Medical Student Leadership Elections and Selections Information

Voting for AMWA Elections will be live from February 3, 2020 until for AMWA Student Elections are open until February 16, 2020 at 11:59 PST.  To vote, you must be a student member of AMWA.  The ballot is available here. 

Campaign videos for executive positions (president-elect, treasurer-elect, and secretary) are available at this link.  

Below are elections statements and biosketches for candidates.  Please review them to inform your voting.

Executive Positions

President-Elect

Miranda Guerriero:

Biosketch: Miranda Guerriero is a DO student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill. She earned her BS in Respiratory Care from Stony Brook University in 2013 and worked as a respiratory therapist prior to returning to school. She has been a legislative liaison for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) and ran the NAAF support group in the DC area for two years. Miranda enjoys volunteering with research labs at the University of Pittsburgh and coordinating local advocacy efforts as vice president of her school’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association chapter. She looks forward to helping members develop their advocacy skills and leadership experiences within AMWA!

Lawren Wooten

Biosketch: Lawren Wooten (she/her) is a current medical student at Georgetown University and a native Washingtonian. Her determination allowed her to persevere through life challenges in order to pursue her goal. She channels her adversity into advocacy and frequently protests in DC. She was recently honored by the Center for Popular Democracy for her activism in support of Dr. Blasey-Ford during the Supreme Court nomination. She also has extensive research experience and recently presented her original research on implicit bias at Harvard Medical School.  Lawren has always led a life of service and has dreamed of pursuing medicine since a very young age. Given her love for and work with children, she hopes to pursue Pediatrics. Upon completion of her medical training, she hopes to practice in DC where she can advocate for her patients and serve her fellow Washingtonians, especially Black and Brown children. Lawren is a part-time professional cellist with 25 years of experience and can frequently be found playing at the Children’s National atrium in Washington, DC. She also enjoys crocheting hats and scarves for her friends. Fun fact, Lawren will soon begin rotations at the hospital from which she was born and NICU from which she graduated.

Treasurer-Elect

Rachel McCann

Biosketch: Rachel McCann is a DO student at Rocky Vista University in Southern Utah. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton in her home state of Ohio. During her time at RVU, Rachel has served as the president of the local AMWA branch and the secretary of the Student Government. She participates in the Global Medicine Honors Track, has traveled abroad with two medical outreach programs, and tutors first year students. Working within her community, Rachel organized a fundraiser at RVU for a local young man suffering with cancer, a training for local medical professionals and students through AMWA-PATH on “Learning to Identify and Fight Trafficking”, and contributed to the planning of the annual AWMA Region 8 Conference at RVU.  She looks forward to working towards the advancement of women through advocacy, empowerment, and education while working with AMWA. Outside of professional and academic life, Rachel enjoys many outdoor sports, baking, and making stained glass art with her grandfather.

Secretary

Haley Shumway

Biosketch: I am a third-year medical student at Rocky Vista University in St. George UT pursuing a DO degree. I am a member of the inaugural class and will graduate in 2021. I graduated from Southern Utah University in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology/Zoology, with minors in Chemistry and French. I will be finishing my term as the AMWA Region 8 Director and helped establish AMWA at both RVUCOM and my undergraduate university. I also started the Women in Medicine Club at RVUCOM in response to my matriculating class being comprised of 19% female. I am a tutor, a peer mentor, and involved with the Global Honors Track offered at my school. I am passionate about traveling, meeting new people, and learning different cultures and languages. My goals include utilizing my medical degree to reach out to impoverished communities to educate, and to create sustainable health care facilities and practices. I aspire to be a strong, positive influence for those who will follow in my path.

Board Positions

Awards Chair

Sukaina Alikhan

Election Statement: AMWA provides a platform for women at all stages of their education and career to mentor one another, network with each other, and come together to think collectively and empower each other. As the current global health chair and an Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellow, I applied my organizational and team-building skills, which I’ve gained from my undergraduate degree in Public Health, my previous internships and volunteer work to contribute to understanding the social and biochemical factors in implementing programs that increase the wellness of a global community. As a Global Awards Chair, I was actively involved in Student Award Chair committee reviewing applications that AMWA offers to medical students. Serving as the Awards chair will further bring forth my leadership skills. I am confident that my previous experiences have endowed me with a solid foundation to serve in this chair capacity. Moreover, I am extremely excited to begin making a positive difference; I am just as passionate about learning from this position and expanding my future impact. This position would empower me with the necessary knowledge to continue to inspire communities, and collaborate with other organizations. 

Biosketch: Sukaina B. Alikhan is a third-year medical student in Staten Island, New York. She served as the 2019-2020 AMWA Global Health Chair and 2018-2020 Anne C. Carter Global Health Fellow. Throughout undergraduate and now, medical school, she has had the opportunity to work in Antigua and Barbuda, India, United Arab Emirates, and the United States where she have witnessed disparities in access to healthcare, nutrition, and education and even saw the effects of culture, religion, and politics on how diseases are contracted, spread, and ultimately treated. Her travels and internship at UNICEF gave her a first-hand experience to empower others to act locally while thinking globally. Serving as the Awards Chair, she hope to become a diverse, committed, and a global-minded individual that will have effective leadership in public service. 

Jacquelyn Flor

Election Statement: When I first started at RVUCOM and found out there was an AMWA chapter (emerging one at the time), I was determined to be involved in it as best as I could. My mentor in school was already the president, and helped to show me just how important being a part of this organization was. My first year I was one of the first year representatives, working to learn how the club was run and help organize certain events. For this past year I have been the AMWA liaison, helping to increase our numbers, working with Haley on the region 8 conference, and keeping AMWA updated with the events that we have held. My goal is to make our members, not just women, but men too realize just how important it is to have a supportive community around them that are there at any time with any sort of advice. I would love for AMWA to continue to flourish and provide opportunities for all aspiring physicians, while continuing to educate us on hush topics like human trafficking. If elected I would be allowed to continue my leadership position amongst AMWA, and help to provide recognition to those members that are deserving. I like to believe that I am a good judge of character, and feel that this would be a helpful characteristic to have for this position. 

 

Biosketch: My name is Jacquelyn Flor, I go by Jackie, and I am a 24 year old student at RVUCOM-SU. I am originally from New York, Long Island to be specific, but moved to Utah for school and have not regretted it at all! I have been involved with AMWA since I first started school, because my mentor at the time (Haley Shumway) was the president. She helped me to realize how important it is to be involved, and develop connections with my other female classmates. Aside from AMWA, I volunteer at a dog shelter. Playing with all the dogs helps me to relax from school and provides me with time to get love from dogs!

Programming Chair

Samhita Nelamangala

Election Statement: When my peers and I founded our school’s AMWA chapter two years ago, I could not have imagined how strong of an impact developing a network of incredible female mentors would have on my education. By tirelessly facilitating community-wide dialogue on issues such as gender inequity and harassment within healthcare and cultivating relationships with over 50 diverse faculty members, our AMWA community has become a safe space for all female-identifying students and physicians to seek both mentorship and friendship. As a national student leader, I will use my experience in building my local AMWA community to empower medical students across the country to benefit from their AMWA membership.  As your Programming Chair, I will develop my agenda by regularly checking in with AMWA student leaders and members about what they truly need. I will bring the same enthusiasm and persistence I had when building my school’s AMWA network from the ground up to fostering robust relationships with outside organizations that cater to student’s interests. Fortunately, as an MD/MBA student, I’ve had the privilege of working with organizations that span multiple industries, all with the ultimate goal of empowering women in their careers. I am excited to leverage these relationships to further meet the needs of AMWA’s medical student members. 

Biosketch: Samhita Nelamangala is an MD/MBA student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia’s School of Leadership of Public Policy and will be a “Triple Hoo” when she graduates! In the Summer of 2018, she co-founded the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s AMWA chapter and served as Co-President for two years. As an aspiring Ob-Gyn, she is passionate about improving gender equity in healthcare leadership and improving access to reproductive health care across the country. In her free time, Samhita likes to practice hot yoga, perfect her green thai curry recipe, and dance.

