Class of 2025 Biographies

Muhammad Abdullah

I was born in Pakistan but grew up in the diverse city of Houston. I graduated from the University of Houston -- Downtown where I majored in Biology and double minored in Chemistry and Microbiology. My immunology, parasitology, and biochemistry coursework fascinated me and reaffirmed my decision to pursue healthcare as a profession. Outside of school, I'd volunteer at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in addition to completing research projects covering bacteriophage genomics. These experiences taught me that I valued a career with direct patient care. After graduation, I worked as a medical scribe, MCAT tutor, and test center administrator with PSI. These roles in combination with shadowing an anesthesiologist ultimately led me to CWRU's MSA Program. I strongly believe this career path is for me as it allows me to work in a team-based surgical setting, provide immediate relief to vulnerable patients, and hone key technical skills through early clinical exposure. I am grateful for having this opportunity and looking forward to working with my classmates.

Yazan Adhami

I attended Youngstown State University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry. During that time, I participated in undergraduate research, tutored several courses, and served as a representative in student government. I also worked and volunteered in many settings. Most notable are my positions as a certified pharmacy technician and an emergency room volunteer. I was introduced to the operating room at age 15 for my first surgery. I do not recall much of that day, yet I remember speaking with the surgeon and anesthesiologist before surgery. Observing how kind yet professional they were, I was inspired and wanted to offer that care to someone else. I initially wanted to become a surgeon, and that was the case until learning about the profession and shadowing a certified anesthesiologist assistant. I was very impressed by the variety of cases they faced, the specific planning each patient required, and the constant need to adjust and tailor the anesthetic plan, making each case an entirely different experience. I choose to attend CWRU MSA program to train among the best in the profession and build a successful and fulfilling career as an anesthetist. I am thrilled to be a part of the incredible community of certified anesthesiologist assistants and strive to advocate for the profession.

Holly Aertker

My undergraduate career is quite similar to those of others - I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but was still struggling to find the right path. Choosing a career in the medical field was easy, but where to start? After much trial, error, and shadowing, I realized my favorite room in the hospital was the operating room, watching the CRNAs and anesthesiologists. Unlike other career options I had considered, the CAA path was the best fit for me based on my personality and the lifestyle I want. All of this considered, it was not until I had to decline my first acceptance to CWRU's Master of Anesthesia program that I realized how much I wanted this. I spent my gap year telling myself that there was no longer the pressure to choose; I could do anything I wanted - but this is what I want. I am excited for a life in Washington D.C. pursuing this education and career and thankful for the opportunity. Choosing CWRU D.C. was an easy decision; the school's vast connections, dedication to their students, early clinical experience, and the support from the professors and administrators were a few of the factors I considered - not to mention the rich history of Washington D.C. Coming from Southern Louisiana, there are a lot of things to miss, but I am thankful to have great friends who plan to send me care packages and cannot wait to share classic Louisiana food with everyone!

Nicole Alebesun

After growing up in Houston, I studied at Texas State University as a biology major and psychology minor. Throughout undergrad, I was able to discover a passion for yoga alongside my scientific studies which intensified my interest in the human body and all of its different elements. I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to sharing compassion with others in times of vulnerability and need. To me, becoming an anesthesiologist assistant means I will have the ability to alleviate pain and anxiety for my patients and create a safe environment for them with the use of my scientific knowledge and my hands. I am so grateful to have learned about the CAA program right before graduation. I knew it would be the best option for me as it blends chemistry, patient interaction, and physiology beautifully. I am pumped to challenge myself and learn anesthesiology inside and out with Case Western's MSA program to eventually work a rewarding career in the operating room!

Alan Alvarado

I was born and raised in Panama, where you may find rich biodiversity and the famous Panama Canal. I immigrated to the United States when I was 8 years old and lived in Rochester, NY. I attended the University of Rochester for my undergraduate studies, and received bachelor's degrees in Microbiology and Psychology. During my undergraduate studies, I was on the premedical track but also became interested in public health and community medicine. As a result, I decided to obtain my Masters of Public Health degree in Epidemiology from the University at Buffalo. Concurrently, I worked full time as an Ambulatory Procedural Technologist gaining direct patient care experience being first-assist. I was exposed to procedural medicine and anesthetics and that sparked my interest to become an anesthesia provider. Once I graduated with my MPH, I moved to the DMV area to work for the state and federal government as an Epidemiologist and Statistician. I also began shadowing CAAs and instantly knew the profession was for someone like myself who loves to work hands-on in a procedure-oriented field, work collaboratively in a team environment, care of patients during vulnerable times, and advocate for patient safety. I am grateful to have the opportunity to be an anesthesia student at Case Western Reserve University where I am confident I will adopt the proper skills to be a compassionate, respectful and knowledgeable anesthetist.  

Lily Bahmanyar

I grew up in Maryland, and received my Bachelor of Science in Public Health Science from the University of Maryland. I then went on to receive my Master's degree in Medical Science from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, Illinois. I grew up being very familiar with the medical field because of my father, who is a trauma surgeon. This early exposure sparked my interest in medicine, particularly hearing about operating room ongoings during trauma cases. I was able to pursue many clinical and volunteer opportunities during the course of my academic career that allowed me to participate in and learn about the various roles involved in patient care. This emphasized my interest in direct patient care. It was my role as a medical assistant in plastic surgery that directly introduced me to anesthesia, and after hearing about this program from both family members and a friend, I was motivated to further explore this arena. I quickly learned how multifaceted and important this field is, and I am so excited to be a part of the Case Western Reserve University MSA program. I am looking forward to being hands-on while providing comfort and care to patients during vulnerable times. I am eager to experience different fields, like trauma, in the context of anesthesia, and grow my clinical skills alongside my peers in this program.

Theresa Bakare

I attended the University of Washington where I majored in Biology with a premed focus. I spent my college years immersing myself in my premed classes, research internships, and hospital volunteering in preparation for medical school. Upon graduation, I decided to take a gap year to study for the MCAT while working full time within the department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at UW Medicine. During this experience, my interest in the field of anesthesiology was piqued, although I had no knowledge about the CAA profession yet. So, when I received a random email one day from Case Western Reserve University about the Master of Science in Anesthesia program which prepares students for a career as a CAA, I was immediately curious. After researching more into it, I knew it was a great fit for both my career goals of working in the field of anesthesia as well as my personal goals of having a great work-life balance that affords me the ability to explore hobbies and have time for friends and family. For this reason, I am delighted to be a part of this program at Case Western. I have previously participated in an undergraduate summer research internship at the institution where I was warmly welcomed and treated by the faculty and staff and witnessed world class scientific research. Not to mention its long standing history in training premier CAAs. I look forward to learning all about anesthesia both in the classroom and in real-world clinical settings.

Ryan Barata

I have lived in Southern California and Eastern Washington for most of my life. In May of 2022, I received my Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from Clemson University. During my time at Clemson, I was heavily involved in undergraduate research, and community service with my fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega. I contributed to two publications and co-organized one of the largest blood drives in North America. My initial interest in healthcare stemmed from a childhood full of illness. I wanted to go into medicine to give others the same opportunities in life that my providers gave to me. Coming from the West Coast, I was unfamiliar with the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession. I was only made aware of the occupation after shadowing numerous healthcare providers and volunteering in the Emergency Department for years. After shadowing a CAA in person, I knew that I had found my calling. I was drawn to the profession's deep roots in chemistry as well as the unique relationships between patient and provider. I am looking forward to beginning my journey toward becoming a CAA through the MSA program at CWRU in Houston!

Katherine Barclay

I received a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health at the University of Texas at Austin in 2021. Being on the pre-medical track, I gained many valuable experiences, but began to realize my ideal lifestyle might not match that with which it takes to become a physician. Amidst my hesitancy, I had a significant experience pique my interest in anesthesia care. I needed to have my gallbladder removed during my third year of schooling. During my pre-operative assessment, I was visibly nervous about my procedure. The CAA on my case gave me excellent care, calming me and answering all of my questions. I realized that I too wanted to serve patients in this way, being a beacon of comfort, a reliever of pain, and an advocate for their wellbeing. I never forgot the impact of the anesthesia care I received in this vulnerable experience. A few years later, I learned of the master's degree on social media, and dove in headfirst. I felt that I had finally found the career that intersected my dream of being an advocate who directly cares for patients, with my interests in physiology and pharmacology. Case Western seemed like a perfect fit to pursue this degree for multiple reasons, namely the extremely supportive faculty and early exposure to the operating room. I am thrilled to provide support for my patients in this unique, but incredible opportunity.

Ava Bell

I was raised in a small town in North Central Wisconsin. I went on to earn a Bachelors of Science in Neurobiology as well as two minors, Gender and Women's Studies and Global Health, from the University of Wisconsin Madison in May of 2023. Throughout my time at UW Madison as an undergraduate, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. My longing to learn more within the biomedical sciences field was fueled by my breadth of coursework as well as my work experience in a variety of different disciplines. My job as a research assistant at the University of Wisconsin's Department of Dermatology where I investigated non-melanoma skin cancer exposed me to critical thinking as it relates to human disease. I also worked as a Biochemistry undergraduate teaching assistant which further ignited my curiosity regarding pharmacology as it relates to human physiology. Furthermore, my experience working as a certified nursing assistant throughout college exposed me to the medical field early on and helped fortify my desire to establish a career in healthcare. After multiple shadowing experiences where I interviewed many different types of anesthetists including CAAs, I knew that the anesthesiologist assistant profession was exactly what I was looking for. Each anesthetist I met had their own unique approach to anesthesia similar to an art form and used their talents to help keep patients comfortable during intensive surgeries. Anesthesia is unique in the sense that it is a specialized skill set that requires constant problem solving and utilization of a vast medical knowledge base. Furthermore, the collaboration between CAAs and anesthesiologists was the kind of teamwork I was looking for in my work environment. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn everything I can about anesthesia at CWRU and feel honored to be a part of this profession. Looking ahead to my first year, I am most looking forward to the clinical exposure I will receive as a student at CWRU. Additionally, I am excited to explore everything DC has to offer including its rich history.

