Class of 2020 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!
"Where are you from? Kuwait (no not like Dubai :) )
What do you do for fun? I like to hangout with my friends and talk about the randomest things as I distract them from the fact that I'm not helping them make cookies, belt out Disney songs, bubbles and generally any activity where I get to be a large child.
Why did you want to be an OWL? We work so hard to try and be good enough to help everyone around us that we forget to take care of ourselves. I wanted to help create a positive and supportive environment for my classmates to be proactive about their mental health and wellbeing.
What is something you live by (like a motto or something like that) They are Arabic sayings but roughly translated they mean:
"Seek good/positivity and you will find it" and "Do good in such a way that your right hand knows not the good that your left hand partakes in"
Piece of advice for the incoming class: Take each day one day at a time and always be grateful."
“Hey guys! My name is KerriAnn Finnegan and I’m from Vancouver, WA. Yes that state wayyyy across the country. Believe it or not I drove my car here, bringing only what I could fit in my little Honda Civic. I enjoy baking, hanging out with friends, and hitting the gym! I wanted to be an OWL because I personally experienced the throws of mental illness while in college and ever since I have wanted to do all that I can to make sure no one struggles with it. Medical school is hard, there is no question. There is always something to be stressed about. But I hope that we as a community of students can work together to take care of each other and support each other through this crazy journey. A motto that I live by: "Do not be afraid of challenges, for they are inevitable, and fear of challenges will immobilize you and prevent you from taking part in and enjoying the present, and the process. How you deal with challenges will define the quality of your life, and the success of your future.” A piece of advice: Keep balance in your life, school is a big part of it, but it can’t be the only part.
Hi! I'm Kelsey Temple from Huntingdon Valley, PA. Just outside of Philly! In my free time I love to go to karaoke and snuggle my cat (not necessarily in that order!). I wanted to be an OWL because while we know med school is challenging academically, it can also be really difficult emotionally. I think it's important that students have someone they can talk to they understands. My advice: it's ok to admit when you're not okay! Everyone else is freaking out too even when they seem okay!
Where are you from?
I am from Albuquerque, New Mexico.
What do you do for fun?
I love to play ping pong and soccer. Occasionally, I like to run. There is a lot to do around Philly, which always keeps me busy. In the Summer, there are some great outdoor beer gardens that I like to go to with my friends, and in the Winter, it’s fun to check out the outdoor ice skating rinks...
Why did you want to be an OWL?
I wanted to be an OWL because I know how hard transitioning into medical school can be, especially if you are far from home. It’s always nice to have someone to talk to firsthand about their experiences first year. There are a few things I wish I would have known coming into medical school, and I am here to offer advice to anyone who needs it!
What is something you live by (like a motto or something like that) and a piece of advice for the incoming class?
Both something I live by and a piece of advice to the incoming class is take everything one day at a time. Your first year here is going to be filled with a lot of change and a lot of challenges. With that said, keep an open mind about what’s to come and don’t let school overwhelm you. Find a good group of friends to get you through the tough spots, and let us know if we can help!
I'm from Edison, NJ, and the reason I wanted to be an OWL is to help the MS1 class grow and learn at Temple LKSOM. For fun, I like to pretty much do anything as long as I am with people that love and support me, and I'm sure I can find something to talk about with most people out there. I'm a huge fan of Harry Potter, and tend to live my life based on the quote "It is our choices that show what we truly are.”
"Hey everyone! My name is Yuri Takabatake. I am originally from Tokyo and have lived in my hometown in Irvine, California since I was 8 years old. I went to UC Santa Barbara for undergrad (go Gauchos!), and while I sometimes miss the sunshine and beaches of California, I have found a happy home here in Philly! During my free time, I love to dance, bike, draw/paint, travel, hike, explore the city, try different restaurants, obsess over cute coffee shops, and watch videos of cute dogs. My goal as an OWL is to be a listening ear to anyone who may be nervous/scared/stressed, or to simply be a friend. One motto that I've carried with me through med school so far is an advice that Dr. Garg gave us during orientation: "Don't make med school your life, but make it part of your life." It's easy to get caught up in the med school world, but always remember to enjoy your life outside of school (:"
My name is Wes Schettler and I'm from about two hours north of Pittsburgh PA from a little town called Oil City. I like to read, play video games, and I used to go fishing a lot when I was back at home. Now that I'm in Philly the fishing has been replaced by occasionally going out with friends. I became an OWL because I didn't think that Gross Anatomy was a hoot.. An OWL from the second year class helped me out a great deal and made me much more comfortable with the whole process of adapting to medical school. My two biggest pieces of advice would be to reach out to us if you need help, and find a friend group to review anatomy, you don't have to fly solo! Always find a way to fit some fun into your schedule and I hope to get to know you over the next year!
Hello! My name is Kara Kolar and I am from Chester Springs, PA, just west of Philadelphia. I am excited to be a Marks College OWL so that I can be a resource to incoming students as they traverse this new and exciting territory in medical school. I personally relied heavily on the upper years for advice, so I'm excited to do the same for the next class. For fun, I enjoy playing soccer, running along the river, doing puzzles, and trying out new restaurants in the city with friends. If I could give a piece of advice to the incoming class, it would be to study efficiently! This is something I am still working on, but it is important to recognize that there is enough material to study 24 hours a day. However, if you study efficiently, you won't need to spend all day in the books and can instead use some of that time to maintain balance in other areas of your life. With that, I'll leave you with one of my mantras - "Embrace the power of positivity - it's contagious!"
