From left to right (top row): Professors and students from the 2016-2017 academic year. Dr. Jonathan Sadowsky, Jacob Martin, Dr. Eileen Anderson-Fye, Saagar Pamulapati, Megan McKenney, and Jamie Crist. From left to right (bottom row): Sheba Gollapudi, Hillary Villarreal, Natasha Rupani, and Xiaoyi Ren. Not pictured (in alphabetical order): Sarah Bedoyan, Anupama Cemballi, and Kaitlin Murphy.
This academic year 2018-2019, we again have over 30 students enrolled in the Medicine, Society & Culture concentration of the M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities program. Below, read biographies of some of our students.
Teyoni Blain is a Masters candidate in the Bioethics and Medical humanities program with a concentration in medicine society and culture. She received her B.S. in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Clayton State University. Currently, she is a research assistant for the Bioethics department studying racial disparities in fetal mortality rates involving African American women in Cleveland. She believes her purpose is to both serve and be an advocate of the undeserved, and is pursuing her degree to be a clinician who understands the importance of true, patient centered care.
Cristobal Cabrera earned a B.S. in Biological Sciences from Florida Atlantic University and is working towards a M.A. in Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. His passion for working with underserved populations in medicine led him to pursue a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture. After grad school, Cristobal plans on attending medical school where he can incorporate his newly acquired skills with his colleagues and the community.
Nicholas Curtis holds a B.A. in Biology from Case Western Reserve University and is pursuing his M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Case Western Reserve University in the Medicine, Society, and Culture track. He plans to attend law school after his M.A. to obtain his J.D. in Health Law. Nicholas seeks to continue his history of research within the department. He will aim to use the skills and information from his master’s program to affect health laws and policy as well as potentially within clinical ethics consult work.
Shrijal Desai holds a B.S. in Integrative Biology Honors and Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is earning his M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. He is involved in the Civic Engagement Scholars Program, and plans to obtain his MD / PhD and work within the field of neurodegenerative disorders, as well as practice medicine in underrepresented areas of Chicago. He is a research assistant at the Cleveland Clinic within the Deep Brain Stimulation Lab in the Neurosurgery department. He is pursuing the MSC track in order to improve his goals of practicing medicine with a culturally diverse population.
Hamasa Ebadi holds a B.S. in Biology and Neuroscience from Gettysburg College, and is
working towards her M.A. in Bioethics with a concentration in MSC at Case Western Reserve
University. Hamasa has helped with research at McCormick neurobiology lab at Yale School of
Medicine, and she has worked at Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine, Department of
Neuropathology and Surgery doing TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) research. Both experiences
have reinforced her goal to become a neurosurgeon. She plans to attend medical school after her
M.A., but also wants to be involved in research.
Kathryn Garcia is a Masters candidate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities, pursuing the Medicine, Society, and Culture track. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Saint Mary's College of California. She is passionate about women's health and reproductive ethics. Kathryn plans to attend medical school after receiving her Masters degree and be an advocate for minority populations in the medical field. She is pursuing the MSC track to deepen her understanding of health and illness in cultural contexts, as well as her understanding of social medicine.
Jacob Gohdes holds a bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines. After working as an engineer for a few years, Jacob is now pursuing the Master’s degree in Bioethics with a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture. He is particularly interested in the MSC concentration for the opportunities to explore and address the complex ethical situations present in healthcare.
Michelle Gotto is a dual-degree Master’s candidate in Public Health and Bioethics, focusing on reproductive health policy and reproductive ethics. Her research centers on how society and culture view womanhood through a lens of motherhood, and the ways in which those views affect reproductive health policies. Michelle believes that the MSC concentration’s interdisciplinary nature provides the best framework to study these dilemmas. She serves as the patient advocate for the Committee on Human Stem Cell Research Oversight, works full-time at CWRU for the Physician Assistant Program, and volunteers at Preterm.
Abhinaya Gunasekar is pursuing a Masters in Bioethics and Medical Humanities concurrent with her Bachelor of Arts degree in Cognitive Science through the Integrated Graduate Studies program at Case Western Reserve University. Currently, she works for the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center and volunteers at Rainbow Babies. After receiving her M.A., she plans to pursue an MPH degree with a focus in global health and health policy before heading to medical school. Her degree in bioethics and the MSC track will help her in her future professional goals by strengthening her understanding of how various socio-cultural contexts affect healthcare.
