Meet Our Mentors

Are you interested in the education and professional development of Baltimore youth? Become a UMB CURE Scholars Program mentor!

Adrianna Lee

Adrianna Lee

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I’m originally from an area of Maryland near D.C., and I’m currently a first-year medical student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In my free time, I like to go rock climbing and watch reruns of the TV show Friends. A little-known fact about myself is that I actually have a younger brother who is 11 years younger than me. I haven’t traveled that much internationally, but I’ve been to all four corners of the U.S. and used to go to school in Texas. I wanted to be a part of UMB CURE because I enjoy being a long-term mentor and want to share my passion for science. 

Alan Bui

Alan Bui

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

My name is Alan Bui, and I’m a second-year dental student at the University of Maryland! Aside from studying the unknown and learning about science, I love listening to music (all genres), playing sports such as basketball, and traveling to new places. If you think you can ball, see me on the court! If you have ever been curious about countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Singapore, please let me know and I would love to share you my experience there. I am excited to meet you all, and I wish you a great year with school! 

Amal Aziz

Amal Aziz

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Hi, my name is Amal Aziz. I am a 23-year-old female from Alexandria, Va. I am attending school in Baltimore at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. My favorite book is The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini. In my spare time, I enjoy being outdoors or watching shows on Netflix. I want to be a part of UMB CURE because I believe a good mentor can make a positive and meaningful impact in a mentee’s life, and a good mentor can help a mentee achieve his or her goals. 

Amber Herbert

Amber Herbert

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I grew up in Reisterstown, Md., with my parents and two older brothers. When I have free time, I enjoy reading. My favorite book is Mountains Beyond Mountains. I am so excited to help expose the talented students of CURE to the array of opportunities in the scientific field!

Ashley Foster

Ashley Foster

University of Maryland School of Nursing

Hey everyone! My name is Ashley and I’m a nursing student at the University of Maryland. I’m from New Jersey and I just recently moved to Baltimore. In my free time, I love to dance, listen to music, watch movies, and hang out with friends. Oh, and eat!! I LOVE food. I’m so excited to be a part of UMB CURE and can’t wait to meet all of the scholars! Get ready to have some fun! 

Ashley Majekodunmi

Ashley Majekodunmi

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

My name is Ashley Majekodunmi, and I am a freshman at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and my major is biological sciences and psychology. My hobbies include poetry writing, running, and yoga. My favorite television show and movie are Steven Universe and Star Wars. A fact about myself is I love everything pink and I love Disney. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I want to get people excited about science. 

Brent Hurt

Brent Hurt

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Brent, and I am a medical student at the University of Maryland. I’m studying to be a pediatrician and joined CURE so that I can work with kids and show them how great science can be! In my free time, I enjoy playing ice hockey and watching the Washington Capitals. 

Caitlin Montgomery

Caitlin Montgomery

University of Maryland School of Dentistry 

Hi! My name is Caitlin, and I am a first-year dental student. I am from Gaithersburg, Md. This past May, I ran my first half-marathon. Besides running, I love yoga, weightlifting, and biking. I like reading Harry Potter books, and my favorite Disney movie is Frozen. I am looking forward to being a UMB CURE mentor because I love when students learn from hands-on experiences and are inspired to reach for the stars! 

Carleigh Jenne

Carleigh Jenne

University of Maryland Department of Psychiatry

I am currently working as a research assistant in the Department of Psychiatry. In the lab, we use animal models to study drugs that are used to treat mental illness and to study the psychiatric disorders themselves. The well-being of others is something that I am very passionate about and is what brought me to be a part of the lab and the CURE Program. I would love to be a positive influence in someone’s life and do whatever I can to make their life a little easier and more fun! Other than science, in my free time I love going to concerts, eating, and going hiking. Another passion of mine is animals. I currently have two cats and cannot wait to eventually get a dog. 

