Madison Altmyer | Cleveland
I graduated from Pennsylvania State University in May 2018 with a double major in Biology and Philosophy with a minor in Global Health. I knew that I wanted to be in the medical field, but was not entirely sure of my specific path. All of my experiences at Penn State, such as being involved in non-profit organizations, education abroad, and research, taught me that I most enjoy serving others and learning how to understand, interpret, and address the health needs of varying populations. Upon graduating, I completed a year of service with AmeriCorps, specifically the National Health Corps, and was placed at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. During this experience, I was able to learn a great deal about the public health side of medicine, and especially the intricate relationship between food, poverty, and health. I happened to stumble upon the CWRU MSA Program and was immediately interested. After shadowing a number of people in the field of anesthesiology, I felt that it was a great fit and would provide me with a career that is challenging, dynamic, and engaging while embodying one of the values I am most passionate about; serving others in healthcare. I am excited to continue my education as a CWRU MSA student because I know that I will gain all of the tools necessary to provide exceptional patient care in the field of anesthesia.
Wosen Assefa | Cleveland
I was born and raised in Adama, Ethiopia. I immigrated to the United States in 2011 with my parents and currently live in Cleveland, Ohio. I have lived in Cleveland ever since I moved to the United States, earning my bachelor’s degree in Biology from Cleveland State University. I have always been interested in the field of healthcare ever since I was little. I have worked as a pharmacy technician for over six years. When I became aware of the profession of certified anesthesiologist assistants, I knew right away that it was something that I wanted to be a part of. I materialized that interest by shadowing a CAA and that helped me solidify my decision tremendously.
Cody Austin | Houston
My name is Cody Austin. I studied two years at Weatherford Community College, and then later enrolled at Tarleton State University for three years where I earned a Bachelor of Science with a focus in biomedical sciences. During my time at Tarleton, I learned more than just what was taught in class. I learned many values such as being more responsible and learning how to manage my time more wisely. I believe these skills, along with the knowledge I gained from my classes will help me perform well in the MSA Program. The certified anesthesiologist assistant profession was something that I had never heard of until Kenneth Maloney, CWRU MSA Program Director in Houston, just happened to give a presentation in a class I was taking at Tarleton. At the time, I found the profession to be quite interesting so I did more research to learn about it. Once I shadowed an actual CAA however, I realized just how interesting I found the profession to be. The thought of making patients comfortable during anesthesia fascinated me. I have always derived a sense of joy from relieving others of pain, whether it be emotional or physical, and being able to make their lives a little bit better. I believe that due to this, being a part of a profession that specializes in either relieving or shielding patients from pain, as well as keeping their bodies safe and functioning properly, will suit me quite well.
Jacob Bodway | Houston
I grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, then after high school, I moved to Orlando, Florida. I studied at the University of South Florida (USF) and earned a bachelors in Health Science with a concentration in Biomedical Sciences. I also played basketball for USF for three years, which taught me the hard work ethic that is needed to succeed. I always had a passion for health care, especially since I was diagnosed with cancer at a young age. When I was a kid, I always looked up to healthcare professionals as heroes when I was being treated. When I grew older, that admiration turned into respect for those who help save lives. When I was shadowing doctors and surgeons I came across a few certified anesthesiologist assistants, and after conversing and observing the things they do to help patients, I was drawn in. I chose the Case Western Reserve University MSA Program because it is highly respected, and that's exactly the way I want to be viewed as a healthcare professional.
Alexandr Bokatch | Cleveland
I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where I pursued an undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University. I initially started on a pre-medical track, but soon realized that I did not want to become a physician. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to do upon graduation, I decided to pursue a Business Management degree. In addition to my studies, I became heavily involved with Camp Kesem at CWRU, an organization providing support to children who have been affected by their parent’s cancer. From working as a counselor to holding two executive roles within the organization, I found myself naturally prioritizing the needs of others to achieve Camp Kesem’s mission of serving our campers. Working with my campers and meeting their parents reignited my desire to work in a patient-care setting. I decided to explore various careers in healthcare and through shadowing decided that becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant was the perfect fit for me. I was attracted by the variety of cases that CAAs experience and the collaborative anesthesia care model that they work in. I was particularly drawn to CWRU’s MSA Program because of its early on clinical approach to teaching students. By becoming a CAA I will be able to achieve my goal of providing safety and comfort to people during some of their most vulnerable moments. I am excited to undertake this journey with the rest of the Class of 2022!
Adrienne Buemio | Houston
I graduated from Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences - Preprofessional. I knew going into undergrad I wanted to be in healthcare, so I set myself up for as many experiences and opportunities as possible. I joined and led a few organizations, worked a couple of jobs on and off campus, and volunteered throughout, but it wasn’t until a year before matriculating that I learned about the MSA Program. My dad suggested md-level providers in the field of anesthesiology. I was happy to find the CAA profession and it couldn’t haven’t turned out better for my goals in allied health! I’m excited to be going through this journey with CWRU. It was the first program that introduced me to this hidden gem of a profession. CWRU is also the only AA training program in Texas and is located in the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. In addition, the CWRU MSA Program only lasts 24 months and has over 80 clinical affiliates throughout the country. With a variety of interests and still-developing skills that stem from an eye for design and orientation to detail, an indulgence for class and culture, and an adoration for service and leadership that have been evolved and strengthened over time by blessed past and current experiences, I believe that becoming a part of an anesthesia care team as a certified anesthesiologist assistant best satisfies my interests and skills.
Diana Bui | Houston
I was born and raised in the small town of Lafayette, Louisiana and moved to Houston, Texas about eight years ago. I graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and a minor in Medicine and Society, which has prepared me academically and enriched my knowledge about the humanities of medicine. Like many others, I was set to attend medical school. After speaking with various doctors, I realized that the profession was not what I expected it to be and the lifestyle was not what I saw for myself. Once I decided to change directions, I stumbled upon the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program right here in Houston! I met with a few students and shadowed a CWRU alumni who currently works as a CAA at a hospital in Conroe, Texas. He told me that he would not change his job for the world and I could see his passion for serving in the operating room. At that point, I had already begun applying, but these experiences helped me confidently submit my application for the program. I’m ecstatic to begin my journey to becoming a CAA and advocate for this unique profession while also making a difference in the lives of those in need.
Kelly Burmeister | Cleveland
I am a midwestern girl from the suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I completed my bachelor’s degree at Carroll University, where I majored in Biochemistry and minored in German language. Throughout my studies and after graduation in 2019, I worked as a third shift emergency medical technician with an ambulance company who responds to 911 emergencies in the most impoverished neighborhoods of Milwaukee. Due to my love of working under pressure and use of critical thinking, I decided to pursue a career as a certified anesthesiologist assistant. After shadowing in the operating room with a CWRU MSA current student and mentor, I learned that this program supersedes others because of their emphasis on allowing students into the operating room early and the wide variety of clinical rotations provided. I know that CWRU is the right place to further my education.
Westin Carter | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Titusville, Florida, a small coastal town, home of the Kennedy Space Center, where my father worked directly on the Space Shuttle program. I attended the University of Central Florida, majoring in Engineering at first but then I realized a health profession was a better fit. I was unsure exactly which discipline fit best, so I took a variety of courses ranging from psychobiological aspects of drug use to clinical embryology and congenital malformations. I was involved in several extracurriculars, including scribing in a healthcare clinic for the underprivileged, volunteering in a children’s hospital, and even teaching neuroscience to high school students. I graduated with a bachelors in Pre-Clinical Health Sciences in 2017 with plans to pursue medical school to become a surgeon, but in the process decided that wasn’t the route I wanted. I was unaware of the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession until I ran across it on an online forum. My interest was piqued, so I shadowed a CAA and discovered this career offered me everything I wanted: practical application of pharmacology, excellent work-life balance, and the hands-on patient care work environment that attracted me to medicine in the first place. I’m excited to continue this path at CWRU!
Laura Carjaval | Washington D.C.
I completed my undergraduate career at Florida International University, and it was the best four years of my life. I made long-lasting friendships and even got to travel around the world. My time at FIU prepared me for the MSA Program by allowing me to complete all of the prerequisite courses along with extracurriculars. The time I spent volunteering in the operating room opened the door for me to apply to the CWRU MSA Program. I fell in love with the ins and outs of the operating room and the anesthesia care team that made it all possible. That is what I’m most excited about in my journey through the MSA Program, finding myself once again in the operating room and being part of the anesthesia care team. I am also looking forward to being part of a select group of like-minded professionals all working towards the same goal. Once established as a certified anesthesiologist assistant, I aspire to continue volunteering and participate in medical relief missions in countries where technology or resources are limited.
Alejandro Castillo | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas and obtained my bachelor's degree in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. Healthcare was always the end goal for me as I knew that it would allow me to clinically apply my love for the sciences in a meaningful way. I was introduced to the field of anesthesia during my time working as an ER scribe, a position which allowed me to observe various medical specialties. Upon extensive research and after shadowing multiple anesthesia providers including a CWRU MSA alumnus, I felt strongly that the CAA profession would align closely with my personal and professional goals.