Nicolas Gutierrez holds a B.S. in Neuroscience with a concentration in Cognitive Psychology from Johns Hopkins University, and is earning his M.A. in Bioethics with a concentration in MSC at Case Western Reserve University. His research interests include Construal Level Theory in relationships, models for epilepsy and Glioblastoma Multiforme treatment, Vagal Nerve Stimulation technology, and psychedelic assisted psychotherapy. Currently, he is a research assistant to Nese Devenot building a project of a qualitative analysis of psychedelic treatment narratives. He plans to use his bioethics degree, clinical rotations, and research to help him navigate the journey to becoming a physician.
Rebekah Ham is a Wayne State University graduate with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Psychology and a minor in Gender, Sexuality and Women's studies. Rebekah is an aspiring physician who is currently a master's student at Case Western Reserve University. She knows that pursuing a masters in bioethics with the medicine, society and culture concentration will give her the background she needs to become a well rounded and empathetic physician. Recently, Rebekah has become interested in Palliative medicine as well as anthropological and feminist approaches to medicine. She wants to explore all three during her time at Case.
Shaafae Hussain is at Case Western Reserve University to achieve his Master in Bioethics & Medical Humanities. He received his Bachelor in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from Rice University where he was actively involved in various organizations as well as the founder of the Rice Public Health Brigades. He plans to attend medical school after his M.A. and aspires to practice pediatric medicine, but also be actively involved in academia and research. He has chosen a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture because having an interdisciplinary understanding of medicine is necessary to consider patients as unique individuals and not just a collection of cells. Shaafae seeks every day to hold himself accountable to people who are within the margins and strives to foster solidarity and understanding within as well as outside of his CWRU community.
Matthew Jordan holds a B.S. in Biochemistry with minors in Public Health and Spanish from Stetson University in DeLand, FL. He believes earning his M.A. in Bioethics with a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture at CWRU will enable him to be a more rounded and caring physician. He aspires to be a neurosurgeon and is currently applying to medical school.
Andrew Nguyen has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Notre Dame and is earning a master’s degree in Bioethics with a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture at Case Western Reserve University. With plans to attend medical school after completing his master’s in bioethics, he aspires to work in global medicine. He believes that a degree in bioethics will help him be a more holistic doctor and approach every patient with a deeper understanding. He also hopes to use his bioethics background to advocate for better patient care.
Anjlee Panjwani is a Masters candidate and a Bachelor of Arts candidate in Biology through Case Western Reserve University’s Integrated Graduate Studies program. She is currently a research student at the Lerner Research Institute at the Cleveland Clinic to understand mechanisms of hyperglycemia and angiogenesis. While she is on the pre-medicine track, Anjlee would like to engage in a multiperspective approach to healthcare. After graduation, she plans on using her degree in bioethics to gain experience in global health policy. The MSC concentration is a guiding bridge for Anjlee to enhance her knowledge on the sociocultural nuances in the medical field.
Hannah Pomerantz is a Masters candidate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities and a Bachelor of Arts candidate in history and political science through the Integrated Graduate Studies program at Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests include maternal health and end-of-life decision making. She is excited about the MSC concentration it connects her passion for the humanities to her interest in clinical ethics. She looks forward to pursuing medical humanities professional and hopes to get her doctorate in either public health or history after graduation.
Emoni Pointer-Tedder holds a B.A. in French from the University of Rochester and is earning her M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities at Case Western Reserve University. After spending time teaching French and working in the House of Representatives, Emoni plans on attending medical school upon the completion of this program. She believes that the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration will ameliorate her cultural humility and aid her in being a better physician.
Amanda Pupo is a Masters candidate in Bioethics and Medical Humanities and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Case Western Reserve University. She is pursuing the MSC track to deepen her understanding of the social and cultural factors that play into health and wellness. Her research interests include studies in cognitive and clinical psychology. She plans to attend medical school after her M.A. with the hopes of using her psychology background to one day specialize in psychiatry. Amanda will use her knowledge of bioethics and the medical humanities will help to reinforce the decisions she will make as medical professional.
