After completing the HWS Health Professions Advisory Program (HPAP), which offers an accredited pre-health curriculum recognized by competitive graduate and professional programs, 10 members of the recently graduated Classes of 2015 will attend medical, dental or veterinary schools this coming fall.
“Being a smaller liberal arts school, the student-faculty ratio allows for a more personalized experience,” says Associate Professor of Chemistry and department Chair Justin Miller, who is an adviser on the Health Professions Advisory Committee.
In addition to helping students coordinate clinical internships, develop skill training, and engage in community service experiences, the HWS program offers ongoing assistance during the graduate school application process — from resume help and workshops, to test preparation and mock interviews.
The individualized nature of the advisory program means that students work with advisers beginning at their earliest decision to join the program through their application processes in their final undergraduate years. In tandem with a liberal arts curriculum, Miller says, “the program allows for more coverage and depth for the students to move on to graduate school.”
Miller and Scott MacPhail, assistant director of Health and Fellow Advising at the Salisbury Center for Career, Professional, and Experiential Education, head the advisory committee that mentored and guided the 10 recent graduates, who will continue their medical education in the fall — five in medical school, four in dental school, and one in veterinary school.
“What makes these students such great candidates is that they are so involved,” says Miller. “You have a list of students with a unified purpose, but ask what they did here at HWS, and you’ll find diversified and accomplished students, and that’s what makes it so great to work with them.”
Steffi Cramer ’15, a biochemistry major and a health professions minor, will begin coursework for her M.D. at the Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Jefferson University.
“I have no idea how I would have navigated this process without the guidance and support from the HPAC committee and Scott MacPhail,” Cramer says. “The amount of support HWS provides is really unique and I am so grateful that I studied pre-med here, where I had so much support and help through this daunting application process. I am incredibly grateful to the professors in the biochemistry department for the opportunities that made me love science every day of college, especially my research advisers Justin Miller and Patricia Mowery.”
Lisa Ditchek ’15, a biology major and a women studies minor, will attend SUNY Upstate Medical University, after gaining admission through their Early Assurance Program for College Sophomores.
“HWS set me on track for graduate school by providing me with a community of faculty and professors who genuinely cared about me and my success,” says Ditchek, who was a member of the HWS string ensemble, Hillel, and the running club. “I felt welcomed in each class and always felt that I could come to my professors with any problems that I had.”
Janae Garofalo ’15, a biochemistry major and a health professions minor, has been accepted to the DMD program at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, where she plans to specialize in general dentistry.
“The HPAC program gave me the guidance necessary to submit an application that I was truly proud of,” says Garofalo, who was an RA for two years, a chemistry teaching fellow, a summer research assistant for Miller for two summers, and an America Counts tutor.
Bridget Logan ’15, a biochemistry major with a health professions minor, will attend New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, located on Long Island, N.Y., with hopes of applying her degree toward pediatric medicine. On campus, Logan was an RA, treasurer for William Smith Congress and co-chair of the Budget Allocation Committee.
“HWS prepared me for medical school by teaching me how to challenge myself and adapt to situations that I wasn’t familiar with,” she says. “Learning how to put myself outside of my comfort box challenged me to grow as a leader and a thinker.”
Melissa Mahajan ’15, a Blackwell Scholar, will also attend SUNY Upstate Medical University College of Medicine, with plans to focus on becoming a surgeon. A biology major with a dual minor in chemistry and health professions, Mahajan was a lead teaching fellow and chemistry teaching fellow.
She says, “At HWS, I was allowed the opportunity to gain different interdisciplinary perspectives on both science and medicine. Each helped affirm my passion for medicine and motivated me further toward my goal of becoming a physician.”
Kevin Moore ’15, a biology major and a health professions minor, will attend dental school at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. “I hope to become a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in four years and then complete a year of residency so that I can practice as a general dentist,” he says. “Both HWS and the HPAC program gave me the best preparation I could have had in my hopes of becoming a dentist. Everyone at HWS gave me all the advice and support I needed to make me the most competitive applicant possible. I hugely appreciate all of the help I received that allowed me to be accepted at my first choice dental school.”
Moore was an RA for three years, a member of the Hobart club soccer team and the Health Professions Club. He was a biology lab teaching assistant, and worked at the Bristol Field House.
Amanda Rappaport ’15, a biology major and environmental studies minor, will attend the College of Veterinary Medicine at Midwestern University in Glendale, Ariz., where she plans to pursue wildlife and aquatic medicine. After veterinary school, her goal is to help with wildlife rehabilitation and conservation in urban cities or national parks.
“My dream job would be working with wildlife biologists helping to expand the wolf population in the United Sates,” says Rappaport, who was co-captain of the William Smith club soccer team and treasurer of Hillel.
Troy Robinson ’15, a chemistry major and environmental studies minor, was on the varsity football team for all four of his collegiate years. He served as a team captain during his senior season. He also worked for the Center for Teaching and Learning as a chemistry teaching fellow, was a Druid and was active in community service efforts.
In August, Robinson will attend the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. His goal is to join a practice with his eldest brother, Nolan Robinson ’07, also a Hobart graduate and a dentist.
“HPAC guided me through the process of applying to dental school in a step-by-step fashion,” Robinson says. “The program provided excellent advice on improving the structure and content of my resume, the effectiveness of my personal statement, and my overall composure during interviews. The pre-medical students at HWS are fortunate to have access to such an effective and personable health professions advisory committee.”
Alysa Sadkin ’15, a biochemistry major and a health professions minor, was also a part of Miller’s research group. She was treasurer and president of William Smith Congress. Sadkin will attend the The University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. After graduate school, she plans to attend a specialized residency, ultimately going into private practice and obtaining a practice accessible for patients with disabilities.
“HPAC was a great experience and it helped me with filling out my applications to dental school,” she says. “The committee letter is an essential part of your application and I know that our institution has created a process that allows our letters to tell admissions committees who we are as people as well as who we are as students.”
Anola Stage ’15, also a Blackwell Scholar, with a major in English and a dual minor in chemistry and health professions, will attend medical school at SUNY Upstate Medical College. She served as a lieutenant of personnel for HWS EMS, studied abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, and was a decorated member of the William Smith rowing team.