Zoya Bharmal

I graduated with a B.S. in Biology from the University of Maryland and spent the majority of my undergraduate years volunteering in different healthcare settings. Unsure of what I wanted to do, but certain of my interest in medicine, I took a gap year after college and spent the year working as a medical assistant for a reproductive endocrinologist. It was through this experience that I was able to witness the field of anesthesia and see exactly how they support patients through operations, as well as how I would be a good fit for the role. Though excited to work with patients, I'm also excited to work with other healthcare professionals and learn more about what they do and how we can all work together to improve patient outcomes. Some of the CAAs I had the opportunity to shadow also attended CWRU, and I'm excited to be part of a program that many have spoken so highly of!

Ryan Bracken

I was born and raised in a small suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, and received my Bachelor's Degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 2021. Early on in my college career, my father was diagnosed with lymphoma. I witnessed him undergo various cancer treatments as well as build trusting relationships with his oncology team in his most vulnerable moments. This sparked my passion for medicine, and I decided to add pre-med to my curriculum. In receiving my chemical engineering degree, I completed 3 internships including research in environmental sustainability. These experiences not only aided in my professional development but also solidified my passion for healthcare as I was missing the professional intimacy I witnessed so closely through my father's experiences. Closer to graduation, I decided to dive deeper into potential medical career opportunities. I started shadowing numerous healthcare providers to determine what area or specialty would be most fitting for me. Through this, I discovered the role of the CAA and felt it blended my passion for medicine and chemical engineering seamlessly. Subsequently, I began researching and applying to CAA programs. In the interim, I worked as a caregiver at an assisted living facility. This role has further developed my compassion, empathy, and affinity for healthcare. Being a Cleveland local, I have always known CWRU to be an elite school, especially in the world of medicine, and I am so excited for the opportunities that lie ahead as I begin my journey to becoming a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant.

Thomas Breazeal

I've lived all over the US as my parents moved multiple times for school. We eventually settled in North Idaho and spent about 25 years there. North Idaho College and the University of Idaho set me up for success when seeking to expand my educational opportunities. After being on a pre-med path for years, stumbling upon the CAA program seemed too good to be true. Shadowing anesthesia had always been one of my favorites and this was bolstered after taking a healthcare systems trip to London. I visited the Old Operating Theatre and was able to tour the oldest surviving surgical theater in Europe. Much of the lecture they gave discussed the advances of modern medicine we now enjoy, specifically anesthesia, which patients didn't have while this surgical room was operational. Being able to provide patient care through the amazing use of anesthesia is certainly an exciting prospect. I'm overjoyed to be a part of the Houston MSA program. Prior to this, I was an optician for 7 years. I loved the relationships I was able to build with all the patients that came to our clinic. Now, I'll be able to increase the level of care I can give to patients on a day to day basis as a CAA.

Drew Brittin

In undergrad, I majored in physiology, and at this time, I believed I was going to go to medical school. However, I became discouraged after working in the ER as a scribe during the peak of COVID. I realized I wanted a career that balanced work and my personal interests. It also showed me I loved working on a team, and I wanted a career where I could make connections and build trust with patients. I decided not to go to medical school, and when I learned about anesthesiologist assistants, I started shadowing anesthetists and an anesthesiologist. Everyone I talked to was passionate about their careers in anesthesia. The passion they had about their work, along with my excitement to understand how to manipulate vitals, made me realize it was the right path for me. I am ready to keep learning and thrilled to get back into the OR so quickly at CWRU.

Carson Brown

I was born in Plano, Texas but I moved to Overland Park, Kansas at the age of two. OP became my home for the following 16 years before I moved to attend Washington University in St. Louis. While there, I studied cognitive neuroscience and medical humanities. During my undergraduate years, I gained knowledge on the field of healthcare by joining a pre-professional healthcare fraternity, shadowing, and working as a medical scribe in the ER. After shadowing an AA for the first time, I was amazed that I had never heard of this field before. I was immediately drawn to the tangible impact I could have on a patient's care, while also diving deeper into my passion for physiology. Case Western Reserve captured my attention immediately after beginning my research into the field, given the immediate clinical education I would be able to obtain. I am grateful for the opportunity to attend a program such as this one while also expanding my horizons in a city like D.C.

Kendra Brown

Born and raised in Northeast Ohio, I studied at Cleveland State University to earn my Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Anthropology. I was always interested in the field of medicine; when I found out about the CAA profession, I knew it would be a perfect fit for my personality and interests. Once I had the opportunity to shadow a CAA, I got a firsthand experience of what the job entailed. I knew the collaborative teamwork in an OR was something that I would enjoy, as well as interacting with patients and making them feel comfortable and confident that they are in the best hands. Growing up near Cleveland, I have always aspired to attend CWRU because of its reputation and prestige. Being accepted into the Cleveland location was one of the most exciting moments I have ever experienced. I am confident that the CWRU MSA program will provide me with an exceptional education, and lead me to be a passionate, competent healthcare provider. It's an honor to be a part of this program at CWRU and I am really looking forward to beginning my studies in May!

Katherine Burgess

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio specifically on the West Side of Cleveland in a town called Rocky River. I graduated from The Ohio State University with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and throughout my education, I have always been passionate about a career in healthcare. I initially shadowed a certified anesthesiologist assistant (CAA) before I started my undergrad, and I was immediately passionate about this career and I spent my four years in undergrad working towards applying to this program. I really liked the team aspect between the CAA and the rest of the surgical team as well as the work-life balance that this career has to offer. I am very excited to study at CWRU's program because I actually did my shadowing at MetroHealth and I am excited to learn about this profession in a city that I grew up in. I have always been a detail oriented person, so the field of anesthesia really intrigues me and I am very excited to start my education in this realm!

Jerry Cao

As a lifelong Texan, I am proud to have completed a B.S. in Molecular Biology at the University of Texas at Dallas and a Masters in Medical Sciences at the University of North Texas Health Science Center. My passion for medicine began in high school when my cousin was born with a
congenital illness. Throughout all the corrective surgeries, I witnessed firsthand the impact healthcare providers have on their patients and their families. Wanting to become a source of comfort for patients like my cousin, I have participated in many medical activities such as scribing in the ER, volunteering as a phlebotomist, and finally shadowing the anesthesiologist that introduced me to the CAA career. Scribing in the ER accustomed me to thinking on my feet in a fast-paced environment and taught me to work in a team toward a common goal. Phlebotomy showed me how fulfilling it is to put patients at ease during uncomfortable procedures through caring communication and perfecting technical skills. After shadowing an anesthesiologist, I was struck by the role anesthesiology professionals play in patient care and how it relates to the lessons I came to appreciate while scribing and performing phlebotomy. I quickly fell in love with the field and I was encouraged to apply to CWRU Houston's CAA program by the anesthesiologist I shadowed. I am excited to be part of CWRU Houston's Class of 2025 and grateful I get to continue my education in the best clinical sites in Texas!

Paige Cassibo

I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Neurobiology and African Studies. Human Anatomy and Physiology were my favorite classes and from there I leaned toward finding a career that incorporated both. Throughout University, I worked in a variety of positions including a COVID-19 processor, a pharmacy technician, a research assistant, a bartender, and an anesthesia technician. I also volunteered in settings which involved occupational therapy and non-profit leadership to figure out what field I wanted to go into after I graduated. Working with Certified Anesthesiologist Assistants (CAA) as an Anesthesia Technician solidified my career path. I liked the prospect of providing perioperative care for one patient at a time, earning their trust by advocating for their needs, addressing their concerns, and providing a place of safety. The caseload is extremely diverse, bringing new challenges and requiring critical thinking every day. The flexible schedule of CAA was also enticing because I have many hobbies including scuba diving, traveling, and hot yoga. I chose the Case Western Reserve University Washington program because of the heavy emphasis on early clinical exposure and the diverse environment that Washington, D.C. has. I am very excited and grateful to start my journey as a CAA at CWRU!

Alex Cela

I earned my Bachelors in Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida. During my undergraduate career, my favorite courses were Physiology and Pharmacology. With further research and shadowing I quickly realized a career as a CAA was right for me. Being at the OR, and seeing the daily tasks and difficulties one may encounter as a CAA did not deter me away from the profession but instead deeply enhanced my interest. There are several aspects of this profession that intrigue me. One being the responsibility, and critical thinking skills needed to aid an individual during surgery; as well as the concurrent application of pharmacology and physiology. I'm really excited about studying at Case Western Reserve University because of the history this school has in training the best anesthetists. Another factor includes the early OR exposure you get by studying at the MSA program here. I am really looking forward to starting my career in anesthesia along with working with all of my professors and classmates.  

Jessica Chlebowski

I am thrilled to be a part of CWRU's MSA program as I embark on my second career. My first career was in professional ballet with the Los Angeles Ballet. After retiring from dancing, I attended UNC Chapel Hill, becoming fascinated with physiology and chemistry and realizing I wanted to pursue a future in medicine. During my dance career and while at UNC, I participated in outreach programs, taught dance classes to people with Parkinson's, and cared for people with dementia. These experiences reinforced that I want to work in healthcare and particularly aim to make healthcare more accessible, inclusive, and compassionate. Throughout my undergraduate education, I was fascinated by the intersections I noticed between organic chemistry, biochemistry, and physiology. I look forward to learning more about these intersections within the pharmacology of anesthesiology. A career as an anesthesiologist assistant will allow me to work directly with patients while also applying my knowledge of the various scientific disciplines when administering anesthetics. I spent part of my childhood just outside of DC and have family and friends in the surrounding area, so I look forward to completing the program in DC. I am also eager to live in and learn the practice of anesthesia in such a diverse city. 