Angelica Rucker attained a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Wilberforce University. Currently, she is earning a M.A. in Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. Understanding that representation is important, her desire is to attend medical school to practice medicine in under-served and under-represented communities She is excited about the program because she believes studying Bioethics will equip her with the knowledge to be culturally competent and ethically sound as she pursues a career in medicine.
Elyse Taylor holds a B.A. in Africana Studies from Mount Holyoke College and is pursuing a M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities from Case Western Reserve University. Eager to prepare herself for a career in medicine, she has embarked on the Medicine, Society, and Culture track, an educational opportunity that will provide the basic tools to assist her in understanding diversity in healthcare. Elyse's knowledge of bioethics will allow her to affect policies in the future with regard to healthcare disparities and underserved populations.
This academic year 2017-2018, we have over 30 students enrolled in the Medicine, Society & Culture concentration of the M.A. in Bioethics and Medical Humanities program. Below are biographies of some of our current students.
Naqib Ahmad is a masters candidate in Bioethics in the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration at Case Western Reserve University. He studied Economics and Sociology during his undergraduate work at George Mason University and currently holds a B.A. in Sociology. After working as a banker for six years, he is now pursuing medical school and believes that a Masters degree in Bioethics will equip him to become a well-rounded and compassionate physician to those in underserved areas.
Andrea Arias holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology and Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and is pursuing the Master's degree program with a concentration in Medicine, Society and Culture. She is using this program to orient her in the direction that she wants to take her career. She does want to be involved in the medical field due to her time spent volunteering with Global Medical Brigades in Panama and Nicaragua.
Jack Clemmensen is a recent graduate from Saint Mary’s College of California with a BS in Biology with a concentration in Molecular Biology. He aspires to become a trauma/general surgeon. Beyond becoming a more well rounded and compassionate physician, the masters in Bioethics will allow him to understand the diverse nature of medicine and how he can help patients beyond just being a surgeon.
Kaitlynn Craig holds a B.S. in Biomedical Sciences from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona and is currently earning her M.A in Bioethics at CWRU. She plans to attend medical school after completing her M.A and fulfill her dream of becoming a pediatric oncologist. She believes that a degree in bioethics will help her better understand patient care and the complexities that come with treating a child.
Maia Delegal attended CWRU for her B.A., double-majoring in cognitive science and medical anthropology with a music minor. She’s now earning her M.A. in Bioethics with a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture. Maia is a mental health advocate, intersectional feminist activist, and freelance blogger. After finishing her M.A., Maia plans to conduct qualitative research surrounding mental health in the Cleveland area, and then pursue a Ph.D. in Medical Anthropology.
James Johnston recently graduated from Appalachian State University with a B.A. in philosophy. Through his studies, he became keenly familiar with the pharmaceutical industry, leading to an even greater interest in medical ethics as a whole. Ultimately, he wants the medical industry see the individual as a patient rather than a customer. By pursuing a Master’s degree in Bioethics at Case Western, he plans on working diligently to find a way to make the industry more ethical.
Janice Joseph is a recent graduate from Temple University, located in Philadelphia, PA. She earned her B.S. degree in Biology with a Spanish minor. She aspires to be a physician and hopes to use the knowledge she gains from the MSC concentration to become a well-informed and well-rounded doctor. She is also a classically trained Indian dancer and danced competitively for Temple University’s Bollywood Fusion Dance Team called Agni.
Fayla Junior earned a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Religion from Lander University in Greenwood, SC. In her quest to become a physician, a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture within the Bioethics Master’s program at Case Western Reserve University is one that will provide insight and expand her perspective on health, illness, and overall ethics for an optimal career in medicine.
Andre Manchester is an IGS student pursuing both the MSC and Research concentrations. A Medical Anthropology B.A. with a minor in French, she is passionate about the ways in which language, ethnicity, race, and immigration status impact healthcare on both the patient and policy levels. She is particularly interested in fertility, maternal and infant health, and reproductive justice, and hopes to one day serve the needs and interests of Latinx, immigrant, and LGBT+ constituents.
