Health Careers Peer Advisors

The Health Careers Peer Advisors (HCPAs) are part of Brown's Health Careers Advising team particularly available to first-year students during the academic year. This affords you the opportunity to consult with a Brown undergraduate with experience as a health careers student. The Peer Advisors also coordinate events each semester.

In addition to the drop-in hours listed below, students can email questions to [email protected].



Schedule

Fall 2022 HCPA hours run from September 12 through December 7. Look for one of the HCPAs (below) with a name tag! All HCPA hours are in-person on a drop-in basis; there is no need to register. If these times don’t work for you or if you have a personal situation, feel free to email [email protected] (or an individual HCPA listed below) to schedule an appointment via Zoom.

Mondays, 10am-12pm Sciences Library (201 Thayer Street) 1st Floor Lobby
Mondays, 2-4pm Sciences Library (201 Thayer Street) 5th Floor - First-Generation College and Low-Income Student Center (U-FLi Center)
Tuesdays, 10am-12pm and 1-3pm

University Hall (1 Prospect Street), Room 004*

Upon entering University Hall, make your way to one of the stairwells and head down to the garden level (AKA basement). Once downstairs, you will see signs for Room 004.

Wednesdays, 10am-12pm and 1-3pm Sciences Library (201 Thayer Street) 3rd Floor, room 306 - Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning

 

Nikita Baregala Lopez


Hometown:
Houston, TX

Concentration: Public Health A.B.

Class year: 2023

Email: [email protected]

Activities: 

  • Meiklejohn Peer Advisor and Minority Peer Counselor
  • Peer Mental Health Advocate (PMHA)
  • Co-editor in chief of SOMOS Latinx Literary Magazine
  • Member of the Lifespan Connect for Health Advocate Team


Research: 

  • Saving Mothers Internship: A Critical Review of Current Patient Education Materials for Pregnant Women
  • Courses - Race, Gender, and Medicine in the Americas: Guatemalan Comadronas, a Racist and Sexist System, and Forms of Resistance

Fun tidbit: I love taking care of plants and crocheting!

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Find a community with which you can study and share resources, but also one that you can relax and have fun with.



Alyscia Batista

Hometown: Long Beach, NY

Concentration: Public Health A.B., Biology (Immunology) Sc.B.
Class year: 2023

Activities:

  • Literary section editor of The College Hill Independent 
  • CHEM0100 and PHP0310 TA
  • Class Liaison for Brown’s Infectious Disease Society 
  • eBoard member of Planned Parenthood Advocates @ Brown 
  • Member of the Financial Aid Advisory Board 
  • Medical Interpreter at the Rhode Island Free Clinic
  • Swearer Center Tutoring Enrichment in Math and Science
  • Member of the Steering Committee for the Sidney E. Frank Scholar Program 

Research:

  • Lefort Lab at Rhode Island Hospital: Derived mature human neutrophils from progenitors and induced CYBB and OLFM4 knock-outs in order to analyze neutrophil activity against S. aureus and S. pneumoniae.

Fun tidbit: When I got scuba certified, I had the opportunity to be face to face with a sea turtle as it chomped on some sea grass. 

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Though being pre-med at Brown can be overwhelming, it isn’t your whole world. Make sure to step out of your comfort zone and explore your interests, even if they don't fall within the scope of your pre-med requirements. 



Victoria Cao

Hometown: Westport, CT

Concentration: Public Health A.B., Biology Sc.B.

Class year: 2023

Email: [email protected]

Activities:

  • President of Brown Cooking Club 
  • E-Board Member of Food Recovery Network
  • E-Board Member of Branch Christian Fellowship 
  • Treasurer of American Women’s Medical Association 
  • Duty Officer for the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team 
  • Rhode Island Free Clinic Scribe + Medical Assistant
  • TA for Chem 0330, Chem 0350
  • WiSE Mentor

Research: 

  • Brown University: Adherence to Behavioral Obesity Treatment through Actigraph with Dr. Stephanie Goldstein (Spring 2021 - continuing)
  • Brown University: cGas and its role in Cell Senescence with Dr. Nicola Neretti (Fall 2021- continuing) 
  • Site Coordinator for PEDIG research with Dr. Galvin (Fall 2020 - continuing) 

Fun tidbit: I love journaling and stationery!! Give me the cute Post-it notes.

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Do the things you love!! “Life is a marathon and not a sprint” - my dad.  


 

Jacqueline Cho 

Hometown:
 Queens, NY


Concentration: Neuroscience Sc.B.

Class year: 2024

Email: [email protected]

Activities: 

  • Connect for Health Triage Coordinator

  • WiSE Mentor

  • Clinica Esperanza Volunteer 

  • Triple Helix Editor 

  • E-Board Member of Brown Journal of Medical Humanities 

  • Figure Skating Club

Research: 

  • The Hart Lab, Department of Neuroscience at Brown University: Investigate quiescent activity and fatigue phenotypes in a C. elegans SOD1 model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to further understand the relationship between neurodegeneration and fatigue. (Spring 2021-Present)

  • Seaver Undergraduate Research Scholar at Mount Sinai in the Yang Lab: Study DDX3X gene function and identify putative mRNA targets using a CRISPR knock-out model of DDX3X in male stem cell lines. (Summer 2022)

Fun tidbit: I love dyeing my hair (even though I should let it recover more than I currently do). Don’t be surprised if you see me with a different hair color randomly!

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Balance is key! It’s okay to take a step back and take a break before you jump back into work again— listen to your body and don’t burn yourself out. 


 

Elizabeth Ding


Hometown:
Lexington, MA

Concentration: Biology Sc.B.