Sudie Ann Robinson 

Election Statement: AMWA has been an integral organization throughout my tenure in medical school. I was born in Jamaica, where women were once told that their duties extend to the kitchen and tending to the family; but I was determined to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician. As such, AMWA became my safe haven, a place where my imposter syndrome ceased to exist. I’m the past president of SUNY Upstate Medical University AMWA chapter where I dedicated the year to organizing events that embrace women in medicine. I also served on several boards to integrate global health into the school’s curriculum. As the global health chair, I plan to increase awareness of the programs offered through the global health initiatives, fellowships, and overseas assistance grants available for medical students and residents. I will also utilize social media as a platform to voice global health issues, showcase the work of past global health fellows, to highlight advocacy initiatives and to inform members of the different global health initiatives AMWA has to offer. This platform may also serve to quickly build an audience and potentially increase AMWA membership. It would be an honor to serve on the national board. 

Biosketch: Sudie-Ann Robinson is a third-year medical student at SUNY Upstate Medical University. She was born and raised in Jamaica before immigrating to the US to attend Ithaca College. She is also a first-generation medical student. Previously, she volunteered at one of the largest free clinics in the Syracuse area, the Rahma Clinic, working with volunteer physicians to provide care to those in need. She has made it her mission to one day return home to serve the members of her community through providing access to health care and promoting medical literacy in the community. She has also organized a mission trip to Jamaica where she hosted a health and wellness fair on the importance of lifestyle modifications in managing hypertension and diabetes. Sudie-Ann has always believed that research heavily influences the way we practice medicine. As such, she has showed commitment to improving patient care through participation in several research projects aimed to understand the mechanism of key players in Peripheral Artery disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and CNS Toxoplasma gondii infection. Sudie-Ann will continue working with members in the community through the Healthy Hearts Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University and will also organize future mission trips to Jamaica. 

External Relations

Samhita Nelamangala

Election Statement: When my peers and I founded our school’s AMWA chapter two years ago, I could not have imagined how strong of an impact developing a network of incredible female mentors would have on my education. By tirelessly facilitating community-wide dialogue on issues such as gender inequity and harassment within healthcare and cultivating relationships with over 50 diverse faculty members, our AMWA community has become a safe space for all female-identifying students and physicians to seek both mentorship and friendship. As a national student leader, I will use my experience in building my local AMWA community to empower medical students across the country to benefit from their AMWA membership.  As your External Relations Chair, I will develop my agenda by regularly checking in with AMWA student leaders and members about what they truly need. I will bring the same enthusiasm and persistence I had when building my school’s AMWA network from the ground up to fostering robust relationships with outside organizations that cater to student’s interests. Fortunately, as an MD/MBA student, I’ve had the privilege of working with organizations that span multiple industries, all with the ultimate goal of empowering women in their careers. I am excited to leverage these relationships to further meet the needs of AMWA’s medical student members. 

Biosketch: Samhita Nelamangala is an MD/MBA student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia’s School of Leadership of Public Policy and will be a “Triple Hoo” when she graduates! In the Summer of 2018, she co-founded the University of Virginia School of Medicine’s AMWA chapter and served as Co-President for two years. As an aspiring Ob-Gyn, she is passionate about improving gender equity in healthcare leadership and improving access to reproductive health care across the country. In her free time, Samhita likes to practice hot yoga, perfect her green thai curry recipe, and dance.

Anagha Nagaraj

Election Statement: In the past two years that I have been involved with AMWA, what I have valued most is the sense of community and mentorship at both the chapter and regional levels. Participating in efforts aimed at empowering women, and specifically women’s health, has always been my passion. In medical school, this has meant conducting women’s health research, organizing free women’s health clinics at a local homeless shelter, and currently serving as AMWA’s Region 1 Director. To me, the most fulfilling aspect of my role in connecting with local chapters and planning our annual regional conference has been the opportunity to foster a sense of support, opportunity, and community amongst pre-medical/medical students and physicians.  I hope to continue building this same sense of community as AMWA’s External Relations Chair. Through my prior leadership roles I have gained experience in developing and executing large outreach initiatives as well as in communicating with other students, professionals, administrators, and community members. As External Relations Chair, I hope to expand AMWA’s partnerships with community-based education and advocacy organizations as I believe this is a realm where AMWA members will thrive. Thank you in advance for your consideration and support.

Biosketch: Anagha Nagaraj is currently a third-year medical student at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She graduated from Barnard College in 2015 with a B.A. in Neuroscience & Behavior and subsequently participated in chemistry research at Solvay for two years before starting medical school. In medical school, Anagha served as UConn AMWA’s Recruitment Chair as an MS2 and is currently serving as Region 1 Director having just recently held the annual regional conference in December 2019. At UConn School of Medicine, she also serves as one of the South Park Women’s Clinic Co-Directors, organizing free monthly women’s clinics at a local homeless shelter in Hartford, CT. As External Relations Chair, she looks forward to expanding AMWA’s partnerships with community-based education and advocacy organizations so that AMWA students and professionals around the country have the opportunity to further explore their passions. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to podcasts, traveling, cooking/baking, and spending time with friends.

Sydney Woods:

Election Statement: As the first to pursue a medical career in my family I did not have a mentor to guide me, especially not a female one. Being a part of AMWA has allowed me to develop relationships with peers & mentors that would have otherwise been near impossible. Looking to the future I hope AMWA can continue to provide mentors and positive role models for aspiring health care professionals. I hope it can do so in a fashion that continues to focus on the needs of our community members regardless of their gender, because I believe AMWA has so much more to offer than just a network for female providers. 

Biosketch: As a second year medical student, Sydney Woods is continuously trying to find new ways to push herself & expand her horizons. She has managed to do this by being an officer in two of the most active clubs on campus, participating in an honors track, & meeting the high academic standards she has set for herself. As a competitive collegiate athlete she is accustom to balancing work with play. The desire to learn and grow stems from her childhood. She now finds herself trying new sports/activities and taking on challenging recipes in the kitchen.

Philanthropy/Fundraising Chair

Sushuma Chowdary Yarlagadda

Election Statement: My first experience with AMWA was as an attendee of the National Conference where I heard from inspirational female physicians and witnessed firsthand the empowerment that comes from building a community of women dedicated to healthcare. I became eager to participate in the organization after the conference and am currently working to establish an AMWA group at a regional campus of my medical school. I believe professional organizations such as AMWA have the potential to shape and sharpen budding physicians like myself by encouraging active involvement in all aspects of healthcare, including public health and research.  I have had various leadership roles relating to community service and philanthropy. As Executive of Philanthropic Initiatives of the Indian Student Association at Indiana University Bloomington, I tripled the philanthropic output of the organization through various unique fundraising events. As the Service-Learning Chair of my regional campus at Indiana University School of Medicine, I organized and executed multiple community service activities including collaborations with local schools, Habitat for Humanity, and local food banks. My primary goal for AMWA is to increase participation of medical students across all chapters by synchronizing initiatives and allowing them to take a more active role in the planning process.

Biosketch:  Sushuma Yarlagadda is currently a third-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine pursuing an MD and a Scholarly Concentration in Public Health. She is involved in the school’s Mentoring and Advising Program Advisory Committee and the Student Interest Group in Neurology. She received her B.S. in Biology from Indiana University Bloomington. Sushuma is an aspiring neurologist hoping to work with underrepresented patients in urban areas while engaging with the local public health offices to address community-level challenges. She currently serves her community as a volunteer in the No One Dies Alone Program. Her extracurricular passions include Indian classical and Bollywood dance as well as reading and personal fitness.

