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.

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

Ra’trice R. Jackson, MHS

Ms. Ra’trice Jackson, a 2011 program participant at the University of Washington. Today, she is a third year dental student at Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry in Nashville, Tennessee. Ms. Jackson graduated from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-dental. She earned a master’s degree in health science from… 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

Dr. Jarita Hagans

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

Mr. Da Silva participated in SMDEP at Duke University in 2012. Today, he is a 3rd year medical student at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. What led to your interest in a health profession? As a first generation immigrant from Brazil, I was raised by my grandparents while my parents worked.… 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. Ngobitak 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. Ms. Ndiwane will be attending Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in August 2016. What led to… 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 degree in Race & Ethnicity Studies with a focus on health disparities. Ms. Olamiju will be attending Yale School of Medicine this fall. How did SMDEP influence you? I would best describe the… 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 a first year medical student at The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. What led to your interest in medicine? Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to become… Continue reading

Sherket Peterson, Ph.D.

Sherket Peterson, Ph.D., attended MMEP in 2002 at Duke University. Dr. Sherket Peterson is Research Fellow at one of the nation’s very first and most prestigious research institutions, Johns Hopkins University. Her research focuses on elucidating the molecular mechanism that links hyperglycemia to the progression of diabetic nephropathy to aid in the development of therapeutics… 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