Stephen Chu

I grew up on Long Island, New York and graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 2021 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered as a caregiver for a quadriplegic multiple sclerosis patient. Every Sunday evening, I loved feeding her dinner and hearing about her day while we watched that week's Baltimore Ravens game. This cultivated a passion to tangibly improve people's lives, and I was consequently drawn to the healthcare field. After graduating in 2021 I applied to medical school, but remained unsure about which career in healthcare suited me best. I subsequently explored potential alternatives in the clinical setting, and serendipitously learned about the CAA career path. Learning about how CAAs are able to treat a diverse assortment of anesthesia cases, I immediately fell in love with the profession and the work that they do! I'm excited for the challenge of learning such complex and directly applicable medical science. This is also why I'm so grateful to specifically learn at CWRU, as I think such early firsthand experience will provide countless opportunities for both learning and individual growth. Working as a karate instructor and academic tutor, I've enjoyed forging meaningful relationships with others. I look forward to harnessing prior experiences like these to better care for and similarly connect with patients, and am truly excited for the journey that awaits!

Jennifer Clymer

I'm a biology graduate from the University of St. Thomas, single mom to three teenagers, and passionate about medicine, health, and education. I aspire to be a role model for my daughters, showing them that with hard work and determination, you can achieve anything you set your mind to. From a young age, I have felt drawn to a career in medicine. As I've grown and learned more about myself throughout my life, I have discovered what I want for my future which led me to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist assistant. My interest in anesthesia stems from a complication during a personal experience with anesthesia. This sparked my interest in ensuring patients receive compassionate care during their surgical experience. Witnessing first- hand the teamwork and great care required by the entire surgical staff during my recent shadowing opportunities has further confirmed my interest in, not only being in the operating room, but also being a part of this challenging and rewarding profession. Prior to pursuing medicine, I worked in the health and wellness field as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, and Health and Wellness Program Assistant at the YMCA. Overall, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to participate in this exceptional program offered at Case Western and I believe a career as an anesthesiologist assistant is the right path for me. 

Kelli Damman

I was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor's degree in Biology, a minor in Psychology, and an Addictions Counseling Certificate. I was on the women's basketball team at IWU, and my time as a student-athlete and the variety of undergraduate experiences I've had ultimately led me to the CWRU MSA program. I have always enjoyed everything in the realm of science and medicine, and I had planned on going to medical school when I was in high school and throughout college. I heard about this program from an email from Case Western Reserve during my junior year of college and I have never looked back! Anesthesia was a field I had been interested in pursuing because of how unique of a field it is and being able to be an integral part of the team in an OR to help patients when they're at their most vulnerable. By shadowing an anesthesiologist and asking many questions, I realized that the MSA program was something I really wanted to do. This career path will provide me with the opportunity to continue my love for medicine as well as my love for being a great teammate.

Alex Darcy

I spent the majority of my childhood in West Chester, PA and graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Pharmacology and Toxicology. I have always been fascinated by the ways in which small molecules can modulate human systems but spent my undergraduate career largely unsure of what future career I wanted to pursue. By the end of my schooling, I had worked as a pharmacy technician, toxicology intern, patient care technician, and medical scribe. Nothing truly piqued my interest until I spent a week shadowing my aunt, who is an anesthesiologist. In the OR, I found the perfect culmination of pharmacology, physiology, and procedural skills in the field of anesthesia. I witnessed my aunt apply her knowledge in real- time, in situations that required her quick thinking and problem-solving. After more research and shadowing, I knew that I wanted to pursue a career in anesthesia. I am thrilled to be an incoming CWRU MSA student, and I hope to become a CAA that the future physicians I work with can rely on and trust as part of the anesthesia team.

Victoria Davenport

Hi CWRU! I'm Victoria (Tori): Kansas City native, cat mom, Libra, Swiftie, and anesthesia enthusiast. I am so excited to start the MSA program in Austin this summer. The last few years I have studied cell biology and worked in clinical trial research. Here I learned the importance of caring for each patient sample to report accurate and timely data. While this encouraged my interest in healthcare, it lacked the patient contact I have always leaned towards. During my shadowing experiences, I loved the diversity of cases and the responsibility of managing the comfort and safety of the patient. CWRU's hands-on and collaborative teaching style has me eager to learn and grow my clinical skills. It is an exciting time to join the CAA profession and I feel lucky to be part of it!

Jenna Derivera

I was raised in Nashville by a family of nurses so a role in patient care was always on my mind. However, my time as a YMCA counselor in college and a renal PCT at St. Thomas Hospital West post-graduating from the University of Tennessee confirmed my passion in providing hands-on care. It also informed me of the growing inequities patients face in accessing medical care. While interviewing for PA school, I found out about AA through Reddit. With none to shadow in TN, I met an AA online and drove to Christ Hospital in Ohio. It's crazy how random life can be, but I found AA's role to be my perfect fit. Optimizing procedural skills and clinical decision making in a formal ACT model to extend medical care to my community felt so right. Learning what interventions keep high acuity patients safe all the way up to their PACU transfer is so special. Case DC was my first choice program and I consider it a huge privilege to be here. Outside of work, I love going to concerts, cooking, and thrifting. I am in serious debt to every boss, coworker, nurse, classmate, and teacher I've met. Most importantly, I have the support of the most unimaginable friends and family. I am so excited to dedicate myself to patients in the OR!

Franklin Dong

Healthcare has a large-scale impact on countless lives, and I want to be a part of that as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant (CAA). My curiosity and passion for healthcare started from an early age when my sister was diagnosed with leukemia. Over time, I started to recognize and explore the many different aspects of treating and caring for patients. I have been able to establish an understanding of the various aspects of healthcare and ultimately where I would like to see myself in it through my various experiences in volunteering, shadowing, and research. I am excited to start my time in CWRU's Master of Science in Anesthesia program in Cleveland as their level of clinical expertise within the field is unmatched. The students whom I've shadowed from the program have been of the highest caliber and I want to be a part of that family and further advocate for the profession. I am most excited about not only collaborating with my peers, but also participating in the hands-on learning and early clinical experiences offered at CWRU. I admire the attention to detail, level of precision, and patient-specific treatments that are all a part of being a member of the anesthesia care team. I hope to utilize the cumulative experiences and skills that I've developed both in and out of the operating room to embark upon this journey to deliver the highest quality of patient care!

Natalie Draime

I grew up in Columbus, Ohio where I also attended college at The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, I majored in neuroscience with a specialization in systems/behavioral neuroscience. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I grew to love human anatomy and physiology. I also worked as a pharmacy technician during college which prepared me in many ways for the MSA program. This is where my interest in pharmacology developed. The CAA career gives me the opportunity to combine these academic interests along with helping others which is a career goal of mine. I am beyond excited to be able to use what I will learn in a clinical setting which CWRU will allow me to do quickly. I am eager to dig into my future career and grow as a student and future CAA!

Hayden Erlinder

I spent the first 18 years of my life just outside of Milwaukee, WI. Growing up I was surrounded by medical professionals; my dad being an anesthesiologist and my grandpa, a podiatrist. I knew I wanted to join the medical field from the first time I shadowed in an operating room, I also knew however, that I had no intentions of going to medical school. I was introduced to the CAA profession by graduates of the CWRU MSA program who worked with my dad and quickly became close family friends. I attended undergraduate at Miami University where I graduated early in 2022 with a B.S. in Zoology and Premedical studies. I fell in love with the profession during those years through many hours of shadowing and conversations with both seasoned CAAs and student AAs alike. Throughout my life I have always strived for maximum efficiency without compromise, and through those conversations and shadowing hours I found that the anesthesia care team model, and the CAA profession as a whole, embodies that ideal. While I definitely had those close family friends pushing me to attend CWRU, their program spoke for itself. Perhaps the most important aspect for me is the early hands-on learning and time in the OR that the CWRU MSA program provides. I am excited to be following in the footsteps of my mentors and am confident that CWRU Cleveland will provide me with the education and skills needed to excel in this exciting and challenging profession!

Li Feng

I am a driven and experienced Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with almost a decade of experience in various finance and accounting roles. However, the COVID-19 pandemic prompted me to reassess my career goals and discover my true passion for healthcare. I graduated from Xiamen University with a Bachelor's in Banking and Finance and later earned an MBA from Troy University. Although my previous education and experience have been in finance and accounting, I am excited to embark on a new career path in healthcare as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant (CAA). After considering applying to medical school, I had the opportunity to shadow a CAA in the operating room, and I was immediately fascinated by the precision and technical skills required for the job. Observing the CAA's work sparked my interest in anesthesia, and I knew this was my career path. I am thrilled to join the Case Western Reserve University Master of Science in Anesthesia (MSA) program. The firm core and specialty rotations offered by the program and the opportunity for early clinical training at top medical facilities will provide me with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel as a CAA. What excites me most about this profession is the ability to provide relief to patients and the ever-changing nature of the work. The autonomy and precision required in this role align perfectly with my strengths and interests. I am excited to begin this new chapter in my career and to contribute my skills and experience to the field of anesthesia as a certified anesthesiologist assistant.

Madison Filkorn

Growing up on a small animal farm with several acres of land to explore, I had a childhood full of experimentation and investigation. This ultimately grew into my love for science and medicine as I entered high school and pursued my undergraduate degree at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. I was heavily involved in the sciences -- specifically organic chemistry and biochemistry -- where I had the opportunity to study and synthesize anti-cancer agents in a lab. Through this experience -- in conjunction with an anesthesia internship I had at a local hospital -- I became interested in how the body metabolizes and reacts to different drug cocktails. This ultimately piqued my interest in the field and led me to this profession. I am excited to continue learning about the versatility of anesthesia and its impact on patients, in addition to being hands-on and interacting with patients on a daily basis. I am especially excited to be attending CWRU in Washington, DC as the institution is heavily involved in the advocacy of Anesthesiologist Assistants and increasing their scope of practice in the U.S. CWRU is a prominent leader in this field that heavily emphasizes clinical work during the 2-year program -- something I value in an education. I know that with my current background and all that I will learn at CWRU, I will have all the necessary tools to be a successful, empathetic, and skilled certified anesthesiologist assistant, capable of providing quality medical care to those who need it most. 