Chase Davidson | Houston
Throughout my undergrad I knew I wanted to pursue some form of medicine and had always been extremely interested in anesthesia as a profession. After hearing about the MSA Program in Houston, I was instantly hooked on pursuing this dream. My undergrad experience prepared me extremely well for the intensity of the MSA Program in Houston, as I played baseball while taking a full-time course load in biology and chemistry. This taught me valuable time management skills and strategies to deal with stress of managing several things at once. I love sports, and I feel that playing competitively growing up, helped me develop a strong work ethic that I will implement in my studies and eventually my career as a CAA. Having the privilege to study in Houston at the largest medical center in the world is extremely exciting and humbling. I am eager to learn, serve and take care of patients to the best of my ability.
Edward Duarte | Cleveland
I received a Bachelor of Science in Mass Communications – Broadcasting from West Texas A&M University (WTAMU) in Canyon, TX. The next four years, I was enrolled in a graduate mathematics program at WTAMU. The experience from graduate school led to my interest in teaching mathematics. The next two years, I taught Algebra II and Precalculus in Fort Worth, TX. Throughout those experiences, I was always searching for something different. As a high school teacher, most of the students I taught were interested in health professions. I started to do research in several health fields in order to help my students with their own interests. During this research, I found the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession and I was drawn to it immediately and I realized this is what I had always been looking for. My bachelor’s degree had sharpened my communication and teamwork skills, while graduate school had further improved my attention to details and analytical skills. I believe that the culmination of these experiences has prepared me to succeed at the CWRU MSA Program and as a future certified anesthesiologist assistant.
Stephanie Do | Houston
I was born in Orlando, Florida although I have spent most of my life in the Houston, Texas area. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor certificate in Pre-Health Professions from The University of Texas at Austin in 2017. Knowing that I was always going to continue my education in the medical field and obtain a master’s degree, I soon found out about the CWRU MSA Program not long after graduating and began to do my research. I instantly became passionate about the career based on the interactions and knowledge I gained through shadowing certified anesthesiologist assistants and anesthesiologists. I continued to build my resume by taking prerequisite courses, volunteering at healthcare clinics, and gaining clinical experience as a medical scribe in a retina ophthalmology office to ultimately prepare myself for the vigorous and challenging CWRU MSA Program. I am deeply honored to have been accepted into this program and cannot wait to become a part of the growing field of certified anesthesiologist assistants.
Evan Dolan | Houston
I am a Wisconsin native and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Natural Sciences from St. Norbert College. During my undergraduate studies, the certified anesthesiologist assistant career path was brought to my attention by my father, an internal medicine physician. To explore this option, I participated in a research internship in my hometown of La Crosse for which I was selected for an anesthesiology research project. This project delved into the post-operative effects of intraoperative hypothermia and I was introduced to a myriad of different anesthetic principles. I am eager to learn more about these principles on a deeper level at the CWRU MSA Program in Houston. In my free time, I enjoy reading, running, and playing games with my friends and family.
Dylan Duhaime | Washington D.C.
I am from the small New England town of Loudon, New Hampshire. I am a 2020 graduate of Liberty University with a degree in biomedical science. I started my college career as an Exercise Science major with the goal of becoming a physical therapist, but I found myself far more interested in biology classes associated with biomedical science. I developed a deeper appreciation for how the body works while maintaining my desire to help people. This desire to help patients, which initially drew me to physical therapy, evolved and led me to become an emergency medical technician. For the past year, I have been working and volunteering as an EMT. It was through this that I began to really enjoy the direct impact I had on my patient’s care. Around this time, I met an alumnus of the CWRU MSA Program. She encouraged me to research the profession and explained her enthusiasm for the work she felt honored to do. After getting the opportunity to shadow various members of the anesthesia care team which led me to realize that anesthesia was a perfect fit for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the anesthesia care team model and the coalition of anesthesia providers working to administer the best care possible. I am beyond excited to be a student anesthesiology assistant at CWRU.
Matthew Dunn | Cleveland
I was born in Rochester, New York but grew up in the suburbs of Denver, CO. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Software Engineering from Miami University in 2020. I had a positive experience interning for a technology company in Denver the summer of 2018, but something was missing. I talked to my older sister who is a physician’s assistant in cardiac surgery and she invited me to come visit her and spend some time with her in Atlanta, GA. I ended up shadowing in an operating room for two days that August and observed how an operating room functions. Everything clicked for me after I met the certified anesthesiologist assistant. I arranged to stay with my sister the whole month of January and to be in the operating room as much as possible. I had the privilege to see patient after patient being successfully treated by all members of the surgical team, dedicated to performing different types of heart surgeries. I had the opportunity to witness all the different jobs in the operating room, but I was always most drawn to the work of the CAA. I am excited to pursue my newfound passion and purpose at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. I believe that CWRU offers me the best opportunity to study anesthesia, surrounded by peers that share the same passion and dedication as I do.
Jordan Dye | Cleveland
I was born and raised in Brunswick Ohio, a suburb right outside of the Cleveland area! I attended Ohio University as an undergraduate where I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology with a Psychology minor. Growing up, I was always drawn to the sciences and the medical field immediately sparked my interest. I was the first in my family to be interested in medicine and therefore I did not have a lot of knowledge of what exactly I wanted to do in healthcare. I began shadowing in the operating room at just 18 years old and I could tell anesthesia was for me. Anesthesia demands the perfect balance of teamwork and leadership, a fast pace combination that requires highly skilled yet compassionate individuals. I loved the idea of being the last person the patient sees before falling asleep and the first one they see when waking up. The certified anesthesiologist assistants took me under their wing immediately and I fell in love with the profession. When it came time to apply to programs, I did a lot of research on each school and there is no doubt that I felt CWRU was the best fit for me. This program has an excellent track record of molding students into elite professionals in the anesthesia field and I feel so lucky to begin my journey back where I was raised in Cleveland.
Genevieve Ellison | Washington D.C.
I grew up in Marietta, Georgia and attended Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee where I received a bachelor’s degree in Biology. I began my undergraduate degree on the pre-med track, but over time, I became unsure of whether it was what I wanted to pursue. I knew that I still wanted a career that involves helping people in a medical setting. While exploring other options, I learned about the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession from an advisor. After researching the profession, I was happy to learn that it is a rapidly-growing field that allows you to be part of a healthcare team permitting patients to receive vital treatment. I had the opportunity of shadowing an anesthesiologist and CRNA, and from this experience, I felt that this career was the right path. I am extremely grateful and excited to be part of the CWRU MSA Program!
Jeron Estwick | Houston
I was born in Barbados and grew up in the Greater Houston area. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry in 2016 from Southern Adventist University. Initially, I intended on pursuing graduate studies in Chemistry. To prepare, during my undergraduate, I participated in the summer Research Experiences for Undergraduates program at Texas A&M. However, upon nearing graduation, I felt like a PhD program was not for me and looked for job opportunities. I taught high school science classes for three years before joining the MSA Program. I was introduced to the profession and the MSA Program through a family friend. From there, I wanted to learn more. I shadowed at Memorial Hermann and Lyndon B. Johnson Hospitals where I got to see anesthesiologists, CAAs and CRNAs work. I could see myself in the role of a CAA, being a part of the team working through the challenges that come with caring for a patient. I remember driving through the Texas Medical Center as a child and being in awe at its size and importance to the city and the world. It’s an honor that I get to be a part of that through the CWRU MSA Program.
Will Frazier | Houston
Hello! My name is Will Frazier and I am from a little town called Holly Springs, North Carolina. I graduated from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in Exercise Science and was initially considering going into Physical Therapy until I discovered the amazing world of Anesthesiology. In college, I was involved in a number of research ventures with professors in my major and had the opportunity to publish and present some of that research at the National American College of Sports Medicine Conference in Denver, Colorado in 2017. I am also a certified rescue diver and have gotten into 5k and 10k event runs. I am extremely excited to begin this next step of my career and hope that I can become an influential member of the CAA community.
Elia Friend | Cleveland
I always planned to go into a field that was math or science related. However, it was ultimately the thought of pursuing medical missions, combining both my compassion toward helping those in need and my love for travel, that initially drew me to investigate healthcare-related professions. At the start of my undergraduate career, I chose the standard “pre-medical track,” but as I shadowed physicians in various specialties, I struggled to envision myself in those roles. During this time, someone suggested I look into becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant (CAA). I realized the profession would allow me to participate in medical missions while also providing the work-life balance I desired. It was then through shadowing a CAA that I started to become excited with what my future could look like. I graduated from Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and am now looking forward to starting the next step in my education at the CWRU MSA Program.
