Author: Hoffmann, Jessamy

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: Leonela Villegas

Dr. Leonela Villegas

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2012
Undergraduate Major(s): Chemical Engineering
Currently Employed By:
Updates: I finished my Pediatrics Residency at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in June 2019! I decided to stay at CHOP and pursue my Pediatric Nephrology fellowship with a focus on global health.

Rowe Alumni Spotlight: Alexa Friedman

UConn Year of Graduation (Undergraduate): 2018
Undergraduate Major(s): Individualized: Health Human Sciences
Currently Employed By:
Updates: Entering the second year of my doctoral program and I am working on a manuscript, an F31 grant application and a Ford Foundation fellowship application! Also running my fifth half this upcoming November which is relevant since Rowe inadvertently introduced me to running (thank you Tanya!)

2019 Rowe Scholar: Romoye Sohan

Romoye Sohan

Romoye Sohan has been involved in multiple UConn Health Health Career Opportunities Program offerings and volunteers at Windham Hospital. She’s a biological sciences major on the pre-medical track. Romoye was born and raised in Jamaica and likes to collect snow globes from each country she visits. She currently lives in Windsor, CT and graduated from Windsor High School.

2019 Rowe Scholar: Yvette Oppong

Yvette Oppong

Yvette Oppong is a fan of ‘The Office’, but has also found time this summer to conduct research at UConn Health in the Center for Molecular Oncology, where she studied Paget’s Disease of Bone. She’s an environmental studies major on the pre-med track and says that if she had to choose, she’d rather be hot than cold. Yvette is originally from Ghana but lives in East Hartford, CT and attended Two Rivers Magnet High School.

2019 Rowe Scholar: Meghan Long

Meghan Long

Meghan Long has a unique middle name story. Her middle name is “Vannary”, which is the female version of her father’s name, “Sovanna”, and it means “princess” in Khmer, which is her family’s native language. Meghan is from Middletown, CT and graduated from Mercy High School. At UConn she’s a physiology and neurobiology major with a minor in psychological sciences. This summer she was an Inpatient Ambassador at Middlesex Hospital and worked at Middlesex Gastroenterology Associates. She has also shadowed in pediatric surgery, radiation oncology, dermatology, and anesthesiology, which is her favorite.

2019 Rowe Scholar: Shaharia Ferdus

Shaharia Ferdus

Shaharia Ferdus is originally from Bangladesh but grew up in Meriden, CT where she graduated from Orville H. Platt High School. She loves to get to know different languages, cultures, and communities. She watches videos on Japanese history, follows Korean dramas, and updates her Italian music playlist on Spotify. As a future healthcare professional she feels it’s important to be able to understand many languages. This international flavor is apparent in her health care background. Her early volunteer work at Midstate Medical Center presented a stark contrast to the healthcare services she experienced in Bangladesh, and since that time her focus has been on underserved populations. This summer, she traveled with Huskies for Haiti, and volunteered at rural and local clinics, taking vital signs, supplying patients with medicine, and supporting the staff. She also volunteered at a Migrant Farm Worker clinic, providing care for Jamaican migrant workers in Connecticut. For the remainder of the summer, she worked in a nutritional sciences laboratory as part of the Bridging the Gap program, primarily investigating the effect of gut-derived bacterial lipids on liver health and the possible relationship to atherosclerosis. She will continue this research throughout the year as part of her Honors thesis.

2019 Rowe Scholar: Sandra Osei-Boasiako

Sandra Osei-Boasiako

Sandra Osei-Boasiako has played tennis since she was a freshman in high school, and enjoys reading and meeting new people. Originally from Columbus, OH, she has lived in East Hartford, CT since the age of five, and graduated from East Hartford High School. Her mother is a nurse and used to take Sandra to work with her. Sandra plans to follow in her mother’s footsteps as a nursing major with a minor in Spanish. Sandra has volunteered at Riverside Health Center for two summers.

2019 Rowe Scholar: Zaiba Khan

Zaiba Khan

Zaiba Khan is a molecular and cell biology major who plans to minor in political science and Spanish. She has worked in an UConn Health research lab on virtual cell modeling and analysis software. She has also volunteered at St. Francis Hospital’s maternity ward, and was a member of UConn Health’s Health Career Opportunities Program offerings. Zaiba is from East Windsor, CT and graduated from East Windsor High School. She’s also been cliff diving!

2019 Rowe Scholar: Jerome Jacobs

Jerome Jacobs

Jerome Jacobs is originally from Boston, MA but graduated from Rockville High School in Vernon, CT. He says that science has always been his passion, especially learning about how human intelligence and cutting-edge technology could not only improve our daily well-being but also invent ways to save our lives from currently incurable or unknown diseases. Therefore, at UConn he is majoring in biomedical engineering and planning to pursue a career that would advance both scientific and health care fields. He has Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED certification and has volunteered for two years with an event that raises money for the Special Olympics. Jerome has been a cellist for ten years and has performed with the Connecticut Youth Symphony and Connecticut All-State Orchestra. He has given free concerts at Hartford Hospital. Jerome has traveled to over 15 countries, included the Demilitarized Zone in South Korea, and hopes to take advantage of education abroad while at UConn to learn about health care systems in other countries.