Hi my lovely fellow AMSA members! My name is Alaina Tillman and I am very grateful to be serving as your 2019-2020 AMSA President. I was the former Director of Research for AMSA for the previous two terms. Ever since I joined AMSA and pursued leadership within the organization, it has provided me with so many opportunities to experience diverse aspects of medicine. Through the experiences, support, and engagement that I experienced through AMSA, it has guided me in learning more about myself and my own personal interests, taking me on the path to pursuing what I love.
Academically, I am double majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior and Sociology. I am pursuing to participate in an M.D./Ph.D program in the future with a research focus in neurocriminology. I am currently in the Max Planck/FAU Honors in Neuroscience Thesis Program with my research proposal in the Blakely lab focusing on the Neuro-Immunological Connection With Depression Through Serotonergic IL-1R. I am also in the Sociology Honors Thesis Program doing research on the effect of accelerated programs on mental health, self identity, and the transition to adulthood. I am an Organic Chemistry TA and a volunteer at Boca Raton Regional Hospital. At BRRH, I have founded my own program called “Operation Care,” that is based around providing care packages and comfort to cancer patients throughout the holiday season.
In my personal life, I love to lift weights at the gym, practice taekwondo, skim board at the beach, do yoga, and write poetry. My father is a pilot for an airline, so I love to travel anywhere in the world whenever I can. I am actually training to receive my private pilot’s license. I also love making new friends, especially with AMSA members! Please say hi or contact me to talk about absolutely anything!
Hello lovely AMSA members! My name is Noel Brown and I have the pleasure of serving as your Vice-President for the 2019-2020 academic year. I was born in southern Mississippi but have moved several times due to being in a military family. My favorite hobby is traveling around South Florida to find cool coffee shops and restaurants. I absolutely love anything that has to do with food or coffee! I am currently a senior majoring in Biological Sciences and minoring in psychology with the hopes of attending medical school. Being very involved in school has always been a passion of mine because I get to share my knowledge and insights with the rest of you and vice versa. In the previous semester, I served as the Co-Director of Volunteering and it was an absolute honor! I have been volunteering full-time for about the last year and a half at numerous different organizations in South Florida. My hope for the next year is to bring awareness to all AMSA has to offer, as well as all the university and community have to offer to better your experience on this pre-health journey. We are truly here to serve you! My inbox is always open so please contact me if you have any questions or just need some guidance on this long journey!
Hey guys! I’m Marla Minkoff and I am ecstatic to be your new Secretary for the 2019 – 2020 academic year! Currently, I am a junior pursuing a degree in Biology with aspirations to go to medical school and later enter orthopedic surgery. This upcoming fall semester marks my third year of involvement with AMSA and my second year on the leadership team! I previously served as Co-Chair of Multicultural Medicine alongside the lovely Zayna! I am super passionate about diversity and education, especially regarding their impacts within healthcare. My focus on diversity was sparked by my cultural background of being Chinese and Ashkenazi Jewish, and has allowed me to experience medicine from different perspectives. Growing up, the only medicinal treatments in my house were needles and herbs. I didn’t mind it too much, because the idea of acupuncture made the kids at school think I was super tough. Outside of school and medicine, I enjoy going to the beach with friends, reading sci-fi, thrifting, upcycling old clothes, and learning (ranting) about climate change. I have a little Maltese puppy named Bon Jovi and together we love to go on walks, sleep, learn new tricks, and eat. Anyway, I am so grateful to be a part of an organization that is all about helping others, as well as offering guidance, connections, and opportunity. I cannot wait to serve as your new Secretary! If you ever see me, please don’t hesitate to say hi!
Hello awesome AMSA members! My name is Ashley Amaya and I am excited and honored to be your new Treasurer for 2019-2020. Currently I am a senior majoring in Neuroscience & Behavior and minoring in Anthropology. I’ve been a part of the AMSA family since 2016 and it’s been an amazing journey since. I plan on pursuing a field in medicine and AMSA has done a wonderful job in supporting this journey. Music has also been a huge part of my life so I continue to practice and play many instruments. During any free time I also enjoy reading and going out to new places to eat. I can’t wait to meet all of you and accomplish incredible things with AMSA!