Manu Ganesh | Houston
I was born and raised in South India and eventually moved to the United States to complete my graduate degree. I hold a master’s degree in Business Administration with honors from Texas Tech University. Professionally, I have held numerous project management positions with various multinational corporations and I am currently settled in Austin, Texas. I have always been fascinated by the tremendous impact healthcare professionals make in our community. My passion for community service kept me involved in mission trips, volunteering, and similar community engagement activities. During one such experience, I was able to observe and learn about the collaborative functioning of anesthesia care teams. I was also amazed by the tremendous knowledge and skills they possessed. After learning more about the responsibilities of certified anesthesiologist assistants, I decided to pursue this career. Today, I am very excited that I am getting an opportunity to formally learn and gain skills in the field of Anesthesiology at Case Western Reserve University. When I am not busy studying or working, you can find me enjoying music, dancing and gardening. I am very passionate about cooking and baking as well. I love creating new recipes and would like to publish my own cookbook someday.
Jenna Gardner | Washington D.C.
I was born in Toronto, Canada and moved to the United States at age seven. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Florida in 2019. My interest in the medical field began when I moved to a rural town in north central Florida called Ocala. Here, I encountered up close the nation-wide tragedy of the public health crisis; the opiate epidemic. Witnessing the struggle within my own community drove me to volunteer at an opiate addiction treatment center in my town for two years. I found this experience so fulfilling that I knew a career in healthcare was right for myself. My interest in anesthesia began when shadowing in a gastrointestinal clinic where I interacted with the anesthetists and anesthesiologists working there. Many aspects of anesthesia drew me, from the wide spectrum of patients that anesthesia providers can treat, to the fascinating biochemistry and physiology behind anesthesia. Above all however, was the comfort and reassurance the anesthetists were able to provide their patients which spoke to my deep-rooted love of helping others find relief in the hardest moments in their lives. I’m incredibly excited to be attending Case Western Reserve University at the Washington, D.C. campus where we are uniquely positioned in the nation’s capital to advocate on the behalf of all certified anesthesiologist assistants.
Sachy Garg | Washington D.C.
I was born in New Delhi, India and moved to Florida at the age of seven. I attended the University of Florida and majored in Sociology with a minor in Health Disparities in Society. From a young age, my parents emphasized the difference in the quality of healthcare available in the United States compared to India, which really kick-started my fascination with healthcare. In college, I worked for a non-profit clinic and at a medical center for differently-abled individuals and developed an interest in marginalized populations. After graduating, I continued my exposure to healthcare by working as a medical assistant at a primary care office and interacting with other healthcare providers. It wasn’t until I met a certified anesthesiologist assistant that I realized where I wanted to direct my passion for healthcare. The emphasis on a team approach to providing care, hands-on patient interaction and the ability to help patients from all backgrounds really drew me to this profession. I'm so excited to become a practicing CAA and to partake in legislation to continue growth in this field.
Bryan Glueck | Washington D.C.
Throughout college, I always envisioned myself working in a lab due to my fascination with the sciences. It wasn’t until the cusp of graduation that I was introduced to the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession and it quickly grabbed my attention. Soon after I earned my bachelor’s degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Toledo, I began shadowing in the OR and taking prerequisite courses to apply for a CAA program. Throughout this time, I worked as a research technician at the Cleveland Clinic in a lab that focused on the gut microbiome and its metabolic byproducts in various gut dysbiosis murine models. Knowing I ultimately wished to pursue the CAA profession, I readily took charge of preparing and administering anesthetic cocktails. This experience, along with my shadowing opportunities, solidified the notion that the CAA profession was the right fit for me as it would satisfy my desires for patient interaction, critical knowledge, hands-on technical skills, and work-life balance. The main aspect that drew me to CWRU was the integration of clinical exposure early in the curriculum. I do my best learning when I perform a task and see it being applied so this type of program is perfect for me. After interviewing and hearing the genuine remarks from the faculty and students, I left fully convinced the CWRU MSA Program was where I wanted to begin my journey towards becoming a CAA.
Tyler Grubb | Cleveland
I was born and raised in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. I attended the University of Akron and obtained a bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering. Upon graduation, I was selected to join a special program in the U.S. Navy to become a nuclear propulsion engineering officer onboard an aircraft carrier. While stationed in San Diego onboard the U.S.S. Somerset, I was deployed to the Middle-East for seven months and participated in an international war games demonstration off the coast of Peru. My overwhelming desire to serve people and interest in the medical field drove me to make a career change after completing my first sea tour. Having learned about certified anesthesiologist assistants from a relative, I was instantly hooked on the autonomy, technical skill, and compassion that this career embodied. I made the decision to leave California and move back to Cleveland to prepare for entry into CWRU’s MSA Program. In conjunction with taking prerequisites, I have been completing a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Cleveland State University and conducting cellular mechanics research using atomic force microscopy. I am very excited to continue my education at CWRU and take the next steps towards a career in anesthesia.
Mai Hassan | Houston
I was born in Arizona but grew up in Houston, Texas, where I graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelor’s degree in Human Nutrition and Foods and a minor in Medicine and Society. I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare, and throughout my undergraduate career, I enjoyed being able to apply knowledge from the classroom to my volunteer work at Texas Children’s and Memorial Hermann hospitals. The rewarding experiences I had at these hospitals fueled my desire to care for patients in a challenging and dynamic environment. After shadowing a variety of medical professionals and exploring different options in healthcare, I eventually came across the certified anesthesiologist assistant career path. Upon thoroughly researching the CAA profession and the CWRU MSA Program, I knew that I’d finally found my dream career. I love that this profession provides the opportunity to play a crucial role in the operating room as part of the anesthesia care team, and I look forward to implementing everything I’ve learned about patient-centered care to ensure a patient’s ease and comfort through one of the most vulnerable times in their life. I am incredibly grateful and honored to be a part of the CWRU MSA Program. I believe that the rigorous and hands-on curriculum as well as the diverse clinical experiences offered at CWRU will help prepare me to become the best CAA I can be!
Rahim Hussein | Houston
I am a Texas-born Ismaili Muslim and earned my bachelor's degree in Human Biology from the University of Texas at Austin. For the past five years I have worked as an emergency medical technician during my degree and after graduation. From my work experience, I began to develop an understanding of the various careers in the healthcare industry and was fascinated by the emergency scenarios that required rescuing a patient's ability to breathe. I learned about the CWRU MSA Program from a friend and immediately signed up for a shadowing experience. Spending those 9 ½ hours in the OR and seeing the skills, professionalism, and trust required to be a CAA, I knew that applying to the MSA Program was the right move. Immersion into the OR environment early and a faculty dedicated to their student's success are key attributes of the CWRU MSA Program. I am proud to be a part of this year's prestigious group!
Jason Hwang | Houston
Growing up, I have always had an interest in the medical field because of the impact it has on a person’s daily life. Through working in the Chicagoland hospitals, volunteering, and shadowing, I was able to understand that it is not only through individual effort, but also through the cooperative nature between different departments that ultimately results in great patient care. What excites me the most about anesthesia is the dynamic and unique nature of the profession. While I was initially on the medical school track with my major in Biology and minor in Psychology from Loyola University of Chicago, the CWRU MSA Program caught my attention due to its immediate involvement with patient care and emphasis on team-based healthcare. With the Texas Medical Center being one of the biggest medical complexes in the world and containing various clinical facilities, I would have the opportunity to be exposed to many different medical cases and situations, allowing me to grow and become a strong member in the field of Anesthesia. With the dynamic nature of the CWRU MSA Program emphasizing clinical experiences along with its didactic teaching and my desire to continuously grow, I am confident that this program is the correct path for me. I am excited to begin my journey as a healthcare professional.
Libby Jubas | Cleveland
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but early on, my family moved to Los Angeles, CA, so I grew up bouncing around the Los Angeles and Orange County areas. My interest in healthcare developed when I was young, and stems from my own family’s medical struggles. I attended Washington University in Saint Louis, MO where I majored in Global Health and the Environment, minored in Medical Humanities, and played varsity tennis for 3 years. I loved the atmosphere of college tennis, a team sport where we relied on each other, especially in doubles, but also an individual sport in which you have to play on your own in singles. I wanted to incorporate those aspects into my passion for healthcare. Originally, I was planning on going to medical school to try and find that combination, but my brother-in-law, who is a resident in Anesthesia at the Medical College of Wisconsin, pointed me in the direction of the certified anesthesia assistant profession. Upon learning more about the available AA training programs, I decided to shadow an Anesthesiologist who practiced in a care team model, and I fell in love with the role of the CAA. The CAA role is the best combination of medicine, patient advocacy, and teamwork that is out there, and it drew me in. Then I found the CWRU MSA Program, and the rest is history!
Amanda Kaucher | Cleveland
I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. As an undergraduate at John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, I majored in Biology with minors in French & Francophone Studies and Chemistry. I always knew I wanted to be part of the medical field, and I didn’t know what that part would be until I was in high school and had the opportunity to shadow an anesthesiologist. In college, I found myself in a class where a speaker from the CWRU MSA Program was giving a talk about the program. Anesthesiology had interested me since my shadowing in high school, and when I looked more into the MSA Program, I knew this was the field for me. I love being able to see that what I do has a palpable effect on other peoples’ lives. I also love to travel, sing, cook, explore new things and do anything outdoors! I cannot wait for what the future holds for me going forward.
