Houston Biosketches Class of 2019

Darian Allen

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I graduated from Indiana University in 2016 with a BS in Exercise Science. Growing up I always pictured myself as a doctor and thought I would change the world however as time went on I began to find medical school and a doctor’s lifestyle less and less appealing. My interest in anesthesia began when a close friend got into a car wreck and had a bad reaction during surgery. As I began to research the field, I quickly realized that becoming a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant was the right career path for me. I am extremely excited to begin the program and look forward to all of the challenges ahead.

Meryl Lee Boutte

I was born and raised in New Iberia, Louisiana and obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Louisiana. I’ve worked as a pharmacy technician in retail, acute care, and psychiatric pharmacy for the past eight years. I truly love working in the hospital setting and want to do so for the rest of my life. As a hospital pharmacy technician, I’ve worked with anesthesia staff and have seen first-hand the risks and rewards of the profession. After taking the MCAT I saw this program and thought it would be a great match with my experience and skill set. I’m so grateful and excited to start this new chapter in my life!

Shane Cahill

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I graduated from Coastal Carolina University with a B.A. and a minor in chemistry. When I was growing up, I always wanted to go into medicine and help people. My dad is an anesthesiologist so I have always been interested in anesthesia. I discovered the CAA profession while I was researching different medical careers the summer before my senior year of college and I immediately knew the CAA profession was the perfect fit for me. During my senior year of college, I was accepted to the same medical school my grandfather attended but I knew the CAA profession was what I wanted to do. The CAA profession offers me the ability to help people and make a difference while still having time for a family life. I am very excited to study anesthesia at the impressive Houston Medical Center, I’ll actually be studying at the same place my Dad did his anesthesia fellowship! I know CWRU Houston will make me the best CAA that I can be.

Paris Carter

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I was born and raised in Houston, Texas. An unfortunate season-ending basketball injury lead to a surgery that changed my life. I met an anesthesiologist who sparked my interest in anesthesia and who spoke highly of the CWRU CAA program. I was granted an opportunity to shadow Houston CAA's at the Texas Medical Center. It was love at first sight. I instantly knew that CWRU Houston was the program for me! I am blessed and honored to pursue my dream career in my hometown. Although my basketball playing days are over, I am excited to become a player on the anesthesia care team.

Johnathan Haag

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I am from Mentor, Ohio. I graduated from Kent State University with a Bachelor’s in Biological Science with a concentration in Molecular/Cellular Biology. Once I completed my degree, I worked at the Cleveland Clinic in pediatric intensive care for 2 years. Through this work, I gained experience in the medical field and built strong interpersonal connections with a multitude of medical professionals.

I discovered the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession from an academic advisor and co-workers at the Cleveland Clinic. With my background in biological science, experience in intensive care medicine, and shadowing experience, I knew this was the career for me. I applied to Case Western Reserve’s program due to their renown for training certified anesthesiologist assistants. I am excited and honored to be part of such an excellent program.

Austin Hails

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I attended the University of South Carolina where I majored in biology and minored in chemistry. I also played football. Once I finished my bachelor’s degree I next attended the Medical University of South Carolina, completing a Master of Science in Clinical Research. The program spanned a year and ended in August of 2016. Going into the program I was planning to use it as a bridge to medical school but after researching my career options I felt that the CAA program was a better fit for me. Between graduate programs, I worked several jobs including substitute teaching and coaching. Now that the program start is here I look forward to challenges and the career that lies ahead.

Spencer Harris

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I grew up in Kingwood, a suburb of Northeast Houston. I graduated from Brigham Young University with a degree in Spanish and Business. After working as a Personal Banker for a couple of years, I realized banking and finance just wasn't for me. I have always enjoyed learning about science, so I thought I should go into medicine. I got my first job at the hospital as an operating room orderly and I loved it. I enjoyed scrubbing in to surgery and interacting with patients, doctors and nurses. Soon after I got a job as a Spanish medical interpreter. I have currently been working as an anesthesia technician for the past few years. I am fascinated with anesthesia and how it works. As I was reading a manual for work, I found out about certified anesthesiologist assistants. I was convinced this was the right fit for me as I learned more about the career and the opportunities a masters degree would provide to increase my knowledge and my skills. I am excited to build on the solid base of healthcare experience I already possess. I look forward to starting the program at Case Western Reserve University in Houston and to learn from some of the best doctors and healthcare professionals in the world.

