Karen Mendez
New York Medical College
A fourth year medical student, Karen Mendez obtained a BS degree in health promotion and disease prevention and a Master of Public Health degree in global health and leadership from the University of Southern California. Her interest is the reduction of health disparities among vulnerable populations in the US and abroad by developing sustainable interventions in partnership with transdisciplinary teams. With Dr. Michael Levy at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, she has published research on the impact of cross-cultural variations on autism spectrum disorders, produced an award-winning promotional video to educate the public on environmental issues, and helped support programs that increase diversity in healthcare workforce populations in the medical school at the University of California – San Diego.
  Chiemeka Onyima
Drexel University College of Medicine
A fourth year medical student, Chiemeka Onyima is the president of his class. During his undergraduate program at the University of Maryland – Baltimore, where he studied biochemistry and molecular biology, he conducted research at the medical school and presented on seasonal affected disorders at symposiums. An active member of the Anesthesiology Interest group and a cultural peer in the Office of Student Affairs, he has organized food drives and diversity talks across campus.
  Jorge Rocha
Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
A fourth year medical student, Jorge Rocha integrates his orthopedic interests with health disparity issues. While completing his post-baccalaureate pre-medical program at Columbia University, he was a volunteer coach and mentor for young Black and Hispanic children in Harlem. During medical school, Mr. Rocha joined the Nth Dimensions/American Academy of Orthopedic Scholars Program where he researched health disparities in community-acquired pediatric musculoskeletal infections; this research was presented at the 2013 National Medical Association National Conference in Toronto.