Advocacy Chair

Lawren Wooten

Election Statement: I have advocated and protesting since high school but became more active in the past couple of years. I believe all humans should have access to the same rights including but not limited to: safety, shelter, health, and privacy. Unfortunately, as womxn, particularly Black and Brown womxn, we have had our rights denied for too long. Despite having no representation in congress, as a DC resident, I have refused to remain silent and I intend to use my medical degree to continue advocating for human rights.  As Advocacy Chair, I would work to create a safe space where members can express their concerns upon which we, as leadership, can take action. I would improve awareness about AMWA advocacy events and opportunities for members to take action. Often, as medical students and trainees, our opinions are not respected. I would work to create an environment where members can have open discussions and be heard. In fact, we have the opportunity to use our voices as the AMWA community, and medical trainee and physician community to impact change for our current and future patients. These would be my goals if elected Advocacy Chair.

Biosketch: Lawren Wooten (she/her) is a current medical student at Georgetown University and a native Washingtonian. Her determination allowed her to persevere through life challenges in order to pursue her goal. She channels her adversity into advocacy and frequently protests in DC. She was recently honored by the Center for Popular Democracy for her activism in support of Dr. Blasey-Ford during the Supreme Court nomination. She also has extensive research experience and recently presented her original research on implicit bias at Harvard Medical School.  Lawren has always led a life of service and has dreamed of pursuing medicine since a very young age. Given her love for and work with children, she hopes to pursue Pediatrics. Upon completion of her medical training, she hopes to practice in DC where she can advocate for her patients and serve her fellow Washingtonians, especially Black and Brown children.  Lawren is a part-time professional cellist with 25 years of experience and can frequently be found playing at the Children’s National atrium in Washington, DC. She also enjoys crocheting hats and scarves for her friends. Fun fact, Lawren will soon begin rotations at the hospital from which she was born and NICU from which she graduated.

Miranda Guerriero

Election Statement: Through AMWA I hope to provide members opportunities to advocate for patients and themselves by further inviting members to share their interests and readily connecting them with outside organizations or other members that can help them develop skills they need. AMWA can build on the current membership’s strength by providing more video networking opportunities, features of member activities, updated listings of mentors or projects seeking volunteers and by inviting other organizations or experts within AMWA to present their skills (medical legislation, epidemiology, statistics, etc.) to the membership.

 

Biosketch: Miranda Guerriero is a DO student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine at Seton Hill. She earned her BS in Respiratory Care from Stony Brook University in 2013 and worked as a respiratory therapist prior to returning to school. She has been a legislative liaison for the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) and ran the NAAF support group in the DC area for two years. Miranda enjoys volunteering with research labs at the University of Pittsburgh and coordinating local advocacy efforts as vice president of her school’s Student Osteopathic Medical Association chapter. She looks forward to helping members develop their advocacy skills and leadership experiences within AMWA!

Stephanie Asdell

Election Statement: Being involved in AMWA is essential for beginning my medical career devoted to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion for all, with emphasis on furthering gender equity. AMWA has provided me ample opportunity for mentorship and inspired me to advocate for gender equity in my medical school’s curriculum and culture; I hosted a Forum on Gender Equity, volunteer at women’s health community fairs, and presented at the MWIA bicentennial conference with my colleagues. I have extensive experience in voicing group concerns and goal setting across nine statewide medical campuses through my roles as Indianapolis Campus Representative to Medical Student Council and Campus Co-Liaison of the OB/GYN student group. My goal for AMWA nationally is to leverage the power of social media-savvy medical students by disseminating coordinated advocacy-related infographics, videos, hashtags, and other multimedia that could potentially reach thousands of community members. As advocacy chair, I would build upon existing structure of local AMWA chapters by engaging directly with interested medical students to partake in more health advocacy and communications weeks, similar to the HPV Prevention week, at their respective institutions to provide a unified front for furthering gender equity and women’s health from the ground up. 

Biosketch: Stephanie Asdell is a second-year medical student at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Anthropology with minors in Biology and Global Health from Duke University. In her undergraduate career, she took an interest in advocating for individuals living with HIV and instructed a seminar course on the power of language to affect health outcomes, as well as conducted research on HIV vaccine development. In medical school, her interest in reproductive health has led her to develop a survey for 300 university and graduate students on long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) in aims of implementing a Student Health campus contraceptive initiative at free or low-cost to students. She also plans to continue her involvement in developing a county-wide LARC initiative with Dr. Jeffrey Peipert which aims to provide access to comprehensive contraceptive counseling and methods for patients in order to plan healthier pregnancies across the state. Stephanie has contributed to furthering equity at her medical school by planning and co-hosting a Forum on Gender Equity for her peers as well as opening a continued conversation with local faculty on ways to be more gender-inclusive in anatomy and other basic sciences curriculum.

Jade Walter

Election Statement : My membership in AMWA has been the cornerstone of my medical school experience. Amplifying women’s voices in every realm of society has always been a fundamental aspect of my life. During my time as president of NSU’s AMWA chapter, I focused on mentorship and advocacy. I established a mentorship program between the graduate and undergraduate AMWA chapters and became heavily involved in the PATH initiative. I made raising awareness of the issue of human trafficking among my fellow students paramount to my tenure. I executed two well-attended lectures by anti-human trafficking advocates to educate my classmates on identifying and taking the actions necessary to help victims. I also worked closely with the Office of Clinical Education to place trafficking awareness fliers in all of our clinical education sites across South and Central Florida.As advocacy chair, I plan to strengthen AMWA’s advocacy work through the PATH initiative. I also want to focus on AMWA’s continued effort in Washington to advocate for women’s reproductive rights and for expanded access to healthcare. I plan to reach out and work with individual chapters to determine the causes important to them and their community in order to help them develop their own initiatives. 

Biosketch: Jade is a third-year student at NSU Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine. She received a B.S. in Biology from Washington College and studied Global Health at Lingnan University in Hong Kong. Living abroad for much of her childhood allowed her to gain a global perspective and make volunteering and advocacy central to her life. While volunteering in a maternity unit in rural Peru, Jade found her passion for women’s health advocacy with an interest in helping women gain access to care. She spent her semester in Hong Kong volunteering at the Mission for Migrant Workers where she served as a liaison between a free health clinic and Filipino domestic workers new to the country. She then spent her years before starting medical school volunteering as a patient intake assistant at a free women’s health clinic in St. Petersburg, FL.  After starting medical school, she became involved in and later President of NSU’s AMWA chapter. She also served as the National Liaison for the Medical Students for Choice and is an active member of the Pediatrics Interest Group. She is an aspiring pediatrician and is excited to continue finding new ways to advocate for others throughout her career. 

Rachel Anderson

Election Statement: United by AMWA, women in medicine have made incredible strides toward gender equality. Over the next couple years, it is vital to address existing pay and leadership disparities by honing our negotiation skills, advocating for improved family leave policies, building mentorship programs, improving systems for reporting sexual harassment, and encouraging publication of system-wide salary reviews. As we come closer to equality, though, it will be up to us to determine the changing role of a women’s societies like AMWA in an evolving medical landscape. To me, the purpose of AMWA expands far beyond the strive for equality. AMWA provides a platform for strong, intelligent women to find their passions and unite on important issues, ultimately making an impact by becoming leaders, tackling public health issues, bettering their communities, and inspiring others to do the same. As advocacy chair, I hope to create an online platform that would allow AMWA members across the country working on advocacy projects to connect with other women with similar goals to both offer and seek guidance, support, and partnership. This idea is inspired by my own experiences, as AMWA has connected me with many brilliant women who have helped me on my own advocacy projects.

Biosketch: I am a second-year medical student at UMass Medical school, passionate about improving access to care for underserved populations. I discovered this passion while coordinating a diabetes education team in rural Alabama while pursuing my B.S. in Business Management at the University of Alabama. As a medical student, I’ve taken on projects to improve care for underserved individuals in my own community. I am collaborating with my institutions ED to create a protocol and educational modules to help physicians more effectively recognize and respond to human trafficking with a trauma-informed, multidisciplinary approach. I am also working on a needs assessment to determine barriers to cervical cancer screening in my community in order to implement an accessible and culturally appropriate free screening program. In addition, I serve as the Co-Chair and Arts Committee Director for Global Initiative Against HPV and Cervical Cancer (GIAHC), using art and education to spread cervical cancer awareness. As an AMWA member, I have served as co-leader of my school’s student chapter and programming co-leader for the Region 1 committee. 