Robert Flores

I was born and raised in a small town in Honduras where I was exposed to healthcare and anesthesia at a very young age. I witnessed archaic methods of anesthesia that healthcare professionals were forced to use in my town when proper medications were lacking. These experiences motivated me to pursue healthcare and anesthesia as a career. Fast forward 10 years, I moved to the US and I knew from day 1 that I wanted to be an essential player in a healthcare team. During my undergrad years at the University of St. Thomas in Houston, I discovered the AA career and the MSA program at CWRU. Working at the world's largest medical center was a big appeal to me, where along with the education and tools that CWRU can provide, I undoubtedly applied to start working on my career. My abilities to sympathize with people, the desire to learn, and the ability to work closely with others to achieve a goal will certainly help me to be an excelling AA that my small town in Honduras can be proud of.

Stephanie Frais

Born and raised in Florida, I attended the University of Florida and graduated with a Bachelor's in Psychology. From a young age, I aspired to work in the medical field. Later in my academic career, I discovered that I had a deeply rooted interest in anesthesia which was ignited by a medical professions course I had taken that explored various specialties within medicine. I, however, was under the impression that medical school was the only route I could take to pursue my passion for anesthesia until I discovered the CAA profession. Through my shadowing experience and research, my passion for this profession only grew. I became fascinated with the way in which those within the anesthesia care team could detect and anticipate the needs of their patients in a state of unconsciousness all while keeping a level head. The other factors that excite me about this profession are that it is very hands-on and provides that instant gratification in knowing I will be playing a part in making a positive impact in the lives of others. I am elated by the fact that as a CAA, I will be instrumental in helping ease the discomfort of others while in their most vulnerable state. Having the opportunity to study at CWRU's MSA program, I am more than confident I will become well-equipped to provide exceptional care for those within the community I will serve. I am thrilled to start my journey with the Houston location!

Meghan Franczek

I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2016 with a BS in Neuroscience and then graduated with an MPH in Global Epidemiology from Emory University in 2018. Since then, I have been working full-time in public health. I have worked with the CDC on childhood vaccination programs and the national COVID-19 response and vaccine roll-out. Within the Emory Tuberculosis (TB) Center, I've coordinated and supported TB clinical research studies in countries like South Africa, Ethiopia, and the country of Georgia, helped with grant submissions, and managed HR and the group's financial portfolio. While rewarding, I have always wanted to work clinically. I was introduced to the AA profession by a family member and after shadowing, it felt like the perfect fit for the type of career I was hoping to transition into. I appreciated the interactions AAs had with their patients, their level of clinical skill and knowledge, and the fact that they were embedded in the larger Anesthesia Care Team. Growing up in the Cleveland area, CWRU's program was my top choice due to its history and the opportunity to train within Cleveland's impressive health systems. I am looking forward to starting the program!

Grace Freeman

I was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. I graduated from Dallas Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minored in Chemistry and Psychology. It wasn't until a month before the fall semester of my freshman year of college, that I felt called to go into the medical field. A family friend, who was a CAA, described her job as "the best job in the world" and that's when my interest began. I got the opportunity to shadow her at Children's Medical Center in Dallas and I became hooked. That is when I knew anesthesia was where I wanted to be. Growing up, my passion was basketball. After a few concussions, I had to make the hard decision to quit playing. Basketball prepared me for the MSA program as I learned how to be self-disciplined, a team player, positive in challenging situations, calm in stressful environments, and a hard worker. What excites me about the profession of a CAA is the wide variety of cases, patient interaction, and work-life balance. I believe that CWRU MSA is a tight-knit program that will push me to provide the best anesthesia care possible. 

Caitlin Hall

I grew up in Chattanooga, TN and completed my undergraduate degree at Clemson University in South Carolina. Prior to entering university, I had known that the medical arena was a large area of interest for me, something that I was able to further by communicating and coordinating meetings with many different medical professionals during my time in a medical honors society, then also able to shadow and volunteer in several distinct medical settings. Upon graduation, I took a gap year in which I began several different careers in the medical field, from working in the NICU, to a pharmacy technician, and then as a medical assistant in dermatology. During this year, I was able to shadow an anesthesiologist and his team. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the profession and getting to experience the unique team dynamic of anesthesia. Something that I realized about myself during my gap year is that I find extreme fulfillment in working in a team environment. After all, in medicine, if we're all working towards the same goal of providing exceptional care, why not do it together? Finding my team and providing this level of care to our patients is what I look forward to most as a CAA at CWRU in D.C.-- and I look forward to meeting them all in May!

Max Hauser

I was born and raised in Waukesha, Wisconsin which is just outside of Milwaukee. I graduated from Saint Louis University where I received my Bachelor's of Science in Neuroscience. During my time in Saint Louis, my studies focused on the biological and psychological aspects of the brain which enhanced my understanding of brain structure, behavior, and functions. It also provided me the ability to learn psychopharmacology, which sparked my interest into the anesthesia field. While in school, I worked in the Emergency Department of Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital, where I was able to see the anesthesia care team model employed on a daily basis which is where I became interested in the Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant profession. After shadowing a CAA at CWRU, I fell in love with the profession and knew this was the path I wanted to take in my life. In my free time, I enjoy watching and playing sports, as well as fishing and hiking. I also have a deep interest in history, so I am really looking forward to becoming part of the Washington, D. C. community! 

Francisco Jimenez

I was born in Mexico City but raised in Houston, Texas. I have always been attracted to science. After completing my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry I began to look for jobs in healthcare. I became a medical scribe and became a doctor's constant shadow. While working, I saved money and began looking for graduate programs that would challenge me intellectually. I found the University of Vermont's Medical Science Masters program. I moved to Vermont, completed the program and have been living here for 5 years. About two years ago, I began searching for graduate programs that would challenge me intellectually but also allow me to translate my skills into a hospital setting. That is how I came across the certified anesthesiologist assistant program and profession. After shadowing AAs at the hospital where I work I realized that it is a profession I could see myself doing. When I found that Case Western Reserve had a campus in Houston I was elated. Houston is home, and I love that it is also home to the largest medical complex in the world.

Ashish Kaushik

Born and raised in Montgomery, Alabama, I grew up fascinated by the human body and knew I wanted to work in medicine one day. Holding onto my childhood conviction, during undergrad at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, I explored a variety of healthcare careers. As a neuroscience major, I had the opportunity to research neurodegenerative diseases in mouse models, and I also explored research outside the lab by authoring a literature review about dietary interventions for treating chronic pain. While my research forays helped me appreciate the scientific process and evidence-based treatments, my fulfilling experiences helping people as a hospital volunteer and in the Birmingham community as an AmeriCorps service member drew me to desire a more patient-facing role. I shadowed various healthcare providers after college, and after watching a patient get sedated before a grisly periodontal procedure, I found an appreciation for anesthesia that led me to discover the CAA profession. While the dynamic application of physiology and pharmacology initially excited me about the field, what really sold me on the CAA role was witnessing how everyone in the OR worked as a team to protect patients during one of the most vulnerable moments of their lives and provide second chances to patients receiving critical surgical interventions. That inspiration I felt while shadowing in the OR is why I'm excited to be an MSA student at CWRU in particular, as the early clinical immersion will help me to stay motivated during the rigorous, yet rewarding, training process.

Kayla Kerr

I was born and raised in South Florida and then graduated from the University of South Florida in Tampa with my Bachelor's of Science in Integrative Animal Biology. I have always been interested in a career in medicine and originally planned to apply to medical school. I had shadowed a few different specialties in college, but I fell in love with the world of anesthesia instantly. From the mechanisms by which the analgesics work to the ideal work life balance, I knew that this is what I wanted to make a career out of. However, when the time came to apply to medical school, it felt like that was not the path I was supposed to take. I still wanted to make a career in anesthesia, but I was unsure of what else I could do besides being an anesthesiologist or a CRNA. Then, one night I was scrolling on TikTok and I happened to come across a video of someone talking about how much they loved being a CAA. As I had never heard of a CAA before, I immediately began researching the position and discovered it was everything I wanted and more. I am very excited to begin studying at CWRU because of how early you are able to practice the skills you learn in class in an actual clinical setting. I am honored to be selected to join this program and I cannot wait to see what is in store for me.

Austin Kim

I was born and grew up in Suwanee, Georgia. Growing up, I was always interested in the sciences, particularly biology, and that developed into an interest in the medical field. I also enjoyed serving others and spent some time volunteering at a soup kitchen, where I learned many lessons about leadership and responsibility that I still do my best to uphold. I left Georgia for college and took my undergrad in Nashville, Tennessee at Vanderbilt University, where I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences and a minor in English. However, although I was interested in medicine, I had no idea what I wanted to do since medicine covers so many fields. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to shadow a CAA in the OR, and now, I can definitely say that I do want to become a CAA. When I was looking at the list of schools that offered MSA programs, Case Western Reserve University was among the options that stood out to me and quickly became one of my top choices when applying. I am excited to learn the skills necessary to be a CAA with the CWRU MSA Program and am thankful for this opportunity!

Kaleigh Koler

My name is Kaleigh Koler, and I was raised in the Cleveland suburb of North Royalton. I graduated from Ohio State University in 2022 with my Bachelor's degree in Medical Dietetics. Through my dietetic internship, I was able to see what life would be like as a clinician. I worked with patients in all types of facilities from inpatient and outpatient to food banks. I learned a lot from my patients and got to hear about their experiences. I found that pain and suffering was one of the top complaints, a reason they couldn't eat or didn't feel themselves. I found that anesthesia was what I wanted to do in order to work in the healthcare setting and address this concern. I could relieve pain and have a larger impact on patients, which I didn't feel I was doing enough of in my previous setting. I am a huge advocate for my patients and love to do anything I can to make their day better. I am fortunate enough to be a part of the CWRU class and will get to explore many areas of anesthesia and gain hands-on training early on. I am super excited to become a CAA!