Class year: 2024

Email: [email protected]


Activities: 

  • Brown Science Prep Coordinator

  • Salt and Light Christian Fellowship Servant Team

  • Global Medical Missions Alliance Vice President

  • Triple Helix Editor

  • NeuroDUG Leader

  • Connect for Health Student Advocate


Research: 

  • Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown University conducting translational medical research on prostate and lung cancer neuroendocrine differentiation to cancer therapeutic sensitivity.

Fun tidbit: I’ve recently got back into reading for fun (finally read Harry Potter)! Would highly recommend Sweet Bean Paste by Tetsuya Akikawa, When the Air Hits Your Brain by Frank Vertosick, and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu.


A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Anything you experience in college can be valuable–– stay present, and try to find a reason to be thankful through it all.



Camille Leung


Hometown:
La Verne, CA

Concentration:
 Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Sc.B.

Class year: 2024


Email: [email protected]

Activities: 

Research: 


  • Neretti Lab at the Department of Molecular Biology, Cell Biology, and Biochemistry: working on high-resolution mapping of common fragile sites in DNA, optimizing FISH for metaphase spreads

Fun tidbit: I love anything to do with crafts and DIY! Talk to me about anything - sewing, knitting, jewelry, you name it. Sometimes you’ll catch me working a booth at local flea markets.


A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Allocate time to de-stress and do NOT do that all-nighter you’re contemplating. Take care of yourself and enjoy the fun parts about college.


 

Vansh Patel 


Hometown:
Suffield, CT


Concentration: Neuroscience Sc.B.

Class year: 2024

Email: [email protected]

Activities: 
 

  • Clínica Esperanza: Intake and Health Fair Volunteer

  • TA for CHEM0330 and PHP0320

  • Radiology Aide at The Miriam Hospital

  • ESL Tutor and Curriculum Developer for Elena’s Light (New Haven based non-profit)

  • [email protected] Committee Leader  

  • Meiklejohn Peer Advisor

  • Physics Group Tutor for the Sheridan Center [Fall 2021]

  • [email protected]

Research: 

  • The Stroud Lab, Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital & Brown Center for Children at Women and Infants Hospital: Researching prenatal maternal marijuana and e-cigarette use to better understand the impacts of in-utero substance exposure on placental epigenetic mechanisms and fetal/infant brain growth and neurobehavior (April 2022 - Present)

  • Planned Parenthood of Southern New England - Clinical Research Intern: Enrolled participants and processed biospecimens for a study that aimed to identify more reliable means of STI/STD detection (August 2020 - January 2021)

Fun tidbit: I’ve been swimming with sharks!

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: You’re doing enough! Do not try to overwhelm yourself trying to do a million different things. Choose activities that are meaningful to you and be sure to set aside time for friends, family, and sleep!

 

 


 

Manuella Talla

Home country: Cameroon (Central Africa)

Concentration: Immunology Sc.B. 

Class year: 2023

Email: [email protected]

Activities: 

  • Vice President of African Students’ Association
  • Connect for Health Desk and Triage Advocate
  • OJA! Modern African Dance Team member
  • BIOL 0200 and BIOL 0530 TA
  • Meiklejohn Peer Advisor 
  • WiSE Mentor
  • International Mentoring Program Mentor
  • Department of Biology Peer Advisor
  • Campus Life Leadership Development Student Coordinator
  • Brown Miriam Volunteer 

Research: 

  • Jamieson Lab in the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology: conducting an analysis on the effects of S. pneumoniae coinfection on the differential expression of the Influenza A Virus transcriptome 

Fun tidbit: I’ve lived in 4 different countries growing up: The US (Maryland), Italy (twice! and high-key my fav), Madagascar (I miss the vibes), and Zimbabwe (currently!)

 

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Own your path and remember to always do what feels the most right for you and your circumstances. Navigating the pre-health journey can be daunting and extremely overwhelming and it can sometimes feel like there is only one way of going about it, but there are an infinite number of trajectories that you can pursue. Take the time to reflect on your vision, mission, and goals in regards to your health career and act accordingly. 


 

Sojas Wagle

Hometown: Springdale, AR

Concentration: Psychiatric Epidemiology (Independent Concentration) Sc.B.

Class year: 2023

Email: [email protected]

Activities:

  • Journal Editor-in-Chief of International Youth Neuroscience Association
  • Board Member of Production Workshop
  • BWell Wellness Peer Educator
  • SAPE Facilitator & SHAPE Sex Ed Volunteer
  • CHEM 0100, CHEM 0330 TA
  • Campus Tour Guide
  • Meiklejohn Peer Advisor
  • Member of Brown-RISD Slam Poetry Team
  • Junior Representative of Brown Pre-Med AMSA
  • Crisis Hotline Volunteer for Samaritans of Rhode Island
  • Behavioral Health Technician at Crisis Stabilization Unit & Therapeutic Day Treatment (in Arkansas)

Research:

  • Operario Lab at the School of Public Health, Behavioral and Social Sciences: Conducting literature reviews on barriers and facilitators to PrEP uptake in transgender women & cyberviolence
  • Proulx Lab at the Mindfulness Center, Behavioral and Social Sciences & Psychiatry and Human Behavior: Adapting Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction to Narragansett adult and adolescent populations

Fun tidbit: I recently found out that my name was supposed to be spelled “saujas” and comes from the Sanskrit word meaning “strong or powerful.” 

A piece of advice you would give to a pre-health student: Don't discount the amount of personal growth you can undergo outside the classroom too — you'll be surprised by the profundity of the lessons you learn in extracurricular activities and informal social gatherings.