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Facilitated Acceptance to Medical Education (FAME) Program

Students-Class of 2023

 

 

 

Zac Brooke

 

Zac Brooke is from San Antonio, Texas and graduated from Health Careers High School. In high school, he competed at the state level in Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) and Business Professionals of America (BPA). In addition, Zac was a member of the varsity cross country team and was actively involved in the Spanish Honor Society and National Honor Society. Outside of school, Zac volunteered at Camp CAMP, a camp for special needs children. While on a mission trip, he worked in a medical clinic at an orphanage in Peru. Zac is an Eagle Scout, football fanatic, and an avid fisherman. Zac aspires to become a primary care physician and improve the quality of preventive care in the community.



Megana Challa

 

Megana Challa graduated from William P. Clements High School in Sugar Land, TX, in the top 10% of her class. In high school, she served as an officer on the board of Clements’s Red Cross chapter. Her responsibilities included organizing and hosting various health related activities, such as the annual blood drive, as well as volunteering at shelters geared towards easing the responsibilities of impoverished women and their children. She was also a member of Science National Honor Society, Habitat for Humanity, Math National Honor Society, National Honor Society, and the Academic Speech Team. In the summer of ninth grade, Megana was able to provide service at the Methodist Outpatient Spine Center, observing the practitioners diagnose and relieve specific issues, thereby experiencing direct patient-medical professional communication. She volunteered for more than 100 hours in her community, serving as an usher at a fundraiser for India’s underprivileged rural communities, feeding the homeless in downtown Houston during Christmas, and working with senior citizens at a care center. For fun, Megana enjoys hanging out with her family and friends, settling into a corner, reading a good book, and playing tennis. She has been a part of the varsity tennis team at Clements for 3 years playing girls doubles and mixed doubles. At UTSA, she plans on joining GlobeMed, UTSA Ambassadors, and the Sapna Dance Team. Her dream is to become a neurosurgeon, although she hopes to keep an open mind for other specialties as well.

 

Katrina De Leon

 

 

 

Katrina De Leon is from San Antonio, Texas and graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Central High School. During her four years at East Central, Katrina served as Junior Class Vice President, Student Council President, Club Life Vice President, a member of the National Honor Society, and the HOSA chapter. At the end of her junior year Katrina received her certified nursing assistant certification and worked in her local nursing home. As student council president she helped organized various awareness projects around her campus including anti-bullying and teen dating violence campaigns. Her passion and motivation to giving back to the community shows with the endless hours of community service she has committed to. She has volunteered with Roland’s Shoe Rack, Special Spaces San Antonio, Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, Ronald McDonald, and other various organizations. She hopes to continue to give back to the community during her time at UTSA.

 

Leah Faron

 

Leah Faron is from San Antonio, Texas and graduated 4th in her class from Health Careers High School. Throughout high school Leah participated in cross country and served as the recording secretary for the National Honors society. In addition to this Leah also was an active member of Health Occupations Students of America, reaching both regional and state levels in the competition. Academically Leah has been honored with many awards including the AP Scholar Award, The Quest Bridge National Scholars Award and was selected to receive the National Academy of Future Physicians and Medical Scientists Award of Excellence. Leah was also involved outside of school where she volunteered over 100 hours as a live production team member at her church. Leah also frequency volunteered at the Ronald McDonald House which serves the families of cancer patients receiving treatment at San Antonio’s various treatment centers. After graduating medical school Leah hopes to become a pediatrician and contract into the military in order to serve the children of military personnel, as Leah grew up in a military household herself. In her free time Leah enjoys to run, travel and spend time with her family.

 

Zach Harbin

 

 

 

Zach Harbin graduated from New Braunfels High School where he played baseball. Zach is very passionate about bringing medical care to under resourced populations around the world, especially Africa. He was part of a medical mission team that went to Ghana to provide healthcare to villages in the Volta Region. He hopes to one day be a missionary doctor where he can spread the love of Jesus and bring healing to those around the world. Aside from school, Zach likes to play music, watch sports, and spend time with family.

