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Facilitated Acceptance to Medical Education (FAME) Program

Students-Class of 2020




Aliyah Ali


Aliyah Ali was born in Houston, TX and graduated from Health Careers High School in San Antonio, Texas. Her parents are from Trinidad and Tobago and she has one older sister with whom she is very close. She enjoys interacting with children and works at a local gym’s child center. Aliyah applied to the FAME program because she dreams of traveling the world as a pediatric surgeon to help children in need and believes that this program will provide her with the knowledge and experience to achieve her dream. At UTSA, Aliyah is the Chair of FAME’s Social Activities Committee.

Brianna Aylin Bal


Brianna Aylin Bal was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. Brianna attended Saint Anthony Catholic High School in San Antonio, where she graduated as Salutatorian of her class. Throughout high school, Brianna was a member of the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy at the UT Health Science Center, where she studied the effects of Rapamycin on aging. In her free time, she enjoys reading and analyzing literature as well as composition. She is most excited about being able to stay in her home town for all seven years of the FAME Program. Brianna hopes to one day practice either family medicine or endocrinology in the San Antonio area, in hopes of serving the needs of her community.


Nimi Bhattatiry


Nimi Bhattatiry is from Coppell, Texas, a small suburb off of Dallas, and she attended Coppell High School. She is interested in business and medicine and was involved in Business Professionals of America. She was part of the International Baccalaureate program at her high school. Here at UTSA, she is involved in For the Kids, a charity organization for kids with cancer, the Indian Cultural Association and Sapna, a bollywood fusion team. She likes to play tennis, try out new foods, and enjoys music and tinkering with instruments in her free time. She aspires to be a pediatric surgeon or an ENT and travel the world in the future.


Pavela Bambekova




Pavela Bambekova graduated 3rd in her class and with Summa Cum Laude from Health Careers HS in San Antonio. During her high school years, she was the President of National Honor Society and the Vice- President of a 'HOSA: Future Health Professionals' school chapter. Pavela has served her community by being the youngest President and a Board Director of the Bulgarians in Texas Association for South Texas. Pavela is interested in Dermatology and Medical Correspondence and is actively shadowing the VA Dermatology staff in San Antonio. At UTSA, she is the Chair of FAME’s Public Affairs Committee, an Ambassador in Training, and involved with the University Honors Student Association. Aside from school, Pavela enjoys photography, film editing, and dancing.


Brianna Bishop



Brianna Bishop was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and attended Northside Health Careers High School. In high school, she took a class that allowed her to shadow professionals in the hospital. Her time in the Neonatal Intensive Care unit furthered her interest in dealing with very young patients. In the future she aspires to be a pediatrician here in her home town. Brianna will be the first member of her family to become a physician. In her free time, she enjoys singing and playing instruments such as the guitar and the flute.



Kalyan Botla




Kalyan Botla graduated from Health Careers High School in San Antonio. In high school, he was involved in a variety of activities such as the Health Careers Latin Club, Health Occupations Students of America, and History Fair. In addition to these school related activities, he also was the inaugural president of the TIPS Junior Volunteer Program and amassed over 800 hours of volunteer work through the University Hospital, CIMA Hospice, and the Haven for Hope Homeless shelter. He is also currently serving as the Chair of FAME's Outreach Committee. Kalyan is interested in Interventional Cardiology and Emergency Medicine. Outside of school, Kalyan works as an SAT Tutor and enjoys anything related to cars.


Chirag Buch




Chirag Buch graduated from Health Careers High School in San Antonio on the Distinguished Graduate Plan. During his high school career, he was diligently involved with ‘HOSA: Future Health Professionals.’ He served this organization as a chapter president, Area 1 secretary, and as a State Secretary – representing upwards of 20,000 members throughout Texas. Chirag was also involved in HIV/AIDS research at the University of Texas Health Science Center and is currently involved in Cardiothoracic Research. Chirag plans to practice cardiothoracic surgery in San Antonio while volunteering his time to serve third world countries. At UTSA, Chirag is part of the Honors College Advisory Board, the University Honors Student Association, and FAME’s Public Affairs Committee. He is also a Terry Scholar of UTSA.


Cody Carnes




Cody Carnes grew up second of four kids on a small farm in Castroville, Texas. He graduated senior class president and band president from Medina Valley High School. He loves the outdoors – hunting, canoeing, and archery. Cody is very interested in other cultures, having spent a year studying at a Mandarin taught, international high school in Taipei. He has always enjoyed working with kids through programs such as AWANA Children’s Ministries, camp CAMP, and several others. He aspires to eventually become a pediatrician and hopes to continue working with kids throughout his life. In addition, Cody also desires to work for global humanitarian efforts and disaster relief. Cody is excited for the building of friendships with such incredible peers through the FAME program.