Jacob McClellan received B.A. in philosophy from Northwestern University and is currently acquiring a M.A. in Bioethics at CWRU. He has a distinct interest in neurology and end-of-life decision making. Ultimately he wishes to practice neurology. Jacob believes the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration will prepare him to be a well-rounded, ethically oriented physician, and is excited to apply the skills he's learned in philosophy and bioethics to a medical gaze.
Sruthi Meka is currently pursuing a M.A. in bioethics alongside a B.A. in psychology and anthropology through the Integrated Graduate Studies program. She is interested in exploring the intersections between health, behavior, and society, especially within the context of public health. She hopes to pursue further graduate education to eventually contribute to the field of health services research.
Nkemji Nweke is a Masters degree candidate in the Bioethics program with a concentration in Medicine, Society, and Culture. She attended Rice University for her undergraduate degree where she received a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Nkemji is pursuing this program and hopes that it will shape her abilities to be an attentive and well-rounded physician. She most looks forward to bioethics will helping her navigate the intricacies of the ever changing medical field in our current culture and in the future.
Sarah Osmulski graduated from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. She recently completed a year of service with AmeriCorps VISTA at an environmental education center in East Tennessee. Sarah plans to attend medical school after receiving her M.A. in Bioethics, and she believes the MSC concentration will mold her into a well-rounded physician who can address the ethical, social, and scientific aspects of health and medicine.
Joe Pecoraro is a Masters candidate in Bioethics who studied Classics as an undergraduate at Arizona State University. After time spent studying law and working in academic advising in higher education, Joe plans to attend medical school and believes that the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration will make him a more well-rounded and effective clinician. During his downtime, you can always find Joe with his Labrador Scout next to him.
Ilana Siegal graduated from Syracuse University with a B.A. in International Relations (concentrations in the Middle East and International Political Economy). The MSC concentration in Bioethics combines her interests in clinical medicine and global health and will help her become a more empathetic and culturally competent future physician. She served as an EMT with Syracuse University Ambulance, first responder on Magen David Adom ambulances in Israel, medical volunteer with Global Brigades in Nicaragua, and Jewish community volunteer in Cuba.
Dorian Stevens graduated from Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania with a degree in Biology with a concentration in Neuroscience, and is an aspiring physician. He was a college football player at Mercyhurst. He is from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and loves the Steelers. He chose to pursue the MSC concentration at Case Western Reserve to further his knowledge in societal and cultural issues that he will encounter in healthcare.
Benjamin Weber is a Bioethics master’s degree candidate. After graduating from University of Wisconsin-Madison with his bachelor’s in biochemistry and classical languages, he went on to become a clinical genetic sequencing technician. He was drawn to the program, specifically to MSC, because of its intensely interdisciplinary nature, which he believes will improve his understanding of how we interact with the medical community, both in everyday life and while in crisis.
Monica Windholtz is an integrated graduate studies (IGS) student studying Bioethics in the MSC concentration with a B.A. in Medical Anthropology. She is also pursuing a minor in Sociology and a certificate of global health. In her time outside the classroom, Monica serves as the Editor-in-Chief of Discussions, CWRU's undergraduate research journal. She is pursuing the M.A. to enhance her understanding of medical law and policy and hopes to attend law school after graduation to continue these studies.
Shira Yellin is an Integrated Graduate Studies student in the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration. She is also getting a B.A. in Cognitive Science. Shira serves with CWRU Emergency Medical Services as an EMT. She plans on starting medical school next year, and is excited to see how the things she learns in her bioethics courses will appear in clinical practice.
2016-2017 Inaugural MSC Cohort
Sarah Bedoyan is a M.D./M.A. Bioethics dual-degree student. She is a current first-year medical student at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, after graduating from the University of Michigan--Ann Arbor with a B.S. degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology and History. She believes understanding how health and medicine shapes society, culture and ethics is integral in her training to become a well-rounded and compassionate physician.
Anupama Cemballi is a Masters candidate in Bioethics and a Bachelor of Arts candidate in medical anthropology through the Integrated Graduate Studies program at Case Western Reserve University. Her research interests include infertility and assisted reproductive technologies. Currently, she is a research assistant at the Patient Centered Media Lab at the Center for Healthcare Research and Policy at MetroHealth. She is excited about the MSC concentration because of its interdisciplinary nature and plans on using her anthropology and bioethics degrees by working for a couple years before heading to medical school.
