John Zyzo is from Southbury, Connecticut. As a graduate of Pomperaug Regional High School, John was co-captain of the golf team, which was the best team in the entire state his senior year. He will be a Physiology and Neurobiology major in the fall, though that won’t be the first time he’s had a learning experience at UConn. He spent six weeks this summer in the Pre-College Enrichment Program researching the effect of streptococcus on infective endocarditis with Dr. Lee Aggison and Dr. Ruth Washington. John has also interned at Waterbury Hospital, shadowing physician assistants, medical doctors, and nurses.
Leonela Villegas is from Colchester, Connecticut, though both of her parents are from Peru and she makes annual trips to Lima to visit family. She has also traveled to the Amazon, Machu Picchu, and Cancun. She is a proud graduate of Bacon Academy High School where she performed with the dance team and volunteered at Youth United for Survival. At UConn she will be majoring in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in pre-medicine.
Michael Tassavor loves flying, whether it’s traveling, playing Flight Simulator, or simply watching planes take-off and land. He hopes to get a private flying license one day. In the meantime, the student from Rocky Hill, Connecticut will focus on medicine. Michael is a graduate of Rocky Hill High School and the Greater Hartford Academy of Math and Science and is part of the Combined Program in Medicine at UConn. He has attended the National Youth Leadership Forum on Medicine, and has shadowed an ophthalmologist volunteering in Iran. Mike was a participant in the Health Professions Partnership Initiative programming.
Neal Stewart is a graduate of Frank Scott Bunnell High School and is from Stratford, Connecticut, but he’s also a world traveler, having visited 14 different countries! He will be majoring in Physiology and Neurobiology with a focus on pre-dental studies at UConn. His experiences in the health fields include volunteering at a nursing home, assisting with Red Cross blood drives both as a donor as well as a volunteer, and working at clinics for AIDS testing and support.
Phoebe Menacherry is a graduate of Hill Regional Career High School and is from Orange, Connecticut. She will be a Physiology and Neurobiology major at UConn, but has already spent a semester taking courses at the University of New Haven. Phoebe has also had the opportunity to attend a weekly lab at Yale School of Medicine in which she learned about the human body via cadavers. She has spent time volunteering at the Hospital of St. Raphael’s Short Term Surgery Unit and the Health Professions Recruitment and Exposure Program.
Christopher Dipollina is from Waterford, Connecticut. He graduated from Waterford High School where he had the opportunity to take Anatomy classes that included dissections and the study of disease. He was also the captain of the Waterford soccer team and has spent time working at a soccer camp. Christopher intends to major in Pathobiology at UConn.
Justin Crim, a graduate of Berlin High School, is from Berlin, Connecticut. He will be a Biology major at UConn, and hopes to become a physician. He enjoys spending his time doing volunteer work, and is proud of the part he played in a canned food drive for the local food pantry in which his group alone raised over 2,000 cans.
Patrick Cooper is from Woodstock, Connecticut. He graduated from Woodstock Academy where he was the captain of the varsity lacrosse team. He is a student in the Combined Program in Dental Medicine, as well as a Chemistry major at UConn. His interest in the health professions was sparked when he volunteered in the Physical Therapy department at Day Kimball Hospital. He honed in on dentistry when he made a medical ministry trip to Honduras, serving as an interpreter for the dental team. Patrick is also interested in business, skiing, and competes in Irish Dance, ranking in the top 25 in North America.
Vanessa Carmona was born in Colombia, but grew up in East Haven, Connecticut where she graduated from East Haven High School and ran for the cross country team. She intends to major in Biology at UConn, with the goal of becoming a pediatrician. She has extensive experience working in the health fields, including 200 hours volunteering at Yale-New Haven Hospital, serving as state treasurer of the Connecticut chapter of Health Occupation Students of America, and working in a nursing home as a state certified nurse’s assistant.
Jonathan Caez hails from New Britain, Connecticut. He is a graduate of New Britain High School, where he earned his Medical Response Technician license. His interests vary widely, from music, to baseball, to video games. His newest interest stems from a recent step he took outside his comfort zone – trying out for the school musical, in which he landed a solo. While Jonathan may not pursue an acting and singing career, he definitely wants to do more exploration in the health fields. Like his other interests, the topics that appeal to him in the medical field are varying and include Neurobiology, Cardiology, Psychology, and Chemistry.