Yesh Kaur | Cleveland
Hello, everyone, everyone my name is Yeshkirat Kaur but I usually just go by Yesh. I graduated from Michigan State University in Spring 2019 with a major in Human Biology and a minor in Pharmacology & Toxicology. I was born in Flushing, Queens, NY and grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. I am looking forward to starting the next chapter of my life at the CWRU MSA Program in Cleveland and becoming a part of the anesthesia community. My minor inspired me to continue my path in medicine and pursue the field of anesthesia. The first time I shadowed a CAA, I knew this was it. I am eager to learn all the different aspects of this field from such a great institution. Besides all things science, in my free time, I like to journal and am fascinated with fashion photography!
Amy Kelley | Houston
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and earned my bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Texas State University in 2005. I was a middle school teacher for 11 years making a positive difference in the lives of many students whom I loved, but my passion for healthcare that was planted years before had grown to the point that it could no longer be ignored. I went back to college in order to complete medical school prerequisites, learn more about healthcare professions, and shadowing physicians in various fields. I spent several hours across many years in the OR, and my interest in Anesthesiology was just as on fire as it was when I grew up next door to a CRNA. While visiting my parents in Houston in 2018, I met two CAAs who were currently supporting cases at the Houston Medical Center. They raved about the profession and encouraged me to look into such programs, with CWRU at the top of their list. Being a non-traditional student, the path to becoming a CAA not only interested me due to the better work life balance at this time in my life, but also the opportunity to be in an OR collaborating with a team of healthcare professionals to provide safe and meticulous anesthesia to patients of various health levels. I feel that my previous life experiences have prepared me for a successful career as a certified anesthesiologist assistant, and I know with greatest confidence that this is where I belong.
Clark Kellogg | Cleveland
I grew up in Westerville, a northeastern suburb of Columbus, OH. I played division-one college basketball at Providence College and Ohio University. Due to injury and personal reasons, I decided to end my athletic career prematurely. I moved back home and earned my bachelor’s degree in Communications at The Ohio State University in 2012. My interest in healthcare sparked over the last few years when I had to undergo multiple surgeries in a short period of time. My experience as a patient opened my eyes to the healthcare industry. Specifically, the surgeries and all who were involved. I had a great appreciation for the calm and personable demeanor that the anesthesia care team showed throughout the process. After researching the field and discovering this profession I decided to shadow at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and my journey began!
Philip Kozhikattu | Cleveland
I was born in Yonkers, NY and raised in Marietta, GA. I have always felt inclined towards science in school. In fact, I majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry at Kennesaw State University. My volunteering experiences at hospitals led me to develop a passion for the healthcare field. Being able to provide care and comfort to people is incredibly fulfilling. While searching career paths, I stumbled upon the CWRU MSA Program and the more I researched, the more interesting this program became. I finally decided to shadow an anesthetist, and I was amazed. Not only was I able to see the skill set an anesthetist requires, but I also witnessed the empathy and compassion displayed within the OR. Without a doubt, I was convinced this was the right career path for me. It truly is an honor to have been accepted to the CWRU MSA Program, and I’m excited for the two years ahead of me. I have a lot to learn before I become a compassionate and confident CAA.
Pierce Kurek | Washington D.C.
I was born on a Navy base in Okinawa, Japan and spent much of my childhood moving around the country and overseas. I attended Miami University of Ohio, majoring in Microbiology with a minor in Molecular Biology. Volunteering at a camp for children with special needs helped me to discover my compassionate side while seeing each of my parents receive lifesaving medical treatment convinced me to pursue a path in healthcare. After shadowing several physicians, I became increasingly drawn to the OR environment, especially with the anesthetists “behind the curtain” who would walk me through the surgery. When I first learned about the CAA profession, I was immediately drawn to the work, lifestyle, and camaraderie of the career. Throughout the application process, CWRU continued to stand out as a top-notch, student-focused program that would help me prosper into the CAA I will become.
Parker LeDuc | Washington D.C.
I was born in Dearborn, Michigan but have spent most of my life on the West Side of Cleveland, Ohio. I graduated from Xavier University in 2017 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology while following the premedical track. My plans for medical school changed when I started working as an anesthesia tech at Southwest General Health Center. During my time there, I had the honor to work closely with many anesthesia providers, including highly qualified CWRU MSA alumni and students rotating through the hospital. This close work relationship with the anesthesia team solidified my interest and calling to the field of anesthesia. The certified anesthesiologist assistant (CAA) is part of the anesthesia team that serves as a patient advocate throughout the entire perioperative process. As a CAA, I will have the opportunity to fulfill my passion of helping others through skillful techniques and hands-on procedures. I am excited to become part of the highly qualified and respected CWRU MSA Program.
Mary Lee | Washington D.C.
I played for the women's soccer team at Missouri Baptist University in St. Louis, Missouri. The school itself was a fairly small private university, so I was able to enjoy the personal relationship between professors and students. I had realized at a fairly young age that I enjoyed the life sciences and would want to be a healthcare professional, so when I found out about the program from a current student anesthesiologist assistant, I was instantly interested. As a student athlete, I had become versed with the face-paced lifestyle that balanced a double major in Biochemistry and Biology, as well as being a part of a traveling sports team, so I was excited by the idea of getting to be a part of the OR patient care team. I specifically singled out the CWRU MSA Program because I would like to continue learning about anesthesia from professors that are both a part of shaping the future of CAAs in the OR as well as in the legislature. I also appreciate the personalized learning approach, where "the door is always open" to students to truly learn and grasp taught concepts. Patient care is the most important component of being a healthcare professional; to be a great CAA, you should be exceptionally trained to be able to provide the highest level of anesthesia dexterity possible. I am excited to learn these skills at CWRU to make a positive contribution to my community.
Sydney Liber | Cleveland
I am a Clevelander - Ohio born and raised. I attended Ohio Northern University where I majored in Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry and thus furthered my lifelong interest in science and genetics. For the last three years, after I received my bachelor’s degree, I pursued a career as a Research Coordinator, specializing in cancer research. With every patient visit, my passion for helping others grew as well as my desire to further my education and career within healthcare. I sought advice from family and friends in the medical fields to help me pair my passion with furthering my medical education and provide comfort and care to patients. This led me to pursue the certified anesthesiologist assistant career path. I took every opportunity to shadow anesthesiologists and certified anesthesiologist assistants over the years to gain more insight. With each interaction with an anesthesia team member and patients in the operating room, I solidified my decision for a career as a certified anesthesiologist assistant. I am extremely eager and proud to continue my education and career in Cleveland in the CWRU MSA Program.
Yanyun Lin | Washington D.C.
My undergraduate major was Respiratory Care, and upon graduation, I became a respiratory therapist. Working as a respiratory therapist is rewarding, but I wanted to advance my career and expand my horizons so I looked into a variety of programs. The certified anesthesiologist assistant profession caught my eyes. Anesthesia care is a precise profession that blends art and science perfectly. The broad scope of practice will allow me to develop and consolidate specific skills and reach my fullest potential. I am thrilled to study at the CWRU MSA Program. With its high reputation, CWRU offers a solid educational and clinical training and a strong support network. I have a strong interest in critical care anesthesiology and am open-minded to the subspecialties in the field.
Alexis Lujan | Houston
El Paso, Texas is the place I’ve lovingly called home my entire life. After high school, I left home temporarily to experience life on my own and I graduated from the Texas Tech Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas with a degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. Moving back home, I worked at Providence Memorial Hospital as a certified medical laboratory scientist, fulfilling my lifelong desire to be a part of a medical team. But despite the literal realization of my goal, I was left wanting. I regularly discussed lab results with doctors and nurses, providing them with analytical insight into a patient’s bodily condition, but the lack of direct patient interaction and the isolation of the lab prevented me from being fully satisfied with my medical role. While looking into possible career paths, I discovered the CAA profession and the MSA Program at CWRU and was immediately attracted to the work-life balance and the job satisfaction that CAA’s enjoyed. The final hook came for me after I shadowed an anesthesiologist and his anesthetists. Watching them provide patients with comfort in the form of anesthesia and speaking with them about the inner machinations of the profession was all I needed to make the leap and apply.
Harrison Luong | Washington D.C.
My interest in anesthesia began when I shadowed an anesthesiologist during my first year at the University of Florida, where I obtained a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry. During my time in Gainesville, FL, I developed a passion for service and focused a majority of my time volunteering and working in the emergency department in hopes of becoming an anesthesiologist one day. After leaving UF, I advanced my foundation in medical sciences and obtained a Master’s of Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa, my hometown. Upon graduation, I worked as a medical scribe in a neurosurgical clinic that taught me compassion and the importance of having a team mindset. While working as a medical scribe, I learned about the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession from friends of friends and shortly thereafter discovered the MSA Program at Case Western Reserve University. After shadowing an anesthesiologist and various anesthetists at the Medical Center of Trinity, I knew I had found the perfect career, one that has the perfect work-life balance while having the opportunity to impact patients’ lives by taking their pain away and by improving their quality of life. I am ecstatic to start my education and the next chapter of my life with CWRU and humbled by the opportunity to work with other amazing health professionals.
