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RWJ Scholars Round Five

Kaydean Harris

A native of the island of Jamaica, I relocated to Rochester New York at the age of 12. I attended St. John Fisher College and graduated with a BS in Biology in 2007. I am currently a Medical Technologist at the University of Rochester where I specialize in Chemistry, and have received some training in Hematology. I am a wife of 5 years and the mother of two beautiful children. I enjoy spending quality time with my family and also traveling. Once I have completed nursing school I intend on furthering my education and someday becoming a CRNA.

Victor Hernandez

I was born and raised in Varadero, Cuba and moved to Miami, FL at the age of 18 in 2006. I graduated from Florida International University with a BS in Biology. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree I decided to get involved in the health field and I attended a nursing program from which I graduated as an LPN. I have been in the nursing field since 2009 and been practicing since 2011. My professional goal is to become a DNP CRNA or DNP CNS. I enjoy spending time at the beach, playing volleyball, dancing, and traveling. I am very glad to have the opportunity to attend University of Rochester and to be able to meet people from different cultures. Although this year is going to be pretty intense, I am sure we are going to spend an excellent time together!

Heather Jackson

I grew up just south of Rochester in Dansville, NY. I graduated in May 2011 from the University at Albany with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Biology. I have worked for the past year in the Mental Health field as a Case Manager as well as in Health Care Administration. My ultimate goal is to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I like to play softball, cook, spend time with my friends, family, and cat, Lewie!

S. Zach Lewis

It is a challenge to say exactly where I am “from,” as I have moved every few years throughout my life. Having moved to Rochester in 2010 with my wife and daughter, though, I now consider myself a Rochesterian. I earned my BA in Psychology at Beloit College in Wisconsin, and while I enjoyed my occupations in the intervening years between then and now, I believe that life tends to steer people in certain directions. For me, a career in Nursing emerged as an obvious endeavor. I am thrilled to be taking this opportunity to be able to give what I can to this noble profession. In my free time I enjoy being with my family, sporting events, camping, and working on our house.

Elise Linke-Judge:

I was born in Chicago, IL and grew up in Rochester, NY. I graduated from the University at Albany with a BA in Sociology and a minor in Bioethics. After graduating I moved back to Rochester and have worked at University of Rochester’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health, where I assisted in piloting a program called ‘Strong Teeth’ the goal of which was to broaden the awareness of the importance and value of enhancing utilization of oral health services for underserved children. My long term goal is to become a Family Nurse Practitioner or to study Public Health Nursing. Outside of school I enjoy staying active by running, hiking and playing sports and I love spending my free time with family and friends.

Kristian Vitu

I graduated from Charles University of Prague, the Czech Republic, majoring in Philosophy and Political Science. During my studies I spent two semesters at Virginia Tech and Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia. After graduation I was asked to create and lead a seminar on American Political Thought. I planned to continue my education at University of Toronto. When unexpected events steered my life into a different direction, I gave serious thought to a career in the medical field, for which I always had respect and admiration. Further experience as a PCT at Strong Memorial Hospital ignited me with passion and urgency, before experienced only in a self-centered and abstract form; it revealed to me that nursing, besides granting an almost infinite number of opportunities, offers a very concrete sense of meaningfulness.

Ataa Bekoe-Tabiri

I was born and raised in the Bronx. I graduated Hunter College with a degree in sociology. I have been working in the health field since 2005 which was the year I fell in love with the field. I held a tiny new born baby in my hands and she cooed at me and I was convinced that I had to be a healthcare provider. As I continue to work as a nurse attendant I observe and learn what it takes to be a great nurse. I plan to subsequently pursue a Masters in Public Health to address issues of diseases predominant in urban communities. I can't wait to start this nursing journey with all of my fellow January 2013 cohort!

David Byrd

I am from Newport, RI. I graduated from Hobart College in 2000 with a BA in English. I spent ten years after college working in the mortgage industry. I am looking forward to my time in Rochester and I am excited to be starting a new chapter in my life. In my spare time I enjoy being active and visiting with friends and family.

Andrea Holmes

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY. In 2010, I graduated from The College at Brockport (SUNY) with a BS in Psychology and a minor in Sociology. I currently work in case management for a non-profit organization with individuals who have been diagnosed with mental illnesses. After obtaining my Nursing degree, I plan to become a psych Nurse. Ultimately I would like to become either a psychiatric or family Nurse Practitioner. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, traveling, dining out, and spending time with my family and friends. I love animals, and have two cats of my own.

Joanna Rivera

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY, the youngest of four. I am a SUNY Fredonia graduate with a BA in English Education. In my free time, I enjoy shopping, spending time with friends and family, and traveling. My dream is to become a traveling nurse.

Seth Rosenblatt:

I was born in Calí Colombia but grew up in Schenectady, New York. I graduated in the class of 2011 from the University of Rochester with a BA in Philosophy, and Brain and Cognitive Science. I hope to eventually work as a psychiatric mental health nurse. I am an animal lover (especially cats!), a music enthusiast, and a would-be audiophile.

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