Elizabeth Kowalski

I was born in Columbus, Ohio and attended the University of Georgia after high school. I earned my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. The goal of working in healthcare is one that has remained steadfast since I was little. I wanted a career that allowed me to interact with patients and make a difference in their lives. But with endless opportunities in healthcare, I was unsure which route I should pursue. My first three years of undergrad I entertained Medical and Physical Therapy school. While I enjoyed the patient interaction physical therapy provided, I quickly realized I was more intrigued by the side of healthcare that occurred in the operating room. After expressing my thoughts to healthcare workers I was shadowing, they suggested I should look into an anesthesiologist assistant program. Upon researching the profession, it felt like a perfect match. This side of healthcare would allow me to support people everyday in life altering care, be a crucial component in the operating room, and achieve balance in my own life. I quickly arranged a shadowing opportunity at Mount Carmel St. Ann's Surgical Hospital in Columbus, where I met multiple CWRU MSA graduates. As an Ohio native, I was familiar with the prestigiousness associated with Case Western Reserve University. However, upon talking to graduates from the program, they solidified my desire to attend CWRU's MSA program over others. Their class size allows for optimal learning, and their curriculum gives you experience in the operating room during your first year, setting you apart from other graduates. To say that I am excited to buckle down for this two year journey is an understatement.

Nghi La

Ever since I was young, I have always been fascinated by the idea of working in the medical field. My undergraduate studies have undoubtedly prepared me to work in medicine as I have not only learned about the molecular process of living organisms, but I have also dived into the thinking process of those. Hence, I graduated from University of Houston with a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Psychology. Throughout my four years, I have come across many valuable experiences, from being introduced to clinical settings by working as a medical assistant at a primary care practice, to being a physics peer facilitator and volunteering at several organizations with meaningful projects. These encounters have nurtured my ability to implement the "care" factor to careers in healthcare. Towards the end of college years, I discovered the Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant pathway after online research and was immediately intrigued by it: a profession where patient interaction is sufficient for instant gratification while allowing a work- life balance and working on cases in an anesthesia care team model. After shadowing in Brunswick, my determination to become a CAA was solidified. As I have been living in Houston since I moved to the States, being able to attend the program in this diverse city would grant me the opportunity to fulfill my study while staying close to my loved ones. Therefore, I am so honored and excited to be joining CWRU Class of 2025 on the journey of becoming a future CAA.

Austin Lee

Before coming to Case Western Reserve University, I worked countless hours as a CPA and Senior Audit Associate at a "Big Four" accounting firm. Often, the job was adversarial in nature to the audited department. Although I was good at the job, I did not find personal fulfillment. I found myself giving clients stress and anxiety, but I genuinely wanted to be the person to take away pain and stress, thus, leading me to healthcare. I've shadowed different healthcare professionals, but anesthesia stood apart to me for its mix of medical and technical skills. Further, I am attracted to the variety of the different specialties within anesthesia. I'm excited to study at Case Western Reserve University's Master of Anesthesia program for their illustrious history as pioneers of the profession. I can't wait to learn from the faculty and preceptors the school has worked hard to develop!

Lauren Lee

I am from Seven Hills, Ohio which is a suburb of Cleveland. As a College Credit Plus student in high school, I earned my Associate of Science degree the same year I graduated from high school. I continued my education at Cleveland State University where I double majored in biology and chemistry and minored in psychology. I knew I wanted to be a CAA when I interned at MetroHealth Hospital my senior year of high school. During my internship, I was able to shadow various healthcare professionals, including a CAA. I love the teamwork among the anesthesia team, and the balance of patient interaction and action in the operating room. Currently, I am a patient care nurse assistant at Marymount Hospital. This position reinforced my decision to become a CAA due to the ability to shadow more CAAs and interact with various types of patients. CWRU is the best fit for me because of their early clinical approach and excellent track record of shaping students into professionals in the anesthesia field. I am so excited to be part of CWRU's MSA Program!

Yijing Li

Before joining the MSA program, I was a Ph.D student doing research in Earth and Planetary sciences. I enjoyed doing research and exploring new things, but I prefer the kind of job that helps people and provides me instant gratification. After months of searching, I discovered the CAA path. I was so excited and could not wait to learn about the CAA profession, so I flew from Baltimore to Milwaukee to spend my Christmas vacation shadowing a CAA. I was impressed by the complicated procedures the CAA executed and enjoyed seeing the real-time effect of drugs on patients. After coming back, I served as an assistant in both an emergency department and shock trauma OR, to expose myself to acute medical environments and learn from direct patient interaction. I enjoy the excitement of working in a high-acuity environment and doing hands-on procedures to help people in emergencies. I chose CWRU because CWRU has a rigorous curriculum and students get 5 different specialties training. The clinical site of the DC program is the biggest hospital in DC and I believe that I can learn from a variety of cases in such a big hospital. I am excited to join the class of 2025!

Andrew Liu

I spent the first 18 years of my life in Racine, WI and later graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a double major in psychology and biology. Since high school, I have always been passionate about pursuing a career in healthcare. I was drawn to the idea of a profession that would allow me to expand my scientific knowledge and also remain connected to others, as I believe this would provide me with the greatest sense of fulfillment in life. I first found out about the anesthesiologist assistant career after graduating college while working as a phlebotomist for the American Red Cross. During this time, a colleague shared her experience of transitioning from pre-medical studies to pursuing a Master of Science in Anesthesia. After some time with the Red Cross, I have come to appreciate the responsibility and reward in being in a role where I can be trusted by strangers. I find anesthesia to be a very special and rewarding avenue of medicine because it has revolutionized healthcare and allows me to share vulnerable moments with patients while utilizing my love for science. I am excited to become a part of the Case Western Reserve University community, as it is one of the most prestigious and renowned schools in the nation. Attending a school with a strong reputation for achievement gives me the best opportunity to succeed in my journey to becoming an anesthesiologist assistant.

Delaney Liebbe

I grew up in a small town called Larkspur, Colorado. I absolutely loved growing up in Colorado, and I
have always cherished the ability to explore the outdoors so close to home. After high school, I attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins and received my undergraduate degree in biological sciences. I have always been interested in having a career that had a scientific focus, and I was especially interested in the medical field. While working as a medical assistant at a vein clinic after undergrad, I learned about the certified anesthesiologist assistant career. After learning more about the position and shadowing a CAA, I knew it was the path I wanted to pursue. I am extremely excited to be entering into a career where I can both dive into the science of anesthesia and provide critical care for patients. I am additionally looking forward to being part of the unique team of providers that certified anesthesiologist assistants have the privilege of working with. I believe that receiving my education from CWRU in Washington D.C. will set me up to be a well-rounded CAA in the future.

Megan Loney

I earned my bachelor's degree in biology at Albion College while playing collegiate soccer. However, I started out at Ashland University where I began my collegiate soccer career and acquired my passion for toxicology and pharmacology. As a toxicology major, I found myself enamored with pharmacological pathways and drug development to increase the quality of healthcare and longevity. I discovered my calling to help people through a combination of community service and clinical experiences working in assisted living as well as shadowing anesthetists during high risk procedures, where I was able to experience the importance of patient care firsthand. Combining my passions inspired me to delve into a career pursuing anesthesia, which is how I came across MSA programs. The anesthesiologist assistant profession allows me the opportunity to play a crucial role in the anesthesia care team, providing for the patient and making them feel safe and comfortable before, during, and after procedures for the best possible outcome. My background of playing collegiate level soccer while balancing the demands of academic rigor provided me the ability to prosper in a team environment, knowing when to step up and lead and when to follow the directions of others. The Case Western Reserve University name holds significance, and I am honored to represent it while being pushed to my highest potential learning from professionals in the field. I am beyond excited to be joining the CWRU MSA family and continue a legacy of excellence!

Hussain Manakibwala

As a biomedical science graduate moving towards a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant (AA), I am eager to share my journey. Raised in the UAE and India, and residing in Toronto for the past decade, my lifelong intrigue with the intricacies of the human body and modern medicine's ability to sustain it has consistently fueled my passion. Throughout my academic tenure, I developed an appreciation for human anatomy, biochemistry, and physiology. In my shadowing experiences, I found the AA profession to be immensely rewarding. It applies the subjects I have most relished, fosters compassionate patient interactions, and entrusts the responsibility of caring for individuals at their most vulnerable. I have always enjoyed hands-on work and learning through application, and am excited for the opportunity to dive into clinical rotations from the get go thanks to CWRU's approach to teaching the program. I embrace the AA care team environment, and am confident that my ability to openly communicate will serve me well in navigating potential OR conflicts, thereby ensuring devoted patient care. I am committed to a future of practicing with the utmost empathy, care, and attention towards my patients as an AA, especially since I have personally experienced lack of empathy and attention in medical encounters and the effect it has on quality of care. I eagerly anticipate my time at the CWRU MSA program and look forward to contributing as a valued member of the anesthesia care team, while enriching patient experiences and growing within the profession.

Kyle McClellan

I grew up in the greater Houston area and graduated summa cum laude from Texas A&M University with my Bachelor's in Biomedical Science. My father is a physician so I was exposed to healthcare from a young age. Initially, I pursued being a physician but when I started shadowing I decided to shadow an AA and it was such an amazing experience that I changed my career path. What excites me the most about the profession is the instant feedback and gratification of administering medications and seeing the real-time effects of those medications. I also love being able to comfort people at their most vulnerable times. I'm excited to study at CWRU Houston because I get to be home with my family in an amazing city that I love. During my free time, I am an avid gamer which has helped condition me to make quick decisions which I believe will translate well to being a CAA and having to make quick decisions in the OR. I am very excited about the opportunity to attend CWRU Houston and make connections and friendships that will last a lifetime!