Christopher Lysyj | Cleveland
I have lived in Ohio my entire life, and Cleveland has always been my home. I realized back in high school that I was meant to work in the medical sciences. When it came time to declare my undergraduate major at The Ohio State University, I chose Biology and designated a premedical academic path. Early in my sophomore year, I learned about the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession and the CWRU MSA Program. It seemed like a perfect fit for me. I shadowed several times at CWRU, and I became convinced that I needed to be part of this program. I view anesthesia as an art form, and I feel drawn to this profession as a personal calling. I am proud to be a student here as CWRU is the nation’s premier educator of anesthetists. I am looking forward to learning alongside exceptionally talented and compassionate individuals. I believe that I will be deeply fulfilled working in the medical field in this capacity, and I am very grateful for the opportunity to serve and care for the people of my hometown and beyond.
Andres Martinez-Marin | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, and graduated from the University of Arizona in 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Physiology. Throughout my undergraduate career, I volunteered in a microbiology research laboratory and shadowed clinicians at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. I soon realized that I preferred interactions with people over bench work with cells but upon graduation, I was unsure about the career I wanted to pursue but I knew I wanted to work in healthcare. I thought my interest in working with people would translate into a career in public health, so I enrolled in the masters program in Public Health at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center which I have since graduated from. During my time as a graduate student, I discovered that I missed the aspects of medicine and personal interactions that I experienced in my undergraduate career. Fortunately, I learned about the CWRU MSA Program and after shadowing multiple anesthesia professionals, decided that this opportunity could offer me everything I was looking for. I am so thankful for the opportunity to become a CAA and healthcare provider in the nation’s capital through a school like Case Western Reserve University. I am proud to be a part of the CWRU MSA Class of 2022.
Nathan Menendez | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. I received my bachelor’s degree in Health Science from Cleveland State University in 2020. During my four years at CSU I was a member of the men’s lacrosse team. That experience taught me the value of work ethic, time management, and how to handle adversity. I have always wanted to enter the medical field and I was introduced to the CAA profession by my father, who has been a CAA for over twenty years. I have first-hand experience of the many benefits the profession can provide for a work-life balance. After several shadowing opportunities, I was certain that I wanted to be a part of the anesthesia care team. I know CWRU is the right fit for me with their didactic curriculum and variety of clinical rotations. I am excited to be a member of a new team while continuing my education in the nation’s capital.
Amanda Mitchell | Cleveland
I was born and raised in a suburb outside Cleveland, OH, so I am excited to be returning to the area! I am a recent Penn State graduate, where I earned my bachelor's degree in Biology with a Spanish minor. After exploring different options in the medical field, I heard about the CWRU MSA Program. Soon after, I shadowed a CAA and enjoyed the meticulous practice and pivotal role CAAs have in the operating room. While applying to anesthesiology assistant school, I have been busy working as a Chemistry Teaching Assistant at Penn State, where I facilitate introductory general chemistry labs and lectures for undergraduate students. I am excited to start the CWRU MSA Program as I am eager to learn and grow as a medical professional. Through my experiences volunteering in the emergency department, along with volunteering in my community, shadowing, taking care of loved ones, and my hands-on coursework, I feel prepared to passionately pursue this career as an anesthetist.
Meghan Mock | Houston
Growing up on a farm in Navasota, Texas, I had an appreciation for the earth and all sorts of life from a very young age. I quickly learned from dealing with all of our animals that I had an interest in the science of bodies, which extended beyond just our farm, and became a love for learning how the human body works. It was with this interest that I pursued a pre-medical Biology degree at the University of Arkansas. Minoring in Religious Studies, I think I have a special understanding of humanities as well that will prepare me to make better connections with patients. I also had the opportunity to do research at Texas A&M, which opened up my eyes to a whole new side of medicine. I hope to bring those fresh eyes, as well as my love for human life into this program, which will allow me to give every patient the best experience possible! I am very much looking forward to getting to know people from all walks of life in the coming years, as well as getting to work in the Houston Medical Center, amongst the world’s leaders of medicine.
Jennifer Mummah | Cleveland
I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and graduated from Miami University in Ohio after three years with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology and Pre-Medical Studies, along with a minor in Neuroscience. By my second year in college, I was a declared Pre-Med major but had yet to find a path that was right for me. I was passionate about following a medical profession from a young age because I was born with a rare genetic disorder that saw me in and out of hospitals for the first years of my life. Growing up around healthcare professionals gave me a huge respect for their work and desire to help others. When I discovered the CWRU MSA Program I was very excited to learn more. My grandmother was an anesthesiologist for over 50 years and loved what she did, so she inspired me to learn more about the CAA profession. After shadowing an anesthesiologist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, I knew this was the right career path for me. Since graduating from Miami University, I have continued my studies and have become a phlebotomist. In my free time I like to travel, hike, and paint. More than ever before, I am inspired to further join the medical community and become a part of this incredible profession.
Othman Muraywid | Cleveland
I was born in Mexico, Missouri and lived the majority of my life in Columbia, Missouri where I then went to the University of Missouri where I majored in Nutrition. Throughout high school I took a variety of lab classes and enjoyed them. When I started college, I sought out undergraduate lab assistant positions and was able to work in a microbiology lab. I enjoyed my time in the lab but after three years of working in the lab, I decided I wanted to go in a different direction. Fortunately for me at the same time I was beginning to realize that research was no longer the path for me, I took a pharmacology class during my junior year that had a unit on the drugs used in anesthesia. I enjoyed that unit so much that I knew I wanted to pursue a career in anesthesia, which then led me to learn about becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant. Knowing that this is the perfect profession for me, I am extremely excited to join the CWRU MSA Program.
Areeba Mushtaq | Washington D.C.
I was born in Pakistan and my family moved to Texas when I was 10 months old. We then moved to Maryland when I was two and I’ve lived here almost my entire life. I graduated from University of Maryland, College Park with a bachelor's degree in Physiology and Neurobiology. During my time in college, I explored many different fields of medicine in order to get a better idea of what I wanted to do. I was an organic chemistry lab teaching assistant and was a medical scribe for four years at multiple locations including Carroll Hospital, Montgomery General, and Chesapeake Urology. Given the fact that my family has a lot of anesthesiologists, I had a chance to explore this field on a personal level with them and found that anesthesia was best for me. Being amidst the chaos of a controlled operating room setting, it seemed that anesthesia was key and very central to the whole process, which really appealed to me. However, what really hooked me into the MSA Program was the lifestyle. I was actually introduced to anesthesiologist assistant training programs by my sister-in-law and latched onto it as my future career path. When I learned about the different program curriculums, I knew that the CWRU MSA Program was the best program for me to learn and grow!
Cathryn Myres | Houston
I attended the University of Texas in Austin and graduated in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Knowing I wanted a career helping others, I applied to a professional counseling program soon after I graduated. After completing one year of the counseling program, I discovered the CWRU MSA Program through a family member who is a CWRU alumnus. I was immediately intrigued by the many and various types of surgeries certified anesthesiologist assistants are able to witness and participate in on a day-to-day basis. When I learned CAAs are responsible for maintaining the patients’ physical well-being during the surgery, as well as providing some form of counseling and emotional support before and after the surgery, I decided to put counseling school on hold to begin the process of applying to CWRU. While completing the last of the prerequisite courses for the MSA Program, I was lucky enough to work for Houston Community College as a Supplemental Instructor (SI) for College Physics II. As an SI, I found instant gratification helping others understand a difficult topic. I hope to parlay this skill into helping patients understand and feel comfortable with the role anesthesia plays in their surgery.
Sarvar Nasirov | Houston
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Food Science from the University of Florida and was introduced to the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession by my older brother. What excites me about studying at the CWRU MSA Program is that it will be formative for me on a personal and professional level. Personally, I will be well-equipped to perform my role integrated in an anesthesia care team, and will have a level of comfort with coworkers with different titles and responsibilities than mine. With small-class sizes, I’ll have rare access to instructors that will help in learning and retaining material. Lastly, Houston itself will be a training ground for a diversity of cases, especially those cases that are presenting with acute needs. Matriculating into the CWRU MSA Program will ensure that I will be a capable and competitive certified anesthesiologist assistant with a variety of experiences in my professional and personal life, setting me up for success in a career of practice.
