Faces of Orientation

Meet the people you will be seeing a lot of during Orientation Week. They will guide you through every nook and cranny at RWJMS. Your Orientation Team will be making sure your Orientation Week runs flawlessly, while your Peer Mentors will be guiding you throughout the daily activities of Orientation Week and throughout your first year, so get to know them!

If you have any questions feel free to email RWJMSOrientationTeam@gmail.com

Orientation Team 2019

Keshav Patel

Orientation Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ

Alma Mater: RU RAH RAH 4evr bleed scarlet

Involvement at RWJMS: Promise Clinic: Community Outreach Subcommittee, Student Doctor, and Student Interpreter, American Medical Student Association Co-President

 

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1? 

Laminate your notes so the tears roll right off! Okay jokes aside, it's great to be on top of your stuff, but don't take yourself so seriously! M1 year is the year you'll have the most time for yourself, so enjoy it. 

Mike DiGaetano

Orientation Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Franklin Lakes, NJ

 

Alma Mater: University of Notre Dame

 

Involvement at RWJMS: Distinction in Medical Education, Student Curriculum Committee, Promise Clinic Student Doctor, Student Ambassador, 

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1? 

Laminating your notes lets you study in the shower! :) Also, talk to and meet as many people as you can! They are often great resources and can provide you with helpful tips or simply some good conversation. 

Sapna Syal

Orientation Co-Coordinator

 

Hometown: Brick, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Princeton University

 

Involvement at RWJMS: Student Curriculum Committee, Cardiothoracic Surgery Interest Group (CTSIG), BLAST Anatomy, Distinction in Research

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1? 

Repeat after me: highlight first, laminate later. Trust me. Make sure to have fun along the way! I spent time with family and friends and always tried to schedule something that I could look forward to!

P.S. laminator will not be provided.

Kavita Jain

Handbook Co-Coodinator

 

Hometown: St. James, NY (Long Island)

Alma Mater: Duke University

 

Involvement at RWJMS

SGA (President), Student Ambassador, STATS elective

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming M1?

Go to lunch lectures and workshops. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Jackie Wold

Housing Co-Coordinator

 

Hometown: Colt's Neck, NJ

Alma Mater: University of Michigan

 

Involvement at RWJMS: PrevMed (Co-Pres), AMWA, Student Ambassador

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1?

Find a good group of people to study/ hang out with--> you'll need these people to lean on throughout med school.  

Allison Liang

White Coat Co-Coordinator

 

Hometown: Bedford, NY

Alma Mater: Cornell University

 

Involvement at RWJMS

Vmott Surgical Society, Pathology Interest Group

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1?

To each their own-- each one of you have unique paths getting to RWJ and you all will continue to have unique paths as you navigate this new chapter. Trust in your choices and give each experience you 100%. ENJOY your first year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nicole Altomare

Handbook Co-Coordinator

 

Hometown: North Bellmore, NY

Alma Mater: Cornell University

Involvement at RWJMS: 

Mind Body Medicine (President), RU Synapse, AMA Interest Group (VP), Student Ambassador, Course Rep (GI),  

What is one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Work life balance is key! Enjoy your first year and don't forget about the things you enjoy doing. 

Karen Torres Soto

Housing Co-Coordinator

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

LISTOS Coordinator 

DBSA Coordinator

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Get good at checking your emails and using your calendars! You shouldn't be making any plans before checking your school calendar first (lesson learned the hard way). Also, have fun and enjoy the ride. 

Pooja Desai

White Coat Co-Coordinator

 

Hometown: New York, New York

Alma Mater: Cornell

 

Involvement at RWJMS

Executive Ambassador, Shift Mentor

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1?

Make sure you take time for yourself and the people in your life you love! Getting through medical school takes a lot of personal dedication, but it also takes a small army of friends, family, and loved ones rooting for you and keeping you motivated when the going gets tough. Post-exam weekends are a great time to get away and spend time with loved ones. Also, on a totally separate note, take advantage of all of the lunch lectures, shadowing opportunities, and clinical sessions RWJ offers. It's a great way to learn more about specialities you never even knew existed, and get involved about new opportunities and even career paths!

Peer Mentors

Jane Jacob

Peer Mentor Co-Director

Hometown: Valhalla, NY

Alma Mater: Harvard University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Global health interest group, student ambassador, Social Chair, Women's Health Institute, Christian Medical Association

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Make a bucket list during M1 year and find every opportunity to check things off :)

Bethany Mancuso

Hometown: Secaucus, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Stockton University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Project Sunshine (Co-Pres), Promise Clinic Education Committee, Pediatric to Adult Transition in Healthcare

What is one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Never doubt yourself. You belong here and are going to make a difference in so many people's lives one day.