Charlene Harrod-Owuamana

Charlene Harrod-Owuamana

President of Black Nurses Rock Baltimore Chapter 2016 – 2017
CEO/Founder Nursz's Hive 2017

Former attendee and graduate from Franklin Square Elementary School. With over 30 years of experience in health care systems and 15-plus years as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). With 10-plus years as a pediatric nurse, home care, school nurse, and pediatric emergency room/urgent care. Attending Coppin State University in Spring 2018 to complete Registered Nursing Program (RN). Honored and excited to be a CURE mentor this school year.

Charles Armstrong

Charles Armstrong

Johns Hopkins Department of Pharmacy

My name is Charles, and I’m from Maryland with a double degree in biology and linguistics (how languages work), and I put them to work in biomedical writing and as a voice teacher. (Do you like to sing? I can teach you some new tricks!) Instead of books, I like to read biomedical research articles, yes, even on singing, because I can read these in whatever order I choose. I recently traveled to Atlanta and visited South Africa, where I studied abroad. I look forward to studying some cool things together!

Craig Bennett

Dr. Craig Bennett

University of Maryland, Orthopedic Surgeon

Craig Bennett, MD, is a doctor primarily located in Gwynn Oak, Md., with other offices in College Park, Md., and Lutherville/Timonium, Md. He has 26 years of experience. His specialties include sports medicine, internal medicine, and orthopedic surgery. Dr. Bennett is affiliated with James Lawrence Kernan Hospital Inc., Kernan Hospital, and James Lawrence Kernan Hospital. Dr. Bennett has received two awards. He serves as chief, sports medicine program, team orthopaedic surgeon, University of Maryland Terrapins.

Da Bin (Grace) Lee

Da Bin (Grace) Lee

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hello! My name is Da Bin Lee, but I go by Grace. I am a medical student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I was born in Seoul, South Korea, but grew up in Baltimore. In my free time, I enjoy watching sports (football and baseball) and spending time with my 2-year-old dog Siri. I decided to join CURE because I wanted to work on fun science and engineering projects with students from Baltimore. I have a background in electrical engineering from my undergraduate studies, so I would love to work on circuitry or robotics projects! 

Damilola Akinmade

Damilola Akinmade

Loyola University Biology Professor

My name is Dr. Dami Akinmade, and I am an ORISE Fellow in the Division of Online Communications, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the Food and Drug Administration. I taught college biology for the past 10 years and get to merge my love of science, learning, and web technology in my current position, where I work on web analytics, website redesign and usability, and content creation. I love design of all sorts — I showed a fashion line at ARTSCAPE in 2009! — reading, and eating. 

Demi Fortson

Demi Fortson

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I am currently in the Cell and Molecular Biomedical Science Program at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I was born and raised in Baltimore, where I built my first solar system at St. Mark’s Catholic School in Catonsville. I just graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park in May, where I was the captain of the synchronized skating team, participated in D.C. Reads, and taught laboratory sections for introductory biology courses. I still love to ice skate, and I love to read poetry books in my free time! A fun fact about myself is that earlier this year I traveled to Udupi, India, to help improve sanitation issues as well as educate youths on how to take care of their bodies and minds. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I love teaching kids about science and listening to the fun ideas they have for the future!

Dominique Earland

Dominique Earland

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hello, my name is Dominique Earland. I am from Philadelphia and am a post-bac student at UMB. I enjoy traveling and exploring new activities. The most recent place I traveled to was Montego Bay, Jamaica, this past summer. My favorite hobbies are community service, cooking, and walking my dog Bella. I am excited to be a new CURE mentor and look forward to meeting everyone! 

Edith Hernandez

Edith Hernandez

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I’m a STAR-PREP Research Fellow working in behavioral neuroscience, with a strong interest in addiction and addictive behaviors. I am originally from the sister cities of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas. I would have never become involved in scientific research if it wasn’t for those distinct mentors throughout my life that believed in me, and I think UMB CURE is a great program that will help me get involved in mentoring the next generation of minority scientists. 