 

Nisha Kalyanpur

 

 

 

Nisha Kalyanpur graduated from Allen High School in Allen, Texas in the top 2% of her class as a National Merit Finalist. She was an active member of NHS and Key Club and completed over 250 hours of community service. She was also involved in HOSA and science club. At the Dallas Regional Science Fair, Nisha was awarded first place for cancer related research. In her summers, Nisha continued her passion for research at the biomedical engineering lab at the University of Texas at Dallas profiling cardiovascular biomarkers. Her research inspired her to pursue a career in medicine. She spent the following summer as part of the Cardiothoracic Surgical Skills Program as an intern at the Stanford School of Medicine. Nisha has also shadowed several physicians including a cardiologist, an emergency physician, an ophthalmologist, and a hand surgeon. Aside from medicine, Nisha is also very involved in the arts. She has learned classical Indian dance for 10 years, plays violin, and loves to paint. She has been teaching fine art classes for little kids since 2012.  Nisha is looking forward to getting involved in clubs at UTSA such as For The Kids, Globe Med, and Indian Cultural Association.

 

 

Emilea Lopez

 

 

 

Emilea Lopez is from Schertz, Texas. She graduated Sum Cum Laude from Samuel Clemens High School. She was a member of the basketball team, the golf team, showed animals in 4-H, and played the bass drum on her school’s drum line. Emilea took radiology her senior year and graduated as a certified limited radiology technologist. She was Secretary of NHS, Vice-President of her class, President and Founder of the Leo Club, and Historian of HOSA. Emilea is an active member of her local community where she serves as a member of the Schertz-Cibolo Lion’s Club and an avid fundraiser for Cystic Fibrosis. She was a leader in her youth group and loves serving and working with her elementary school kids on Sunday mornings. In her free time Emilea loves to travel and ride the most daring rollercoasters. She plans to participate in a UTSA bible study and join the UTSA women’s intramural ultimate frisbee team. She hopes to one day serve as a pediatric anesthesiologist

 

 

Madeleine Matthews

 

 

Madeleine Matthews is from Austin, Texas and graduated from Lake Travis High School as an LT Scholar. She was a member of HOSA, NHS, and did ballet throughout high school. Madeleine is a Certified Nursing Assistant, as well as a lifeguard and a sleep away camp counselor at Rocky River Ranch in Wimberly. She plans on continuing HOSA and recreational dance at UTSA. She wants to serve as a pediatric doctor practicing in a hospital and is specifically interested in neonatology and pediatric trauma surgery.

 

 

Jonathon Medina

 

 

Jonathon Medina graduated from Texas Military Institute (TMI) in San Antonio, Texas. At TMI, he was a part of the Corps of Cadets where he served in various leadership positions with increasing responsibility including squad leader, platoon sergeant, and the Battalion Publicity & Recruiting Officer. As the Battalion Publicity & Recruiting Officer, Cadet Captain Medina published pictures for the TMI Corps of Cadets, and wrote articles for The TMI Times, the student-run newspaper. He was also in charge of conducting the Cadet of the Month, Semester, and Year boards. Jonathon was also a member of the TMI MacArthur Rifles Drill Team and the Color Guard. Jonathon was a member of the National Honor Society, and he was a four-year Varsity Track runner. Jonathon took part in the Voelcker Biomedical Research Academy at the UT Health Science Center where he served as a research intern for three summers under the guidance of his mentor, Dr. Jean Jiang. There, he conducted research on Microphthalmia and wrote his own research abstract titled: “Cx 50 Second Extracellular Loop Domain in Cell-Cell Adhesion.” Jonathon also spent many days volunteering at Pets Alive, a local San Antonio animal shelter. Jonathon looks forward to expanding his knowledge in medicine through the FAME program.

 

Shwetha Menon

 

 

Shwetha Menon is from Carrollton, Texas and graduated from Hebron High school in the top 2% percent of her class. She was involved in many clubs and organizations throughout her years in school such as Student council, NHS, and Spanish NHS, and she served as the secretary in Rays of sunshine and as the historian of Science NHS. She was a member and secretary of the orchestra as well for 7 years and was selected to be in the ALL region orchestra for 4 years and received the superior award (highest award) for solo and ensemble all 7 years. She has volunteered for more than 300 hours at many hospitals and non-profits and has shadowed 4 doctors over the past few years. Furthermore, she co-founded a non-profit organization called the Imagine Beyond Foundation and raised more than $12,000 for individuals with autism, and they have started many chapters in schools like Jasper High School. She received the National AP Scholar award and graduated with the distinguished achievement program from school. She was involved in many extracurricular activities since childhood including learning the piano, Carnatic Music, violin, Bharatanatyam, and Mohiniyattam. She completed her Bharatanatyam Arangetram, which is a 3-hour solo dance recital, in 2015 and received the title Natyamani from the Ellora Center for Performing Arts. She likes to read, watch Netflix, play instruments, and dance for fun and is looking forward to joining For the Kids, Sapna, and Globemed at UTSA. She is hoping to grow up and practice family medicine and is excited to be a part of the FAME family!