Sergeant at Arms
Hi everyone! My name is Kaitlin Waite and I have the great pleasure to serve as your Sergeant-at-Arms for the 2019-2020 Academic Year. Throughout this position, I act as the liaison with both National AMSA and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine here at FAU. Throughout this position, I coordinate AMSA’s involvement in Gross Anatomy Labs, Standardized Patient Program, and the Healthcare Careers Outreach Program (HCOP). Furthermore, I am also responsible for planning and organizing the annual trip to the AMSA National Convention in D.C. In my previous years at AMSA, I served as the Director of International Outreach, and planned and organized medical outreach trips to both New Providence, Bahamas and Escazu, Costa Rica. I am currently a senior at FAU pursuing a double major in both Biology and Neuroscience and Behavior. I am also currently doing my Honors Thesis in the Dr. Hock Lab, where I study the neurobiology and effects of blindsight on the perception of motion and speed. After I graduate with my bachelor’s, I plan to obtain a master’s degree in Biomedical Science and then apply to medical school. I love working out, hanging out with friends, and you can always catch me at the library studying. If you have absolutely any questions, please feel free to reach out to me via email, or come up to me at one of the meetings. I’m so happy to be part of the leadership team for another year and I’m so excited to meet all of you!
Directors of Clinical Skills
Hey AMSA! My name is Fredericka Hendricksen but you can just call me Rickie. This year I have the honor to serve you as your Director of Clinical Skills for both the 2019-2020 and 2020-2021 academic year. I am responsible for training members in hypertension, BMI, and pulse rate as well as coordinate the health clinics on the outreach trips. The New Providence Outreach Trip is a memory that I will always cherish and I look forward to training and working with those interested in going, so everyone can have the same experience I had. I am currently a Senior at FAU pursuing a Biology Major with a goal of being a pediatric physician. AMSA has quickly become something that means so much to me and to have the opportunity to give back to the members means the world to me. I have met so many amazing people and have been given so many opportunities to succeed through AMSA and I can’t wait to do the same for future members. I am currently a participant in Dr. Hock’s Undergraduate Vision Lab as well as an intern at BocaVIPediatrics. Lastly, one of my favorite hobbies is dancing and I have been doing that for about 15 years now.. If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact me or my Co-Director Tomi. I am looking forward to an awesome year with you all!
Hello AMSA members! My name is Tomislav Lukić and it is a pleasure to be serving you as one of the Directors of Clinical Skills. My goal is to assist you in discovering the pre-health world and introducing you to some of the core skills and concepts used by health professions. A primary focus for us is educating the community on the importance of preventative measures related to heart disease via our hypertension clinics and screenings. We encourage everyone to come to our meetings and of course, have fun along the way! I am a Junior majoring in Biology at FAU. Alongside English I speak Spanish and Serbo-Croatian so feel free to come on up and start a conversation. Professionally, my goal is to run my own medical clinic. I hope you are excited for this year, Fredericka and I are working hard to put together interesting and educationally enriching events for you. Welcome to the fam-AMSA!
Director of Communications
Greetings! I am Justin Xie, your Director of Communications for the 2019-2020 academic year. I am originally from Sacramento, California, where I graduated from Oak Ridge High School in 2018. I am a second-year student studying Biological Sciences here at FAU with plans to enter medical school upon graduation. You can often find me working in my lab on campus, working out in the gym, or racing down the sidewalks on my skateboard. I am also often down to hangout or to simply just talk as well. As your Director of Communications, it is both an honor and a pleasure to serve you. If you have questions, comments, or concerns at any time feel free to approach me and ask! I am here to help.
Directors of Fundraising
Hi! My name is Safiyyah Mir (Safi for short) and I’ll be serving as Co-Director of Fundraising for the 2019-2020 school year. I’m a senior majoring in Biological Sciences with a minor in Arabic. I’m Pakistani, Indi, Italian, Native American and African American. Yeah, it’s a lot. I love learning about other cultures and beliefs. I also have a passion for language. I’m always finding new music in other languages including Spanish, French, Portuguese, Russian, German, and Arabic! So if you ever want song recommendations or have suggestions, I’m always open! I’m so excited for all the amazing fundraising events we’ll have this year! Fundraising allows AMSA to provide numerous opportunities for you, our beloved members, to grow and develop as future health professionals and as people. Through our BB&T and Hardrock events, you’re able to earn volunteer hours and a bit of side money to make your Pre-Health journey a little easier. I look forward to seeing you all there! Feel free to contact me with any questions or ideas you might have.
