Class of 2021 OWLs [Our Wellness Liaison]
The OWLs are available for confidential, non-judgmental conversation with other members of their Doctoring college. These conversations could involve dealing with general stress, overcoming academic challenges, confronting professionalism and inclusion issues of peers or faculty, or other relevant issues they may face. In addition to serving as an empathetic peer to hear students’ concerns, the OWL is able to provide solutions consistent with their training or refer students to other resources Temple University has to offer.
Where to find help!
Where to find help!
Hola! I'm Rahul Bussa, one of the head OWLs and a member of Babcock college. I'm from Dracut, MA. I went to undergrad at UMass Amherst, where I did a dual degree in Neuroscience and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. One of my favorite past-times and stress relieving methods is playing basketball. It could be a 5-on-5, a 1-on-1, or just me shooting some hoops, but it is so rejuvenating for me that I depend on it every week. I also enjoy filming a lot! In college, I would get some friends together, write up a script, and film maybe a 30 minute movie. I've always wanted to submit one to a film festival, so that will be one of my goals. I love all kinds music - Drake, Maroon 5, Kendrick Lamar, etc. Taylor Swift is bae. My favorite quote: "Never let success go to your head, and never let failure go to your heart."
Hello! I’m one of the head OWLs and also a member of Sherry college. I’m from a small town just outside of Pittsburgh and I studied engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. In my free time I enjoy running, especially on the Schuylkill river trail, trying out new recipes, and slowly exploring Philadelphia with my housemates. My favorite band I’ve seen live is Of Monsters and Men. A quote I live by “A ship in the harbor is safe in the harbor, but that is not what ships are built for”.
I'm from Amsterdam, New York and went to SUNY Binghamton for undergrad. I lived/worked in New York City after college, and did my post-bac at Columbia University. I love running and biking on the Schuylkill River Trail, going to art museums, and walking around Philly's historic neighborhoods. I also spend a little too much time checking out Philly's great restaurants…My favorite band/artist I’ve seen live is tied between The National (Celebrate Brooklyn is the best!) and Andrew Bird. Favorite Quote – It’s tied"If you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit." - Banksy (according to the internet) "Don't give up. Don't ever give up." - Jim Valvano
Hi!!! I’m Sara Fuhrman and I’m from Lancaster, PA. I went to college at Tufts University where I double-majored in philosophy and biology. In my spare time, I like to run on the Schuylkill river trail or, when it’s nice out, I like going to a local beer garden with friends. I enjoy listening to music on my runs, but haven’t had the opportunity to see some my favorite artist, Lady Gaga, live, but my favorite artist I have seen in person would be Childish Gambino. A motto that I live by: "If you can't love yourself, how the heck are you gonna love somebody else, can I be an amen up in here?" ~Rupaul
Hi! I’m Lavanya Nagappan and I’m from Edison, NJ. I went to Widener University which is about 20 minutes away from Philly, so I’m basically a Philadelphian (please don’t ask me for directions, I’m really bad with them). I like playing soccer and tennis, trying new restaurants, and attempting to cook and not burn things! Fun fact I’ve never been to a concert, but my goal is to go a Beyonce concert. My favorite quote is “Life is tough my darling, but so are you.” Med
school’s not a walk in the park, but it’s not impossible. Find a good group of friends and don’t be afraid to reach out for help because everyone is here to help you do your best. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, but don’t forget to take care of yourself and do what makes you happy!
Hi all! My name is Niely Mirsaidi, and I’m one of your Durant OWLs!
A little about me: Originally from New York (from beautiful Strong Island), graduated from Boston University and later did my post-bacc at Stony Brook University.
Hobbies: I’m an artist by nature, but I love making charcoal portraits (something about getting your hands black from charcoal… I find it so soothing!). I’m also a huge French nerd and love keeping up with French culture (from music and movies to French politics, you name it!).
Favorite artist seen live: Easily Michael Bublé. I love his music, but even more so his charisma on stage… what an experience to see him live!!
A motto I live by? “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass - it’s about learning to dance in the rain”. This perhaps *cheesy* expression is most definitely reflective of my life views, because let’s face it - life is hard, and med school feels harder. It reminds me to adapt even in harsh circumstances and to enjoy the beauty in life that can easily be taken for granted!
Hi friends! My name is Miranda Haslam and I am from the small town of Hamburg, Pennsylvania, about 1.5 hours northwest of Philly. I went to undergrad at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, and spent a semester studying abroad at the University College Dublin in Dublin, Ireland. For fun, I like to read (I normally gravitate towards nonfiction, but I’m trying to read more fiction, so send me your novel recommendations!), spend time outside, and hang out with my dog. One of my favorite quotes is from Jamie Tworkowski: “You’ll need coffee shops and sunsets and road trips. Airplanes and passports and new songs and old songs, but people more than anything else. You will need other people and you will need to be that other person to someone else, a living breathing screaming invitation to believe better things.”