Ehson Aligholizadeh

Ehson Aligholizadeh

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hi, I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. My interests include playing basketball, hanging out with friends, working out, and exploring new areas. I am from Iran originally, and my family and I moved to the United States when I was 7 years old. From then on, I have been mostly living here in Baltimore. 

Elizabet Cedeno

Elizabet Cedeno

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

My name is Elizabet. I'm from Miami and moved to Baltimore to attend the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. A few of my hobbies include cooking, outdoor activities, and spending time with family and friends. 

Emily Toler

Emily Toler

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I'm a first-year medical student. I'm from Towson, Md. I graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2016 with a BS in molecular and cellular biology. I love all things Disney! 

Eric Friedman

Eric Friedman

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I am Eric Friedman. I am from Baltimore and attended college in Philadelphia. I am an avid professional sports fan and athlete, having wrestled from age 7 to 22. Through wrestling, I have competed throughout the country and in Bulgaria. I enjoy traveling and have visited Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and Hawaii. My favorite hobby is tutoring, which I did throughout college and during my gap year before enrolling this year at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. 

Evelin Merchant

Evelin Merchant

Morgan State University

Hello, my name is Evelin Merchant. I am a junior at Morgan State University majoring in social work and child development. I am from Newark, N.J., and enjoy gymnastics and dancing. I joined UMB CURE because I love working with children and helping them excel in the areas they enjoy. 

Greg Boyajian

Greg Boyajian

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Gregory Boyajian is a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He graduated from Saint Joseph's University in 2011 with a degree in criminal justice and entered the Air Force as a security forces officer. Greg served for four years, then separated from the military in 2016 to complete a postbaccalaureate premed program at Goucher College. When he's not studying, you'll find Greg spending time with his wife and son or working as a paramedic in Baltimore County. 

Ha Phan

Ha Phan

University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

My name is Ha Phan, and I recently graduated from the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. I currently work as a pharmacy resident at the Johns Hopkins Home Care Group. In my free time, I enjoy watching football, advising my undergraduate sorority at UMBC, and trying new restaurants in Baltimore. I also love to travel — last summer I got to travel to Croatia — and would love to travel to other countries in Europe and Asia! 

Haikel Bogale

Haikel Bogale

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Graduate School

I am a PhD student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Graduate School. I was born and raised in Ethiopia and came to the U.S. when I was 12 years old. My favorite sports to play are soccer and basketball, but I also enjoy watching football. I chose to be a UMB CURE mentor because I truly enjoy both sides of mentorship and believe that making a difference in someone’s life can only have a positive impact on me. 

Hannah Au Yeung

Hannah Au Yeung

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Hi! My name is Hannah, and I am a dental student at the University of Maryland. I enjoy good food, traveling, and spending my free time watching movies with my fiancé. I am so excited to be a part of the UMB CURE program and cannot wait to give back to the Baltimore community! 

Harrison Bell

Harrison Bell

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Harrison Bell, and I am a first-year medical student here at the University of Maryland! I love to play basketball and golf and am a big college sports fan. I grew up in New York and went to college at the University of Michigan. I have traveled all over Europe and even to South America. I'm excited to be a part of CURE and look forward to having some fun! 

Hyuk

Hyuk "Eddie" Kwon

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Hyuk Joon "Eddie" Kwon, and I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I enjoy playing soccer and catching the latest movies with my friends. I am originally from South Korea, but I have lived in Montgomery County, Md., for the past 18 years. I hope to make a lasting impact in my new community of Baltimore, Md.!

Ikeoluwapo Ibrahim

Ikeoluwapo Ibrahim

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is something extremely long but you can call me Ike (e-kay). I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. Some of my hobbies include reading, catching a film with friends, and shopping ... my bank account doesn't enjoy that last one, though. I chose to be a part of the UMB CURE Scholars program because I know the importance of having guidance through this rough journey called life. I am fortunate to have great mentors in my life, and I want to pass the knowledge I have acquired from them to a fellow young mind. Fun fact about me: I have lived in six cities (in three different countries), and Baltimore will be the seventh.