Delaney O’Brien | Cleveland
I was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan. I attended Michigan State University, where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology. At Michigan State, I participated in a community service fraternity, the running club, and I volunteered at the local hospital in East Lansing. I also accumulated many hours as a certified nursing assistant in both long-term care facilities and home healthcare. I have always been incredibly interested in science and have had a strong passion to serve others. I was always convinced that the only option in the medical field was to become a doctor; I quickly found out that that wasn’t true. Becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant will allow me to obtain both my personal and professional goals. I was fortunate enough to have a family friend that introduced me to the CAA profession. After shadowing an anesthesiologist, I knew that I was meant to have a career in the operating room. Having a career as a CAA will allow me to play a vital role within a healthcare team and to have a great work-life balance. The CWRU MSA Program was my first choice because of its fast-paced approach and that it’s partnered with great hospitals. I’m very excited for the journey to join this great profession.
Iyla Oulabi | Washington D.C.
I was raised in northern Virginia. I earned my bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia. I was involved in research throughout my undergraduate career and continued to work in a lab environment post-graduation for about a year. I then decided to switch to clinicals, seeking more direct involvement in healthcare. Most recently, I have worked as an anesthesia technician at the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington. As an anesthetist, the immediate relief we deliver and the necessary role we provide in the surgery room has made me proud to become a CAA. I chose CWRU because I am certain that I will receive the best training by being placed at the forefront of anesthesia care.
Ituriel Palafox | Houston
I was born In Palm Springs, California and graduated with a bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno. I currently work as an anesthesia technician at Renown Regional Medical Center, the only level two trauma accredited hospital between Sacramento and Salt Lake City. Right off the bat, the OR felt like home - I loved the excitement and the intricacies of it all. It was there that I was informed of the MSA Program, as many physicians are advocating for CAA’s practice within the area. Anesthesia providers have an immense impact on patients’ lives, strengthening my desire for a career in this subset of healthcare. I am definitely ready to take on the challenges that are going to be thrown at me throughout my journey because I know it will only make me a better provider. I am super proud to have been chosen to be one of the students of CWRU’s Class of 2022!
Carolyn Palaski | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before making my way to Cleveland to attend John Carroll University and pursue a degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry. It was there that I discovered the MSA Program that CWRU had to offer and I never looked back. After shadowing a few times, I saw that this position was able to combine my desire to work in the operating room with my passion for pharmacy and drug mechanisms perfectly. When I wasn't working as a pharmacy technician, you could find me in the gym playing any and every intramural sport, grading Analytical Chemistry papers, singing in the choir or sitting anywhere on campus with my yarn and needles, knitting. I'm so excited to have the opportunity to move to a new city and begin to work towards becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant as part of the Class of 2022!
Katherine Park | Washington D.C.
I am from Fort Lee, New Jersey. I graduated from Emory University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. I became interested in the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession after my younger sister’s surgery. The idea of being a trusted caregiver during what is often a vulnerable time for patients really appealed to me. I also liked the constant mental stimulation, and the continuous opportunity to learn and progress in this field. The program at Case Western Reserve University was my first choice because I liked how the program partners with Medical Mission of Mercy to support medical mission trips and how the students received credit for the clinical experience. I wish to serve and study among people with the same core values and compassion for the community and global health. Most importantly, I felt that this program could be described as a family when visiting, with faculty and staff supporting the students. This is the kind of environment I have been hoping for and I am very excited to join the CWRU MSA Program.
Carey Parker | Houston
I was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Growing up, I always had an innate curiosity about many scientific disciplines, especially Psychology, Chemistry, and Physiology. I had the great opportunity to attend Columbia University where I put my curiosity into practice and earned a bachelor's degree in Psychology while playing football. After receiving my undergraduate degree, I decided to move home to San Antonio and complete my prerequisite courses for a higher medical education at the University of Texas at San Antonio, though I was unsure of what particular form that education would be. At the same time, I worked as a patient care technician and unit clerk on an orthopedic unit at Methodist Hospital, learning the ins and outs of patient care and more importantly, discovering my interest in team-based models of healthcare. Naturally working in the hospital brought me into close contact with medical professionals of various levels of practice, several of whom recommended that I look into being a certified anesthesiologist assistant. Once I researched the role of a CAA, I knew instantly that this was the career for me: it was consistent with my scientific interests, namely Chemistry and Physiology, and it allowed me to participate in a teamwork-oriented approach to patient care. After speaking with the CWRU staff and learning about the hands-on and rigorous nature of the MSA Program, I knew that this was the place for me. I am excited to begin my journey with CWRU and to discover what the next two years hold.
Meha Patel | Cleveland
I earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology from Cleveland State University in 2019. Before becoming a part of CWRU, I always knew I wanted to pursue a career in the medical field and make a diﬀerence in the lives of others. During my undergraduate career, I volunteered at the Lake West Hospital for a couple of years where I came across the certified anesthesiologist assistant career path. Inspired by the job description of a CAA, I took upon the opportunity to shadow a couple of CAAs. During my shadowing experience, I realized that the CAAs play a huge role in interacting with patients before, during, and after surgeries. The principle concern of a CAA is the patient as a whole. Having the dream of being in the medical profession, interacting with patients, and critically thinking, I knew this was it. Being a part of CWRU’s MSA Program, I know I will be provided with the best skills and training I need in order to be an eﬃcacious, kind hearted, and caring certified anesthesiologist assistant.
Jashanpreet Randhawa | Cleveland
Healthcare has always intrigued me. How can having such a selfless career be so fulfilling? This question was answered for me when I stepped foot into an operating room. I was born in India and raised in Cleveland for 17 years of my life. Being a first generation college student that graduated from Cleveland State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology has been a great accomplishment. However, I know there is more greatness to come and I’m beyond excited to start it at Case Western Reserve University. I have been blessed with several healthcare experiences throughout my high school and undergraduate years which have led me to discovering my future career as a certified anesthesiologist assistant. I was in search of a profession that was the right fit for me and after shadowing several CAAs, I knew I found my place in healthcare. The new challenges, continuous education, flexible hours and quality of life was ideal to me. I am ready to face all the challenges and learn what it takes to be a successful certified anesthesiologist assistant and to start a career which “involves all three components of Art, Science, and Magic”.
Elizabeth Rugutt | Houston
Graduating summa cum laude from the University of Texas Permian Basin was an accomplishment fueled by my aspiration for a career in health care. This accomplishment was enhanced by engaging in a variety of roles and opportunities. These roles and opportunities included researching the synthesis of nanoparticles by functionalizing and introducing gold nanoparticles to hydrogel wound dressing material, providing supervised laboratory instruction to general biology students, and volunteering and shadowing physicians at a local hospital. Ultimately, shadowing physicians and anesthetists in the operating room inspired me with an excitement for anesthesia. There are several aspects of anesthesia that I find exciting. For example, I am inspired by the responsibilities that anesthesia assumes by caring for patients during their surgical experience. Additionally, I also find the various fields of science that anesthesia employs exciting. However, realizing my personal excitement for anesthesia could be manifested in a profession as a certified anesthesiologist assistant was genuinely inspiring. I look forward to receiving my professional CAA education from CWRU’s MSA Program because the academic and clinical preparation that the MSA Program at CWRU will provide me will ensure I will meet my professional commitment to delivering safe, high-quality anesthesia care.
Amanda Sanchez | Houston
I was born and raised in El Paso, TX. I graduated from The University of Texas at El Paso where I earned a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Science. Following graduation, I worked as a certified medical laboratory scientist in the Microbiology department at The Hospitals of Providence Memorial Campus. While my work in the laboratory was beyond rewarding, I felt as if something was missing. I wanted to work with patients directly and impact their lives in a positive way. I stumbled upon the CWRU MSA Program and CAA profession through a social media outlet, and my interest in anesthesiology flourished from there. After a thorough online research and shadowing experience at Memorial Hermann Hospital, I was confident that the CAA profession was everything I wanted in a career. The profession is rewarding, fulfilling, and allows the work-life balance that I desire. I’m very excited to take the first steps in pursuing such a gratifying career by beginning the CWRU MSA Program in Houston, TX!
Laure Seraphin | Washington D.C.
I studied Biology at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. During my undergraduate studies, I worked in translational research and secondary education. Even though I enjoyed both fields, my greatest passion is in healthcare. I was initially drawn to medicine, but after shadowing and volunteering, I realized how difficult it would be to balance my professional and personal life in the long-term. In my search for a career in healthcare that I would enjoy, I found the path to become a certified anesthesiologist assistant. This career was instantly appealing because it would offer me the challenge and opportunity to care for others while affording me the time to take care of myself and my family. I chose Case Western Reserve University’s MSA Program because their program is exceptional and they support their prospective and current students to achieve their very best. My goal is to become a fully-trained and compassionate CAA by May 2022!
