There is a story behind every alum. Read about some of the inspiring journeys others have made from an undergraduate health profession student to a practicing health professional.

If you are pursuing a career as a health professional and would like to share your story, go to SHARE YOUR STORY for more information.

Omar Shaban

Mr. Omar Shaban, a 2015 program participant at the University of Virginia. Today, he is a first year medical student at Carver College of Medicine. What led to your interest in a health profession? Growing up my sister had health problems and although it was difficult on my family, it exposed me to many health… Continue reading

Teneme Konne

Mr. Konne, a 2014 program participant from Yale University. Today, a 2nd year medical student at Carver College of Medicine. What led to your interest in a health profession? What initially intrigued me about working in healthcare was learning about the impact that health has on people. Growing up, I enjoyed learning about scientific things.… Continue reading

Jocelyn Carnicle

Ms. Carnicle, a 2014 program participant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. She graduated in 2016 from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in microbiology/immunology. Today, Ms. Carnicle is a 2nd year medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso Paul L. Foster School… Continue reading

Marlinda Haudley

Ms. Marlinda Haudley, a 2013 program participant at the University of California Los Angeles. She graduated from Arizona State University in May 2017 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition (Human) and a minor in Integrative Health. She is currently working at Altru Health System in North Dakota while attending North Dakota State University’s… Continue reading

Jordan Brown

Mr. Jordan Brown, a 2013 program participant at the University of California Los Angeles. Mr. Brown graduated from Morehouse College in 2016 with a degree in biology. Today, he is a second-year dental student at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry. What obstacles did you overcome in your educational or career journey? In 2012,… Continue reading

Jacob Gilchrist

Mr. Jacob Gilchrist, a 2014 program participant at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Mr. Gilchrist graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a degree in biology. In July 2017, he will begin his first year of medical school at the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long School of… Continue reading

Mark Alsay, Jr.

Mr. Mark Alsay, Jr., a 2013 program participant at the University of California Los Angeles. Mr. Alsay graduated from Morehouse College in 2016 with a degree in biology. In the fall of 2017, he will attend the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health, Health Policy and Management program for his MPH. What led to your… Continue reading

Carmen Blunt

Ms. Blunt, a 2010 program participant at the University of Louisville. She graduated from Hampton University in 2012 with a bachelor of science in biology and a concentration in ecology. Today, she is a dental student at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry. What led to your interest in a health profession? As a child,… Continue reading

Ratrice R. Jackson, D.D.S., MHS

Dr. Ratrice Jackson, a 2011 program participant at the University of Washington. She is 2018 graduate of Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry where she received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery Degree along with earning her Masters Degree in Health Science. Dr. Jackson received the 2018 Colgate-Palmolive, National Dental Association Foundation Memorial Post-Doctoral Scholarship. Today,… Continue reading

Cynthia N. Ramirez, MPH

Cynthia N. Ramirez, a 2013 program participant at Duke University. Today, she is a doctoral student in the Health Behavior Research PhD program at Keck School of Medicine of USC. What led to your interest in a health profession? I wanted to prove myself and to others that a female, first generation Latina with a… Continue reading

Jarita Hagans, M.D.

Dr. Jarita Hagans, a 1996 program participant at Howard University. Today, she is a family practice physician, speaker, and author. What led to your interest in a health profession? I’ve had a love of science and service from a  young age, and this is a career that lets you combine those passions. Who or what… Continue reading

Diego Da Silva, M.D.

Dr. Da Silva participated in SMDEP at Duke University in 2012. He graduated from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in 2018 and is completing an internship in Internal Medicine at Pennsylvania Hospital. Afterwards, he will be joining the Dermatology residency program at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. What… Continue reading

Christian Tilley

Mr. Tilley participated in SMDEP at University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2011. Today, he is a 2nd year medical student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What led to your interest in dentistry, medicine, another health profession or other career? I became interested in the health professions in high school. I… Continue reading

Ngobitak Ndiwane

Ms. Ndiwane participated in SMDEP at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and College of Dental Medicine in 2013. She graduated from Brandeis University in 2016 with a bachelor degree in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. In the summer of 2017, she served as a TA for SHPEP scholars at Columbia University. Additionally, in the summer… Continue reading

Karina Valentin

Ms. Karina Valentin participated in SMDEP at Columbia University in 2011. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelors degree in Psychology, and received a master’s degree in Biology from Roosevelt University. Ms. Valentin will be attending the College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences in August 2016. What led to… Continue reading

Brianna Olamiju

Ms. Olamiju participated in SMDEP at Yale School of Medicine in 2012. She graduated from Columbia University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Race & Ethnicity Studies with a focus on health disparities. Today, Ms. Olamiju is a medical student at Yale School of Medicine in the class of 2021. How did SMDEP influence… Continue reading

Edmond Onwukwe

Mr. Onwukwe participated in SMDEP at Columbia University in 2011. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a major in Community Health. Today, he is a first year dental student at Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. What led to your interest in dentistry? Dentists are non-existent in my village, and overall the… Continue reading

Daniel Valencia

Mr. Valencia participated in SMDEP at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA School of Dentistry in 2010. Today, he is in his 4th year of medical school at The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, and planning to complete a residency program with a dual degree to obtain his IM/MPH. What led… Continue reading

Kenneth Y. Igbalode, M.D.

I initially became interested in medicine as a career choice by virtue of my early exposure as a teenager. I went to Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston, TX. During my junior and senior year, I interacted with health professionals during clinical rotations. Obviously, not an experience afforded to all high… Continue reading

Ebonee Carter, M.D.

MMEP/SMDEP was such a positive influence in my path to becoming a physician. The program aided me in being successful in the basic sciences thus ensuring I could achieve the GPA required to apply and be accepted to medical school. Additionally, by creating an environment filled with people who looked like me and have shared… Continue reading

Adetolu Oyewo, M.D.

Dr. Oyewo attended the Summer Medical Education Program (SMEP) in 2005 at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers School of Dental Medicine before the program changed to the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) in 2006. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with my biochemistry degree, Dr. Oyewo attended Mayo Medical School. During… Continue reading