 

 

Christin Hong

 

Hometown: Princeton, NJ

Alma Mater: Columbia University

 

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Christian Medical Association, Ambassador Executive, Promise Clinic Student Doctor

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Take advantage of post-exam weekends to visit family, old friends, and to travel!!! I found that I traveled so much more during medical school than during college, and I loved being able to stay connected with my non-med school communities. Traveling really helped me to stay focused during each block and feel rejuvenated for the next course. :) Plus, you get wicked airline deals during off-season weekends!

Denisse Amarilla

 

Hometown: Raritan, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Monmouth University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

BLAST, Pediatrics Interest Group

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Stay true to yourself!

Helen Xia

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

 

Alma Mater:  Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Medical mandarin, RU synapse, Rutgers Powerlifting

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Remember that everyone is different but it is important to find a balance that works for you. Be sure to make time for yourself. 

Karen Torres Soto

Hometown: San Juan, Puerto Rico

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

LISTOS Coordinator 

DBSA Coordinator

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Get good at checking your emails and using your calendars! You shouldn't be making any plans before checking your school calendar first (lesson learned the hard way). Also, have fun and enjoy the ride. 

Kavita Jain

Handbook Co-Coodinator

 

Hometown: St. James, NY (Long Island)

Alma Mater: Duke University

 

Involvement at RWJMS

SGA (President), Student Ambassador, STATS elective

 

What is one piece of advice you would give to an incoming M1?

Go to lunch lectures and workshops. Don't be afraid to ask questions!

Kelvin Liao

Hometown: West Windsor, NJ

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

AMSA (Co Pres), Promise Clinic Student Doctor, Student Ambassador, PrevMed, Medical Mandarin

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

There will be countless times when you feel the need to do something because others around you are. Definitely say attention to the awesome things your peers and friends are doing, but also remember everyone has their own path through medical school and you shouldn't feel obligated to follow someone else's path!

Mike Sunyak

Hometown: New Providence, NJ

Alma Mater: Penn State University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Student Ambassador. EMIG, Social Chair

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Remember not to lose who you really are while in Med school. You have gotten this far being true to yourself and make sure not to change that! Study hard, but make time for yourself, friends, family, and hobbies.

Nicole Fosko

Hometown: North Brunswick, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Stevens Institute of Technology

What are you involved in at RWJMS? 

Promise Clinic Student Doctor, OBGYN interest group, BLAST anatomy, RUSynapse, Student Ambassador

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

 Develop a test day ritual. I personally listen exclusively to ABBA all morning (10/10 would recommend), some of my friends get a breakfast sandwich from Woody’s, and other people have a “lucky shirt.” Whatever you choose to do, make sure it puts you in a good mood in order to tackle that exam.

Pooja Desai

White Coat Co-Coordinator

 

Hometown: New York, New York

Alma Mater: Cornell

 

Involvement at RWJMS

Executive Ambassador, Shift Mentor

What is one piece of advice that you would give to an M1?

Make sure you take time for yourself and the people in your life you love! Getting through medical school takes a lot of personal dedication, but it also takes a small army of friends, family, and loved ones rooting for you and keeping you motivated when the going gets tough. 

Ruchi Desai

Hometown: Clifton, NJ

 

Alma Mater: New York University

What are you involved with at RWJMS?

AMSA, Alumni Association Ambassador, RUSynapse Mentor, Student Ambassador

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Go with the flow and don't take yourself too seriously

Sho Yoshitake

Hometown: Princeton, NJ

Alma Mater: Cornell University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

SGA (Treasurer)

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

M1 year can be pretty stressful, but try to enjoy the journey as much as you can. Try to connect with your fellow classmates, and make time for your family, friends, and loved ones. 

Tina Balakrishna

Hometown: Bridgewater, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Oncology Interest Group (President), AMWA, Course Rep (Immunology), PAIR elective, STATS elective

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Explore all the different opportunities and keep up with old passions and take on new passions. Don't drown yourself in just school work, since self-care is just as important for success.

Mark Danila

Peer Mentor Co-Director

Hometown: Woodbridge, NJ

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved with at RWJMS?