Rachel Zeuner

Election Statement: Through AMWA, I found a community of likeminded women passionate about advancing women in medicine. Through local, regional, and national events we learn about leadership, mentorship, and the challenges and rewards of being a woman in medicine. Together, we are growing into stronger, better equipped future physicians. I am passionate about women developing strong leadership skills and believe AMWA is uniquely positioned to facilitate this growth. I have been involved in AMWA since the start of medical school. After getting involved in the organization during my first year, I took on leadership roles serving as president of my medical school chapter during my second year and as the Region 2 Director during my third year. I have greatly enjoyed the opportunities to learn from and be inspired by the peers and physician leaders I worked with. As the advocacy chair, I would continue this mission with larger impact by advocating and promoting physician wellness and women’s health through the broader medical school division. I would work with student leaders to design and implement advocacy campaigns in collaboration with the AMWA advocacy initiatives. I would make myself available to support chapters seeking to plan advocacy events, encourage chapter participation in broader AMWA national initiatives, and help to bridge the gap between AWMA activities on a local level and nationally. Through my prior leadership roles in AMWA, I developed the skills to be an effective communicator and an organized and motivated leader. I hope to continue channeling these skills into an organization I am passionate about as your Advocacy Chair. 

Biosketch: Rachel Zeuner is a third-year medical student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in The Bronx, NY. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Washington University in St. Louis in 2014. Following graduation, she served as an AmeriCorps Community Health Corps member at a community health center in New York City, where she designed and implemented a number of health education campaigns. At Einstein, Rachel served as President of Einstein’s AMWA chapter and Region 2 Director, shadowing co-coordinator of the OB/GYN Interest Group, and co-curriculum coordinator of Hoops for Health, a community-based service-learning group that teaches elementary school children in the Bronx about health and wellness. Rachel was involved in a global health research project addressing maternal mortality from sepsis at a hospital in Kigali, Rwanda and is currently involved in a project in the Bronx addressing pain control after C-Section. In her free time, Rachel enjoys baking treats to share with friends and is training for a half marathon. 

Amanda Severn

Election Statement: Hello everyone! My name is Amanda and I am a third-year medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS). Through my time earning my master’s degree at EVMS and now my working towards my MD, I have had the privilege of serving on my local AMWA chapter’s executive board for almost 5 years now. AMWA has provided me a platform to amplify my voice and empower the women around me to do the same. It is because of AMWA I have been able to create change, to develop a curriculum regarding a physician’s role to advocate for survivors of Intimate Partner Violence, and to start advocating for state legislation to combat period poverty. If I have the opportunity to serve as your Advocacy Chair, I will continue to review current legislation and connect with our AMWA members to develop position papers on key health and policy issues. My vision is to hear more AMWA student voices when developing our national stances and to learn more about what issues the next generation of AMWA doctors feels are most pertinent to take to the national stage. I would be honored to have your vote. Thank you for your consideration. 

Biosketch:  Amanda is a third-year medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Virginia. She was raised in Southern California and is the 6th youngest of 7 children. She received her Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Montana State University in 2012. In 2013 she studied sustainable community engagement and advocacy at Stellenbosch, South Africa, and worked as a teaching intern at Lynedoch Elementary School. She later returned to Montana to work as a Nurse’s Aide at Birchwood Senior’s Assisted Living. She then completed a Master’s in Biomedical Sciences from EVMS in 2017 while working as a server at a local restaurant and volunteering with organizations supporting survivors of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV). During medical school, Amanda continued to work with the YWCA and her AMWA chapter to develop an IPV training module that can be integrated into Undergraduate Medical Education. Amanda is also the Student Leader of Community Engagement with the Refugee Health Community Engaged Learning and serves on the board of Recycled Medical Equipment for the Developing World. In her free time, Amanda enjoys yoga, is an outdoor enthusiast, and gardener. 

Yuwen Cheng:

Election Statement: During a medical school interview, I was once asked, “as a little Asian woman, will your culture ever conflict with patient care?” Through AMWA, I have found the perfect platform to speak up against stereotypes and inequalities such as these, while working to create a safer environment for not just women in medicine, but all women. I am part of AMWA’s Opioid Addiction Task Force, which seeks to address the unique issues that women with addiction face. Through this, I was inspired to help organize and host my school’s first annual Addiction Awareness Night. I was also elected to my school’s Honor Committee and have revised the Student Honor Code to better reflect current standards of medical ethics and professionalism. As Advocacy Chair, I hope to work with executives and regional directors to identify current research and legislation regarding women’s health and keep our members up to date. I aim to create position statements on national events, focusing on mental health, addiction, and gender inequality in the workplace. So, to answer my interviewer’s question: no. As female physician leaders of tomorrow, we exemplify cultural sensitivity, ethical conduct, and compassion in all of patient care.  

Biosketch: Yuwen is a third-year medical student at the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University. She received a B.A. in Biology and a minor in Biochemistry and Psychology from New York University. She is a proud immigrant from Taiwan and has been a US citizen since 2010. She is a strong advocate for healthcare accessibility and has volunteered at numerous free clinics since college, including the student-run Stony Brook Home Free Clinic. Yuwen also helped host her school’s first annual Addiction Awareness Night and is part of AMWA’s Opioid Addiction Task Force, which seeks to address the unique issues that women with addiction face. As an undergrad, she fundraised and raised awareness for refugee children in Stone Mountain, Georgia and helped set up a sustainable social pharmacy providing affordable medication for communities in Tola, Nicaragua. She is especially passionate about medical humanities, and she writes about mental health, gender inequality, and the illness experience during her free time. Her work has been featured in journals such as the Harmony Magazine. As Advocacy Chair, she hopes to support the unique voices of women throughout the country and bring the same dedication into her future work as an emergency physician.

Recruitment Chair

Federica Brecha

Election Statement: If one does not see a role model like themselves represented in a field they aspire to join, it may become harder to feel they belong there. Organizations such as AMWA can play a role in empowering women to achieve their hopes for their profession and to work towards equity in the field, creating a supportive environment for the healthcare team and providing the best care to patients. I hope to join the AMWA leadership group to help amplify female voices in medicine and to encourage women to not only pursue careers in medicine but also to pursue leadership roles in their field. This starts by connecting students to the resources that they need to excel both in school and beyond. Through my leadership in the AMWA chapter and Women Empowering Women in Leadership at the University of Utah, I have organized a variety of events to connect medical students with mentors and leaders both at the University of Utah, as well as in the community. I have grown as an effective communicator, team member and organizer. Additionally, I have studied and presented the effectiveness of providing mentorship programming specifically for women starting their first year of medical school.

Biosketch: Federica is a second-year student from California studying at the University of Utah School of Medicine. She received a BS in Neuroscience from Duke University in 2016, where she researched spatial patterning of retina cells, led the club figure skating team, and attended many basketball games. Upon graduation, Federica spent a year working as a Research Technician in the Kay lab to complete her undergraduate research project. She then transitioned to join AmeriCorps as a communications coordinator for the Red Cross Los Angeles Chapter. In medical school, Federica has returned to a research role focusing on patient centered decision-making. She is also a part of the Professionalism and Diversity Committee and co-leader of the AMWA chapter and the Women Empowering Women in Leadership group at UUSOM. Outside of medical school, she enjoys skiing, eating and everything about Italy.