 

Seamus Moreno

 

 

Seamus Moreno was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated as seventh in his class from the International School of the Americas. Seamus participated in the Ultimate Frisbee club in all four years of high school, and participated as a member of National Honor Society. He also had the opportunity to complete an internship doing rotations at Methodist Hospital. Seamus was both an AP scholar and a National Hispanic Merit Scholar. Seamus is looking forward to completing the FAME program and is hoping to become an orthopedic surgeon.

 

 

Malavika Perinchery

 

 

Malavika Perinchery is from Austin, Texas and graduated in the top 10 of Vandegrift High School. Malavika is passionate about robotics and served as the assistant project manager of her award winning high school robotics team, Snakebyte. She was also the secretary of the Vandegrift chapter of Red Cross Club, through which she helped put together annual, community-wide blood drives. In 2015, Malavika was awarded a Welch summer research scholarship to conduct biochemistry research at Texas Tech University. She is also a national merit scholar finalist. Malavika is an accomplished dancer and has completed her Bharatanatyam arangetram (debut performance). She likes to volunteer her time, mentoring young children in math and spelling and working with people with special needs. At UTSA, Malavika is a member of the honors freshman leadership team, Sapna dance team, Globemed, and Indian Cultural Association. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, trying out new foods, and hanging out with friends. Malavika aspires to be a general surgeon and serve the hill country area.

 

 

Holly Ratcliff

 

 

Holly Ratcliff is from Lufkin, Texas. She graduated Salutatorian from Hudson High School. She was a tri-sport varsity athlete all four years, competing in swimming, cross country, and track. She represented Hudson at the State 4A UIL meet for cross country three times and at the State 5A meet for swimming three times as well. She graduated with a STEM endorsement and is a certified phlebotomist and CNA. She participated in Leadership Tomorrow and Drug Free All Stars. She served as President of National Honor Society her senior year and was founder of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes branch at her high school. Holly is planning on continuing her swimming with UTSA’s club team. She is also participating in CRU, HOSA, and WE LEAP. Holly wants to serve as a family practitioner or pediatric doctor when she completes medical school.

 

 

Juliana Restrepo

 

Juliana Restrepo was born in Bogota, Colombia, but has lived in San Antonio, Texas for a large part of her life. She graduated Summa Cum Laude and sixth in her class from Ronald Reagan High School. While in high school, Juliana was Vice President of French Club, Vice President of the National French Honor Society, Secretary of Chemistry club, and on the officer board for an anti-drug organization in the community. She was also an avid member of her school’s Health Occupation Students of America (HOSA), Mu Alpha Theta, and National Honor Society chapters, as well as the Reagan Orchestra, where she played violin all four years. Juliana also competed in Science UIL competitions where she qualified for state championships in Biology. In her spare time, Juliana enjoyed tutoring younger students at school and at Kumon, where she worked. She is a National AP Scholar, and has won the Gold President’s Volunteer Award for two consecutive years after volunteering at various hospitals and Camp C.A.M.P during the summer. She is most excited about the FAME gateway courses and joining organizations such as GlobeMed at UTSA.

 

 

Jacob Seiber

 

Jacob Seiber was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, but lived in San Antonio for the majority of his life. He graduated Summa Cum Laude top 5% from Claudia Taylor Lady Bird Johnson High School. In high school, he was enrolled in many clubs such as HOSA, Red Cross, and the NHS’s. He was also part of health related classes such as EMT, where he served as a co-­captain and trained to be an emergency medical technician and trained at University Hospital’s trauma unit and on board ambulances.
He is an active member of various volunteer activities such as helping staff in a local senior care center as well as traveling the country to help rebuild houses for those struck by disaster. At UTSA, Jacob plans to become an ambassador and help lead and participate in various organizations. In his free time, Jacob enjoys making music, and spending time with friends and family. He is truly grateful for being part of the FAME program where he can further his mission to alleviate the pressure of surgery for patients. After being involved in a tragic car accident when he was 3, he became determined to become an Anesthesiologist and has been on the track ever since.