Directors of International Outreach
Hi everyone! My name is Michelle Velez and I have the honor to be AMSA’s Co-Director of International Outreach for the 2019-2020 academic year. I am currently a senior at FAU majoring in Biological Sciences. After I receive my Bachelor’s, I hope to continue my education at FAU with their Master’s program and then attend medical school. I currently work as a Pediatric Medical Assistant and I love to volunteer in my free time. I’m extremely excited to be planning the outreach trips with Julie this academic year. These outreach trips provide valuable experiences that will open your eyes to how healthcare systems work in other countries and will allow you to experience the culture of different countries. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me! This is going to be a great year and I hope you guys attend the outreach trips!
Hello everyone! My name is Julie Amador and I will be serving as your Director of International Outreach for the 2019-2020 term. I am currently a senior majoring in Biology. I am pursuing a minor in Graphic Design, as well. I am currently a psychiatric medical assistant. I love to travel, go to the beach, and draw. I am beyond excited and grateful to serve as your Director of International Outreach. These trips are such a memorable experience and I am very thankful that I will be able to coordinate these trips once again. Michelle and I are very excited about the trips for this academic year and it’s going to be an amazing time. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions!
Directors of Marketing
Hey FAMSA (AMSA-family)! My name is Bethany Martellus and I will be your Co-Director of Marketing as well with Yasmeen Abdulrazzak. I am a junior at FAU and currently striving to obtain my bachelors in Biological Sciences. I enjoy my downtime by daydreaming, playing any sort of video games ( All time favorite: Legend of Zelda Majora’s Mask), spending time with the ones I care about or traveling to aesthetically pleasing places. My plans are to obtain a BS in biological sciences, go to medical school, and aspire to be a psychiatrist. If you have any and I mean ANY questions or interests, approach me or email me! (I won’t bite or fight).
Hey guys! My name is Yasmeen Abdulrazzak, and I am going to be your Co-Director of Marketing alongside Bethany Martellus! I’m super excited to be serving AMSA and take on this position! This is going to be my third year at FAU as a biology major and I really love it. I enjoy going to the gym and I just recently got into yoga (so excited I bought a mat after the first class)! During my past-time, I love avoiding my homework, focusing on Netflix, and putting on a face mask! I can’t wait to meet all of you and take super cute pictures of you guys for our social media (I’ll make sure y’all look good no worries). If you have any questions or ever wanna talk shoot me an email or walk up to me!
Mental Health in Medicine and Research Chairs
Hello everyone! My name is Belén Wertheimer and I am truly delighted to be one of your Co-Chairs in Mental Health in Medicine and Research for the 2019-2020 academic school year here at FAU! A little bit about me, I was born in Lima, Peru and came over here to Boca Raton, FL at a young age. Growing up, I thought I would go to university for business or law. And I did, but not for long. After being introduced into the world of science, I knew it was what I wanted to dedicate myself to, and I have truly fallen in love with it ever since. As of now, I am currently a Junior here at FAU double-majoring in Neuroscience and Behavior and Biological Sciences. I am also working in a research laboratory everyday testing subjects in the psychology department and I love what I do! Outside of school I enjoy spending time with the people I love, watching movies, playing pool, and being physically active. I’m a big music and visual art lover as well! The complexity of the huge umbrella that is mental health never ceases to amaze me. Our brain makes us who we are and allow us to think and do such wonderful things, which leads me to believe that the effects of mental health on the body are equally remarkable as they are vital to our health. I can’t wait to educate myself and others alongside my lovely fellow co-chair, Rosemarry, on different mental health topics from a scientific approach. AMSA holds a special place in my heart for providing a supportive community with many opportunities for people who want to dedicate their lives to helping others. I’m very much looking forward to contributing to the community and spending this academic school year with everyone!