Richard Hsu

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After earning my BS in Cell Biology and Biochemistry from UCSD, I taught math and science. After a few years, I began to wish I could put my education to greater use. A friend who had entered the CAA profession suggested that I look into becoming a CAA. I discovered a profession that would put my scientific education to greater use while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I once considered a career in medicine but was not sure about the commitment so I was delighted to find a profession which would require me to continually learn and hold myself to a high standard. I look forward to the next two years at CWRU Houston!

Jesslin James

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I graduated from Houston Baptist University with a BS in Biology. I grew up in the suburbs of Houston and always had an interest in the sciences. I was exposed to the healthcare field during my undergraduate studies and I began volunteering at Memorial Hermann. The combination of my interest in science and in working with patients led me to pursue a career in healthcare. While researching different career opportunities I discovered the CAA profession. I became interested in this profession when I saw how hands-on it was and how much CAAs are involved in the medical journey of a patient. It is also a flexible career that provides a balanced lifestyle. I am very excited to begin training at CWRU’s MSA program and to begin learning to be a future CAA.

Tyce Johnson

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In 2016 I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in human biology. Under the guidance and rearing of healthcare provider parents, I envisioned myself having a profession in healthcare, too. While shadowing at Conroe Regional Medical Center, I met a CAA who had graduated from CWRU’s MSA program. After talking to him about the CAA profession I realized that this was the career I wanted to pursue. Being a part of a team has always been important to me. During high school, I played football and rugby; achieving our school’s first state championship my senior year. While at UT I was a part of the paintball team winning several NCAA tournaments. The ability to cooperate with each other and to work effectively as a team was crucial to the success we were able to achieve. I am ecstatic to be continuing my education at Case Western Reserve University in Houston and look forward to a rewarding career as a CAA.

Reecha Martis

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I am a native Houstonian and I graduated from the University of Houston in 2016. After researching many careers throughout my undergraduate career, I chose a future in medicine because it was the only field that could give me the sense of purpose and responsibility I want. For the longest time, I thought medical school was the only possibility for me to find that satisfaction. As I grew older, however, I realized that I needed an option in medicine that would also allow me to have a balance between my work and my home life; it was around that time that I found out about the CAA Program. I shadowed an anesthesiologist who introduced me to the CWRU program and it was the perfect fit! This is a career where one can become a skilled medical professional and make a difference while having the time to pursue other interests. To be accepted into this distinguished program is very humbling. I look forward to learning and growing towards becoming a CAA!

Elizabeth Nguyen

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I am originally from Jacksonville, FL and moved to the Dallas area where I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Texas at Dallas. Throughout my life, I’ve been drawn to the healthcare field. I realized this was the career I wanted to pursue when I was exposed to the profession by a CAA. This decision further solidified when I had the opportunity to shadow in the OR at Memorial Hermann, gaining insight from the anesthesia care team and observing the processes taking place to ensure excellent patient care. I feel extremely fortunate to be a part of the CWRU MSA program, with Houston being home to one of the largest medical centers in the country, coupled with the program’s emphasis on clinical training. I look forward to the challenging but highly rewarding journey ahead!

Amy Patel

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I began my undergraduate studies with the intention of pursuing a career in medicine. I graduated from Georgia Southern University with a BSB in May of 2015. During my sophomore year I volunteered at the local hospital in the anesthesia department. After volunteering/shadowing the different anesthesia providers, I realized that the CAA profession was ideal for me. By becoming a CAA I will have hands-on patient care experience, be in the OR environment, work as part of a team, and have a balanced lifestyle. I am honored by my acceptance into CWRU’s MSA program and am excited to begin this journey to becoming a CAA.

Chloe Roush

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I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona and in May of 2017 and I graduated from The University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology. My undergraduate years were focused in science with the goal of attending medical school. After shadowing several doctors and spending time with friends connected to the medical field I realized that I did not want the lifestyle of a physician. When I received an email from Case Western Reserve University regarding the certified anesthesiologist assistant program in Houston I was very intrigued. After doing more research about the program and after shadowing an anesthesiologist, I realized it would be a good fit for me. This program gives me the opportunity to work in the medical field and be involved in various surgical cases. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, dancing, country music, and time at the gym!