Ilya Lazzeri

Ilya Lazzeri

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Ilya Lazzeri, and I am a first-year medical student. I enjoy going to the gym and reading. I was born in Russia and am now a United States citizen. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE so that I could motivate young students to pursue their interest in science and possibly go into a STEM career. I am currently re-reading my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird. 

Jacklyn McGrath

Jacklyn McGrath

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Jackie, and I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine with an interest in family medicine. I am from Carroll County, Md., so I love my Baltimore sports teams and never pass up an opportunity to see the Ravens play. I’ve spent a lot of time traveling through Peru, and it’s my favorite place in the world with the best food you’ll ever taste. By participating in CURE, I hope that students will realize that they can do anything they want with their careers and of course that STEM field careers are amazing. 

Jacqueline Kline

Jacqueline Kline

University of Maryland School of Nursing

Hi! My name is Jacqueline Kline, and I am a student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. I am from New Jersey and love to swim and go to the beach. I also love the Harry Potter books and movies, and I enjoy reading, watching movies, and spending time with friends in my free time. 

Jamaad Abdi

Jamaad Abdi

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

My name is Jamaad Abdi, and I am a first-year dental student at the University of Maryland. I developed a passion for teaching and mentoring after unexpectedly serving as a high school science teacher in Somalia in 2012. From then on, I participated as a tutor-counselor through the University of Maryland's Upward Bound program in 2013 and 2014 in which I supervised, tutored, and mentored underprivileged high school students. While doing so, I tutored part time through two private tutoring companies, Akari and Magellan Tutoring. My love for tutoring has allowed me to open up Advanced Tutoring, LLC, this year based in Northern Virginia. I am excited to work with the students of UMB CURE and hope to gain as much from them as they do from me. 

Jamie Kator

Jamie Kator

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hello! My name is Jamie, and I grew up here in Maryland. I spent the last year playing professional soccer in Switzerland, then I came home to Maryland to go to medical school. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I loved science class in grade school and I want to be there as others learn to love it as well. I still play soccer, and when I get the time I love to watch my favorite shows, like 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation

Jatia Mills

Jatia Mills

Morgan State University

Hey, kids! My name is Jatia Mills, at Morgan State University. I love to cheer, paint, and listen to music, but most importantly learn new things. I am here to be not only your tutor or support system, but also a friend. Can’t wait to meet you! 

Jen Wang

Jen Wang

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Jennifer Wang is a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine who has been working with students as a peer mentor, tutor, and teacher's assistant since she was 9. She has lived in Maryland for most of her life, but this is her first extended period of time in Baltimore. In her free time (just kidding, she has none), she likes to listen to podcasts like The Adventure Zone, read (or re-read, really, in the case of The Young Wizards series), and try new foods. 

Jessica Christian

Jessica Christian

University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Hi! I'm Jessica, and I'm a college freshman studying physics and math. I like reading, watching superhero movies (especially Marvel), and building with Legos. One weird fact about me: I can touch my nose with my foot, behind my head! :) 

Jole' Ruff

Jole' Ruff

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Hi, my name is Jole' Ruff, and I have been with the University of Maryland, Baltimore for over 15 years. I hold the position of coordinator with the Interprofessional Student Learning and Services Initiatives department, where I assist with student organizations. I recently graduated from Morgan State University, completing my master’s degree in its School of Social Work. I reside on the west side of Baltimore and enjoy sending time with my family and friends. One of my favorite quotes that I try to live by daily is “Be Honest with Thy Self."

Jonelle Lee

Jonelle Lee

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I'm a fun and energetic spirit that loves to sing, step, and dance. I have a BS and MS in biology and I'm currently studying molecular medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I remember what it was like to be a mentee and the impact it had my life. 

Kaia Amoah

Kaia Amoah

University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Kaia graduated from Hampton University in 2017 with a BS in cellular and molecular biology. She has previously done mentoring with the Boys and Girls Club in Southwest Virginia and also served as a tutor at her undergraduate institution. Kaia is currently a STAR-PREP Scholar at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and plans to matriculate into an MD/PhD program in the fall of 2018. Her love for science and mentoring has brought her to the CURE Program with the hopes of encouraging and preparing more students to enter into health care careers. 

