning more about providing medical care in a rural setting to underserved populations. I'm very excited to be a part of the Migrant Health program!

Julia Harrison

I was born and raised in Minnetrista, Minnesota. I spent my summers camping on Lake Superior, swimming, kayaking, running, and generally avoiding the indoors with my brothers and parents. When the seasons changed, I traded my running shoes for nordic skis and learned to love snow. I first became interested in medicine through its connection with athletic performance. As I matured, my interest in medicine stayed but my reasons changed. I attended Dartmouth College, where I majored in Biology and minored in Ethics. Dartmouth gave me the opportunity to continue my passion with athletics. I ran cross country and outdoor track for the Big Green as a Freshman and Sophomore, and was a member of the Dartmouth Ski Team for four years, captaining the women's nordic team my Senior year. As an undergrad, I took a term off to work in a primary care clinic in rural Guatemala. My time there cemented my interest in the human side of medicine, as well as in the ethics of care in a world in which resources are disparate. After graduating, I moved to Madagascar to work as the community director for a volunteer organization. My role has included everything from teaching English to building toilets, generally trying to build relationships between the volunteers and the local community. Madagascar altered my perspective on just about everything but more than anything else, is has taught me that knowledge is power and that in every part of the world, people have the same needs and the same hopes. I look forward to returning to Dartmouth for the next chapter of my education and to learning from all of you.

Karissa LeClair

Hi everyone! My name is Karissa LeClair. While I grew up the majority of my life in York, ME, I have lived all over the New England area and have grown to love/tolerate the cold winters. I graduated in 2015 from Boston College with a major in Biology. Additionally, I minored in Studio Art, which allowed me to complete a senior thesis project integrating genetics research into a series of installation art pieces that connected my interests in both science and art. During my time at BC, I was fortunate to be able to work with patients as a volunteer both at New England Baptist Hospital in Boston and at York Hospital back home in Maine. I also spent time volunteering with inner-city youth as a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Greater Boston. One of my big passions is working with kids, which has led me to volunteer coaching youth summer sports programs, working as a camp counselor, and most recently, coaching a junior high girls basketball team during my gap year.

While at BC, I played and served as captain of the Women's Club Basketball Team and also played several different intramural sports. Following graduation, I worked as an EMT for York Ambulance, where we covered the 911 response area for several towns in ME and NH. While there, I worked with a police, fire, and EMS task force to help improve the town's emergency medical response training and policy for mass casualty incidents, such as active shootings. In my free time, I love skiing, exploring new hiking trails with my dog, cooking Mexican food, and being an obnoxious Patriots fan, all things which I'm hoping to be able to enjoy with my fellow classmates in the fall!

Isabelle Magro

Hi everyone! My name is Isabelle Magro and I grew up in Larchmont, New York. I graduated from Dartmouth in 2014 with a major in neuroscience. While in college, I researched the mechanisms underlying split-second social perception in the Freeman Lab. As a member of the Dartmouth Ski Patrol, I was trained in outdoor emergency care and gained firsthand experience as a first responder, which solidified my interest in becoming a doctor. After graduating, I worked in the Akbarian Lab at Mount Sinai Hospital where I studied the epigenetic mechanisms that underlie psychiatric diseases, namely schizophrenia and depression. I also volunteered at the International Institute of Connecticut as a French and Spanish interpreter and case aide, helping refugees granted asylum to settle and integrate into the community of Bridgeport. During the following year, I pursued a Master of Science in Nutrition at Columbia to explore the role of nutrition in human health and disease on a molecular, cellular, organ and system level. As an extension of my interest in neuroscience, I completed my thesis in the Gershon Lab where I studied the effect of perinatal antidepressant exposure on gut and brain development in the offspring of mice. In my spare time, I like getting outside for a hike, bike ride or day of skiing, but I'm also just as happy catching up on my favorite TV shows and indulging in cupcakes (especially the ones from King Arthur Flour in Norwich). I am excited to return to Hanover for another 4 years and to become a part of the Geisel community!