Astrid Meenan

Hello! I graduated from Virginia Tech with dual degrees in Biochemistry and Biology with minors in Chemistry and Spanish. I always knew I wanted to work in medicine, specifically in a field that required critical thinking, knowledge application, and one that was hands-on. When I learned about the MSA program I found that it had the perfect balance of all three and was in a field I always found fascinating. I am excited to apply what I learn in this program to my work as an AA and become a vital part of the surgical team. I am looking forward to the tight-knit community that Case Western's MSA program offers and the chance to get started right away with clinical experience. I also want to help with publicity and outreach and make the AA profession more well-known across the states.

Maireny Mundo

While earning my Bachelor's degree in Microbiology, I began teaching both chemistry and microbiology labs, joined a scholars program, and became part of a research lab. These experiences molded my attention to detail, patience, and tactile skills. Due to my role as a teaching assistant, my communication skills developed throughout the semesters, something I now see as vital inside an operating room. Like many students, I initially wanted to attend medical school but, following graduation, I worked as a clinical assistant for an adult & pediatric ENT. When I started shadowing anesthesia providers at surgical centers, I learned about the CAA profession and the scope of their practice. After being in an operating room consistently with anesthesia, I had no doubt about the role I wanted to have within the healthcare field. This profession allows for greater access to care, allows me to practice vigilance, the opportunity to work with my hands every day, and be part of an anesthesia care team model. Being a CAA gives the privilege of a balanced work life and provides opportunities for lifelong learning. Case Western having an MSA program in Houston felt like a perfect fit. Rotating in the Texas Medical Center provides exposure to a variety of anesthesia cases which makes me feel secure that I will be prepared in my future career. With my pediatric experience, I look forward to working with families to get through procedures safely and comfortably as a part of an anesthesia care team.

Zach Neenan

Hello! I'm from Toledo, Ohio. I attended Ohio University and graduated in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. Growing up I excelled in STEM courses and loved playing team sports. From a young age I knew I would pursue a career in healthcare with my primary focus surrounding anesthesia. Family ties and amazing shadowing experiences pushed me toward the specialty of anesthesia. Currently, I work as an anesthesia technician at the University of Toledo Medical Center, and this has fueled my passion to become a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant. Many of the CAA's I work with attended Case Western and have been extremely helpful along my journey. From personalities, work ethic, aptitude, and capabilities I have seen the level of providers the CWRU MSA Program produces, and am grateful for the opportunity to continue my education at this institution. Seeing how the Anesthesia Care Team Model works first hand excites me for my career to come. I believe all of my life experiences have prepared me to begin a career as a CAA, and I look forward to working with all of you in the future!

Benjamin Nguyen

I was born and raised in North Richland Hills, Texas, a suburb of Dallas Fort Worth. I attended Texas A&M University where I received my bachelors in biomedical science with a minor in business. During my time there I pursued and received a biomedical research and development certificate researching the usage of holistic remedies versus over-the-counter medications. As a student, I was able to shadow health professionals and volunteer in different clinical settings at Saint Joseph Health which sparked my interest in patient care. Ever since I was young, I always had an interest in the medical field. Although I did not know the exact path I wanted to take, I knew I wanted to be in the healthcare field because of my passion for helping others. I explored many options, but my passion for anesthesiology was solidified when I was given the opportunity to shadow an anesthesia professional. At the time, I didn't know about the CAA route until it was mentioned by my sister. After doing further research into the profession, I cemented my decision to attend CWRU MSA because of their commitment to training quality CAAs through their accelerated hands-on program. I am excited to be given the opportunity to integrate my interest in the life sciences to succeed with my fellow future CAA's at CWRU.

Brandon Nguyen

I was born and raised in Dallas, TX, and I graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Medical Laboratory Science. This degree was a stepping stone in my journey to discover what I ultimately wanted to do in healthcare. While working in a hospital lab, I analyzed blood samples, body fluids, and provided lab results to physicians in a timely manner. At times, I felt extremely rewarded by the work I was doing, such as when I helped identify leukemia in a patient's blood. This promptly led to their treatment and successful remission. While I did enjoy working in the laboratory, I came to realize that I would rather be on the frontlines administering care to patients in need. When I discovered the CAA profession, I felt it aligned with what I wanted to do and immediately fell in love with the career. I really enjoy the idea of live medicine and the ability to provide patient care on the spot, and I believe that this MSA program is the perfect opportunity for me to nurture my passion. I am excited to begin my journey at Case Western Reserve University in Washington D.C., and I know this program will provide me with all the knowledge and experience needed to become a great CAA!

Mara Nisnisan

I was a pre-med undergraduate researcher at the University of Houston studying quality of life for cancer patients in remission and cancer prevention. I am also a proud alumna of the University of North Texas HSC, where I fortified my knowledge upon completing my medical science masters. Throughout those years, I volunteered in hospice, scribed in a pediatric clinic, and assisted in an adult primary care clinic. Ultimately, I learned that while my foundation prepared me well to pursue a career in healthcare, becoming a physician no longer aligned with my personal and professional goals. I shadowed an anesthesia team in a pediatric hospital, where I was overjoyed to learn that a career as an anesthesiologist assistant is most suitable for me. I love that this profession allows for a more achievable work-life balance where I can make time for my passions outside of my career. I am excited to work in a high stakes, team-oriented environment, where I feel I thrive in. Mostly, I look forward to becoming a strong, skilled advocate for people undergoing a vulnerable experience as patients by ensuring that they are treated with dignity and the utmost care before, during, and after surgery. Furthermore, I am thrilled to study at CWRU MSA since I would have the privilege of earlier clinical exposure, education and support from renowned faculty, a growing network of experienced CAAs, and the opportunity to continue my journey in my hometown.

Benjamin Orr

I started my undergraduate experience at community college. At that time, I was interested in going to medical school to be a physician. I worked as a physical therapy technician to get clinical experience and started taking my prerequisite courses. After two years, I transferred to Madonna University. During the summer of my junior year in college, I began to study for the MCAT. During this time, I began to reflect more on the path I was going down. I didn't want to spend another eight or so years preparing for my career, and for some reason, I'd been telling myself it was something I had to do. As I was reevaluating, I got an email advertising the Master of Science in Anesthesia Program at Case Western Reserve University. I investigated the career and quickly realized this was the better option for me. The program here at Case Western is excellent, and I'm confident my education is in good hands. I'm very excited to be part of a team dedicated to saving and improving people's lives. I have a deep interest in human physiology that ties in closely with my interest in healthcare. What could be more interesting than the study of the organ systems that keep us alive and applying the related science in the operating room? For me, the answer is nothing, and I think a career as a certified anesthesiologist assistant will allow me to explore and be surrounded by this interest of mine. 

Leila Oswalt

I am from Lewis Center, OH and graduated from Bowling Green State University in Spring 2023 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry with Biochemistry specialization. I had originally wanted to pursue medicine due to my love of science and helping others. However, upon shadowing an anesthesiologist assistant, I came to realize that my talents would best be served in this position as I have a calm demeanor and enjoy the hands-on aspect of the assistant's role. I am excited to be a part of the CWRU MSA program due to its marvelous reputation, numerous opportunities, and outstanding student success rate. I am passionate about social justice as well as education about various social identities and hope to continue advocating for equal rights and protection for all in my career - especially since implicit bias in the medical field could be fatal in extreme situations. Overall, I am excited to learn more about this amazing profession and meet other professionals and students alike in the field of anesthesia.

Kendall Peterson

I grew up in The Woodlands, TX and graduated from The University of Oklahoma where I majored in biology and minored in Spanish. I became interested in science and medicine after watching my two older brothers pursue a career in medicine, but it was not until I sustained a sports-related injury that I realized the importance of bridging patients' physical health with their overall well-being. I shadowed practitioners in cardiology, emergency medicine, and primary care, all of which strengthened my desire to become a healthcare provider. I was immediately drawn to a career as a CAA after spending time in an operating room, and I discovered that the profession encompasses all of the skills and interests I developed over the years: patient-centered medicine, continuous learning, teamwork, and compassion. I hope to be able to draw on my experiences as a patient and utilize my clinical skills to serve as patient advocate and provide excellent medical care.

Frankie Pizzo

I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and received a Bachelor of Science in both Biology and Neuroscience from Nova Southeastern University in 2022. As a child, I spent a good amount of time in the hospital alongside my grandmother as she battled cancer and developed a strong regard for healthcare professionals. As I grew older, I thought attending medical school would provide me with fulfillment and career satisfaction, but it wasn't until I shadowed physicians and worked as an ER Tech that I realized it was the wrong choice for me. I spent a lot of my junior year reflecting on my prior experiences, determining what I wanted from a future career, and searching for opportunities to shadow other healthcare professions. I was fortunate enough to shadow several CAAs, and I fell in love with the profession right away. The focus on team-based care, experiential learning, and the profession's influence on the community was captivating. After researching the various programs, I decided on Case Western Reserve University because of its reputation of producing high-caliber CAAs, extensive network of clinical locations, and early exposure to the operating room. I can't even begin to describe how thrilled I am to start learning about anesthesia at CWRU and gaining experience alongside the class of 2025!

Madelyn Rabideau

I grew up in Grand Haven, MI. I graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2022 with a degree in Biology. There, I focused on taking steps toward pursuing a career in healthcare as I had always pictured myself attending medical school. In undergrad, I started working as an Anesthesia Technician to gain more clinical experience. It was there that I discovered the CAA profession. Through this job, I was able to gain immersive experience working with CAAs and found a passion for the field of anesthesia. These experiences helped me realize the CAA profession better aligned with both my personal and professional goals. I am very excited to be studying at CWRU MSA because of the unparalleled reputation the program has for training safe, professional, and highly skilled anesthetists. I am excited to learn how to become a CAA who upholds the highest level of care to patients, to become an advocate for the CAA profession, and to be surrounded by people who share my passions and aspirations. With these skills, I hope to one day advocate for the further expansion of CAAs within my home state of Michigan.