Kamalika Shah

Kamalika Shah

University of Maryland School of Medicine / MedImmune

I am Kamalika, and I am currently working as a postdoctoral fellow at MedImmune. I am originally from India and came here for grad school. Happy to be a proud UMB alumnus! I am excited to be a part of UMB CURE as it will give me an opportunity to get young minds excited about science and the opportunities that lay ahead. I have had great mentors and strongly believe that this is a way to pay it forward. Apart from being passionate about science and writing about it, I am also an avid reader and love traveling and photography. I think seeing the aurora borealis in Alaska has got to be my most unforgettable experience so far! 

Kayatana Smith

Kayatana Smith

University of Maryland, Baltimore

Hello, I am Kaya Smith, a senior systems administrator for UMB. Although I am not in the health care field, my job supports the technology used for faculty and staff to be compliant with heath care and cybersecurity industry standards. I grew up as a first-generation West Indian (Jamaica and Guyana) child who moved around due to being a “military brat." However, Maryland is the state I have lived in the longest. I graduated with my master’s in IT project management in May 2017. My strongest subjects are technology, math, English, and science. In my free time, I enjoy video games, football, horseback riding, dancing, and spending time with my husband and two children. The reason I wanted to be a mentor is because I enjoy mentoring youths and young adults. I have been a part of other mentoring programs such as Big Brother/Big Sister, and I understand and have experienced the positive impact a mentor can have on other’s lives. 

Kevin Son

Kevin Son

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Hello! My name is Kevin Son, and I am a student at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry. During my free time, I love to play soccer and basketball. Another interesting hobby is that I collect sneakers. I also enjoy walking my dog, Teddy, who is 1 year old. As a mentor for UMB CURE, I hope to guide and inspire students during their academic and career development. 

Lawrance Lee

Lawrance Lee

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Lawrance Lee, and I was born in Taiwan but spent much of my childhood growing up near Philadelphia. I love listening to music in my free time, so much, in fact, that I actually work for a headphone company as well! I think that biomedicine is an incredibly interesting and fun field to study and understand, and I'm excited to have the opportunity to guide individuals in pursuing this interest through the UMB CURE Program. 

Leah Henry

Leah Henry

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Leah Henry, and I am a first-year medical student at University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am from Annapolis, Md., and I am currently living there and commuting to Baltimore for school. When I am not studying, I enjoy reading, traveling, fishing, swimming, going to Navy football games, going to services/activities at my church, and hanging out with my family. I am very excited to be a new CURE mentor this year! I have tutored peers in high school and college, so I am looking forward to continuing with the CURE Scholars! 

Libby Wei

Libby Wei

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Libby, and I am a medical student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. In my spare time, I sing in a choir in Federal Hill and like to play volleyball for fun. I have traveled to Taiwan, Japan, Italy, and Spain. My favorite books are Dark Places and Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn and my favorite television show is Rick and Morty. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I have always loved science and am really excited to teach and learn with the scholars this year! 

Manasa Srikanth

Manasa Srikanth

University of Maryland, Baltimore, Graduate School

My name is Manasa P. Srikanth. I am a graduate student (PhD candidate) in the Department of Molecular Medicine at UMB. I currently work with Neural Progenitor cells derived from iPSCs or induced pluripotent stem cells. My hobbies at home include playing with my 3-year-old ragdoll cat, gardening, and painting. I was born in South India; however, I was raised entirely in Dubai till I moved here for grad school. My biggest achievement right now would probably be when I receive my PhD. 

