Class of 2022 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!
Hi there, I'm Ayesha Hossain! I was raised in the Bronx, New York and went to school in Boston (Northeastern 2017, go huskies!). Now that I live in Philly, I realized I've just been making the rounds of the major cities in the Northeast! I'm a big fan of finding new coffee shops and places to eat. Anyone you ask will say my favorite activity is napping though. I studied behavioral neuroscience in college and want to go into neurology. For me, being an OWL is rewarding because I get to meet many people in my class as well as other classes that I may not have met otherwise. That's my main advice to the incoming class, try to branch out and make friends outside of your college and workshop groups! Temple has a vibrant community of talented and compassionate students. Sticking together and watching out for each other is key to making the best of your time here. Cheers!
I grew up in Yardley, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2016 with a degree in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. After graduating, I worked for L'Oreal as a chemist before deciding to become a physician. I love reading, working out, discovering new music, college football, and exploring Philly! I wanted to be an OWL because I think we're living in a time when people are realizing just how important mental health and balance is to our success, and I want to be part of the solution for a new generation in one of the most stressful careers there is. A motto I live by is "Everyone you meet is your teacher." My studying advice to the incoming class is: be patient with yourself as you figure out what works best for you in each block, because one of the key skills medical school will teach you is how to be flexible with your learning style. My real life advice: remember something Dr. Garg will tell you during orientation—medical school is PART of your life but it is not your WHOLE life! Everything else—family, significant others, friends, your health (physical and emotional), and all the new experiences the world has to offer—are important and worth your investment just as much as your M.D. You deserve to live a full life while also tackling the beast that is med school. The challenge is learning to balance all of it, but I am confident we can do it!
My name is Nick Janigian and I am from Cranston, Rhode Island. For undergrad, I attended Villanova University, where I majored in Biochemistry and minored in History. Outside of school, I enjoy partaking in physical activities, like playing basketball and tennis. I wanted to be an OWL because I wanted to a resource to help my peers in medical school. Medicine is an inherently collaborative and team-based field and I think that’s what being an OWL is all about—being there for someone else when they need it. A quote that I strive to live by is from Emily Dickinson: “Forever is composed of nows.” I love this quote because it’s a reminder to live in the present moment, something that can certainly become difficult during the busyness of medical school. My advice for the incoming M1s relates strongly to the previous quote—take time to enjoy the process of the first year, try to find something to appreciate in everything you do even if it’s very small, and occasionally remind yourself of why you came to medical school!
Hiya! I'm Rhiannon McGrath, one of the Babcock Owls. I'm originally from Oakland, CA and did my undergraduate education at University of California, Santa Cruz. Before starting at LKSOM, I participated in the ACMS Post-Bac program and worked as an EMT in the Bay Area. I live for cooking way too much food, baking birthday desserts, and taking long walks with my dog, Anderson Cooper. My taste in music is eclectic, from Bob Dylan to Kacey Musgraves to Nitty Scott. I applied to become an OWL because I believe having a strong support system is incredibly important while under the stress of medical school, and I wanted to be that for my peers. In the wise words of Christopher Robin: “Always remember... You are braver than you believe. Stronger than you seem and smarter than you think.”
My name is Sonie and I am from Sunrise, Florida. I attended the University of South Florida in Tampa and graduated in 2016. Some of my favorite things to do are travel, being surrounded by nature, and experiencing different cultures (especially the food). I wanted to be an OWL because I enjoy connecting with other students and wanted to be there for them as a resource or in any capacity that I could. Med school can be tough at times, but it’s always nice knowing that there are people around to see you through. I love quotes, but the one that resonates most with me is “What is for you will never pass you.” It keeps me grounded and reminds me that things will always sort themselves out. My advice to the incoming class is to enjoy the journey! Life is happening now, find a way to live while you’re going through med school. Life stops for no one, make time to do the things you enjoy and see the people you love most. It’s not always easy but it’s definitely all possible!
I’m originally from Altoona, PA, but I lived and worked down in Memphis, TN for two years before starting Med school. I went to undergrad at University of Pittsburgh and fell in love with the city. Recently my friends and I have been playing board games for fun (our favorites have been Ticket to Ride and What Do You Meme!), but in my free time I’ve also been trying to finish The Office, along with some other Netflix shows (it takes me a couple of years to finish a show). One of my favorite quotes: “You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” by Winnie the Pooh. I love this quote because it reminds me of my potential and reassures me that I am capable of accomplishing something even at times when I doubt myself.