Mayada Shokeir | Houston
I was born in Egypt, raised in Saudi Arabia and am now living in Houston, Texas. Swimming and water polo are my passion, I am definitely a fish on land, and when it comes to coffee, I may just be your local connoisseur! My heart was always drawn to the medical field, I graduated from Texas A&M University earning a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences in 2018. During my undergraduate studies, I founded the Arab Student Association, served as an officer on the Muslim Student’s Association, and played on the Women’s Water Polo Club. Through my experiences in these extracurricular activities, I feel confident that I am prepared to handle conflicts, to persevere during difficult times, and to ask for help when needed, these are skills I plan to utilize as a CAA student and in my future career! I began to fall in love with the higher-level science courses of my Biomedical Sciences major, so I started researching careers so I can continue their study. I came across this program, and quickly grasped at the opportunity to shadow. After shadowing, I knew I found a program that I would thrive in. I was drawn to the CWRU MSA Program because its fundamental goals resonate with my personal aspirations. The diverse programs and several campuses have provided its students with the tools and resources to truly be innovators in the healthcare field. I am very excited to be part of this program and to become a future anesthetist!
Anthony Smith | Cleveland
Having been born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, I chose to attend The Ohio State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Zoology in 2018. As an undergrad, I was hired as a student assistant in our medical center’s operating room. My goal was to ask questions, make connections, and explore various potential careers in the medical field. It was here that the delivery of anesthesia care caught my attention. After working with the anesthesia staff, I wanted to develop a deeper understanding of the practice and be more hands on in terms of caring for patients. I then became a research assistant under OSU’s Department of Anesthesiology. After graduation, I was hired on as an anesthesia technician. I found myself engaged with patients and was passionate about not only my role during perioperative care, but also the role of the certified anesthesiologist assistant. I quickly knew this was the career that I wanted to pursue. After speaking with CAA’s and through some research of my own, I recognized what a great opportunity it would be to learn and train to become a certified anesthesiologist assistant at CWRU. I am grateful to have been accepted into their program and am confident that it will provide me with all of the tools necessary to become an excellent CAA.
Jason Sobieksi | Houston
Howdy! Jason Sobieski writing here. As a Houston native, I’ve had the pleasure of spending the majority of my life here in Texas, with a brief, 10-year stent living in New Jersey. After obtaining a Political Science degree from the University of Houston, I worked as a business and logistics procurement agent for several years before deciding a career in healthcare or natural science would be more appealing to me. I come from an immediate family of four computer scientists (mom, dad, two brothers), but felt my calling in the field of healthcare to be overwhelming and irresistible. Returning to the University of Houston and obtaining a second bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry, I found the transition from the world of social sciences to natural sciences fascinating and challenging. I began shadowing doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and of course, certified anesthesiologist assistants, in addition to volunteering in a local Spanish-speaking healthcare clinic and working as an ER medical scribe. I also volunteered in a cancer research lab where we studied basic science pertaining to the Epithelial Growth Factor Receptor, the mutation of which is prevalent in diverse forms of cancer. In my free time I enjoy playing jazz, classical, and rock guitar, reading about history, politics and natural science, engaging in physical exercise, and enjoying YouTube videos to excess. As a future graduate of the CWRU MSA Program, I could not be more excited about the future this career and skill set will afford me!
Thomas Stancato | Houston
I attended the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee for my undergraduate degree and majored in Biological Sciences. During my junior and senior years, I studied brain morphogenesis by applying genetic, developmental, molecular, and cell biological approaches in a research lab. After graduation, I started working as an emergency medical technician in Milwaukee in order to gain experience in the medical field. I am excited to apply both my academic and clinical knowledge to the CWRU MSA Program and believe that my background has prepared me to succeed. I am confident that the MSA Program in Houston has the faculty and resources to aid me in becoming a both clinically and academically successful CAA.
Curtis Stegman | Houston
I grew up in a small farm town in Northern Ohio near Lake Erie. Later, I earned my bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience at the Ohio State University in 2017. I then spent two years as a clinical lab technician at OSU Wexner Medical Center working on the development, execution of workflow protocols for an FDA-approved digital pathology project and overseeing an ORIEN Avatar program within the department that expanded clinical, molecular data generation for diseases considered to be high risk for Total Cancer Care at OSU. Most recently, I have spent my last year in patient recruitment for Cochlear Implant studies and regulating study protocols for IRB as a CRC in Otolaryngology at the OSU Eye & Ear Institute. My interest in healthcare stemmed from my father’s personal struggle with chronic healthcare issues. Through this, I was inspired to change the way I approached my own through healthier lifestyle habits. I believe becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant will be extremely rewarding because of this balance and the opportunity to have an impact on patient outcomes. I find myself to be a very detail-oriented person with a passion for learning and understanding the biological and chemical underlyings of how the human body works. From my undergraduate degree in neuroscience, to research, and working in pathology, I continue to be amazed at how things function on a molecular level. Becoming a CAA provides a unique opportunity in which I can bring together my passion for learning and understanding laboratory science with the ability to interact with patients and lead to better outcomes in their surgical procedures. I chose this path because I want to combine the passion I have for science and the world around us, with helping others lead healthier lives.
Sydney Stone | Cleveland
I was born and grew up in a small town located between Cleveland and Columbus called Shelby, OH. I moved to the University of Cincinnati to complete a bachelor’s degree in Medical Sciences. My interest in anesthesia began in late high school when shadowing an anesthesiologist near my hometown. I admired his ability to quickly gain patients’ trust peri-operatively, control their care while in the operating room, and the continuous providing of a sense of comfort postoperatively. At the time, I considered medical school my sole route to a career in anesthesia. While a pre-med undergraduate, I explored a wide range of medical professions and participated in physiological research. I found myself continually coming back to my interest in anesthesia. After shadowing an anesthesiologist at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and taking the MCAT late in my 3rd year, I learned of the anesthesia care team model and the CWRU MSA Program. I quickly realized that becoming a certified anesthesiologist assistant is the best fit for my career goals, guaranteeing my time in the OR environment that I have grown to love. I’m thankful to have been accepted to the CWRU MSA Program and am excited for the next 2 years in Cleveland!
Meena Syed | Houston
While attending the University of Houston, I studied Pre-Medicine, Mechanical Engineering and took Honors courses in Medicine and Society. After immersing myself in the many opportunities available, I felt that the best path for me was to become a design engineer. I worked in that role for about five years, but couldn’t help feeling a bit sad because I missed the feeling of helping people directly like when I used volunteering as a Pre-Med. Even though I would volunteer on the weekends and sometimes in the evenings, it wasn’t the same as having a career based upon helping people. I revisited the idea of becoming a healthcare professional and found the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession to be the best fit for what I’m looking for in a career. The program at CWRU is my top choice not only because the Houston branch is in my hometown and offers many affiliations to the world’s best medical center, but because I have a strong desire to become the best CAA I possibly can. The program’s style of learning in class while simultaneously doing clinicals makes complete sense: it’s well known that you learn the most while on the job. I believe that attending CWRU will help me to reach my goal of becoming one of the best CAAs someday, God Willing. I’m excited to enter a profession, which will allow me to use my mind’s potential to help people every day.
Alexis Tang | Houston
My hometown is Montgomery, Alabama. I am a first-generation college student. Since I was young, I loved science and anything involving the human body. In high school, I had a family friend role model enrolled in pharmacy school, so I was initially influenced to pursue pharmacy. In 2018, I finished my undergraduate studies at Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences. As there were no CAAs in Alabama, I first heard about this career path from a lab partner in my physiology class. Throughout my college years and two gap years, I shadowed various healthcare professionals including physicians, pharmacists, CRNAs, and CAAs. I also worked in a pharmacy for almost two years, and I know the knowledge I gained will be pertinent in the operating room. I cannot express how excited I am to enter a profession involving my favorite science niches: pharmacology and physiology. Thus, I am grateful for this opportunity to study at CWRU, and I look forward to embarking on my own new adventure!
Rong Tang | Cleveland
I was born and raised in China until the age of 13 before moving to Orlando, Florida. I attended the University of Florida and majored in Biochemistry. I had always wanted to work in the healthcare industry but did not have a clear picture of the exact field I would pursue. I joined a research lab at the UF Department of Anesthesiology and developed my interest in anesthesiology. Throughout my shadowing experiences at UF Health Shands Hospital and Atlanta Northside Hospital, I was fascinated by how the certified anesthesiologist assistant supported the patient not only practically but also emotionally. It is the perfect combination of professionalism and care. I knew this was what I wanted to do because it fits well with my skills and values. The CWRU MSA program has always been my top choice not only because its welcoming faculty team and world-renowned hospitals, but also because of its well-designed curriculum. CWRU exposes their students to the OR very early, and I believe the best way to learn is by hands-on practice. I know the CWRU MSA Program will equip me with all the skills that I will need to be a successful certified anesthesiologist assistant.
Leah Thaheld | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Reno, Nevada and earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Nevada. As a child, I never went anywhere without my fake doctor’s bag, complete with a stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. I have always wanted to pursue a career in the medical field because of my consistent passion for science and desire to help others. I was unsure of where I would fit in until I learned about the certified anesthesiologist assistant program. The time I spent shadowing an anesthesiologist solidified my desire to be in the operating room. The CWRU MSA Program caught my attention because of the early clinical experience. I fell in love with Washington, D.C. and I am so grateful to become a part of this innovative and evolving profession!
Nick Torok | Washington D.C.