Jamie Crist is a J.D./M.A. of Bioethics dual-degree student. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Michigan State University in Integrative Humanities, with concentrations in Law, Bioethics, and Philosophy, as well as a minor in Women and Gender Studies. She plans to combine her interests in Health Law and Bioethics by working in a hospital setting as a clinical bioethicist, applying philosophical principles to real life situations. In her personal time, she enjoys reading, singing, and wheel-thrown pottery.
Sheba Gollapudi recently graduated from the University of Michigan – Ann Arbor and holds a B.S. degree in Microbiology and Music. As an aspiring physician with an interest in global medicine, Sheba is confident that pursuing the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration within the M.A. in Bioethics program at Case Western Reserve University will allow her to better understand and appreciate the humanistic side of medical practice.
Jacob Martin graduated with his B.A. in English and Political Science from Case Western Reserve University. He is currently a M.A. candidate in Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. He is pursuing the Medicine, Society and Culture concentration because he is interested in where social, political, and cultural factors intersect with medicine and the ethical questions that arise from those intersections. More specifically, his interests include non-Western medical interventions and their efficacy, the persistence of numerous crises in the US healthcare system, and clinical bioethics.
Megan McKenney earned her B.S. degree in Biology from Cleveland State University. She is the first student to complete both the Bioethics M.A. concentrations in Medicine, Society and Culture and in Research Ethics. She plans to attend medical school and believes that her M.A. education will allow her a more well-rounded perspective in her research and clinical practice. She is a former bartending instructor and enjoys making craft cocktails in her free time.
Kaitlin Murphy is an integrated studies student and bioethics M.A., cognitive science B.A., and psychology B.A. candidate enrolled in the Bioethics Medicine, Society and Culture concentration. She hopes to use her education to positively impact both human and animal health and well-being. In her free time, she volunteers as a suicide crisis hotline responder and shelter veterinary medicine assistant. Her hobbies include reading, journalism and many pets.
Saagar Pamulapati is earning both his undergraduate degree in medical anthropology and M.A. in Bioethics through an integrated graduate studies program at Case Western Reserve University. Outside of the classroom, he volunteers at the PRIDE (Preventing Incident Delirium in the Elderly) Program at University Hospitals and conducts clinical research on correlations between sleep disorders and risk of heart disease. Saagar plans to attend medical school next year with a broadened perspective due to the MSC concentration.
Xiaoyi Ren is an IGS student also pursuing a biochemistry B.A. In her future, she will do plenty of surgery in underserved areas. She currently works on the Editorial Board of the CWRU undergraduate research journal, Discussions, and recently started creative writing seriously. She chose the MSC concentration in order to add a more human-centered lens to her bioethics studies. Other enjoyments in Xiaoyi’s (or San San’s) life include singing, good poetry, sunlight, clean copy, and well-crafted experiments.
Natasha Rupani is an Integrated Graduate Studies student who is also in the process of obtaining a B.A. in psychology. She is completing the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration in the Bioethics M.A. program. She plans to attend graduate school for clinical psychology, and she felt that the MSC concentration would give her a more holistic perspective on psychiatric illness, diagnosis, and treatment through a social lens. Outside of the classroom, she does psychology research and is involved in Sigma Psi sorority and Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity. In her free time, she enjoys writing poetry and singing her favorite pop songs.
Hillary Villarreal holds a B.A. in Medical Humanities from Baylor University and is earning her M.A. in Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. She is also involved in the Civic Engagement Scholars Program. She plans to attend medical school after her M.A. and will practice medicine in an underserved area. Hillary has a commitment to sharing knowledge and plans to continue to teach undergraduate students during clinical practice. Her knowledge of bioethics will help her in future professional interactions by providing a strong basis to use in guiding clinical decisions, and in advising patients and family members.
Monica Windholtz is an integrated graduate studies (IGS) student studying Bioethics in the Medicine, Society, and Culture concentration with a B.A. in Medical Anthropology. She is also pursuing a minor in Sociology and a certificate of global health. In her time outside the classroom, Monica serves as the Managing Editor of Discussions, CWRU's undergraduate research journal and volunteers at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's casting lab. She hopes her MA will enhance her understanding of medical law and policy and hopes to attend law school after graduation to continue these studies.