I am from Reading, Massachusetts, a suburb just north of Boston, and I graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in Psychology. I love to travel, explore Philly, hang out with friends, play volleyball, and watch football. The best concert I’ve been to is Zac Brown Band in the outfield of Fenway Park. A quote to live by is “be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire.”
I grew up around the shore area of New Jersey and I went to NYU for undergrad. My main hobbies include playing tennis, running, videogames, and exploring the city with my friends. I also like to surf and ski when possible. The best band I’ve seen live is Vampire Weekend. My favorite quote to live by is “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
My name is Alex Testino and I’m an OWL for Montier College! I’m originally from Dingmans Ferry, PA (a tiny town in the Poconos) but I graduated from the University of Pennsylvania here in Philly in 2017. In my free time I love to cook and binge watch just about anything on Netflix. I listen to all music, but most of my close friends know I’m a huge classical music geek so the most recent “artist” I’ve seen live is actually the Philadelphia Orchestra, one of the best in the world! If I had to live by one motto it would be, “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Hi all! My name is Doug Brown. I studied Biology and Philosophy at the University of Scranton in Northeast PA. I rowed crew in college and continue to stay active through running, lifting, and yoga. I also enjoy playing my guitar and ukulele. I enjoy cooking which is fortunate since I cook for myself most nights (often tacos). One summer I saw the chainsmokers live which was incredible - I still listen to their set list from that concert. On a separate occasion, I have met Dr. Stanley Dudrick, who is credited with developing total parenteral nutrition (intravenous feeding). Speaking to a group of health professionals, he said “you’re going to have some bad days, but you have to come back. It's the coming back that makes you great.” I try to remember that. The road in medicine is often long and difficult, yet perseverance and determination yield greatness.
I am from the suburbs of Philadelphia and I went to the University of Pittsburgh. I love hiking and backpacking! I am planning trips to backpack in Utah and California. I also like just being lazy and watching Netflix all day. My favorite artist that I have seen live this year is ODESZA, but Twenty One Pilots will probably always be my favorite. I've seen them live six times! A motto I live by is be gentle to yourself.
Whale hello there! My name is Manasa Srivilli and I’m from North Brunswick, NJ. I went to Rutgers University for undergrad and, seeing as how I am now in PA, I can say I have lived in all three states of the tri-state area. I’m really a cat in human form so my hobbies include playing with yarn (I crochet), taking long naps, and eating tons of food. OH, and making puns out of literally everything. My favorite band I have seen live is One Ok Rock! – went to two concerts; cried both times. As for a quote I live by…honestly anything from Avatar: The Last Airbender (the cartoon; NOT to be confused with the live action adaptation or the movie about blue people). But I guess if I had to pick one, it would be “as long as I’m confident with who I am, it doesn’t matter what other people think” – Smellerbee.
Hi, I’m Ali Von Deylen, and I’m from St. Louis, Missouri (Go Cardinals!). I took a trip down south for undergrad and attended Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN (No, I haven’t met T-Swift, but I have been to her favorite coffee shop). I’m one of those “weird” people who likes to run for fun, but you can also find me curled up with a good book, taking a walk to explore the neighborhood, or trying new recipes in the kitchen (when I’m not in the library). My favorite concert ever was seeing Ben Rector at the Ryman Auditorium, but seeing the Jonas Brothers live comes in at a close 2nd. When life hands me lemons, the motto “Today is a GOOD day” is a daily reminder that everything is going to be ok. ALSO: Go Owls! Anchor Down! and Fly Eagles Fly!
Hey! My name is Rebecca Garber, and I was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. I went to Yeshiva University in New York for undergrad and taught chemistry at my high school in Atlanta for a year before coming to med school. Even though studying takes up most of my time, I always try to make time for catching up with old and new friends, cycling, and going shopping (particularly to Target and Costco). No matter what I’m doing, I always have music in the background—whether its classical music while I’m studying, The Lumineers, Portugal. The Man, and Imagine Dragons while I’m during my workouts, or just The Head and the Heart or whatever my carpool DJ decides to play. There are many soundtracks to my life!!!
If I had to pick one quote to live by it would be: “Stubbornly persist, and you will find that the limits of your stubbornness go well beyond the stubbornness of your limits.” I think this quote pretty much sums up med school—regardless of how insurmountable our obstacles may seem, there is always a way to overcome them.
Hey everyone! My name is James Yun, and I am one of your Sherry College OWLs! I'm from Irvine, California and went to undergrad at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA (I know...how did I go from Orange County to central PA?). Besides spending way too many hours in the library, I love to walk around the streets of Philadelphia and see all the different things that this city has to offer. Whether it's checking out a new restaurant or walking over to the dog park, I find it a nice way to destress from all the work that med school gives us. I'm always seeking another adventure and seeing where that leads me. I got to see Imagine Dragons in the front row playing all their songs in acoustic, which was very cool. A quote that I live by is, "Adventure is out there!" I hope to get to know all of you in Sherry and learn about your lives while sharing some about my own!