Kevin Chorath



Kevin Chorath is from San Antonio, TX and graduated from Northside Health Careers High School. Kevin's interest in medicine stems from an intrinsic desire to help others, coupled with a fascination with the human body. Throughout high school, Kevin competed and did well in various HOSA, UIL, and Intramural Basketball competitions, as well as started his own club known as "Future Doctors of America." In addition, he volunteered over 1000 hours at the University/VA Hospital and conducted HIV/AIDS research for 2.5 years. He is involved in various clubs here and outside of UTSA, including FAME Outreach Committee, Paintballing Club, and AMSA/IFMSA. During his free time, he likes to sing, workout, and spend quality time with friends. He hopes to become an Interventional Cardiologist and a Global Health Activist.


Justin Denny



Justin Denny attended the Science and Engineering Academy at John Jay HS in San Antonio, Texas where he was commander of the national champion Demilitarized Arms Drill Team, The Silver Eagles. He now volunteers as a coach for the drill team. He is a proud Terry and Burger King Scholar. At UTSA Justin is the Rules and Regulations Chair for FTK (For the Kids,) a non-profit organization that raises money for children battling pediatric cancer. He has shadowed with an internal medicine doctor over the summer and hopes to be able to shadow or even do research in the upcoming summers. Justin aspires to become an oncologist, and with the help of FAME he can get there even faster.


Ruby Gibson



Ruby Gibson graduated Valedictorian from Robert G. Cole High School. She has a strong passion for the arts, having participated in the San Antonio Metropolitan Ballet, San Antonio Parks and Recreation Alamotion Dance Troupe, and the Texas Children's Choir. She danced in the Nutcracker, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel and the summer Bravo Shows along the River walk. Ruby also possesses musical talent and can play the flute, piano, the organ and she sings. She understands and recognizes sacrificial service that comes with growing up as a military child. After graduating from medical school, Ruby aspires to become a Radiation Oncologist.



Claude Hardy



Claude Hardy was raised in the Clear Lake area of Houston and graduated from Clear Horizons Early College High School with an Associate’s Degree in General Studies. While in high school, he was a member of the National Honor Society and the Bay Area Youth Symphony. At UTSA, he is a charter member of the Christian fellowship group, Advent Project. He is also co-founder and Vice President of the Caribbean Student Association. In addition, he spends his free time with clubs as varied as UTSA Spectrum, Argentine Tango, and Health Ambassadors. As for his plans after FAME, he waivers between wanting to work in infectious disease or in preventive medicine.  Either way, he aspires to work in a global capacity for organizations such as the CDC and WHO in the endeavor to reduce inequalities in health among the marginalized both domestic to the United States and far outside its borders. Outside of school he loves learning about the world through unusual music, Al Jazeera, and travelling on his parents’ dime.



Jaswanth Kintada



Jaswanth Kintada graduated from Health Careers High School in San Antonio. While in high school, he served as the vice-president of his class and Student Council. Jaswanth has competed at the state and national levels in several competitions including HOSA and Junior Academy of Science. He was named as a Siemens Regional Semifinalist for his work with combination-drug therapy on human breast cancer cells his senior year. Jaswanth currently conducts research in the Cardiology department at the UT Health Science Center. At UTSA, he is involved with the Honors College and is a spirited UTSA Ambassador. He also serves on the University Center Advisory Council as COS Senator and works to improve student life on campus. Jaswanth dedicates a lot of his time to For The Kids NPO and actively raises awareness for children battling childhood cancer. Outside of school, he is an Eagle Scout, an avid basketball fan, and a food enthusiast. Jaswanth aspires to become a cardiac surgeon and wants to improve health literacy rates in the world.



Garrett Kneese



Garrett Kneese is from a suburb of Houston but considers himself a native to the Texas Hill Country, with the majority of his family being from Fredericksburg. An involved career at Deer Park High School and an active presence in his community granted Garrett the opportunity to attend UTSA as a Terry Scholar. As a pioneer student in the FAME program, Garrett exemplifies his passion for healthcare as the President of the Health Ambassadors of UTSA: a public health driven student organization that provides health information and assessments to under-served areas of San Antonio as well as the UTSA student body. Aside from his career pursuits, Garrett also enjoys representing UTSA as a USAT Collegiate Triathlete and a USAU Ultimate Frisbee player.



Brandon May


Brandon May was born and raised in Missouri City, Texas. He graduated from Lawrence E. Elkins High School. In high school, he played varsity soccer, tennis, and football, and he is now an avid bodybuilder. In addition, he was the President of his school's English Honor Society and a member of the UIL Academic State team. In the future, Brandon wants to become an orthopedic surgeon; he plans to use his career in medicine and his experience with fitness and nutrition to spread awareness about effective and healthy exercise and nutrition.