Hi! My name is Leah Goldberg and I'm from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania (northeastern PA). I went to Penn for undergrad and have loved exploring the city of Philadelphia over the past five years. I really enjoy trying new restaurants and places in the city with friends! I wanted to be an OWL so that I could tangibly contribute to the mission of fostering a healthy and positive environment at LKSOM. First year is exciting, fun, and certainly challenging, but I hope you can enjoy the coming months and all that they bring!!
I am from Huntingdon Valley, PA, and went to Temple University. I wanted to be an OWL because I believe that we need to care of ourselves so that we can eventually take care of our future patients. For fun, I love to exercise, spend time with my friends and family, cook, and hang out with my dog. My favorite motto is "if you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together." My best advice for the incoming class is to lean into each other as much as possible and remember that you are capable.
Hi, I'm Erika Castriz from Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. I attended WashU in St. Louis for undergrad, after which I went to Goucher for my post bacc program. I love going on walks along the Schuylkill River (and all around Philly), checking out happy hours around town, listening to podcasts and bachelor/bachelorette watch parties with my friends. I'm excited to get to new the new M1s and if there's one thing I'd recommend for first year, it's to embrace that most of M1 is getting your feet wet/learning how to study (there's a lot of uncertainty!) but everyone feels that way. Also take some time to do what you enjoy doing! This is a marathon, not a sprint and finding time for yourself will help you enjoy med school so much more. And to wrap things up, one of my favorite quotes by Mandela and that totally relates to med school is, "It always seems impossible until it's done."
Hello! I was born in Uzbekistan, but grew up in Redmond, Washington. I went to the University of Washington for undergrad where I studied neurobiology. In my free time I like to explore the city with friends, watch tv, and play guitar. One motto I live by is to treat others the way you would like to be treated. I became an OWL because I wanted to support my classmates as we all navigate this beast called med school. My advice to the new class is to be open and honest with your classmates and to support each other, because we are all in this together. Although we can't take tests in groups, medical school (and the practice of medicine as a whole) is a team sport.
Hey! I’m Sydney Ehrman and I’m from the suburbs of Philadelphia. I attended Tulane University for undergrad and majored in Public Health. When I’m not studying, I love taking (and teaching) dance and yoga classes, trying new Philly restaurants and playing with my dog, Huey, at the dog park. I wanted to be an OWL so I could contribute to the supportive environment LKSOM provides for its medical students. To all incoming M1’s: whatever you’re worried about, everyone else is too. Many students have done it before you, so work hard and “trust the process.”
I'm from sunny West Palm Beach, FL and I lived there until I started college at the University of Florida in Gainesville. I was a behavioral and cognitive neuroscience major - BACON for short! I love to go to the beach, binge watch girly series, do yoga and eat mass amounts of delicious food. I wanted to be an OWL because I know how hard med school can be and how stressful colleagues can be. If I'm able to be someone who listens and provides a calm vibe for a while, I would like to do that. I live by the motto "You're one day closer." I really believe that if you focus on getting through 24 hours at a time, you can get through 4 years of medical school. My advice to the incoming class is to make friends and learn that it's okay to count on each other for studying advice, encouragement and companionship.
Hi! My name is Kiran Iyer and I am from Denver, CO. I graduated from the University of Colorado in 2018 and in my free time I enjoy taking long walks to Toms Dim Sum and hanging out with friends. The biggest piece of advice I have for the incoming class would be to remember that you guys are all in this together. If you feel frustrated and overwhelmed, other people are too so don’t be afraid to talk about it! The OWLs are such a great resource for current and future students so take advantage of it! I’m so excited to meet the upcoming class and welcome them to the LKSOM family!
Hi Class of 2023! A little bit about myself: My name is Alexa Noronha and I am originally from West Chester, Pennsylvania. I graduated from the College of William & Mary in 2018. You can find me one of two places in the city: Tom's Dim Sum or Vivi Bubble Tea. I wanted to be an OWL because I know that sometimes we all need a little help to get by. Medical school can be tough, but having someone to talk with and lean on can ease the process. I hope I can be that resource for all of my current and future classmates.
I'm from Philadelphia and went to the University of Pittsburgh for my undergrad. I enjoy cooking and doing yoga to relax. I also love exploring Philly and spending time with my friends. My best advice for incoming first year students is to never underestimate the importance of self care and focusing on yourself even when life gets busy! I can't wait to meet you all!
I'm from Columbia, Maryland and went to undergrad at University of Maryland. For fun, I spend time with my friends and family, do yoga, run, cook and try new restaurants. I wanted to be an OWL because I think taking care of yourself mentally and physically is imperative to doing well in medical school and for happiness. A quote I live by is "go confidently in the direction of your dreams, live the life you've imagined" and a quote that has gotten me through medical school has been "it's not a bad life, it's a bad day." My biggest piece of advice to M1s would be to be persistent.