Maniraj Jeyaraju

Maniraj Jeyaraju

University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Hi, my name is Maniraj Jeyaraju, and I am a medical student with a concentration in health ethnography — ask me about it! My hobbies are basketball, reading, learning, and entrepreneurship. I am most of proud of creating a board game and also being the first college graduate in my family. A little-known fact about myself is that I like traveling and have lived in many places across the world. I am also a first-degree brown belt! I am originally from India but have lived in Maryland for 15 years! I love mentoring, teaching, and finding opportunities for others. By nature, I am a creative person (and I majored in interdisciplinary studies as an undergrad), so I love finding the craziest connections between two fields or interests. My favorite book by far is Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. 

Marvellous Oke

Marvellous Oke

Morgan State University

Hello! My name is Marvellous Oke, and I am a sophomore psychology major at Morgan State University. I am an aspiring medical doctor. My favorite color is sky blue, and I am the oldest child in my family. I am an ASCEND Scholar. I am originally from Nigeria and moved to Maryland at the age of 11. I wish to travel to Greece, Paris, and South Africa. My favorite hobbies are eating, reading fictional novels, and watching TV. 

Meagan Grogan

Meagan Grogan

Towson University

Hi! My name is Meagan. I am a biology major and chemistry minor! My goal is to become a pediatrician. I love making jewelry, dancing, and decorating. I love relaxing by watching a good show, and one of my favorites is Law and Order: SVU. I also love volunteering in low-income communities. Many people would consider me to be tech-savvy, and I hope to incorporate that into my career somehow. 

Miranda Lingenfelter

Miranda Lingenfelter

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Miranda, and I’m originally from the Washington, D.C., region. I moved to Baltimore in August to start my first year of medical school here at the University of Maryland. I am a bit of a foodie — I enjoy cooking, baking, exploring farmer’s markets, and trying new restaurants (suggestions are welcome!). I participated in competitive Irish dance from grade school through college and love anything dance-related. I look forward to meeting the CURE Scholars and the other mentors! 

Natalia Perez

Natalia Perez

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hello, my name is Natalia, and I am a first-year medical student at the University of Maryland. For my undergraduate studies, I went to Georgetown University and majored in biology of global health. I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, all my life and really enjoy going to the beach and listening to Latin music. I also like to run and play any kind of sport. I joined UMB CURE because I enjoy teaching and finding ways to motivate students about science, and I hope to serve as support for students. 

Neerja Razdan

Neerja Razdan

University of Maryland Medical System

My name is Neerja Razdan, and I work as a health care attorney. I was born and raised in Baltimore. I love to do mud runs and hang out at the beach. I'm excited to be a part of UMB CURE so that I can make a difference in a young person's life. 

Neila Kline

Neila Kline

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hi! My name is Neila, and I am a medical student at the University of Maryland. Just like you, I love science and am excited to share with you all the fun facts about the way our bodies work! I grew up Montgomery County, Md., and went to college in New York. When I'm not in school learning, I like to play soccer, watch baseball (go Nats!), and spend time with my family and friends. I, too, learned from my mentors in middle school that biology and medicine are the coolest subjects you'll find — in school and in life! 

Nicholle Cross

Nicholle Cross

Spelman College / University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Nicholle, also known as Nicky, and I am from the Windy City, Chicago. I received my bachelors in biology at Spelman College and am currently pursuing a master's in public health here at UM. I have done hair as a hobby since I was 9, and I really enjoy watching basketball since I don't have to skills to play. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE in hopes of being the type of the mentor I wish I had. One of my favorite quotes is "Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, and your actions louder than your words."

Nicole Hays

Nicole Hays

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Nikki Hays. I'm a first-year medical student and very excited to be a part of CURE! I am from Massachusetts, born and raised. I went to Northeastern University in Boston during undergrad, and this is my first time living outside New England. One of the reasons I applied to CURE was because I used to teach in Boston schools and really loved working with students and teaching. I'm very excited for the upcoming year!

Nicole Mair

Nicole Mair

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I'm currently a first-year medical student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. Last year, I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, where I studied physiology and neurobiology and Spanish. I've lived in Maryland my whole life except for during a semester in college when I studied in Madrid, Spain. I love singing, playing soccer, hiking, and trying new foods when I have the chance to. I'm excited to be a part of the CURE Program and share my love of learning and experiencing new things with other students! 