Global Health Chair

Omneya Ayoub

Election Statement: I have been involved in my AMWA chapter since I first started medical school. I held the position of president for the PCOM-AMWA chapter for over a year and it has made a significant difference in my medical education and personal life. I have been able to gain confidence in my potential to take on responsibility and give a voice to those who do not. I have been able to empower fellow classmates, friends, and become a mentor to high school students. During this time with the organization I’ve been able to start a feminine care products initiative at our school, bringing the administration to provide those resources to students on campus. We’ve provided our female students with the support they need emotionally with self-defense class, mindfulness sessions, and countless panels about women in medicine. In addition to reaching out to fellow females in the medical field we’ve also reached out to our community, volunteering at countless shelters and collaborating with the OB/GYN club on campus to educate others on monthly breast exams and signs of breast cancer. Our biggest event every year is AMWA Alumni brunch that holds a budget of about $5,000. I was able to delegate and organize a beautiful event with my e-board to allow female students to network with successful women Alumni from PCOM in various specialities. My goal in the position would be to focus on health education and preventative care in the underserved communities, to find ways to bring access to care closer to them. I also plan to initiate a mental health program for female students and help them connect with other fellow students in the region.

Biosketch: I am currently a third year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. I graduated from University of Delaware with a degree in Biology and pursued a Master’s of Biomedical Science at PCOM soon after. With a background in a organizational development and leadership I look forward to bringing my expertise to change how patients few the healthcare system and how healthcare providers can help close the access to healthcare gap in the women’s health population. I am passionate about mental health of medical students, mentorship of female minority youth, and providing care to women’s shelters and the homeless.

Nikolina Madjer

Election Statement: AMWA is a community that includes women in all walks of the medical career path to perpetuate acceptance, positive encouragement and growth. I have personally felt these benefits and hope to carry that on with me in the future. My goal for AMWA is to create more global outreach and expand our influence not just to women in medicine, but young girls around the globe who could be interested in medicine. I believe that I am qualified to be the Global Health Chair because I have traveled the world and worked in medical settings in South America, Africa and the Caribbean. I know the struggle people feel in those respective places, and I feel that I can offer direction to sending medical aid to those people. Having said that, I would like to help AMWA create an annual medical mission trip to a country abroad. My vision is that it could be open to any AMWA member ranging from pre-med members up to residents and attending physicians. Not only could this experience benefit the communities abroad but also act as a networking and bonding experience for AMWA members. 

Biosketch: Nina Madjer is a third year medical student at the University of Medicine and Health Sciences in St. Kitts pursuing an MD. She is currently working through her core rotations in Chicago, IL. She graduated with her Bachelor in Science degree in Biology with a minor in Bioethics from Loyola University Chicago in 2015, as well as a Bachelor in Medical Science degree from Dominican University in 2016. She has worked on two medical mission trips before beginning medical school, one in Accra, Ghana with Global Brigades, and one in Lima, Peru with MEDLIFE. Both trips left Nina so passionate about global healthcare and understanding the dilemmas underserved countries face to provide adequate healthcare, that she continued her work in the Caribbean while attending medical school. Her focus was to educate children on sexual health, and to spread awareness about sexually transmitted infections and how the spread can be prevented. In her spare time, Nina enjoys spending time with her loved ones and traveling. 

Naveena Daram

Election Statement: As health professionals involved in AMWA, it is our duty to advocate for and support global health. Many of us fortunate enough to live in the US may be oblivious to the health care disparities around the world and the various challenges women face globally. I was exposed to these disparities in my undergraduate years during my work with FIMRC in hosting natural sustainable changes to impoverished nations. Importantly, I was exposed to the challenges that women and children face in underserved regions, such as labor and sex trafficking. I believe I am qualified because global health is something I have participated in for several years now. My hope is to continue this passion in medical school, especially with a greater platform such as AMWA. If I am elected into the role, I will use my position and AMWA’s networking base to first educate and make aware the many issues that women face globally. I hope to then launch and initiate several global health programs related to the topics of refugee health, sex trafficking, and child labor.  

Biosketch: I am a second year medical student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine pursuing an MD. I graduated from Oakland University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. In undergrad, I founded a chapter of FIMRC (Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children). This student organization, which now has hundreds of members, provides medical students the opportunity to learn about healthcare disparities around the world. Pursuing my passion of global health equity, I have traveled to three different countries for medical aid to underserved regions where I was able to study the effects of preventative medicine on health. In medical school, I serve as the Advocacy Chair for AMWA as an advocate for more sustainable changes to health care. 

Sudie Ann Robinson 

Election Statement: AMWA has been an integral organization throughout my tenure in medical school. I was born in Jamaica, where women were once told that their duties extend to the kitchen and tending to the family; but I was determined to fulfill my dream of becoming a physician. As such, AMWA became my safe haven, a place where my imposter syndrome ceased to exist. I’m the past president of SUNY Upstate Medical University AMWA chapter where I dedicated the year to organizing events that embrace women in medicine. I also served on several boards to integrate global health into the school’s curriculum. As the global health chair, I plan to increase awareness of the programs offered through the global health initiatives, fellowships, and overseas assistance grants available for medical students and residents. I will also utilize social media as a platform to voice global health issues, showcase the work of past global health fellows, to highlight advocacy initiatives and to inform members of the different global health initiatives AMWA has to offer. This platform may also serve to quickly build an audience and potentially increase AMWA membership. It would be an honor to serve on the national board. 

Biosketch: Sudie-Ann Robinson is a third-year medical student at SUNY Upstate Medical University. She was born and raised in Jamaica before immigrating to the US to attend Ithaca College. She is also a first-generation medical student. Previously, she volunteered at one of the largest free clinics in the Syracuse area, the Rahma Clinic, working with volunteer physicians to provide care to those in need. She has made it her mission to one day return home to serve the members of her community through providing access to health care and promoting medical literacy in the community. She has also organized a mission trip to Jamaica where she hosted a health and wellness fair on the importance of lifestyle modifications in managing hypertension and diabetes. Sudie-Ann has always believed that research heavily influences the way we practice medicine. As such, she has showed commitment to improving patient care through participation in several research projects aimed to understand the mechanism of key players in Peripheral Artery disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease and CNS Toxoplasma gondii infection. Sudie-Ann will continue working with members in the community through the Healthy Hearts Program at SUNY Upstate Medical University and will also organize future mission trips to Jamaica. 

Sneha Aidasani

Election Statement: My personal goal in training as a medical student and future physician is to become more cognizant of the patient narrative. This is to not only enhance my own narrative competency, but also my structural competency, using the narrative as a jumping point to bridge existing gaps within institutions and laws that structure the patient narrative. As one who believes in the power of interdisciplinary approaches, I believe that education is the first step towards empowering patients to become advocates for themselves. Service-immersion experiences in my undergraduate years to my post-graduate internship in the Nutrition in Emergency Unit at UNICEF, all the way to my first experience with AMWA in organizing and leading the very first L.I.F.T. Training in San Antonio, TX for our inaugural osteopathic medical school class and greater community, what has resonated with my belief in catalyzing change is first-hand interactions with community members and the power of narrative.  My experience in working with AMWA PATH to organize the Learn, Identify, and Fight Trafficking training really helped me hone in on how to shift from a disease/issue specific view to a broader health systems strengthening view. Bringing this training to our medical school, and the greater osteopathic medical community, allows us, as medical students, to take a stance not only to raise awareness about the issue of sexual assault but urge medical students and practitioners can better serve patients through trauma-informed care. As Global Health Chair, the goal remains identifying how community health education can help tackle the health disparities that exist globally, in relation to gender, equity, and access to care.

