Donna Aranibar is originally from Lima, Peru though she’s lived for the past 10 years in Glastonbury, CT where she graduated from Glastonbury High School. She will be attending UConn in the fall as a biology and anthropology major. Donna has been involved in a variety of UConn’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP), including Jumpstart, Junior Doctors Academy, Senior Doctors Academy, and the Pre-College Enrichment Program. Each program renewed and increased her interest in medicine. This past year, Donna competed in the Connecticut Science & Engineering Fair, where she was recognized as a first honors finalist and won a special award from the University of Connecticut’s Physics department.
Alexis Oseiwusu’s family is originally from Ghana, West Africa. She was born in Inglewood, CA and moved to Danbury, CT when she was in the sixth grade. While Alexis studied at Danbury High School, her mother returned to school for a degree in nursing. This piqued Alexis’s interest in the health fields, which she pursued further by taking part in UConn’s Health Career Opportunity Programs’ (HCOP) Mini-Medical/Dental School, where she listened to different types of physicians and surgeons lecture about their fields. She shadowed on the Labor and Delivery floor of Danbury Hospital, witnessing three Cesarean sections and assisting as a baby nurse in the NICU. While at Danbury Hospital, Alexis took part in research on Kangaroo Care, a skin-to-skin method of care between an infant and parent. Her long-term goal is to be a neonatal nurse practitioner.
Fariya Naz graduated with high honors from Danbury High School. Though her early childhood was spent in Pakistan, she moved to Danbury, CT at the age of eight. At Danbury Hospital where Fariya volunteered in the pharmacy department and interned for the oncology department, she learned that the medical field was right for her. Pursuing what she considers to be one of the most fascinating fields of modern science, Fariya is majoring in psychology and minoring in cognitive science. More specifically, she is drawn to clinical psychology and is currently studying electrophysiology in patients with schizophrenia in Professor Chen’s lab.
Elizabeth Martin, a nursing major from Bridgeport, CT, became interested in being a registered nurse after volunteering at St. Vincent’s Medical Center and St. Mary’s Hospital. A graduate of Trumbull High School in Trumbull, CT, her interest in the field of nursing was reinforced by her aunt, who underlined the variety of opportunities available in this career and the fact that nurses have a wide array of pursuits open to them throughout their working lives.
Rubby Koomson is a nursing major who hopes to enter the field of public health. From East Hartford, CT, she graduated from East Hartford High School. She recently spent a summer in Ghana, West Africa with the UConn Global Medical Brigades, providing basic health care for the locals under the supervision of doctors, nurses, and pharmacists. It was a life-changing experience that cemented her professional interests and allowed her to indulge in her personal interest in languages; she speaks three fluently and is working on a fourth.
Rabale Hasan, a graduate of Hall High School, is a first-generation American-born citizen. Though she resides in West Hartford, CT, her family is originally from Pakistan. A long time participant in UConn’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP), Rabale conducted research on E. coli in sprouts and the use of bacteriophage as treatment during the High School Student Research Apprenticeship Program. As a member of the Pre-College Enrichment Program she researched different conditions and materials used in the creation of bone scaffolds. She has also taken part in the College Enrichment Program and the MCAT Preparatory Program. A psychology major on the pre-med track, Rabale’s professional interests are in neuroscience and neurology. She’s a self-described photography fanatic who loves taking pictures, editing them, and sharing them with friends and family. As a Husky, Rabale has traveled to Peru and Guatemala with the Medical Humanitarian Society to spread awareness of health issues and provide check-ups for the locals.
Christian Gonzales is a biomedical engineering student who’s working on a Latino studies minor and who plans to go to medical school to be a surgeon. Originally from Lima, Peru Christian moved to Manchester, CT at age seven and ultimately graduated from Manchester High School. His Peruvian heritage and his experiences with UConn’s Medical Humanitarian Society have had an impact on his career goals. In Cusco, Peru Christian was able to shadow doctors and provide physicals, health education, and medical screenings. The fact that he had the chance to serve his home country was very impactful. In La Antigua, Guatemala he visited schools and orphanages to provide health education and volunteered at the Centro de Salud Santo Domingo Xenacoj. He has traveled with Public Health House on an alternative spring break to Atlanta, GA where he learned about caring for the disadvantaged and those with mental disabilities. Christian is a saxophonist in the UConn Marching Band who enjoys soccer, volleyball, juggling, and speed cubing.
Originally from Colombia, John Garcia moved to Connecticut during middle school. A graduate of William H. Hall High School in West Hartford, CT, it was during high school that John began participating in UConn’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP), namely Junior Doctors Academy, Senior Doctors Academy, the Pre-College Enrichment Program, the Health Disparities Clinical Research Fellowship Program, and the Medical/Dental Preparatory Program. Because of these experiences John is now an allied health sciences major interested in pursuing a career in medicine, specifically in orthopedic or trauma surgery, and he works for HCOP as a counselor for their high school programs. He’s also a talented artist whose drawings have been made into tattoos.
Kristina Dortche is a physiology and neurobiology major with an interest in emergency medicine. She credits three opportunities with galvanizing her interest in the health professions; shadowing in pediatrics, which clarified patient centered medicine for her; shadowing in adult emergency medicine, which provided a realistic perspective of hours worked and challenges faced; and the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program, which revealed to her the steps she needed to take to achieve her goals and when she needed to take them. A resident of New Haven, CT who graduated from Wilbur Cross High School, Kristina loves Latin dancing and has been learning dances such as the bachata and salsa since freshman year. She’s also an avid fan of film photography.
Samana Zaidi was born and raised in Southington, CT and graduated from Southington High School. An avid reader who enjoys spending time with friends and family, Samana plans to be a physiology and neurobiology major following a pre-med track. Samana has participated in many of UConn’s Health Career Opportunity Programs (HCOP), the most recent being a research apprentice program during which she spent six weeks researching P. acnes and CRISPR mechanisms in microbiology labs. She also spent time looking at aquaporin channels within mussels.