Where are you from? — Born and raised in sunny San Diego.
What do you do for fun? — Love to play soccer, sing, and enjoy the outdoors
Why did you want to be an OWL? — The medical school transition can be daunting, stressful, and lonely. I hope to be a supportive figure for any students in need of help during this transition as well as throughout the school year.
- I have a lot of mottos… One of my favorites is, "Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.” Another great one is,”Wherever you are, be there.”
-Advice: Stay true to yourself. Find what works for you and brings you peace. Focus on that and ignore the noise.
I am a Marylander through and through – I grew up in Potomac, Maryland and graduated as a terp from the University of Maryland in 2014. I enjoy watching sports (mostly the Redskins and Maryland basketball), and I occasionally make music. I wanted to be an OWL because I like being in a mentor role, and I feel like I have a lot of good advice to give on how to live a well-balance life. My advice for incoming students is to study hard but also play hard. It’s easy to get bogged down by stress of academics, so it’s very important to always leave some personal time for yourself and the people you care about.
I'm from Lancaster, PA. I love to read, horseback ride, can jam/bake, hike, and do yoga for fun. I know how beneficial it was to me to be able to ask the M2 OWLs questions during my first year so I wanted to become an OWL to pass along all the knowledge and advice I received to the new M1 class. Make sure you still have a life outside of medical school! It's easy to get so caught up in studying that you forget to take time for yourself.
Where are you from? Carlisle, PA (small town just outside of Harrisburg)
What do you do for fun? Play Hockey, Read and explore Philly
Why did you want to be an OWL? I struggled my first year at Temple and wanted to pass on my wisdom to some incoming students
Motto? Work hard play hard
Advice? Do your best not to get overwhelmed. You've worked hard to get here and just know that you are capable of succeeding here.
My name is Akshay Shanker, an upcoming MS-2 representing the Saunders/ St. Luke’s College. I was born in Denver, moved around 7 times before I was 7, grew up outside of Boston, went to school in St. Louis, and live outside of D.C. in Maryland now.
Outside of medical school, I really enjoy sports (basketball, ultimate frisbee, tennis, soccer, etc.), playing ping-pong in the student lounge, listening to great music, finding the best food in the area (I have a strict 3.5-stars-and-above Yelp review policy), and traveling to places I haven’t yet been.
I wanted to become an O.W.L. because let’s face it: medical school is stressful and overwhelming a lot of the time. Like J.D. said in Scrubs, "You might have to give up something you want now, for something you wanted your whole life.”
But don’t despair! As someone who had a tough transition myself, I hope to use the experience and knowledge I’ve gained to help make your first year better. Make sure to keep doing the things you enjoy during this first year; work is the constant now, so plan your life around the things that make you happy and fulfilled and make sure not to sacrifice them just for the sake of it.
Above all, lean on your friends, family, and advisors/ faculty who have heard these complaints before and would love to help you get through them. That includes me! :)
Where are you from?
• Winchester MA
What do you do for fun?
• I enjoy challenging myself with mud runs like the Tough Mudder. I also enjoy quirky game nights with friends.
Why did you want to be an OWL?
• I spent a lot of my life leading up to medical school stressed out of my mind and coming into medical school I was determined to break the cycle for myself. I want to live a fullfilling life while in school and help others to do the same so that we can all be one happy, healthy, and successful community together.
What is something you live by
• "how you do anything is how you do everything" Y Harv Eker?
a piece of advice for the incoming class
• pick one a day a week, I chose Friday but any day works, and make that your day. Doesn't matter when the next test is that is your day to guilt free do whatever you want.
I grew up in Fort Washington PA with my mom, dad, younger brother and grandmother, then went to Penn State for a Bio degree (genetics & neuroscience). After graduating I took a year to do liver disease research at Penn while moonlighting as an EMT in West Chester. I like artsy stuff, the beach, and hiking. I can cook but I'm slow at it/lazy so I go out to eat a lot and can tell you where all the good spots are. I love the Office and I watch a lot of Netflix but I apparently missed that part of childhood where everyone watched all those classic movies so I'm slowly workin on that. I really like jello but only lemon or lime flavored. I can't walk through a store and not touch the fuzzy blankets. My secret skill is that my fingers bend back really far.
Hi all! My name is Hannah Kim and I’m from Bucks County, PA and went to the University of Pittsburgh for undergrad. I love eating dessert, binge-watching TV shows, and playing board games. You might see me playing a game or two in the student lounge so feel free to join!
I wanted to be an OWL because I love getting to know people and I wanted to share my own struggles and successes in med school so that it can seem less daunting because it was definitely intimidating to me. Advice I would give would be to take each day one at a time and when you’re feeling sad, come talk to me! And more importantly, go to Franklin Fountain for the best ice cream ever (or Bassetts or Big Gay Ice Cream).