 

Chloe Talley

 

Chloe Talley was born and raised in Corpus Christi Texas and graduated Flour Bluff High School with honors. During her high school career, she was a member of the National Honors Society, Mu Alpha Theta, Robotics Club and competed in Varsity Track and Varsity Cross Country for three years.  She spent the summer of 2015 shadowing a Pediatric Cardiac Electrophysiologist. Extracurricularly, Chloe spent her summers participating in her church youth group's community missions opportunities.
At UTSA, Chloe plans to seek opportunities in the university swim club, For the Kids and the UTSA Ambassadors.  Chloe plans to pursue a career in cardiothoracic surgery and is energized by the limitless potential medicine offers to enhance communities near and far.  In her free time, Chloe enjoys literature, books readings and outdoor activities.

 

 

Ida Vaziri

 

Ida Vaziri was born in Boca Raton, Florida and grew up in Richardson, Texas. She attended Plano East Senior High School where she graduated with the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma. She was a member and captain of the Plano East Swim Team. She was also involved in cross country/track, choir, NHS, Habitat for Humanity, and other organizations. Ida is passionate about music and has been playing the piano since first grade. She competed at the state piano competition multiple times, where she was a state finalist. Ida plans to continue swimming and playing the piano, as well as participating in organizations such as FTK (For the Kids) and GlobeMed at UTSA. She is fascinated by the brain and is excited to further explore the medical field. 

 

 

Subhash Venigalla

 

Subhash Venigalla attended Lady Bird Johnson High School in San Antonio, Texas and graduated fourth in his class. Throughout his high school career, he participated in various clubs such as Key Club, American Chemistry Society and was the President of both Mu Alpha Theta Society and Red Cross. He also played junior varsity soccer for his school as a freshman and sophomore. In addition, he volunteered at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio and worked as a research intern in the Cancer Therapy & Research Center in UTHSCSA. He also participated in a SoHacks(Hackathon) competition where he placed first by developing a modified EKG machine which detects various heart irregularities using a coding algorithm. In his free time, Subhash likes to play sports, listen to music, play chess and spend time with his family and friends. He is ecstatic about pursuing a career in medicine and plans to become a neurosurgeon. Subhash is grateful to be part of FAME and continue his mission to revolutionize medicine and bring medical care to those in need.

 

 

 

Salma Yazji

 

Salma Yazji was born and raised in the majority-minority community of McAllen, Texas. She graduated in the top 5% of her class from South Texas High School for Health Professions in July 2016. Medicine played a key role in Salma's high school career; she qualified two years in a row for the national Health Occupations Students of America competition and graduated with an Emergency Medical Technician certificate, with which she later received her Emergency Medical Technician license. Salma had the great opportunity her senior year to exercise her passion for the arts by working as the stage manager of her high school's musical production of Beauty and the Beast. Through her one-in-a-lifetime experiences of volunteering with We Love Reading in Jordan and Union of Medical Care and Relief in Turkey, Salma had the chance to work one on one with Syrian refugee children. These children inspired Salma's goal in becoming a Child Psychiatrist and one day working with Doctors Without Borders. Salma enjoys reading novels, writing poetry, and spending spontaneous moments with friends during her free time. 

 

 

Christopher Zhu

 

Christopher Zhu graduated from Keystone School in San Antonio, Texas, where he was a National Merit Finalist Scholarship Winner and National AP Scholar. He was a member of the four-person team that won the 2016 Carlos and MalĂș Alvarez National Academic WorldQuest Competition in Washington D.C., an analysis-based academic contest sponsored by the World Affairs Councils of America about current events, international cultures, and world affairs. During his summers, he conducted research under the Welch Scholars program, volunteered as a counselor at CampCAMP, and traveled extensively. In his spare time, Chris enjoys playing recreational tennis, reading non-fiction, and beating his personal Rubik’s Cube records. He also enjoys consuming foreign-language media and is ecstatic about where FAME will lead him in his professional future.