Paapa Nyanin

Paapa Nyanin

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Paapa Nyanin, and I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am originally from Ghana but have lived in several different countries, both in Africa and in Asia. I chose to participate in UMB CURE because I think it’s great to see young students so passionate about science. Furthermore, I saw UMB CURE as an opportunity to help foster this appreciation for education in youth and build longitudinal mentoring relationships in the process. 

Qaren Quartey

Qaren Quartey

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Qaren Quartey, and I am a first-year medical student. I love reading romance novels and watching TV. I’m really proud of myself for watching 13 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy in one summer! Fun fact: My middle name also starts with a Q, which makes me Triple Q (thanks, Dad!). Accra, Ghana is technically my place of birth, but I grew up in Gaithersburg, Md. I chose to be part of UMB CURE because I love seeing black and brown kids getting excited about science (aka, the best subject of all)! I have traveled to Puerto Rico, Ecuador, and Jamaica. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, and I really hope I meet my Mr. Darcy one day. Currently my favorite TV show is This is Us, but that will probably change soon. =) 

Roey Reiss

Roey Reiss

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Roey Reiss, and I am a first-year medical school student at the University of Maryland. I love traveling to new places and this past summer went on a five-week trip throughout Spain, where I was able to practice my Spanish and eat very good food. During my free time, I enjoy watching ice hockey and football and am a big fan of the Washington Capitals and the Baltimore Ravens. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I remember that as a kid, some of my most memorable experiences came from being able to actively discover science in a hands-on way, and I want to be a part of creating those memories in others. 

Rupini Shukla

Rupini Shukla

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Rupini is a Maryland native who received her BS in biology and BA in psychology from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County in 2016. After graduation, she worked as a dental assistant at a pediatric dental office and a librarian at her local library. She is currently a first-year graduate student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, completing her Master of Public Health degree in epidemiology. Her ultimate goal is to attend dental school. In her spare time, Rupini enjoys good coffee, baking, books about anything and everything, nerdy jokes, and long nature walks. 

Saif Yasin

Saif Yasin

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hi everyone, I am Saif Yasin, a first-year MD/PhD student here at UMB who just graduated as a biochemistry major from Drew University in New Jersey. Long story short, I am a major chemistry nerd, with a chemistry phone case, chemistry posters all over my room, and loads of chemistry puns! I am also a very big runner, I love playing table tennis, and of course I always binge-watch Netflix. I really want to hear about the things that you are excited about, so I am super excited to get to know you all. 

Samantha Day

Samantha Day

University of Maryland School of Medicine

Hi, my name is Samantha Day, and I am currently a student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I was born and raised in Gaithersburg, Md., and graduated in May 2017 from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania. Some of my personal hobbies include playing the piano, completing jigsaw puzzles, hanging out with family and friends, playing sports, hiking, running, and trying new foods. My favorite book is Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom and my favorite television show is Psych

Sarah Helman

Sarah Helman

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I grew up in the Baltimore area and fell in love with science at a very young age. Now, I’m a first-year medical student at the University of Maryland, Baltimore pursuing my love of medicine. In my spare time, I enjoy playing music (flute and piano), playing tennis, and watching my favorite TV shows. I also love playing board games — when I was in middle school, my friends and I even made our own Monopoly boards! 

Serge Tzeuton

Serge Tzeuton

University of Maryland School of Medicine

My name is Serge Tzeuton, and I am a 24-year-old medical student born and raised in Silver Spring, Md. I love playing basketball, listening to music, and watching movies. My true passion, however, is helping others. I hope to eventually be an orthopedic surgeon who provides care in underserved areas. 