Hello lovely members of AMSA! My name is Vartiter Vardanyan and I’m extremely excited to serve as your Co-Chair of Mental Health in Medicine and Research for the 2019-2020 academic year! I recently graduated from FAU with a B.S in Neuroscience and Behavior and a B.A in Psychology. I am now pursuing a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at FAU’s Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine. Ever since my first AMSA meeting in 2017, I’ve loved how the organization serves pre-health students in areas ranging from volunteering and research to multicultural medicine and mental health. My mission as co-chair for this interest group is to provide members with the most up to date scientific research, resources, and skills needed to have an understanding of mental health, in order to help patients as a future physician. Outside of academics, I enjoy photography, art, kickboxing, bad puns, learning fun facts, and making people smile. On my days off, I like to go on adventures, no matter how small, and travel. I’m happiest on the beach with good music and boba tea. Lastly, a fun fact about me is that my middle name is Rosemarry, and that is usually what I go by! I would like to encourage any members who are interested in the Mental Health in Medicine and Research interest group to contact Belen or myself. We would both be delighted to hear your ideas, interests, opinions, and to answer your questions! I’m looking forward to having an amazing year with all of you!
Multicultural Medicine Chairs
Hello! My name is Leticia Felicio and I am so excited to be serving as your Co-Chair for Multicultural Medicine for 2019-2020. I am currently a senior majoring in Psychology. I joined AMSA in the Fall of 2018 and it was truly one of the best decisions I ever made. By joining this organization, I have made so many new friends who share the same passions and future ambitions as me. My ultimate goal is to attend Physician Assistant School and be able to help and further my community. On a personal level, I was born in Brazil and moved to Florida when I was seven years old. I love animals (especially dogs) and I love playing volleyball. In my free time, I enjoy singing karaoke (even though I do not sing very well), going to the beach, and playing air hockey! I look forward to getting to know both new and returning members. I am very excited for this upcoming year and hope it is the best, most productive year AMSA has ever had!
Hello AMSA members! My name is Zayna Gichi and I am so excited to be serving again as one of your co-chairs of the Multicultural Medicine interest group for the 2019-2020 academic year. This is my second year being a part of the AMSA officer team, and I have truly enjoyed getting to meet our members and exchanging ideas through our events and meetings. As an AMSA officer, my job is to increase awareness of diversity issues in the healthcare field and help AMSA members improve their cross-cultural competence, which will aid them in their future as healthcare professionals. I am currently completing my senior year of my Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Behavior at FAU. I also serve as the president of the Muslim Student Association, volunteer in the Blakely Lab at the FAU Brain Institute in Jupiter, and mentor students in Palm Beach County schools through Big Brothers Big Sisters. When I’m not doing AMSA work or sitting in a lecture, I enjoy watching soccer (Liverpool fan), playing video games, drawing, cooking and being in the company of good friends. Feel free to contact me via email about our upcoming meetings or events. I can’t wait to meet all of our fantastic AMSA members!
Directors of Pre-Medical Affairs
Hey AMSA members! My name is Elijah Ortiz and I am a Junior undergraduate student pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry and a minor in Computer Science. After I graduate, I plan on applying to an M.S. in Bioengineering program and then an MD/PhD program. Ultimately, I want to become a Pediatric Neurosurgeon that conducts medical research. I am more than excited to serve as one of your Directors of Pre-Medical Affairs this year! Outside of school, I enjoy playing volleyball and tinkering with technology! I cannot wait to help you guys learn more about Pre-med culture and what AMSA has to offer. See you guys at the next meeting!!
Hi everyone! My name is Mohamed Abutineh and I have the pleasure of serving as one of your 2019-2020 Directors of Pre-Medical Affairs. I was born and raised in Florida, but my parents immigrated from Palestine over 35 years ago. I am a senior majoring in Biological Sciences. I hope to graduate and then take a gap year to do an internship before attending medical school. I’m open to many fields in medicine, but I am leaning towards orthopedic surgery (I’ll find out what I want to do in medical school). I am currently an undergraduate researcher working on treatments for Citrus Greening Disease, one of the citrus industry’s worst enemies. I also volunteer in the emergency room at Delray Medical Center. Outside of school, I regularly go to the gym, love playing games online with my buddies, and love taking adventures with friends. Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you need something, I’m looking forward to having a fun and productive year with you all!
