Leadership Team

We all donate our time toward our mission of providing free and accessible mentorship for all students.

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Aaron Gilani

Founder & Executive Director

Aaron is a first-generation medical student who aims to combine his entrepreneurial spirit with his love for medicine. Prior to medical school, he led consumer insights and product innovation at Procter & Gamble on the Old Spice and Aussie brands and co-founded HairCode (HairCode.com).  As Program Lead for the National Institute of Aerospace's OPSPARC Program, he has mentorship program implementation experience. He was recently named "One of Fourteen IU Students Poised to Change the World" by Indiana University

 

Aaron holds a B.S. from Hampden-Sydney College, certificate from Harvard Business School, and an MBA from The College William & Mary.

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Eric Galante, MD

Special Advisor, Mentor Relations

Previously serving as the Director of Mentor Relations, Eric is now a first-year Psychiatry resident at Emory University School of Medicine. In medical school, he was heavily involved in groups and organizations related to the topics of mental health and disability, for which he served as an executive board member. Currently undecided on his specific focus within Psychiatry, he is excited to work with the underserved and at-risk populations in Atlanta. In his free time, Eric enjoys world travel, sports, playing piano and spending time with family and friends. 

 

Eric graduated with a BS from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2016 and an MD from Indiana University School of Medicine in 2021.

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Mikaela Sullivan, MD

Special Advisor, Matching Committee

Mikaela is a first-generation medical student who aims to help patients overcome physical deformities through orthopaedic surgery. She plans on utilizing her B.S. in Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School during her career to advocate for her patients and contribute to hospital leadership. She has experience in mentorship, clinical research, curriculum development, and student government.

 

Outside of school, she enjoys reading her way through Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club, listening to true crime podcasts, and running with her dog Mipso.

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Breanna Thomas

Director, Mentee Relations

Breanna is a first-generation college graduate who is committed to breaking down the barriers of healthcare, in underrepresented populations. She has dedicated much of her academic journey to increasing Black representation at all levels of education and believes that this will inspire others to take a chance on their dreams. Prior to medical school, Breanna earned her Bachelor’s degree from Xavier University of Louisiana and then a Master of Public Health. As a medical student, she serves as the Public Relations Chair for her school’s free student run clinic. She is also Academic Co-Chair for her school’s chapter of SNMA. After medical school, Breanna aspires to be a primary care physician.

 

Born and raised in Louisiana, it is no surprise that she loves Mardi Gras, crawfish, and snowballs.

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Jordan Saunders

Director, Media Strategy

Jordan is a first-generation medical student with experience in mentorship. During his time at the NIH, Jordan mentored and tutored at-risk minority youth in Baltimore, Maryland. He also was a member of Minority Men in Medicine while at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill which aimed to increase the representation of African American males in medicine. Jordan hopes to serve in largely marginalized communities as a practicing physician.

 

Jordan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a former Division 1 college football player. In his free time, Jordan loves playing sports, exercising, and watching Netflix.

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Alexandra Jostes, MD

Special Advisor, Scholarship Committee

Alexandra, better known as “Alli,” is a first-generation medical student and aspiring pediatrician. Alli has a strong interest in mentoring and medical education, and aims to improve access to medical school for students from all backgrounds. Alli hopes to combine her love of science, medicine and teaching in a clinician-teacher role in her future career. During medical school, Alli has spent time on the peer mentoring executive committee and on the leader board of M4M, a physical wellness club that gives back to the kids at Riley Hospital for Children.

 

Alli graduated in 2017 with a BS & BA from Indiana University-Bloomington. Go Hoosiers!

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Kyle Deivert

Director, Matching Committee

Kyle is a first-generation medical student attending Eastern Virginia Medical School on an Air Force Health Professional Scholarship. Before medical school, he worked as a clinical recovery associate assisting organ transplant teams in Washington D.C., and the surrounding metropolitan area. 

 

He played Division III football at Hampden-Sydney College where he earned his B.S. and also holds an M.S. from Eastern Virginia Medical School.

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Sandra Nixon, MD

Special Advisor, Matching Committee

Sandra is a first-generation medical student with plans to go into emergency medicine and eventually academia. She has a passion for improving healthcare in underserved communities and spends her free time as a Spanish interpreter at the Greenville Free Medical Clinic and as a sexual assault victim advocate across the upstate of South Carolina. 

 

Sandra graduated in 2016 from Clemson University with a B.A. in Chemistry, then took a planned gap year before starting medical school. She lived in Guatemala during this year where she volunteered in a rural health clinic and worked in a local coffee shop. Her all-time favorite things are wildflowers, books, hot tea, and spending time in the mountains.

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Camilo Toro

Director, Mentor Relations

Camilo is a fourth-year medical student at Duke who believes in promoting diversity in medicine by creating a more equitable path to becoming a healthcare provider. After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania in 2017, he co-founded Lanzando Líderes, a bilingual after-school program for high school students in South Philadelphia’s Latino immigrant community.

 

As a medical student, Camilo helped develop SALUD, a pipeline program dedicated to inspiring Latino youth in Durham to pursue health-related professions.

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Iman Richie

Associate Director, Mentee Relations

Iman is a first-generation medical student who is dedicated to alleviating social and economic disparities in education and medicine. Before medical school, she served as an educator with Richmond Public Schools and as an AmeriCorps member in Central Virginia. In medical school, she has continued this commitment through mentorship, active service in the Charlottesville, VA community, and research. She is very active in UVA’s Student National Medical Association (SNMA) chapter and is devoted to supporting underrepresented students individuals in her community.

