There is a story behind every alum. Read about some of the inspiring journeys others have made from an undergraduate health profession student to a practicing health professional.

If you are pursuing a career as a health professional and would like to share your story, go to SHARE YOUR STORY for more information.

Dr. Jarita Hagans

Dr. Jarita Hagans, a 1996 program participant at Howard University. Today, she is a family practice physician, speaker, and author. What led to your interest in a health profession? I’ve had a love of science and service from a  young age, and this is a career that lets you combine those passions. Who or what… Continue reading

Diego Da Silva

Mr. Da Silva participated in SMDEP at Duke University in 2012. Today, he is a 3rd year medical student at Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. What led to your interest in a health profession? As a first generation immigrant from Brazil, I was raised by my grandparents while my parents worked.… Continue reading

Christian Tilley

Mr. Tilley participated in SMDEP at University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2011. Today, he is a 2nd year medical student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. What led to your interest in dentistry, medicine, another health profession or other career? I became interested in the health professions in high school. I… Continue reading

Ngobitak Ndiwane

Ms. Ngobitak Ndiwane participated in SMDEP at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and College of Dental Medicine in 2013. She graduated from Brandeis University in 2016 with a bachelor degree in Health: Science, Society, and Policy. Ms. Ndiwane will be attending Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in August 2016. What led to… Continue reading

Karina Valentin

Ms. Karina Valentin participated in SMDEP at Columbia University in 2011. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a bachelors degree in Psychology, and received a master’s degree in Biology from Roosevelt University. Ms. Valentin will be attending the College of Dental Medicine, Western University of Health Sciences in August 2016. What led to… Continue reading

Brianna Olamiju

Ms. Olamiju participated in SMDEP at Yale School of Medicine in 2012. She graduated from Columbia University in 2015 with a bachelor degree in Race & Ethnicity Studies with a focus on health disparities. Ms. Olamiju will be attending Yale School of Medicine this fall. How did SMDEP influence you? I would best describe the… Continue reading

Edmond Onwukwe

Mr. Onwukwe participated in SMDEP at Columbia University in 2011. He graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a major in Community Health. Today, he is a first year dental student at Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry. What led to your interest in dentistry? Dentists are non-existent in my village, and overall the… Continue reading

Daniel Valencia

Mr. Valencia participated in SMDEP at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and UCLA School of Dentistry in 2010. Today, he is a first year medical student at The Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine. What led to your interest in medicine? Ever since I can remember, I have always wanted to become… Continue reading

Sherket Peterson, Ph.D.

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

Jonathan Cruz

“What is your name? What day is it? Do you know what happened to you?” The confused stare on the patient’s face led the doctor to believe she was non-responsive. “Epilepsy may cause neural degeneration” he began explaining to the residents, “and these are some medications we could prescribe.” Something told me his diagnosis was… Continue reading

Dervin Cunningham

“People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care.” This was one of the several statements Dr. Duarte Machado, Assistant Professor of Neurology, said to me as I shadowed him during my time at the 2012 Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at Yale School of Medicine. One of… Continue reading

Aaron Dotson

I am a 22 year old African American male from Inglewood, California. I graduated from the University of Texas at Dallas, where I majored in neuroscience (pre-medicine) and minored in music with an emphasis in classical piano and composition. I attended SMDEP at Yale School of Medicine in 2012. Before applying to SMDEP, I was… Continue reading

Kenneth Y. Igbalode, M.D.

I initially became interested in medicine as a career choice by virtue of my early exposure as a teenager. I went to Michael E. DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston, TX. During my junior and senior year, I interacted with health professionals during clinical rotations. Obviously, not an experience afforded to all high… Continue reading

Ebonee Carter, M.D.

MMEP/SMDEP was such a positive influence in my path to becoming a physician. The program aided me in being successful in the basic sciences thus ensuring I could achieve the GPA required to apply and be accepted to medical school. Additionally, by creating an environment filled with people who looked like me and have shared… Continue reading

Nelvin Acevedo Valle

I attended SMDEP at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 2010. I am a SMDEP Ambassador, and I was winner of the ambassador incentive award in 2011 and 2012. SMDEP opened doors to great experiences and knowledge enrichment throughout my academic career. Presently, I am a second year medical student, in the International… Continue reading

Maria Borrero

I was born and raised in Barranquilla, Colombia and moved to the United States in the 7th grade. I attended Ramapo College of New Jersey and graduated from the Honors College with a double major in biology and psychology. While an undergrad, I was the President of the Pre-Medical Club. I held various positions in… Continue reading

Olivia Santillan

Deciding that I wanted to become a dentist was easy. I fell in love with the profession when I was in high school. Not many people are lucky enough to find out so early what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Getting to the point where I am today took a… Continue reading

Adetolu Oyewo, M.D.

Dr. Oyewo attended the Summer Medical Education Program (SMEP) in 2005 at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and Rutgers School of Dental Medicine before the program changed to the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program (SMDEP) in 2006. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with my biochemistry degree, Dr. Oyewo attended Mayo Medical School. During… Continue reading

Jennifer Wiafe

Jennifer attended SMDEP at Yale School of Medicine in 2011. After two years of undergraduate coursework at The State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo, she applied and was accepted into the pharmaceutical sciences program at the University of Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2011. During her first year of pharmacy… Continue reading

Michael Hernandez

Mike attended SMDEP at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in 2011. He went on to graduate with honors from Northwestern University in March 2013 with a B.S. in Psychology. As an undergraduate, Mike served as the President of the Minority Association of Premedical Students chapter at Northwestern. During his tenure, he established a… Continue reading

Jessica Williams

Jessica attended SMDEP at Columbia University in 2010. She graduated from Georgia State University in May 2012 with a bachelor of science in biology and a minor in chemistry. While at GSU, Jessica took a leadership role as an officer in a pre-dental club where she coordinated all dental-related events for its members. Jessica’s most… Continue reading

James Delgadillo

Senior, George Washington University Case Western 2010 James attended SMDEP at the University of Washington in 2006, and graduated from Stanford University in 2008 with a degree in human biology. In fall 2010, James began medical school at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. During the summer of 2011, the University of California, Los… Continue reading