Connor Rademacher

I was raised in La Crosse, WI and went to Colorado College and the University of Wisconsin-Madison for my undergraduate studies. I was exposed to the healthcare industry at a very young age through my father's work as a physician, which always gave me a great sense of pride and gratitude being able to watch him help people. This early exposure, combined with science classes, such as anatomy & physiology and human nutrition, strengthened my interest in pursuing a job in healthcare. I furthered that interest by obtaining my EMT certificate in college and working as a CNA in an ICU at a level one trauma center post-college. This experience solidified my passion to provide high caliber healthcare as my profession. I am excited to practice as an anesthesiologist assistant because I want to be able to provide incredible care to patients who are going through such a stress-inducing time. I believe my skills as a hardworking and supportive teammate, which have been honed through school and team sports, will be a perfect fit operating within the anesthesia and OR care teams. I am immensely proud that I will be able to pursue this profession through such a storied university and am excited to continue on the legacy as a future alumni. My strong values on personal wellness, belief in the power of a team, and commitment to both my individual and collective competency as a healthcare worker make me confident in my future work as an AA.

Michael Rosalia

Looking forward to my time as an MSA student has allowed me to appreciate what originally attracted me to becoming a CAA. Since returning to school, I have always been interested in healthcare, with my sights originally set on becoming a physician. However, as a non-traditional student, I have become more practical in my thinking. Upon being introduced to the career of an anesthesiologist assistant, I knew it was a perfect fit. With a blend of hands-on work in the form of procedures, and the critical thinking required to effectively treat patients, I was immediately drawn to the field of anesthesia. Furthermore, I am excited to be able to impact a patient's experience and help shepherd them through surgery. The capacity of a CAA was specifically appealing due to its accessibility for a non-traditional student. Most importantly, I believe that a physician should always be at the head of patient care, and I will be proud to work in a position that maintains that integrity while still expanding the reach of quality healthcare.

Salem Sayed

I was born and raised in Toledo, Ohio where I graduated from the University of Toledo with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Chemistry and Spanish. Working to improve the lives of those in my community was always an interest of mine, and during undergrad, I was involved with various organizations that met the needs of the underserved in my community. I love foreign languages and I used my knowledge of the Arabic and Spanish languages to bridge language gaps in my community. In addition, I had been working at Best Buy troubleshooting electronics for the public since the age of 16 (my first-ever job!). The satisfaction that I received from helping others improve their lives through the power of technology motivated me to seek a healthcare career that directly involved using technology to improve the lives of others. The CAA profession was the perfect mix of patient care, technology, and science, and I am thrilled to make my dream job a reality at CWRU. I am even more thrilled to be a part of CWRU's MSA program because of its history and respect in the anesthesia community and its commitment to students and patients.

Jaden Seipp

I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio! I transplanted myself to Columbus to attend The Ohio State University where I majored in biochemistry and graduated in 2019. Many of the experiences during my undergraduate degree culminated in a lot of the knowledge I've fallen in love with over my education. I worked with the STEP program at OSU to grant funding for my training and certification as an EMT over COVID. I also worked to maintain involvement in learning communities, classes, and after school engagement programs regarding public policy and political involvement in our world today. Beyond education, classes, and experiences I feel like my undergraduate opportunity gave me the ability to experience and connect to people on a level of maturity I hadn't quite been granted yet in life. It's hard to connect with people and being an AA carries a responsibility of duty for the patients' health while also not discounting their mental health. As a professional I'm excited (and nervous) for my face to be the one that holds patients steady in situations they would have never dreamed of being in. I'm also excited beyond belief to be able to take my clinical experience and political involvement to do my part and be able to advocate for the CAA profession, through a leadership role and active engagement in the AAAA through my new home at CWRU, Cleveland.

Eric Shen

Born and raised in Southern California, I graduated from UC San Diego in 2022 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a General Biology minor. With career aspirations in both biotechnology and healthcare, the CAA profession was introduced to me by the physician anesthesiologist I shadowed, who had worked very closely with CWRU students during his studies. After much thought and insight from other healthcare professionals in my family, I decided that this would be a great profession to pursue that would allow me to grow by combining and applying my interests and/or skills in biochemistry/organic chemistry, engineering-related problem-solving, healthcare, and being serviceable to others. After graduating, I had the opportunity to work at lllumina in the genotyping department, where I would process samples through the lnfinium Assay that would eventually be sent back to with genealogical information regarding the individual's ancestral background. This experience would allow me to hone my teamwork skills, attention to detail, and  quick-thinking ability in a pace-fasted environment. 

Min Shwe

I was born in Myanmar (Burma), grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and earned a Bachelor's degree from UHCL. Prior to UHCL, my privilege as a paramedic led me to my desire to get more involved in in-hospital patient care. My experience in paramedicine exposed me to the responsibility of collaborating with other first responders and making critical medical decisions in prehospital patient management. As a paramedic, I saw the patient's medical needs and my role was to get them stabilized and transported to the destination where they receive treatment. As an AA I look forward to being part of their actual treatment where I will be responsible for managing their perioperative internal medical care. I chose CWRU for their early clinical exposure, where I will have the opportunity to learn from the clinicians with years of experience. Now as a newly planted AA student, I am thankful for this opportunity to grow and be a part of the operating team, working toward the common goal of maximizing each patient's quality of life in the most compassionate capacity I can imagine.

Nicholas Sirhan

Coming from a traditional Middle Eastern immigrant family, the idea of pursuing medicine was instilled in me from an early age. I attended the University of Texas at San Antonio, where I developed a profound interest in the human body and began my pursuit of becoming a physician. After earning a B.S. in Biology in 2019, I put my medical ambitions on hold to address family obligations. During this time, I tutored privately and learned to trade in financial markets, but my interest in medicine persisted. A shadowing experience with a pediatric surgeon introduced me to the world of anesthesia and the thrill of working in an operating room. Not only does anesthesia deliver on the excitement of procedural work, but it also offers the opportunity to practice acute care while expanding on the physiological concepts that sparked my initial interest in medicine. When choosing a program, I was drawn to CWRU's long-standing reputation in the field of anesthesia and its outstanding faculty at the Austin location. I am eager to take the next step in becoming a student of anesthesia, fully understanding yet honored to pursue the challenges that await me.

Jane Snider

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, I graduated from The Ohio State University in 2023 earning a Bachelor's degree in Human Nutrition. I supplemented my science-based education with a Medical
Humanities minor in hopes of becoming a well-rounded provider with a deep understanding of the intersection between healthcare and humanities. I had the chance to apply this education as a Patient Care Associate at the Wexner Medical Center which affirmed my desire to work in healthcare as I learned and mastered bedside care practices. However, I knew my true passion lay in the OR, an environment I immediately saw myself thriving in upon my first CAA shadowing experience. As an extrovert, I was drawn to the collaborative, team-work-oriented workspace and the opportunities to perform advanced, hands-on medical practices. I deepened my knowledge of anesthesia and the roles of a CAA during my shadowing experiences, fueling me to gain more excitement and passion about this career--a telltale sign that becoming a CAA was right for me. Case Western Reserve University has many unique aspects that drew me to this program, but above all else, I chose this program because I honestly believe it will help me achieve my main goal: to not only become a CAA, but to become the best CAA I can be. I feel this MSA program will allow me to really tap into my potential and provide me with amazing opportunities. I am thrilled to be pursuing my dream career at CWRU!

Catherine Syfert

I grew up in the small city of Fort Mitchell, Kentucky, in the metropolitan area of Cincinnati, Ohio. I like to think of my family as very "scientific", with a doctor for a mother and a chemical engineer for a father. The hardworking spirits of my parents highly influenced me, and I knew from a very young age I wanted to be in the medical profession. While earning a Bachelor's degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Cincinnati, I experienced a variety of fascinating courses, with my favorite being those on anatomy and physiology, as well as chemistry labs with interesting experiments. After shadowing multiple professions, I discovered the Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant career and was fascinated with the blend of patient care and operating room technique. When I was able to shadow a CAA, I immediately felt at home walking through the halls of the hospital basement and into ORs with surgical teams ready to perform operations. I had planned to move to Texas and discovered that CWRU had recently started a MSA program in Austin, giving me the perfect opportunity to apply. I most look forward to studying at CWRU Austin for the highly immersive program and the small class size that will allow me to know each classmate and faculty member individually. I am beyond excited for the opportunity to grow into a skilled anesthetist and be immersed into the team culture of this field!

Chloe Tarbox

I graduated from Texas Tech University with my Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Originally, I was planning on attending medical school following my gap year. However, for the past several months, I have had the pleasure of learning what anesthesia professionals do via my full time job as an anesthesia technician. I work directly with anesthesiologist assistants, and I quickly realized that this was the career I had been searching for. Surgery is scary, and I look forward to being able to give comfort to my patients both before, during, and after procedures. As a Texas native, I wanted to stay close to home, and Case Western Reserve University in Austin gives me that opportunity. I am excited to study at Case Western Reserve because I am confident that this MSA program will equip me with the necessary skills to perform my daily job duties well, in addition to caring about the well-being of their students. In the medical field, it is important to understand others' mental health in addition to their physical health. My background in psychology will allow me to be an informed advocate for recognizing, respecting, and educating others about mental health both during my master's program, and throughout my career as an anesthesiologist assistant. I look forward to furthering my education in anesthesia, and I can't wait to be a part of such a rewarding career.

Lindsey Thall

I was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio and attended Kent State University from 2018-2023. During my time at Kent I graduated with my undergraduate degree in Biology on the pre-medicine track and also obtained my Master's degree in Sport Administration. I was a member of the KSU Women's Basketball team which was a large part of my collegiate life. In many ways the CAA path I chose was very similar to my athletic career. Both take hard work and determination to be successful. Basketball has taught me many lessons on how to lead, communicate and work on a team. Now, as part of the Anesthesia Care Team I hope to utilize these tools to impact the lives of my patients on a daily basis. To be a part of the CWRU program in Cleveland is an honor as I have heard nothing but great things about the staff and those who complete the program. In becoming a CAA, I hope to be a calming presence for patients as well as continue to build up the profession!