I was raised in Youngstown, Ohio, which is about an hour south of Cleveland. I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2019, receiving my bachelor’s degree in Biology. Throughout my undergraduate education, I was on the premedical track, as seems to be the case for many others applying to this program. During my senior year, I was fortunate enough to begin working as an anesthesia technician in the operating rooms at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. It was while working here that I first learned of the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession after speaking with several anesthesiologists whom I worked with daily. These discussions led to me diligently researching all I could about the career and, eventually, I was able to get into contact with a current physician who had actually practiced as a CAA for many years prior. After our conversations, I knew immediately that this was the perfect path for me. My experience in the operating rooms made me realize that I greatly valued patient interaction in my prospective career, and the CAA profession provides this as much as any other. This, in combination with the opportunity to become an advocate for a growing profession, as well as playing a vital role in providing the best possible healthcare experience to a patient has me incredibly excited to begin the CWRU MSU Program in Washington, D.C.. I am honored to have been given the opportunity to be a part of the Class of 2022 and look forward to the journey ahead.
Benjamin Trieu | Washington D.C.
I was born and raised in Charlotte, NC. I earned my bachelor's degree in Biomedical Engineering from the joint degree program at NC State and UNC-Chapel Hill. I learned about the certified anesthesiologist Assistant profession after going online and reading about different health careers when I wasn't sure what career path I wanted to take. The CAA profession peaked my interest and after shadowing I knew this was the career for me. Every day I shadowed I saw something new and exciting. Seeing the knowledge of physiology and pharmacology that the CAA used to provide the personal care for their patients made me excited to go into the career. I hope to apply the critical thinking and problem solving skills from my engineering background to become a successful CAA.
Matej Turk | Cleveland
I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Miami University, where I majored in Biology and Neuroscience. During college, I had the opportunity to actively participate in student government. I am very involved in the Cleveland-Slovenian community, where I help teach the language and participate in folklore dancing. I discovered the CWRU MSA Program when I worked at Southwest General Hospital as an anesthesia aide. My experience working closely with the anesthesia care team inspired me to pursue a career as a certified anesthesiologist assistant. The CAA profession will allow me to work closely with patients while building a diverse skill set in medicine. I hope to one day be a strong advocate for the expansion of the profession. I am excited to have the opportunity to study anesthesia at Case Western Reserve University!
Sunny Wang | Washington D.C.
I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience with a concentration in Health and Medical Sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA. During my years as an undergraduate, I researched motor control in the brain to improve assistive devices for patients with disabilities. Although I learned much on how science is progressing toward bettering the lives of people in the future, I knew that I needed more direct interaction with patients and hands-on work in my everyday life. A family friend introduced me to the CAA career path and encouraged me to shadow her. After many fulfilling experiences in the hospital, I realized that this was the career for me. I was drawn to the CWRU MSA Program as the best place to challenge myself. I’m excited for the rigorous curriculum to build up my knowledge and skill set and best prepare me to become a medical professional.
Baylee White | Cleveland
I grew up in a small town on Lake Erie just west of Cleveland, Ohio. From my experiences in high school, I discovered my passion for helping others and solidified my path in the medical field. I attended The Ohio State University majoring in Neuroscience on a pre-med track and confidently told anybody who asked, I had plans to be an anesthesiologist. At Ohio State, I was given opportunities to volunteer at local hospitals and abroad at health clinics located in Malawi. These experiences made me radiant and even surer about the medical field, but being in clinical settings I discovered there was an even larger number of medical professions to choose from. As soon as I discovered the opportunity to become a certified anesthesiologist assistant, I quickly made connections and set up dates to shadow multiple CAAs. I found it harder to get up and go to work the day after shadowing, as the only thing I wanted to do was return to the OR. I was completely infatuated with the idea of this as a career. I saw the ability to reassure a patient while working quickly and confidently. Every CAA I encountered spoke with nothing but enthusiasm for their profession and the ability to improve a patient’s quality of life. I am thrilled to be a Cleveland CWRU MSA student!
Ryan Whitehouse | Washington D.C.
I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and earned my bachelor’s degree in Biology from Carroll University. While early life experiences guided me toward a career in helping others, my passion had not been fully discovered until my first higher education physiology course. My college physiology professor inspired my initial interest by sharing his experience as a clinician and encouraged me to pursue learning opportunities outside of the classroom. So, in addition to working and being a full-time student, I began reading medical journals and volunteering at a local, free medical clinic in my spare time. The various medical readings led to me uncovering my strong interests for pharmacology and surgery; whereas, volunteering reaffirmed that my heart was truly in the right place as I found joy working alongside the medical professionals to provide care to patients and I started shadowing physicians in various fields to explore potential career paths. While observing orthopedic surgery for the first time, the certified anesthesiologist assistant gave me a warm welcome, introduced me to their role in the OR and, ultimately, took me under their proverbial wing for the rest of the day. I quickly learned that becoming a CAA was right for me because it brought together all of my passions into one career path. I am so excited to begin my journey with Case Western Reserve University and be a part of the Class of 2022 in Washington, D.C.!
Nadia Yassaway | Washington D.C.
I found out about certified anesthesiology assistants back in high school on a website for healthcare careers and was immediately attracted to the level of responsibility and how quickly I could be working with a masters degree. I always knew I wanted to be a provider of some sort, and had the opportunity to shadow a few physicians in my hospital while also holding a variety of jobs in healthcare. I was a secretary in a hospital, an EMT, patient care technician, and laboratory technologist before applying to the CWRU MSA Program. After observing a variety of healthcare providers, I knew I wanted to be responsible for patients in critical conditions such as the ICU or OR while being in a controlled setting working with one patient at a time. This made me realize becoming an anesthesia provider would be the perfect path for me. While completing my pre-med requirements I looked into all the aspects I wanted out of my career including work life balance, responsibilities, and lifestyle and knew becoming a CAA is the career for me. The CWRU MSA Program has some of the highest standards for CAAs and I'm so eager to begin my journey with them.
Leslie Yeh | Houston
I am originally from Houston and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s degree in Biology. I have always wanted to pursue an occupation that improves the welfare of others, and I found that a career in healthcare was the most direct and acute method of fulfilling this ambition. Throughout undergrad, I struggled to find a career choice that was compatible with my interests and long term goals. I discovered the CWRU MSA Program during my second year of college while I was exploring different medical occupations. After shadowing certified anesthesiologist assistants at Baylor Scott and White Medical Center, I became fascinated by their front-line role within the OR and their ability to help patients during their most critical moments. I am honored to be a part of the CWRU MSA Program and am excited to learn more about this profession!
Andrew Zack | Washington, D.C.
While I was born in the Centennial State, I have spent equal parts of my life between Colorado and Ohio. After an especially close encounter with a serious infection during my teenage years, I began to have an appreciation for medicine (and life) unlike anything before. By the junior year of my undergraduate studies, interest developed into a passion for Biology and future healthcare training. After varied medical jobs and shadowing of medical professions ranging from physician to genetic counseling, I felt I had made a mistake. It seemed as though I liked many things in the medical field, but none were a perfect fit for me. By chance, a close friend showed me the certified anesthesiologist assistant career path. The subsequent shadowing experience I had at University Hospitals in Cleveland through Case Western Reserve University was exactly what I was looking for. It was immediately obvious that CWRU valued its alumni and students as a family, which sold me on the program. I had found a well-kept secret, and niche for myself in it.
Cathy Zhao | Houston
My name is Dukaiwen Zhao and I go by Cathy. I was born and raised in Nanjing, China. I moved to Houston during my junior year of high school in 2014. I graduated from Houston Baptist University in May 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. I have shadowed my dad, who is an orthopedic surgeon, for 250 hours. Therefore, I am very familiar with the environment in the operating room. I also understand the different roles of health professionals in the operating room. I love the idea of anesthesia, which is to alleviate patients’ pain while receiving treatment. I also love the job of being a certified anesthesiologist assistant who can stay in the operating room during the whole surgery operation to closely monitor the vitals and hemodynamic status of the patients. I aspire to become an anesthetist who tries to make the surgery a less painful process for both patients and patients’ families and offer compassion during the toughest time. I am so excited and thankful for the opportunity to continue my education at CWRU MSA program in Houston.
Milton Zhao | Houston
I was born and raised in Houston, Texas and completed my bachelor’s degree at The University of Texas at Austin with a major in Biology and minor in Business. I first gained exposure to the healthcare field through volunteering at my local hospital and then solidified my decision to work in healthcare after working as a medical scribe. Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be involved in medicine with something very hands-on. After hearing about the CWRU MSA Program at my school’s career fair, I reached out to the program for shadowing opportunities and immediately became interested after learning about the breadth of this profession. I chose the Houston location to not only stay close to home, but to also have the opportunity to learn and train at the Texas Medical Center. Outside of school and work, my hobbies include traveling, playing sports, and anything to keep me sweaty and active. I highly look forward to meeting new people and learning new things to become a crucial member of the anesthesia care team.