Camilo Martinez

Hello! My name is Camilo Martinez. I was born in Valencia, Venezuela along with my brother Marcos to Cuban parents, Alina and Efrain Martinez. Growing up in South Florida, I witnessed the extremes of Miami's health disparities, from high class in South Beach to homelessness in the Overtown streets. I saw that the people around me were in need of treatment and hope as family members and friends were afflicted with different forms of disease, particularly cancer. My shadowing experience with medical oncologist Dr. Bruno Bastos at Cleveland Clinic Florida exposed me to the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to patient care and it motivated me to pursue the pre-medical track. At the University of Miami, I played an active role in the American Medical Student Association, connecting students to physicians for shadowing opportunities and volunteering in health fairs around the county. Upon graduating, I continued conducting research at the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center on methyltransferases and epigenetic markers linked to blood-based cancers. My discussions with researchers allowed me to gain insight into hypothesis testing and translational research that would ultimately improve patient care. Additionally, I have had experience in an international medical mission trip by screening patients for chronic diseases in the village of Nejapa in Managua, Nicaragua. As a medical student at Geisel School of Medicine, I will continue to serve the community and spread awareness about disease prevention and healthy habits. In my spare time, I enjoy writing hip-hop and electronic music tracks, producing music videos, and spinning records as a DJ. My motto is: "Hip-Hop & Heart Beats".

TlalliAztlan Moya-Smith

My name is TlalliAztlan, and I'm from Oakland, California. I attended Yale University and achieved my Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. During college, I was certified as Emergency Medical Technician and volunteered at the HAVEN Free Clinic in Connecticut, which served a primarily Latino community. I have spent time working with rural populations in northern Peru, studying adolescent pregnancy in central Argentina, and learning about traditional Aboriginal medicine in Australia. My grandfather was a bracero, and have grown up with an immense respect and passion for farm worker communities. I am excited to be able to bring that passion to Migrant Health here at Geisel!

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John Porter

My name is John Porter and I am from Dayton, Ohio. I graduated from the University of Dayton in 2015 with a Pre-Medicine and Psychology double major and a Medical Humanities minor. I've led three trips to Central America through Global Brigades, a student-led sustainable development organization. I also served as an administrative office volunteer in a local free clinic and spent a summer researching sexually transmitted infections with Dayton's public health department. During my gap year, I hiked the Appalachian Trail, substitute taught middle and high school students, and volunteered at Hospice of Dayton as an ambassador. In addition to hiking, I love playing soccer and going to punk concerts.

Soham Rege

Soham Rege is a graduate of Brown University with a degree in biochemistry. Born in India, he mostly grew up near Princeton, New Jersey. Though his fascination with science stemmed from his mother's research at Colgate, his passion for clinical medicine arose while working in Ghanaian and Nicaraguan communities. As a student, Soham has been involved with a number of research projects ranging from drug delivery to global health. He aided in the evaluation of a clinical trial implementing the WHO Safe Childbirth Checklist under Dr. Atul Gawande as well as helped create prediction rules for dehydration and Ebola in resource-limited settings with Dr. Adam Levine. Soham is particularly interested in working with underserved communities locally and abroad, having worked as a Spanish medical interpreter for over two years. He is an avid fitness enthusiast and former co-director of his South Asian fusion dance team, Brown Badmaash. As a physician, he aims to combine his interests in clinical medicine, research, and teaching as well as continue giving back to the community.

Miguel Reyes-Zaragoza

My name is Miguel Reyes-Zaragoza, I was born in Texas but I grew up in Mexico. I finished high school in Colorado and went on to pursue a neuroscience degree at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. An Bowdoin I met Erin D'Agostino, who is in the Geisel class of 2018, and we've been dating since then! I am a passionate outdoorsman and pursued the guiding life prior to enrolling at Geisel. I have worked as a climbing, kayaking and rafting guide, as well as a ski and bike patroller. Through my outdoor pursuits I became interested in wilderness medicine and subsequently in emergency medicine—which leads me to Dartmouth.

Zachary Salas

Zachary is a prior military aviator who flew the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy. He graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Chemistry. Additionally, he completed a Masters in International Relations from the University of Oklahoma. He is married to April Salas, who is the Director of the Revers Energy Initiative at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, and they have three children Jai (twelve), Adrian (four), and Natalia (three). He enjoys mentoring youth, and volunteering with the Boy Scouts for his son's troop. He has extensive experience shadowing physicians to include an Urologist at Katharinen Hospital in Stuttgart, Germany and an Ophthalmologist (Glaucoma Specialist) in the Washington, DC area. He also gained lab research experience, as part of a National Institutes of Health sponsored cancer study, during his Post-bacc at American University.