 

Iman is interested in pursuing a medical career in a surgical subspecialty and academia. Iman graduated with a B.A. in Biology and Society from Cornell University in 2015.

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Bear Bondurant

Director, Fundraising

Bear is a 2017 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has since gained experience in fundraising, external affairs, and institutional communications. He currently works for the Morehead-Cain Foundation, the first merit scholarship program established in the United States, at UNC-Chapel Hill and directs their annual fundraising campaign. Bear brings experience in fundraising, selections, and education management to Prescribe it Forward, eager to make medical school more attainable and affordable for everyone.

 

When not cheering on the Tar Heels, you can spot Bear unsuccessfully trying to teach his dog Mipso to “heel”, reading in one of Chapel Hill’s beautiful green spaces, or hanging with his favorite (future) M.D. Mikaela, Matching Committee Director.

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Chase LaRue

Director, Educational Content 

Chase LaRue is a second-year medical student at the Medical College of Wisconsin. After growing up in and out of poverty and teaching high school in an underserved area he works closely with undergraduate and high school students to bridge the knowledge gap in accessing higher education.

 

He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry. He completed his MS.Ed at Johns Hopkins in 2017 and an MS in Biomedical Sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School in 2019. Chase currently serves as a Medical Corps Service Member in the United States Navy Reserve.

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Natalia Romano Spica

Director, Mock Interviews

Natalia is a second-year medical student and a first-generation American with a passion for mentorship, education, and the humanities. She has devoted a large part of her journey to community building in a variety of settings, including residential life, academic services, and the ballroom dancing world. Most recently, she started "Your Virtual Interview Friend", an initiative dedicated to supporting medical school applicants through the virtual interview process; she is thrilled to be bringing this experience to Prescribe It Forward. 

 

Natalia completed both her undergraduate and graduate studies at Columbia University, where she received a B.A. in Biological Sciences and Comparative Literature and a M.Sc. in Narrative Medicine. 

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Andre Boyke

Associate Director, Mentee Relations

Andre is a first-generation medical student who believes in promoting diversity in medicine through engaging with students at early levels of education.  Throughout medical school, he has devoted time to being a mentor to undergraduate and high school students with pre-health interests.

 

He graduated with a B.S. from St. John’s University, and an M.S. from Tufts School of Medicine.

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Sami Vedula

Associate Director, Matching Committee

Sami is a first-generation medical student at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix who has a long-standing passion for mentorship, education, and community service. She has worked as a peer mentor and/or director for several organizations including MedX, Each One Teach One, and Saturday Scrubs. Currently, Sami is also an active member in student government at her college. Before embarking on her medical school journey, she worked as a clinical research coordinator and as an ambassador for the American Heart Association. 

 

Sami received her degree in Biology and Global Health from Washington University in St. Louis. Outside of school, she enjoys fashion photography, picnics with friends, indulging in reality tv, and spending time with her family.

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Maya Vishnia

Associate Director, Matching Committee

Maya is a second-year medical student and a first-generation American who hopes to become an OBGYN. She is enthusiastic about mentorship and working towards making the medical school application process more inclusive and holistic. At Eastern Virginia Medical School, she is a clinic coordinator for the HOPES Women’s Health Clinic which is a student-run free clinic for uninsured members of the community. 

 

Maya graduated in 2020 from UC San Diego with a BA in Linguistics. She loves cooking, exercising, and taking care of her many plants.

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Breanna Nguyen

Associate Director, Matching Committee

Breanna is a first-generation medical student at the University of Pittsburgh and is a part of the Physician-Scientist Training Program. She is passionate about improving accessibility to mentorship and helping students successfully navigate the medical school application process. At Pitt Med, she enjoys volunteering at the Birmingham Free Clinic and Women’s clinic.

 

She graduated from Williams College in 2016, where she competed on the swim team and earned a BA in Biology. After college, she spent two years at the NIH as a research fellow. Her hobbies include cooking her way through Molly Baz’s latest cook book, running and cycling along Pittsburgh’s three rivers, and adding to her ever growing family of house plants.

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Defne Altan

Associate Director, Mentor Relations

Defne Altan is a third-year student at Harvard Medical School. She is passionate about surgery, mentorship, and disparities and outcomes research. As an undergraduate, she volunteered with Health Leads as a triage specialist, was Co-Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Undergraduate Research Journal, and researched visceral fat biomarkers.

 

Defne is from Norman, Oklahoma, and graduated from Harvard College in 2018 with a degree in Neurobiology and a secondary in Global Health and Health Policy.

In her free time she enjoys writing fiction, practicing dance choreography, and collaborating with friends to make music. 

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Dan Rzewnicki

Associate Director, Mentor Relations

Dan is a 3rd year medical student at Emory University and is passionate about medical education and mentorship. He is also interested in research and has experience in both academic research and in the for-profit sector in a variety of topics, including behavioral health, behavioral science, technology and health, and design thinking. He also has plenty of interests outside of medicine, like hiking, biking, cooking, and reading. 

 

Dan completed his undergraduate degree in English (with minors in biology and psychology) at Grove City College in Pennsylvania. He then completed hi s master’s degree in public health at the University of Pittsburgh. 

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Shiraz Mumtaz

Associate Director, Mentor Relations

Bio Coming Soon!