Raul Membreño


Raul Membreño graduated from San Antonio Christian High School in San Antonio, Texas. As a state- ranked tennis player, Raul is interested in the movements and coordination of bones and muscles of competitive athletes and in each organs systems vital role in the human body. One day, he aspires to become a physician who is able to comprehend the gravity of suffering in a human beings life and thus respond with empathy and expertise, perhaps utilizing his native Spanish too. He is most looking forward to the FAME Gateway courses and developing great friendships with the even cooler nineteen people in the program. Raul is a Rising Roadrunner Scholar and part of the ultimate frisbee club at UTSA.



Prem Menon


Prem Menon is from Austin, Texas, and he attended Lake Travis High School. Here at UTSA, he is on the College of Sciences Deans Student Council, is a Rising Roadrunner scholar, and is a member of the Indian Cultural Association. Along with this, Prem is also the manager of UTSA's Sapna, a bollywood fusion dance team. He aspires to become a neurosurgeon. Aside from education, Prem is an Eagle Scout, likes to attend music festivals, and plays the Tabla.



Christopher Mowrey


Christopher Mowrey graduated from Lutheran South Academy with a Distinguished Diploma and Summa Cum Laude. In high school, Christopher competed at All State level swimming with Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools for four years and won multiple 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places every year; Christopher also competed at All State level percussion with both Texas Music Educators Association and Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. In addition, Christopher also volunteered regularly at hospitals and served at cancer screenings and fundraisings, such as Relay for Life. Christopher is a certified pharmacy technician, and is actively shadowing an anesthesiologist. At UTSA, he is a member of the Honors College and FAME Outreach Committee.



Vinh-Son Nguyen


Vinh-Son Nguyen is a tenacious and fun-loving individual from Houston, Texas. He attended Clear Horizons Early College High School where he graduated third of his class with 67 college credit hours. Vinh-Son stayed active in school by being Senior Class President, President of the school’s Medical Club, and National Honor Society Treasurer. In his spare time, he enjoys making films with his friends, photography, and playing the ukulele. To stay physically active, Vinh- Son enjoys hiking, traveling, and practicing Tae Kwon Do, which he has acquired a black belt in. He actively documents his life through video blogs that allow him to preserve precious memories and reflect on the past. During summers, Vinh-Son works at NASA, further developing his interest in aerospace medicine.



Keerthana Pakanati


Keerthana Pakanati is from the suburb of The Woodlands, which is just north of Houston. She attended the Academy of Science and Technology at The Woodlands College Park High School. Here at UTSA, she is a UTSA Ambassador in Training, a member of For the Kids, an organization that raises money for kids with cancer, a freshman officer for the Indian Cultural Association, and the student body ambassador for FAME. Keerthana hopes to be either a pediatric surgeon or an ophthalmologist, and wants to work for Doctors Without Borders. She is a classical Indian dancer and has started an Indian dance team at UTSA.



Bobby Palmos


Bobby Palmos is from Harlingen, Texas, and graduated as valedictorian from Early College High School with an Associate’s Degree in Biology. While in high school, he participated in Fellowship of Christian Athletes, National Honor Society, and amassed 1500 hours of community service. He wants to become a family physician with a fellowship in sports medicine and return to Harlingen to practice medicine there. Bobby absolutely loves playing the guitar, making short films, jiu- jitsu, and eating peanut butter with bacon.



Alexis Ramos


Alexis Ramos graduated from Louis D. Brandeis High School in San Antonio, Texas in the top 7% of her class. During high school she was involved in various honor societies as well as working part time jobs. She also served as a Chair for the San Antonio Youth Commission, a committee of 22 high school students appointed by the mayor to meet with city officials and advise them on youth- related issues. She plans to become a pathologist. At UTSA, Alexis is a Terry Scholar.



Rajitha Reddy


Rajitha Reddy is from Lufkin, Texas, and she attended Lufkin High School. Here at UTSA, she is a part of FTK (For The Kids), an organization that helps children with cancer, the College of Sciences Dean’s Student Council, and is the Community Service Chair for FAME. Raji wants to become a neurologist or an oncologist. She hopes to practice in the north west of the United States. She loves to travel and aspires to even go to Antarctica.


Shreya Reddy


Shreya Reddy is from Plano, Texas and attended the Texas Academy of Math and Science. She aspires to become a pediatric surgeon in the future. She looks forward to benefitting from the unique educational opportunities that the FAME program has to offer. She is currently a member of the Honors College Student Advisory Board. Shreya is also co-captain and a founding member of Sapna, UTSA's new Bollywood fusion dance team.



Maggie Zhang


Maggie Zhang was born in Cleveland, OH, but was raised in San Antonio and attended John Marshall High School, where she graduated as Salutatorian of her class. In high school, she was active in her NHS chapter, serving as treasurer, and also participated in HOSA and Varsity Orchestra. She also spent some time shadowing and volunteering the VA Hospital. In her free time, Maggie enjoys reading and listening to music from around the world. At UTSA, she is involved in Health Ambassadors, Global Brigades, and βββ Biological Honors Society. As for her future, she still has no idea as to what specialty to specialize in, but hopes, in whatever she chooses to do, to be of a service someday.