Directors of Records
Hey AMSA peeps! My name is Natasha Ramnauth (Usually I go by Tash) and I will be your Co-Director of Records for the 2019-2020 year! I spent most of time living in Pembroke Pines, FL before moving to Boca Raton, FL. I’m currently a rising senior at FAU studying Neuroscience and behavior with a minor in public health administration. So far at my time at FAU, I’ve been an Orientation Leader, I am currently working on research, I volunteer at Boca Regional Hospital, and I am an officer of the Splash Pals FAU chapter. My goal is to become a pediatric doctor one day. During my first semester at FAU, I joined AMSA to be around people who share the same passion as me within the pre-health field. Thanks to AMSA, I’ve been able to make great connections with faculty and gain volunteer experience. Alongside my amazing co-director, we will oversee recording attendance points, volunteer hours, member records, and distributing T-shirts. Outside of AMSA, I spend most of my time playing competitive video gaming, playing with my puppy, Snowy, and just having a good time with my friends. If you have any questions or just want to hang out, feel free to contact me!
Hello AMSA members! I’m Emily, one of your Co Directors of Records for the 2019-2020 year! I will be keeping track of points for attending sessions, logging volunteering hours, as well as handing out the AMSA T-shirts! I am so excited to work alongside all of the other amazing AMSA officers this year and continue to meet new people that share the same passion for helping people and medicine that I do. I’m starting my fourth year of college this semester and will be continuing to pursue my undergraduate degree in Biology. My goals after my undergrad include preparing for the MCAT and medical school applications so I can live out my dream of being a radiation oncologist in order to bring hope to those that are facing some of the hardest times in their life. My other hobbies include reading, going to the beach, and traveling as much as possible! If you have any questions about points or volunteering please feel free to email me of my Co Director Tash. Here’s to a great year!
Directors of Research
Hello AMSA members! My name is Kristina Beluskov and I’m excited to be serving as one of your Directors of Research for the 2019-2020 academic year! I am currently a senior at FAU and I’m pursuing a degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in Health Administration. My goal is to one day become a pediatric surgeon. I was born and raised here in South Florida and when I’m not busy studying, I love to travel, go to the gym, and spend time with family and friends. I joined AMSA in the beginning of my freshman year and I have had so many amazing experiences since then as a result. I served as one of your Directors of Research last semester as well and I’m really honored to have the opportunity to be a part of the leadership team again! I became involved in research over a year ago and I really love everything about it. I began with a research project in literature and I am currently working in Dr. Binninger’s lab where I study the implications of the deletion of the methionine sulfoxide reductase gene in Drosophila. I can’t wait to meet all of you and work with you through the process of getting involved in research, writing grants, creating posters, presenting your work, and anything else you might need. I hope you love all of it as much as I do! Do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions!
Hello AMSA family! My name is Taylor Selman and I am so excited to serve as one of your Co-Directors of Research, along with Kristina, for the 2019-2020 year! Currently, I am a senior pursuing a B.S. in Neuroscience & Behavior and a minor in Health Administration, with an ultimate goal of becoming an orthopedic surgeon, specializing in pediatrics or sports medicine. I joined AMSA during my sophomore year in Fall 2017, which was one of the best decisions I have ever made. AMSA has given me so many opportunities that has helped me grow and develop as a pre-medical student. Through the experiences that AMSA provides, I have learned so many life lessons that I will be able to carry throughout the rest of my medical career, which will ultimately make me a better physician. As a result, I decided to join the leadership team this year with a goal of helping fellow members experience what I have through AMSA. In May 2018, I joined Dr. Dawson-Scully’s lab where I am currently researching age-related, neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s Disease, using the fruit fly. When I am not working on research in the lab, I am either at the hospital working as a medical scribe, at the gym, or hanging with my two adorable golden retrievers and my amazing fiancé. Whether you have research related questions or questions relating to this extraordinary journey we are on as pre-medical students, please feel free to reach out to me!