Ann Thomas

I grew up in Mason, Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University with a neuroscience degree. Shortly after, I attended graduate school and earned my Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences. During my time there, I was able to observe and participate in rodent surgeries used for research purposes. I really enjoyed the teamwork aspect and the attention to detail displayed in these rooms, but what really fascinated me was the anesthesia behind it. Additionally, within my experiences in clinical research and as a medical assistant, I realized I loved interacting with patients and providing patient care. I am very excited to be able to combine both of these aspects and grow into being a knowledgeable and compassionate CAA. I knew that I wanted to pursue this opportunity at CWRU because of their long standing reputation and commitment to the field. I am very excited and honored to begin my journey as a CAA!

Sofie Tiguert

I grew up in Dearborn, Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. My experience as a medical assistant and shadow in anesthesia helped confirm my desire to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist assistant. From obtaining patient vitals and histories, to serving as an interpreter and guide, I relished in the constant learning and fast-paced nature that characterizes healthcare environments. Through my anesthesia shadowing experience, I was exposed to the collaboration between several healthcare professions and enjoyed the "team" aspect of delivering this type of healthcare. As a student at CWRU MSA, I hope to accelerate my knowledge and clinical skills to excel within this profession and build valuable connections with my classmates and future colleagues.

Cailey Tingler

I grew up in Hubbard, Ohio, and completed my undergraduate degree at Youngstown State University, majoring in Biology. During my time there, I came to love courses such as Anatomy, Human Physiology, Principles of Pharmacology, and even Behavioral Neuroscience. Having taken these courses, I was able to learn of different career options in the medical field, and my love for these courses was what led me to focus on anesthesiologist assistants. I soon was able to shadow a CAA and loved the type of work she did throughout her day, encouraging me even further that this was the career for me. As someone who was always interested in the medical field and science-based courses, I feel that this career is the perfect match for me. I am so excited to start the CWRU MSA program and learn alongside CAAs, meet my peers, and explore Cleveland!

Queen Tran

I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia to Vietnamese immigrant parents. Growing up, there was a lot of pressure on me to do well in school and pursue a fulfilling career, so I decided to attend Augusta University and major in Medicinal Chemistry. During my undergraduate years, I worked on various research projects in drug design, where I synthesized anti-cancer compounds which were then used on tissues and mice. I thought I wanted to attend PA school at the time and shadowed in several specialties, but I didn't feel enthusiastic until I started shadowing a CAA. Everything they said and did convinced me that being in anesthesia was for me, especially with my technical background as a research assistant. I loved the team-based and technical aspect of research, but I also wanted to work with patients and know that I had a hand in improving their lives. Being a CAA seemed like the balance I was looking for. I look forward to starting a new chapter in Washington, DC and am ecstatic to someday be a part of the anesthesia team!

Madelyn Traub

I grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from John Carroll University and earned my Bachelor of Science in Biology. During undergrad, I shadowed various healthcare professionals and realized how much I loved being in the OR. It was during a pre-health professions seminar class where I was introduced to the CAA career path and after doing some additional research, I was immediately drawn to the ability of having direct patient care. After shadowing a student who was in the CWRU MSA program at Cleveland and learning about the early introduction of clinical teaching, I knew this was the career I wanted to pursue. By spending the past four years at a university in Cleveland, I grew to learn of how highly regarded CWRU is and how the program has faculty with years of experience in anesthesia. I am truly grateful for this opportunity to attend the MSA program at CWRU in Cleveland and look forward to becoming an essential part of the anesthesia care team!

Amanda Vaysman

I grew up in New York and graduated from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) in 2022 with a Bachelor's Degree in Life Sciences. Post-graduation, I've spent the past year working in health administration in a physical therapy office. I have always taken interest in the field of medicine. While this interest may have stemmed from being surrounded by many family members in a variety of healthcare professions ranging from both physical and occupational therapists to nurses and physician assistants, my love for science and medicine grew with each doctor I shadowed and research project I conducted. I found that while the lab work I conducted during my undergraduate career was very interesting, there was something lacking. It wasn't until I had the opportunity to shadow a variety of anesthesiology providers: DOs, MDs, as well as CRNAs that I found the missing element: patient interaction. After speaking to and learning from the various anesthesiology providers, I found that the CAA route was the one for me. I was fascinated by the versatility and skill required by the anesthesiology team. As an anesthesiologist assistant, you are constantly learning something new and being able to practice and hone new skills alongside a care team. I am looking forward to starting my journey towards becoming a CAA at CWRU in Washington, D.C.

Christian von Harten

My preparation for the MSA program started during my first years at the University of Cincinnati where I obtained a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences and a pre-medical certificate. After enlisting in the Army during my time at UC, I gained experience in a medical section of a cavalry squadron. This experience bolstered my already strong interest in medicine. Once getting a glimpse into the role of a C-AA by shadowing several, I was intrigued by the profession of working in an anesthesia care team model in the operating room. After researching the pathway to becoming a C-AA, I decided that this career path was the greatest choice for me. My excitement grew as I submitted my application, interviewed, and was ultimately accepted to Case's MSA program. I am proud to be a student at Case Western's MSA program since it was one of the first pioneers in establishing the C-AA profession. I am excited to be pursuing a career in which I will be able to use the skills I learn in a team environment and provide patient safety within the care team model!

Alexander Waldron

I am from Columbus, Ohio, and went to Miami University (Ohio) for my undergraduate education. During this time, I was fortunate enough to shadow a few anesthesiologists and began to consider going to either medical school or graduate school for anesthesia. After graduating in 2020 with my Bachelor's in Biology, I began working in Anesthesia Clinical Research at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center with the hope of using this time to help make the decision between CAA and MD/DO. Throughout my time in this department, I was able to learn more about the medical field, clinical research, and the anesthesia profession. I found myself enjoying days spent in the OR the most, watching the anesthesia team put the patients to sleep, keep them asleep, and wake them up. I was interested in discussing anesthesia practices with members of the research team, and I found my career interest shifting away from medical school and towards becoming an anesthesia provider, and specifically a CAA. I can't wait to learn more about anesthesia and begin working towards becoming an anesthesia provider.

Kuang Xiong

I earned my MA in English Linguistics in 2008 from Fudan University in China and had worked as a college English teacher for over a decade in Shanghai before me and my family moved to the US in 2019. Inspired by my parents and my husband, all dedicated doctors, I began exploring the healthcare field for my second career when I arrived in the US. In 2019, I enrolled in the University of South Alabama as an undergraduate majoring in Biomedical Sciences and developed a strong interest in health sciences. After shadowing various healthcare professionals, I decided that being a CAA would be the best fit for me, for it provides a perfect opportunity for me to apply what I've learned in my favorite subjects, do hands-on work, and team-up with other professionals in the OR to achieve to best results for patients, which to me is very similar to the working vibe as a teacher, who always teams up with students and colleagues to get the best learning results. Among all the MSA programs in the US, I picked the CWRU MSA program as my first choice because of its long history and strong commitment in training the country's best CAAs, as well as the abundant opportunities it offers students for clinical trainings under various settings in the country's top facilities.

Zaid Yahya

I graduated from Oakland University with a B.S. in Medical Laboratory Sciences. After graduation, I enrolled in an internship to get my certification as a Medical Laboratory Scientist while applying for Case Western's MSA program. Throughout my internship and undergrad curriculum, I came to love the use of medical technology and loved the hands-on technical nature of my career. The MSA program appealed to me because of the early clinical rotations combined with lectures, which was the format of my internship that I found to be excellent when I was learning. My interest in anesthesia combined with my hands-on laboratory experience gave me the confidence to apply to the MSA program at CWRU because it appealed to my skills and was similar to my previous work and educational background. Although I am entering the program only a year after I graduated, I am confident that with my undergrad curriculum, work experience, and the MSA program, I will gain the skills and knowledge necessary to be an excellent anesthesia provider.

Kareem Zade

I'm from Cincinnati, OH and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the Ohio State University in 2020 and a Master's degree in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Toledo in 2021. Throughout my time spent as an undergrad, I knew I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare and began exploring different careers that would allow me to have a positive impact on the health of those within my community. My passion for anesthesia began when a family friend, who also happens to be an anesthesiologist, recommended that I shadow at her hospital to get exposure to the field of anesthesia. It was during this shadowing experience where I was first introduced to the career of the CAA and their roles in the anesthesia care team model. There were many factors that I found intriguing about the CAA profession throughout my shadowing experiences, including the range of surgeries throughout the workweek, the active involvement in the OR and the great work-life balance that was associated with the career! Additionally, I took part in undergraduate clinical research at the Wexner Medical Center's department of anesthesiology at OSU. This gave me the opportunity to collaborate on studies focused on improving the quality of care that anesthetists provide for their patients, which further fuelled my passion for anesthesia. I believe that my experiences as both an undergraduate and graduate student will enable me to carry on the CWRU's reputation of providing hospitals and communities with empathetic, professional and passionate CAAs!

Samuel Zander

I was born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2020 with a B.S. in Nutrition. Initially, I had my sights set on medical school or PA school. I knew nothing about the AA profession until one day at work I was lucky enough to draw the blood of a CAA. She had told me all about her excellent experience with work and called it her dream job. From that point on, I knew I had to investigate more. As I kept learning about CAAs and shadowing, I fell more and more in love with the job and decided to fully pursue it as my career. The teamwork and camaraderie of anesthesia providers is what I love most about the job. Everyone works together toward the goal of providing patients the best outcomes possible. Additionally, so many of my healthcare interests align with what CAAs do. The aspect of seeing the care you provide work in real-time absolutely fascinates me. While looking at schools, CWRU was one that always stood out to me. The city, the campus, and the clinical opportunities made the decision easy. Not to mention the continued success and respect CWRU graduates are known to have. I cannot wait to get started and begin this amazing journey!