Sofia Connor

Sofia Connor

University of Maryland School of Nursing

My name is Sofia Connor! I’m a student at the University of Maryland School of Nursing. I’m from right outside of Washington, D.C. When I’m not in class or working or studying, I love to cook, discover new music, and read. I became a mentor because one of my most influential teachers in high school was a science teacher, and she instilled a love of science in me and gave me the confidence and motivation to strive to be my best self. I hope to foster this confidence and passion for science in my scholars, as well as be the best possible resource for them as they progress on in their academic careers, all the while having fun. 

Stephan Olaya

Stephan Olaya

University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Hi! My name is Stephan, and I’m a student in the School of Medicine at UMB. Some facts about me are that I grew up not too far from here in Bel Air, Md., I love playing soccer (my favorite soccer team is Liverpool FC), and I enjoy playing my guitar in my free time. I wouldn’t call myself a world traveler, but I have done some pretty fun things in other countries, including visiting my family in Colombia, watching a Liverpool game in England, and studying abroad in Spain one summer in college. I’m excited to be a member of this UMB CURE family and am looking forward to working with some great people who share my love and appreciation for science! 

Stephanie Cabral

Stephanie Cabral

University of Maryland School of Medicine 

My name is Steph, and I'm a first-year medical student at UMB. I'm originally from New Hampshire, and I first moved to Baltimore for my undergrad at Johns Hopkins. In my free time, I like to run and rock climb! 

Stephanie Zhang

Stephanie Zhang

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. My hobbies include hiking and exploring historical sites (I’m a huge history nerd!). For three years, I was a tour guide in Washington, D.C., where I met people from all over the world in our nation’s capital. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE because I love tutoring and want to make a difference in someone else’s life. 

Tamryn Gray

Tamryn Gray

Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing

Tamryn Gray is currently a PhD student at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. Before beginning the PhD program, she lived in North Carolina, and her hobbies include poetry writing, volleyball, cooking, and reading leisure books. As a little-known fact, Tamryn has an identical twin sister. She chose to be a part of UMB CURE because she enjoys meeting new people and mentoring under-represented and minority students. 

Taylor Giuliana

Taylor Giuliana

University of Maryland School of Dentistry

Hello! I am from Maryland, born and raised here. I am currently attending the University of Maryland School of Dentistry to become a dental hygienist. I first became interested in the UMB CURE Program when I volunteered at an event the scholars participated in last year at the dental school, and I am very excited to be a part of the program. Outside of school, I love running, practicing yoga, and participating in anything outdoors. 

Timothy Shaver

Timothy Shaver

University of Maryland School of Medicine 

Hi, everyone! My name is (Timothy) Brandon Shaver, and I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. I am from Hebron, Md., which is just outside of Salisbury on the Eastern Shore. I love sports, especially soccer, baseball, and golf, but I really like them all! I enjoy playing video games as well as playing sports with friends. I have decided to be a part of the CURE Program because I was fortunate to fall in love with the field of science, and now I hope I can help others fall in love with it as well! 

Torrance Wang

Torrance Wang

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. In my free time, I love to play soccer and practice guitar. I also enjoy listening to music and hanging out with friends. My favorite TV show is Parks and Recreation. 

Tyler Serres

Tyler Serres

University of Maryland Graduate School / School of Medicine

My name is Tyler Serres, and I am from Camp Hill, Pa. For fun, I like to play sports with my friends. My favorite thing to do is to play guitar. I also love to listen to music. My favorite musician is John Mayer. 

Victoria Longo

Victoria Longo

University of Maryland School of Medicine

I am a first-year student at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. My hobbies include cooking, exercising, and traveling, and last summer I went to Italy, England, Scotland, and Ireland. My favorite TV shows are Seinfeld and Friends. I chose to be a part of UMB CURE to help keep kids interested and excited about careers in science. 

Yimeng Gao

Yimeng Gao

Towson University

Hello, I am Yimeng Gao. I was born in China and am a senior student at Towson University. I'm pursuing my bachelor's degree in business administration of international business and math. I like to play, travel, and challenge. My favorite music is traumerei, and my best-traveled place in Paris. I think to be a mentor is a challenge for me, and this is why I chose to be a part of UMB CURE.