Skip to main content

RWJ Scholars Round Seven

William Borders:

My background in healthcare began in a small non-profit clinic in Bloomington, IN where I volunteered during college as an EMT with an amazing nursing team. While attending Indiana University I finished my undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Psychology with a strong focus in mental health stigma and psychiatry in 2013. Now, I am thrilled to start my nursing career with the hope of becoming a Nurse Practitioner in the near future.

David Bynum:

I was born and raised in the Rochester area but am recently returned to the area after living mostly in North Carolina. I have a BA in biological anthropology and a Masters of Environmental Management, both from Duke University. I have worked in conservation biology, environmental health research, and more recently as a medical editor and writer in cardiovascular clinical research. I love traveling, and have lived in Indonesia and Mexico in the past. I am truly grateful for the opportunity to study nursing and am looking forward to meeting everyone.

William Dieffenbacher:

I grew up in Mount Morris, New York, a small town not too far from the city of Rochester. I graduated from Elmira College in May 2009 with a BA in Fine Arts. Working in customer service and with people with disabilities over the past few years, as well as having family and friends, who work in healthcare, has led me to the nursing profession. Outside of school I enjoy spending time with friends and family, painting and enjoying some of the finer things in life- which tend to involve my insatiable sweet tooth. I look forward to making the most out of this next year with everyone!

Isabella (Isa) Geltman:

I grew up in Newton, M.A, and graduated from the University of Rochester in May 2014 with a Bachelors of Arts in both Music and History. Though my undergraduate background was far from nursing, overarching health and wellness has always been a passion of mine. I love the outdoors, hiking, and travel! This past summer I spent 6 weeks backpacking around South East Asia exploring different cultures and cuisines. Another passion of mine is food. I absolutely love to cook, and strongly believe that fueling our bodies with healthy nutritious meals can be easy and delicious. In the future I hope to somehow incorporate my passion for total lifestyle wellness into my professional career, possibly through a focus on preventative health care.

Marisa Lester:

I was born and raised in the City of Rochester. I graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in Political Science in 2010. I then went on and attended Penn State Harrisburg and obtained a Masters in Criminal Justice with my research focusing on integration, rehabilitation and offender reentry. My goal is to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. I love to spend time with family, friends and see the outcome of my hard work.

Birhanu Merara:

I have degree in public health and several years of experience in public health in Ethiopia, since I moved to United States for the last three years I have been working as phlebotomist in University of Rochester. My goal as a nursing student is to successfully complete the program and pass the board exam. Once I finish the program I have a plan to work in critical care or cancer center, which will gives me a chance to learn a lot.

Princewill Fonta

My name is Princewill Fonta. I was born and raised in West Africa-Cameroon. I immigrated to the United Staes after completing high school, and I settled in Boston, Massachusetts with my family. I earned a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell in 2012.

I have spent many hours observing various occupational therapy clinics in Boston. I took classes and obtained a CNA certification to expand my search and love for my future career. I worked as a Physical Therapy Tech at North Shore Medical (Spaulding Rehab). My educational, professional, and personal life journey has led me to the present, pursuing a career in nursing at the University of Rochester.

Apart from chasing goals in life, I enjoy spending quality time with my son. I also enjoy exercising, traveling and eating food from different parts of the world.

Ryan Houghtalen

I was born and raised in Rochester, NY where I graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School (2008). I graduated from the University of Vermont (2012) where I earned a BA in sociology while competing as a student athlete. My career goal is to become a Family Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my dog, golfing, climbing mountains and spending time with my family.

Nasim Hurd

I graduated from the University of Rochester in 2004 with a double major in History and African & African-American Studies, after which I returned to my hometown, Portland, Oregon, and earned a master's degree in Conflict Resolution. I worked for several years as a union organizer, until I decided on a career change. I've been training in Aikido for over 20 years; I also enjoy basketball, reading, laughing, and do my best to maintain an active, healthy & spiritual life.

Faith Lambert

My name is Faith Lambert, I am from Brooklyn, NY. I graduated from Ithaca College in May 2014 with a degree in Health Sciences and a Nutrition concentration. I hope to further my education so that I can work as a nurse practitioner and in the public heath realm. I enjoy cooking, singing and spending time with family and friends.

Jeremy Mack

I've grown up in the Finger Lakes area here in NY studying medical illustration and the fine arts, and have practiced for 10 years in Manhattan. I'm excited to shift my career into healthcare and hope to serve in pediatric surgery. A few of my favorite things: My delicious daughter Esther, classical figure drawing and painting, hospice volunteering, jogging, praying, and having conversations that go beyond the weather.

Kashawmma Wright

As a Rochester native, I obtained my B.A in psychology from the University of Rochester in 2010. For a couple of years I worked as a Research Assistant at the Mt. Hope Family Center working with maltreated and/or low income children on social and emotional development. This past year, I gained clinical experience working at Strong Hospital in the Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program. I enjoy cooking, movies and pursuing adventurous activities on my bucket list such as zip lining and skydiving. I look forward to this upcoming year in the program.

Scroll to top of page