Michael Kerr is from Bloomfield, CT where he graduated from Bloomfield High School. As a high school student he attended the Mini Medical/Dental School program via UConn Health’s Health Career Opportunity Programs, and he played rugby for the West Hartford Black Hearts. Michael will be a Biological Sciences major at UConn.
Kevin Okifo moved to Naugatuck, CT from Bronx, NY just before starting fourth grade. Now a graduate of Naugatuck High School, he is a budding musician and a Biological Sciences major at UConn. Kevin has benefitted from the fact that his parents are both nurses as he has seen them working and caring for their patients. He has also shadowed an oncologist at Waterbury Hospital.
Brian Sullivan is a Pre-Pharmacy major from East Hartford, CT. A graduate of Two Rivers Magnet High School in Hartford, CT, he has played the tenor saxophone for eight years. Brian is interested in diseases in the brain and has shadowed his cousin, a nurse at UConn Health, to learn about different roles in the medical field.
Originally born in Jamaica, Jaydeen Sewell moved to Bridgeport, CT when she was 13. A graduate of Central High School, Jaydeen is a Biological Sciences major with a potential double major in Psychology. Though she has many interests in the health field, including public health, general surgery, and orthopedic surgery, her goal is to pursue her main interest of providing health care in developing countries, specifically to return to Jamaica and open a free clinic. Jaydeen has learned and grown from the opportunity to participate in the National Youth Leadership Forum of Medicine, where she watched a knee replacement surgery and shadowed doctors from different specialties. A self-proclaimed giver of great advice, she looks forward to both pursuing her other hobby, dancing, and to new experiences with the Pre-Med Society as she transfers to the Storrs campus.
Alexander Naoum is a competitive swimmer from Rocky Hill, CT. A graduate of the Sport and Medical Sciences Academy in Hartford, CT, he intends to major in Biological Sciences at UConn. He has been involved in research at UConn Health, which he says was a great experience.
Emilio Loret de Mola is an individual of many interests. Though his major will be Physiology and Neurobiology at UConn, he’s also interested in health care, biomedical engineering and nanotechnology, public health, international relations, and human rights. High school provided him with an opportunity to delve into many of these interests. Hailing from Stamford, CT Emilio graduated from King Low Heywood Thomas School with a distinction in global studies. He took courses in global politics, economics and sustainability, international relations, world religions, and human rights, completing two capstone projects. The first, about the public health system and the degrading effects of multimedia sensationalism, included research on the HIV/AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, the Ebola epidemic of 2014, and the Zika epidemic of 2016. The other was an environmental sustainability project on his school’s use of energy and possible green alternatives, which led to his attendance at a community and global sustainability summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. For the last three years Emilio has volunteered at Stamford Hospital’s Emergency Room, an opportunity he describes as one of the best he’s had in the medical field. He learned about the different departments of a hospital and developed an appreciation for patient care and its importance.
Born in Bronx, NY, Oghenenyerovwo Okifo now hails from Naugatuck, CT and graduated from Naugatuck High School. With aspirations of becoming a neurologist, she is on the pre-med track with intentions of changing her major from Biological Sciences to Physiology and Neurobiology. Oghenenyerovwo has had several volunteer experiences that have shaped her desire to pursue this path. She describes her work at Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center as peaceful and rewarding, her experience at Yale New Haven Hospital as humbling and empowering, and her efforts with a community-based church health fair as encouraging. Oghenenyerovwo is someone who chooses her words carefully, as she says that if she didn’t go into medicine she’d be a writer, an activity she loves. She’s interested in developing a unique, Victorian inspired style and writing a novel with memorable characters. She feels that writing intersects with neurology and psychology in that much of characterization deals with how people think and she’s fascinated by the human thought process.
Jiana Baker lives in Windsor, CT where she graduated from Windsor High School. She was captain of the track team and became an All American sprinter. With an interest in pre-med and health research, Jiana will be a Physiology and Neurobiology major and a Mathematics minor at UConn. She looks forward to joining the Pre-Med Society to meet other students with similar interests and to get involved her field of choice.
Lianna Morales is an Allied Health Science major from Danbury, CT where she graduated from Danbury High School. She earned her Certified Nursing Assistant license as a high school student and spent two years working at a nursing home. She also interned at Danbury Hospital, shadowing nurses and doctors on the labor and delivery unit. These experiences taught her the importance of a good bedside manner and increased her interest in becoming a pediatrician. Lianna has traveled to nine different countries and her life’s goal is to add to that list and travel the world exploring new places.
Neha Rana’s parents were born in India but she was born and raised in Danbury, CT where she graduated from Danbury High School, though she speaks Gujarati, an Indian dialect. Neha is an Allied Health Sciences major and a Biological Sciences minor who hopes to pursue a career as a physician’s assistant with a concentration in cardiac. In pursuit of this goal she has spent the past two years working as a certified nursing assistant at a nursing home in Ridgefield, CT. There she assists residents in the rehab, long term care, and dementia units, working to help those admitted in critical states return home in a stable and healthy condition. She also helps long term residents with the activities of daily living.