Biosketch:  I was born and raised in New York City, and completed my undergraduate studies in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies/Psychology at New York University. During my time at NYU, I was involved with a service organization called Alternative Breaks. Having conceptualized, created, and site-led three consecutive trips (zooming in on physical ability, youth empowerment, & domestic violence, respectively), Alternative Breaks encouraged me to learn about a social issue by immersing myself into a community through direct service. My motivation to catalyze change and raise awareness stemmed from my first-hand interactions with community members and the power of their narrative. Even as a physician, I hope to establish a connection with my patients, listen to their stories and their backgrounds, and then empower them to become advocates for themselves, their communities, and their own health. I believe that education & awareness about different social issues is key to eradicating them, and my experiences working with diverse populations have resonated with my belief in catalyzing change through first-hand interactions with community members. I continued my graduate studies at Columbia University’s Institute of Human Nutrition, where I received my M.S. in Nutrition. Before beginning medical school, I interned in the Nutrition in Emergency Unit at UNICEF. My role was to strengthen guidance on the integration and scale-up of the management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) into global health systems in East and Southern Africa. I worked in close collaboration with UNICEF country and regional offices at these sites, making key recommendations to form the basis of a task-force roadmap, eventually utilized within the country. I was also in the process of creating a global mapping of networks that exist to support health system strengthening efforts, in hopes that UNICEF can identify and connect with global clusters, allowing for collaboration and pooling of resources and ideas. This has prompted my future goals, especially in relation to the malnutrition cycle in women and girls, to learn from the experiences of existing global health initiatives that have shifted from a disease-specific to health systems strengthening approach.

Conference Co-Chairs

Alyssa Brown

Election Statement: I joined AMWA during my first year of medical school. When I started medical school, I did not dream that I would get a PhD or move across the country to get it. I loved my local Louisville AMWA chapter, and I was sad to leave it. I had helped to grow the chapter and make new mentorship opportunities for the students. When I moved, I decided to try to become more involved in the national organization. I started working with Michelle Benedict on social media and branding for AMWA. We restructured the social media platforms and grew the Instagram from 600 followers to 11.7k followers in under a year. During this, I applied to be an ambassador with the conference ambassador program. I went to the MWIA Centennial Conference this year as an ambassador. I helped with conference set-up, planning, and social media. I loved every minute of the conference. While some of it was stressful, I made so many wonderful friends that I have continued to talk to since then. The mentorship at the conference was outstanding, and I loved having the opportunity to meet so many of the AMWA members I had worked with over social media. I want to be the conference chair to give back to the organization that has given so much to me. I really think that my experiences at MWIA Centennial and my Social Media Chair Experience will help prepare me to be successful at this position.

Biosketch: Alyssa Brown grew up in Chattanooga, TN then pursued a degree in Biology and History from Centre College, while playing Division III Golf. After graduation, she started medical school at University of Louisville School. She fell in love with surgery after seeing her mentor perform an anoplasty during the first year of medical school. She became president of her AMWA chapter at Louisville during the second and third year of medical school, and the chapter raised over $500 for a local women’s shelter. In 2018, she took a break from her MD program to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering and Physiology at Mayo Clinic, before finishing her MD. During this time, she started working with AMWA at a national level. She and Michelle Benedict began restructuring the AMWA social media. She helped to grow the Instagram from 600 followers to 11.7k. She is now managing a social media and branding team through AMWA, as well as co-chairing the National Liaison Committee. She was an ambassador to the MWIA Centennial Conference. Her PhD research involves the role of neuroinflammation in motor neuron diseases and side projects in pediatric surgery. When she is not buried in work, you will find her in the pediatric surgery OR, pastries that she saw on “Great British Bake-Off”, or at a concert. 

Cheryl Chamathil

Election Statement: I come from a male dominated culture. I’ve seen women keep their opinions to themselves and dull their lights just because the culture is the way it is. For me, to be involved in AMWA is not only a privilege but also a platform for those women who haven’t been awarded the same opportunities that I was.  I hope that AMWA continues to empower women in medicine and further alleviate the many issues we tackle. I was one of the founding members of AMWA at my school where I was in charge of organizing charity events and meetings. I also served as regional coordinator for my church’s national young adults group where I organized all aspects of numerous conferences.  As co-conference chair, I will apply what I have learned from my leadership positions to help form a cohesive team that perpetuates the advancement of female physicians. I feel this will be accomplished by consulting fellow members for their perspectives and through the use of unconventional approaches. As a leader, I will help us shine our lights to live out our full potential, because that is what’s required to close the gaps in healthcare. 

Biosketch: Cheryl Chamathil is a 3rd year MD student at International American University. She received a B.S. in Public Health with a concentration in Health Policy and Management from The University of Texas at Austin. She was a founding member for AMWA at her medical school where she organized charity events, meetings for members, and the school’s first public clinic for members of the local community. She is an aspiring internist with hopes of providing care to those in underprivileged areas. In her free time, Cheryl enjoys hiking the mountains of Phoenix, playing with her dog, cooking, and lots of eating.  

Spoorthi Davala

Election Statement: Hi everyone! My name is Spoorthi Davala and I’m a current third year student at Boston University School of Medicine. I’ve been involved with AMWA since my first year of medical school and later served as co-president for the BUSM chapter as well as Region 1 director for the 2018-19 school year.  Throughout my involvement with AMWA, I’ve met and been inspired by many strong, passionate women in the medical field. The diversity of experiences shared have taught me to understand how we, as future physicians, have the responsibilities of both flourishing as strong female individuals in medicine and empowering one another throughout our unique journeys.  As Region 1 director, I worked with a wonderful group of Region 1 members to create a conference that not only featured an esteemed group of physicians with compelling lessons and stories to share but also ensured students the opportunity to share their own experiences among their peers to cultivate a community of learning, support and understanding of one another. It would be an honor to serve as Conference Co-chair for the 2020-21 school year in hopes to bring students a similar experience once again and work alongside fellow AMWA members. 

Biosketch:  Spoorthi Davala is a third year student at Boston University School of Medicine. She received her BA from Boston University in Medical Sciences with a minor in Visual Arts. Spoorthi has been involved with AMWA since her first year of medical school and later served as Co-president for the BUSM AMWA chapter as well as Region 1 director for the 2018-19 school year. Throughout her involvement with AMWA, she has learnt from and met many strong, passionate women in the medical field who have inspired her to bring these same experiences to AMWA members in hopes to cultivate an environment of support and understanding of one another. Spoorthi has an interest in the bridge between art and medicine and served as the Artist-in-Residence for Boston Medical Center in 2017. She co-led the Pediatrics Interest Group, AMWA and Art SPACE and is currently the BUSM delegate for AAP’s Section on Pediatric Trainees. In her free time she enjoys painting, drawing, singing, dancing and hiking. 

Caitlyn Ko

Election Statement: Female representation in medicine has been steadily increasing over time, yet we still are underrepresented nationally in leadership positions. From my experience as the Stritch School of Medicine AMWA chapter president and my involvement in the 2019 Women in Medicine Summit, I learned that it is more important now than ever to create and expand networks within the medical profession for women to support each other during advancement into leadership roles. While the physical presence of more females in the field provides comfort in itself, it is key to have these networks to develop further personally and professionally by sharing challenging experiences and opportunities with one another. As conference co-chair or regional director 6 for the national AMWA organization, I plan to use my experiences in group empowerment, social advocacy, peer mentoring, and event coordination, to help launch national and/or regional events, such as conventions, seminars, and gatherings, for AMWA members to connect and educate each other on how to overcome adversity in our call for equal representation in medical leadership nationwide. 

Biosketch: Caitlyn is currently a medical student at the Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, where she is pursuing her medical doctorate. Her previous education includes a Master of Arts in Medical Science from Loyola University Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University, where she majored in Medicine, Health, and Society with minors in Spanish and Chemistry. Caitlyn has been involved in AMWA since her first year of medical school and has since served as president for her school’s chapter. She has also been involved at Stritch as her class board’s treasurer, an admission tour guide, and a mentor for medical school applicants from Loyola’s master’s program. Caitlyn is passionate about improving health literacy and inequality. Outside of Stritch, she volunteers as a Spanish interpreter at CommunityHealth Clinic in Chicago and works as a group exercise instructor at her fitness center. In her free time, Caitlyn likes to attend tourist destinations, musicals, concerts, and art galleries.   