Johnathan Runnels

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I attended Rice University where I completed my undergraduate degree in business management, and competed on the Fighting Owls baseball team. After being drafted by three different teams in Amateur Major League Baseball, I signed a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. A rotator cuff injury ended my days playing baseball. As I stepped on the business field I knew there was another career ahead of me, just undiscovered. While speaking with my Rice University mentor I was given information about Case Western Reserve University's MSA program. I immediately knew this program was right for me. After completing post-baccalaureate science courses at the University of Houston and shadowing in the operating room, my future career path was reaffirmed. I am looking forward to the challenges and opportunities ahead and I am proud to be part of the CWRU MSA Class of 2019.‌

Mark Schamber

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I graduated from Hillsdale College in 2016 with a BS in Biology but my interest in medicine and even anesthesiology began long before. Probably by high school, I set a career in medicine as my goal and after taking chemistry decided anesthesiology was the most interesting. During college, I worked as an ER and family practice scribe which showed me other aspects of medicine and helped me get a better grasp on what lay ahead of me. Finally, in April of my senior year, I heard about the CAA career and immediately set about applying. In the year since I have been working as a medical assistant and continuing my education by pursuing an MS in Biomedical Science. CWRU’s MSA  is a very challenging program that I am thrilled to be a part of.

Nathan Sosebee

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I was born and raised in Weatherford, Texas and my family’s involvement in medicine is what sparked my interest in the field. I obtained my BS in Biomedical Sciences from Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi in 2014. In 2015, I received my MS in Medical Sciences from the University of North Texas Health Science Center. After graduating with my MS, I spent a couple of years applying to medical school without success while working as a Firefighter/EMT-B in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. I was nearing my mid-20s and medical school was not as appealing as it had been when I graduated. This was primarily due to the number of school years I would have ahead of me. I also wanted a career with a more balanced lifestyle. I heard about this CAA program from a professor in graduate school. After researching the program, shadowing an anesthesiologist and a couple of CAAs at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, I applied to the program. I enjoyed my experience in the OR, the teamwork approach to patient care, and the work-life balance. I am grateful to have this opportunity to become a CAA through Case Western Reserve University and I look forward to the challenges ahead.

Joiesah Sunga

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I graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2015 with a B.S. in Neurobiology. During and after college I volunteered at St. David's Medical Center as a nurse aide ensuring patient comfort and care. I also volunteered as a research assistant at the Neuroscience and Spine Institute assisting in the development of various stroke education projects. I discovered the MSA program and the CAA profession at the UT career fair where I spoke with students from CWRU's Houston program. I quickly realized that this career was perfect for me since it merges my interests in neurology, anesthesia, and patient care. The Houston program is ideal because I want to train at the prestigious Texas Medical Center and it is close to my hometown, Austin. I am thrilled to have this opportunity and cannot wait to start the program!

Annabelle Tsai

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I am from Katy, Texas, but lived abroad in Malaysia and China for eight years. During that time I became interested in healthcare and frequently volunteered on medical mission trips to Southeast Asia. I graduated from Lawrence University, earning a BMus. in Violin Performance and a BA in Biochemistry while also competing on Lawrence’s NCAA Women’s Fencing team. I knew that I wanted a career in the medical field so I researched healthcare professions and found the CAA program. After researching the career and shadowing CAAs, I knew I would enjoy this rewarding profession. I’m excited and honored to be a part of CWRU’s Houston MSA program!

Michael Vo

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The medical field has always captivated me and being a healthcare professional has been my lifelong goal. In 2016, upon graduating a year early from Baylor University with a B.S. in Biochemistry, I decided to explore career choices. I was looking for a program and a profession that suited my personality. Having a gap year, I pursued my interests. Because I possess attention to detail, I worked fixing iPhones, iPads, and computers. I also traded currencies because I appreciate the decision-making aspect of calling a transaction. In 2015 I had stumbled upon CWRU’s MSA program through the pre-health office at my school and it had sparked my interest. I reasoned that CWRU’s MSA program aligned with me best because of its time-efficient and specialized curriculum, culminating in a career through which I can support my family in a well-balanced fashion. I am happy with my decision to pursue a career as a CAA.