Emergency Medicine Interest Group (President), Distinction in Med Education, Student Ambassador, AMSA interest group

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

There's a lot of content to learn but make sure you take time off every week! Medical school is super doable if you let yourself rest once in a while! (And Taco Bell on Easton Ave is open till 1 AM.)

Christopher Samuel

Hometown: Hillside, NJ

Alma Mater: University of Virginia

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

SNMA

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1? 

There's nothing wrong with taking a little/long break (whatever you prefer) every now, trust me you'll be fine. 

Deep Raole

 

Hometown: 

 

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

SGA, LINC, AAPI

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Don't forget to have fun! You are on the path to fulfilling your life long dream and it doesn't be difficult 24/7! Learn how to manage your time so that you don't feel overwhelmed by the constant deadlines, assignments, and exams, but also to be able to live your life.

Eileen Hu

 

Hometown: Northfield, NJ

 

Alma Mater: TCNJ

What are you involve in at RWJMS?Students Interested in Research, Dermatology Interest Group, Promise Clinic, Ambassador, APAMSA, Ultrasounds Acapella Group

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1? 

Make time for your family and friends because life goes on outside of medical school!

Jack Hayes

 

Hometown: Long Valley, NJ

Alma Mater: University of Pittsburgh

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

SGA (VP Med Edu), Promise Clinic Student Doctor, Promise Clinic Community Outreach Team, Student Ambassador

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Work your absolute hardest, but make sure to take care of yourself and keep growing and developing as a person, not just as a student. 

Katie Dickson

 

Hometown: Long Valley, NJ

Alma Mater: TCNJ

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Promise Clinic Labs Steering Committee, RU Synapse

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1? 

Make the time to keep doing the things you love!

Picture to be uploaded**

Kelly Gao

Hometown: Woodcliff Lake, NJ

Alma Mater: University of Pennsylvania

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Student Ambassador, APAMSA, BEN

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Don't be afraid to reach out for help from peers, upperclassmen, or faculty. Almost everyone is here and willing to help!

Lekha Reddy

Hometown: Manalapan, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Vanderbilt University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

SGA (VP Multicultural Affairs), Student Ambassaor, RU Synapse

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Be intentional about keeping up with and making time for your passions and hobbies. It is what makes you YOU. Don't lose that. 

Nicole Altomare

 

Hometown: North Bellmore, NY

Alma Mater: Cornell University

Involvement at RWJMS: 

Mind Body Medicine (President), RU Synapse, AMA Interest Group (VP), Student Ambassador, Course Rep (GI),  

What is one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Work life balance is key! Enjoy your first year and don't forget about the things you enjoy doing. 

Opeposi Adetunji

Hometown: Voorhees, NJ

Alma Mater: Monmouth University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Promise clinic student doctor, LINCC, Human Rights Initiative, Ultrasounds, DISC, Project Sunshine

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Be yourself and get involved in organizations that make you happy and that you are excited to be a part of!

Rae Tarapore

Hometown: Malboro, NJ

 

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

AMA (VP of Med Ed)

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Make sure you make time for yourself. The pace of medical school can feel like it's 100 mph. Make sure that you take at least a little bit of time everyday to take a deep breath and relax. 

Sam Elfanegaly

Hometown: Wayne, NJ

Alma Mater: Rutgers University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?AMWA, LMSA, Sexual Health Outreach Program at EJC

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

When you are feeling overwhelmed, go to Cog Skills. There were countless times I needed to create a realistic study schedule, went there, and came out way less anxious because then I had a plan of attack. Disclaimer: It is not the only source of academic support. Have fun and enjoy M1. It'll go by fast. 

Sirjanhar Singh

Hometown: Stony Point, NY

Alma Mater: Stony Brook University

What are you involved in at RWJMS?

Student Ambassador

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

Enjoy the process. This is a long and tough journey, but it is incredibly rewarding. Make sure to make time for your loved ones and for yourself. It is a marathon and not a sprint. With good friends and a good work ethic, Med school is more than manageable and can end up being pretty fun.  

Vanessa Cedarbaum

Hometown: Flemington, NJ

 

Alma Mater: University of Rochester

What are you involved with at RWJMS?

Ambassador Executive, Promise Clinic Student Doctor and Lab Steering Committee, AMSA, ID Research

 

What is the one piece of advice you would give to an M1?

This is SO much easier said than done, but try really hard not to compare yourself to your peers! Everyone learns differently, finds different resources helpful, and works at their own pace and that is okay!!! And also check out the local food scene because there are tons of cheap and yummy options nearby!

Created by your 2019 Orientation Team