Regional Directors

Region 1

Jessica Shi

Election Statement: At the start of M1, I attended the AMWA Region 1 Annual Conference. At this conference, we were asked to raise our hands if we had ever experienced “imposter syndrome”. Looking around, seeing my hand raised in the sea of hands, it was a surreal moment. As I traverse through 3rd year, I have realized just how prevalent this phenomenon is, especially among my female classmates. As medicine has become more diverse and accommodating, it is important not only to have space for female providers within medicine, but also to foster an environment in which female providers can thrive. One of my goals for AMWA this year is to address burnout and imposter syndrome. Mental health has always been an important part of my advocacy journey, and as such, I plan to organize panels and workshops geared towards having open and honest discussions about these topics. I would be honored to serve AMWA in this capacity as Region 1 Director. 

Biosketch:  Jessica Shi is a 3rd year medical student at Boston University School of Medicine. She received a BA in Cognitive Sciences with a minor in biology at University of California, Irvine. Her passions include sexual health advocacy, medical student wellness, medical education, and caring for the underserved population. She served as a student leader of the BUSM AMWA Chapter. Her past involvements include leading Sexual Trauma Outreach and Prevention, planning rape and sexual violence advocacy events. She co-lead the Mental Health subgroup of the Wellness Initiative and helped organize the annual Wellness Fair. She also lead weekly meditation sessions on behalf of Integrative Medicine. She has co-lead Bridging Gaps in Care, organizing monthly visits to section 9 housing. In 2018, she co-organized a SNAP challenge, challenging medical students to live off $30 for one week. She was also a student leader for BUSM Admissions and served as an Alzheimer’s Ambassador. As a leader for Spectrum of Physician Advocacy (SPA), she organized the incarceration and LGBTQ health classes for the advocacy elective. She helped spearhead the Microaggression workshop that was implemented into the M1 curriculum. In her spare time, she loves making DIY and crafting, thrifting, and trying new recipes. 

Region 2

Padmaja Sundaram

Election Statement: I was shocked out of my idealistic perceptions of the medical profession early into my education, when one of the strongest surgeons I know had to deliberate over asking for a parking space at her hospital for fear of being viewed as ‘pushy’. Her crime? Being a woman in a male-dominated field. Since this wake-up call, I have been deeply involved with multiple organizations to raise awareness about issues faced by women in medicine, as well as in raising funds for important causes, eventually becoming president of the Health and Women’ committee at St. Bowman’s Women Center at Siena College. At Albany Medical, I became president of the local AMWA where my position allowed me to conduct events like negation workshops and mentorship seminars, events that not only provided members advice and solutions, but enabled them to build a tool kit to navigate any situation they may face. I believe I am the best fit as regional director as I am very aware of the support systems that women medical professionals need, and my years in management have helped me gain the necessary skills to organize and coordinate events that can help these women empower themselves and others around them. 

Biosketch:  Padmaja Sundaram is currently a 2nd year medical student at Albany Medical College. She recently graduated from Siena College as part of its Combined B.A/M.D program, graduating Magna Cum Laude with a major in Biology and a minor in Psychology. She has been passionate about women equity and advocacy throughout her collegiate and medical career. She was President of the Health and Global Awareness committee of the St..Thea Bowman Women’s Center, where she helped raise awareness about women’s health issues and raised funds to advocate for domestically abused victims in underprivileged areas. Currently, she is the President of the Albany chapter of AMWA, a board member of the Cardiovascular Surgery interest group, and continues to advocate for women through her role as the President of Strong Moms, a service club dedicated to mentoring and advocating for local teen mothers. Currently she is researching causes of readmission in elderly patients at Albany Medical Center, and is helping start a private clinic focused on preventive care. She hopes to dedicate the coming year to complete an MBA, further her research, and be deeply involved in AMWA. In her free time, she loves constructing vintage outfits, knitting, and cooking.

Region 3

Olubukola Toyobo

Election Statement:  Hello AMWA,  Part of my vision for AMWA is to use my background and skillset to assist in diversifying the face of medicine and empowering the next generation of healthcare leaders. I have worked with women of all ages for the last six years and strengthened my communication and leadership skills. This started with encouraging and mentoring middle school girls to enter scientific fields. In medical school, my goals shifted to supporting medical students to negotiate & advocate for oneself, seek mentorship & sponsorship, and enter leadership roles. In the last three years, I served as treasurer and co-president of the AMWA branch at Penn State College of Medicine where I worked with a team to expand our branch and create innovative workshops to support our members.  As regional director, I hope to provide a different perspective, assist in increasing diversity and inclusion to a broader audience, and create a community for all the Mid-Atlantic branches to interact & grow together. I am excited to connect with the different branches to create a lively 2020 regional conference packed with insightful workshops for us to be empowered and strategic in our goals as women in medicine.

Biosketch:  Olubukola “Bukola” Toyobo is a third-year medical student at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine (PSCOM) in Hershey, PA. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Pennsylvania State University. At PSCOM, Bukola has served as treasurer and co-president of her school’s AMWA branch and is proud of their projects with community volunteering, physician mentorship, domestic violence awareness, and networking events, including mentorship and sponsorship. She led the development of a dialogue for female medical students focused on demystifying the layers of being a woman in medicine. She co-hosted the interactive session and invited Diana Lautenberger, Director of Women in Medicine and Science from the Association of American Medical Colleges to facilitate the session.  In addition to her involvement with AMWA, Bukola served as admission chair for PSCOM Medical Student Admission Committee. She also led a team of volunteers for Primary Care Day, in which she and her team created and implemented a workshop focused on supporting non-traditional pre-medical and medical students in medicine. Outside of medicine, Bukola enjoys travelling, watching movies, cooking and eating. She has lived and travelled to many countries in Europe and Africa.

Kristen Peterson

Election Statement:  When I joined AMWA, I never imagined the impact it would have on my personal and professional growth in such a short period of time. AMWA has given me an avenue to pursue my passions and to grow as a team member and leader. I want to pay it forward in AMWA by fostering a similar environment for the next line of women in medicine. My goal is to continue fostering collaboration among AMWA chapters in Region 3, encouraging growth and empowerment through a shared collective of challenges, successes, and ingenuity. I hope to provide each chapter with focused feedback from a group of strong minds, meeting chapters where they are and allowing for opportunity and growth at all levels. With every chapter encountering different challenges and obstacles, I hope to foster the growth of those in Region 3 by focusing on empowering those I work alongside through appropriate delegation and consistent communication while understanding time constraints by conveying clear timelines and expectations. 

Biosketch:  Kristen is a third-year medical student at Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) in Norfolk, Virginia. She received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Kentucky in 2011. After graduation she moved to Virginia where she worked before pursuing her Master of Science in Human Genetics from Virginia Commonwealth University. Throughout medical school, Kristen has tutored students from a variety of academic programs in areas such as anatomy, clinical medicine, and critical analysis and reasoning. She served as leader of her community engagement initiative Refugee Health’s research team focused on addressing the mental health needs of the local refugee population. Kristen has served as treasurer of her school’s AMWA branch and has loved helping the chapter grow. In her free time, Kristen enjoys yoga, playing piano, spending time with her dog and cats, and cheering on the Pittsburgh Penguins, Steelers, and Pirates. 

Region 4

Rizul Naithani

Election Statement: Medicine is a demanding profession and the best way I have received guidance is through listening and learning from my female mentors. AMWA is an organization that draws upon these experiences so that it can be of help to others. Ever since I was a young girl, I have found this ideology to play a huge benefit in encouraging more women to seek professional support and advance themselves with their talents. My goals for AMWA is to increase more scholarship for female medical students and increase resources for those seeking mentorship. I hope that by doing this, female medical students are more likely to feel supported, especially those that are first generation medical students. I served as the secretary and treasurer for my school’s AMWA chapter and I have been heavily involved in research where I have gotten to know outstanding leaders in cancer medicine. In my elected role, I plan to expand on region-specific events and programs to help students gain access to experiences close to their school. 