Specialties in Medicine Chairs
My name is Chetan Yarlagadda, but you can just call me Joe. I am currently a junior pursuing a B.S. in biological sciences. I plan to eventually go to medical school and my goal is to go into the field of cardiology. Ever since I was CPR certified in 8th grade, cardiology has just been my passion. My co-chair and I are working to educate the members of AMSA about the different specialties there are in medicine and how to pursue your own path in medicine by bringing in guest speakers from various fields of medicine and setting up some fun events. Personally, I like going out and playing basketball with my friends, watching movies, and volunteering at Delray Medical Center. I am the biggest NBA fan and car enthusiast you are ever going to find. Feel free to email me anything about events or even if you want to just talk about the NBA. I look forward to meeting you all this semester!
Hi FAMSA, my name is Katherine Roth. I am so excited to be your Co-Chair of Specialities in Medicine. I studied Neuroscience at FAU and am now currently seeking a degree in Biomedical Science (MS). I work at Memorial Regional hospital as an Anesthesia Technician. I am working towards becoming a Pain Management Anesthesiologist. I can’t wait to meet all of you and for you to meet the doctors that I have lined up to speak to you about their specialities in medicine so that you can learn about the different fields and what specialty might interest you the most!
“Working Hard is important, but there is something that matters even more: Believing In Yourself”
Directors of Volunteering
My name is Cesar Flores. I will be one of the Co-Directors of Volunteering for the 2019-2020 school year. I hope to facilitate interest in volunteer work and to provide resources to make that goal happen. In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing video games, watching movies, and eating cheesecake. I have been with AMSA for two years and have learned that the path to becoming a doctor is more enjoyable when you can share that experience with other people following that same goal.
Hi everyone! My name is Nicholas Pizzo and I have the wonderful opportunity of serving as one of your Co-Directors of Volunteering for the 2019-2020 school year! I am currently a Junior majoring in Biology, and I hope to pursue a career in cardiology after attending medical school. My goal for volunteering this year is to bring meaningful opportunities to you guys so that you can be inspired to take the initiative to volunteer on your own. With every person you meet at one of our events, whether it be a child coping with a chronic illness or a resident of a local nursing home, there are so many stories to be told, which may just help you find your purpose for pursuing medicine. I was born in Boca Raton, Florida and have lived in the area my entire life. Aside from AMSA, I am an active member in HOSA Future Health Professionals, in which I have competed in Medical Terminology at the International Level. I also work as a Learning Assistant (LA) for Calculus 1 on campus and as a cashier at Publix. In my free time, I absolutely love going to the beach with friends, running, cooking, and of course, eating the food I cook. I am so excited for this great year ahead and I can’t wait to meet all of you!
Women in Medicine Chairs
Hey guys! My name is Jinelle Vazquez and I am so incredibly excited to be one of your Co-Chairs for the Women in Medicine interest group for this year. I am currently a sophomore pursuing a major in Neuroscience & Behavior and a minor in Psychology. After graduating from FAU, I plan on attending medical school and hopefully, one day, becoming an anesthesiologist in the air force. Whenever I am not focused on classes or in the lab, I love going thrifting with friends, trying new restaurants, and traveling. As well, I love learning and debating about various societal issues. Alongside my co-chair, Karina, we will be focusing on the role of medicine within the lives of women of various ethnicities, religions, and sexualities. I am looking forward to all of the meetings and events we will be holding for you guys in the 2019-2020 academic year! If you ever have a question regarding the club or simply want to introduce yourself, please reach out or come to me in person!
Hi everyone! My name is Karina Marin and I am honored to serve as one of the Co-Chairs for Women in Medicine 2019-2020 academic year! I am currently a senior here at FAU majoring in Biological Sciences. My goal is to have the privilege in attending medical school once I graduate. Some fun facts about me is that I love to travel, watch Netflix, and workout! Although being born and raised in South Florida, I am Colombian and a fluent speaker in Spanish! I have been in AMSA since my spring semester of my Sophomore year. However, after attending an AMSA Outreach Trip this past spring, it has given me the drive to pursue a position and I couldn’t be happier. I’m so thankful to have the privilege to contribute more to an organization that has provided numerous individuals with an abundance of opportunities! I’m super excited to ensure that this year will be filled with informative meetings, awesome events, and having professional discussions. I’m looking forward to meeting everyone and to the best AMSA year yet!