Biosketch: Hi, my name is Rizul Naithani and I am a third year medical student from Campbell University school of medicine. I hail from Raleigh, North Carolina and I did my BSc at UNC-Chapel Hill (go tar heels!). I have always been a strong advocate for healthcare innovation and ever since college, I have been involved with multiple research projects and heath conferences focused on improving health care delivery. Currently, I am in my third year of medical school and I find it refreshing to be part of an organization that brings together female medical professionals and those in training to learn from each other in how medicine is changing. I am very fortunate to have come across mentors who have been very honest about their career and how I can navigate through my own keeping in mind what they have learned. Having been in North Carolina for most of my life and having worked at multiple institutes, I have learned that this region has a lot to offer. I would love the opportunity to connect our region’s resources in advancing the needs of female students who would benefit from early mentorship. 

Rebecca Simon

Election Statement: AMWA has been a huge part of my life since I became involved in Fall of 2015 my freshman year of college. I had never met such a supportive and inspiring group of women before that shared similar goals to mine. AMWA has brought me some of my closest friends as well as mentors that have helped me tremendously in my journey to medical school. I want to continue my involvement with AMWA as a medical student by working as a mentor to other branches and as a team with other members. Previously, I have served as both vice president and then president for the AMWA branch at my undergraduate university and then became involved in national leadership as a regional director. If I was to be elected, I would continue to promote connections with various branches throughout the nation and encourage the establishment of new branches in my region while providing support and assistance to current branches. I would also work with other AWMA members and reach out to the premedical branches to plan a regional conference that would bring together a diversity of students. 

Biosketch: Hello! I am currently an M1 student at Nova Southeastern University. I was born and raised in South Florida and completed my undergraduate years at Florida Atlantic University (FAU). During my gap year, I completed a Master’s in Physiology & Biophysics at Georgetown University. I stayed involved with AWMA throughout my time at FAU and became involved in national leadership while I earned my master’s. Aside from academics, I love to travel and spend time at the beach. I plan on being a part of AWMA throughout medical school, residency, and career.  

Region 5

Maria Perez

Election Statement: It is important for me to be involved in AMWA because I believe in AMWA’s mission of advancing women in medicine and inspiring future female leaders in healthcare. My goals and hopes for AMWA are to continue to be a part of the group of women in medicine that are focused on eliminating the cultural/racial/socioeconomic factors discouraging women from entering the profession and to continue to advocate for women’s voice in medicine. I hope to contribute to AMWA’s mission and vision by being a part of the AMWA Student Leadership and encouraging more engagement between medical students about women in medicine in various institutions. 

Biosketch: Maria is a second-year medical student at St. George’s University School of Medicine. She graduated with a B.S. in Health Science from California Baptist University. While at California Baptist University, she served as the founding president of the American Medical Women’s Association – CBU Chapter in addition to being an ambassador for the College of Health Science. During her time at CBU she also engaged in several global health initiative activities which led her to China, Peru, and Mexico, where she got to work on various health-related projects and saw the great need for global health initiatives. Maria has also been a part of various research projects and is a published first-author. Maria’s passions include women’s health and health disparities. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, going to the beach, and reading. As a first-generation college student and the first in her family to pursue medicine, she is eager to learn and to be able to work with women, as well as the underserved population both locally and globally. 

Region 6

Christina Brown

Election Statement:  As co-president of the Rush Medical College AMWA chapter, I strive to bring opportunities to my organization that empower women and support their advancement within medicine. My role has allowed me to connect with other AMWA leaders in the Chicago area. Through our conversations, I learned that many want more communication, idea sharing, and support from each other. There are 33 AMWA medical school chapters within Region 6, all doing incredible work advancing women in medicine, advocating for equity, and ensuring excellence in healthcare. As Regional Director, I will open communication between chapters to promote collaboration, such as through establishing a messaging system for leaders to communicate easier about events and ideas.  Under my leadership, our chapter produced a powerful performance of The Vagina Monologues. We organized a fundraiser for the Chicago Period Project and a presentation on signs of sexual assault in female athletes. We hosted Self-Defense and Negotiation Skills Workshops, designed to empower our women peers. Sharing events like these with other chapters could inspire new ideas and encourage collaboration. Through AMWA, we can influence our future as women in medicine and I hope to enhance this potential as your Regional Director.

Biosketch:  Christina M. Brown is a second-year medical student at Rush Medical College in Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Aurora University with a Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Business Administration, Psychology, and Physiology. During her undergraduate career, she founded the Aurora University Science Organization, which made her realize how underrepresented women are in science and medicine. She also worked as a Patient Care Technician at Northwestern Medicine Delnor Hospital, where she floated to various units, sparking her passion for hospital medicine. She currently serves as the co-president of the Rush AMWA chapter, where she has proudly organized events on self-defense, gun violence prevention, and negotiation skills. In addition, she recently became a committee member for the AMWA Gun Violence Task Force. In her spare time, she enjoys kickboxing, biking around Chicago, and collecting Wonder Woman novelties. She is excited to get involved further with AMWA at a national level to promote their mission of women advancement in medicine.

Sara Grant

 

Biosketch: Sara Grant is a third year MD student at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, Michigan. She has been involved in AMWA since her first year of medical school, when she served as a Social & Networking Committee chair for the local chapter. Since then, she has served as the Vice-President for her local chapter and as one of the Student Conference Co-Chairs for the MWIA Centennial Congress in July 2019. She has also been involved with the Pediatric Interest Group and Medical Students for Choice chapters at her institution, as well as serving as the Lead Admission Ambassador for her class. She is an aspiring OB-GYN who enjoys spending her free time with her family and friends, reading, and pretending to be a runner!

Region 8

Jennifer Gaertner

Election Statement: I’m an OMSIII at UIWSOM, and would be honored to serve as Region 8 Director!  I’ve previously started an AMWA Chapter at my school, and have loved connecting with other students, and helping connect students to inspiring female physicians!  Would love the opportunity to spotlight students from different medical schools throughout Region 8, to celebrate other students and your achievements, and provide mentorship opportunities for students as we look to the future and residency.   Having served on AMWA’s membership committee, I really want to encourage regional membership and assist chapters in their recruitment efforts.  Would love to serve our region to implement the changes you wish to see!

Region 9

Alexandra Pincus

Election Statement: One of my greatest joys in medical school has been creating programs that affirm, engage, and empower our community of women leaders. Going through first and second year of medical school I felt isolated: I was constantly holed up with books and online videos, and didn’t have the space to work on developing leadership skills or to connect with women physicians to find advice and inspiration. To address this I helped to found a new program at OHSU called the Women’s Leadership Development Program, which is a series of lectures, group discussions, and leadership skills workshops that creates space for incoming medical students to develop as leaders and find their voice. I also helped to restart the AMWA branch at OHSU, because AMWA has always been an organization that strengthens and validates future women physicians. As Region 9 chair I hope to build off my work at AMWA and support our national community to continue empowering one another. I look forward to reaching out to students throughout the region to address their needs, and to putting together a conference that brings us together and confirms the power of women. I would be honored to help support national AMWA in this role. 

Biosketch:  Alexandra Pincus is a sixth year at Oregon Health & Science University in the combined MD/PhD program, studying pediatric lung diseases at the intersection of neuroscience and immunology. She graduated from Scripps College in Claremont, California with a major in Biology and a minor in French, then worked at the National Institutes of Health studying molecular mechanisms of alcohol abuse disorder. In medical school she worked to re-launch the OHSU branch of AMWA after a three year hiatus and served on the executive board where she: helped to create peer mentorship programs with undergraduates in Portland, organized a series of community events with faculty and residents to facilitate mentorship for medical students, presented research on gender inequality in medical education, and helped create and organize the first annual student-run conference of the OHSU AMWA branch. She was a founder of the Women’s Leadership Development Program, a curriculum for women entering medical school to affirm and empower their leadership potential, which has been honored with awards at the local and national level. In her free time she loves to read, rock climb, and enjoy really good french cheese.