Meet Our Current and Former Sarah Stewart Scholars

Jordan Wilson

Jordan, an M1 at GUSOM, hails from the rural area of Maxwell, California. He obtained his Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of California, Davis. As a first-generation student, Jordan is especially grateful for the sacrifices his parents made while raising him and his 6 siblings. Preceding medical school, Jordan actively served his community as an EMT, ER tech, and volunteer firefighter. Motivated by a commitment to tackling health disparities and inequities in underserved rural areas, Jordan aspires to improve healthcare accessibility and outcomes, especially in the realm of chronic conditions. He also holds a particular passion for addressing the widespread issue of substance abuse among communities worldwide. While harboring a keen interest in interventional cardiology and surgery, Jordan remains open to the prospect of pursuing primary care, reflecting a holistic approach to healthcare and a dedication to meeting diverse healthcare needs. Jordan lives by the motto “lead by example” and can most easily be found in the Yates fitness center when not in the library. 

Daniela Sierra

While growing up in Cuba, I witnessed my parents, who were both doctors, stand as  pillars of comfort and security for our community. Our home was a hub for neighbors,  friends, and family to seek medical advice and guidance, all while sipping on the rich  warmth of a Cuban espresso, un cafecito. Observing the profound impact my parents  had on our community inspired in me a lifelong aspiration to follow in their footsteps  and dedicate myself to serving others. This passion led me to pursue a bachelor’s degree  in Biology at the University of Florida, where I had the opportunity to cultivate an  interest in medicine. When the time came to choose a medical school, I knew I wanted  to come to a place where I could not only become a physician, but also serve my  community at a more profound level. Consequently, Georgetown University emerged as  the natural and compelling choice. Currently, I serve as the Class of 2027’s class  representative and I am also involved in the Council of Diversity Affairs (CODA). My current specialty interests include general surgery and neurosurgery but I am keeping an  open-mind as I learn more and more each day. My hope and commitment is to promote  health equity and racial justice, while serving as a voice for underrepresented  communities.

Rama O’Dwyer

Hello, my name is Rama O’Dwyer. I was born and raised in Sierra Leone and immigrated to Virginia about a decade ago. I grew up in Sierra Leone during the Blood Diamond War. The lack of healthcare services after the war greatly affected my family and neighbors. This experience motivated me to pursue medicine- to be the “town doctor”. As a new immigrant and the only college-educated member in the family, navigating the U.S education system at the time was very difficult, and the dream of becoming a physician became more distant. However, this did not hinder my passion for caring for the sick. I pursued a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After working as a registered nurse for five years, I was intrigued by the knowledge, clinical skills and empathy demonstrated by the physicians I worked with and re-energized my passion for medicine.  While the transition has not been easy, I’m grateful for the mentorship from professors and physicians that helped me in my medical school application journey. One of my interests as an immigrant and African American medical student is to increase the number of minorities in medicine. I believe health disparities facing immigrants, African Americans, and other underserved communities can be significantly reduced by recruiting and training more physicians from underserved groups. This vision is also shared by Georgetown School of Medicine Office of ODEIB. I am currently serving in the Council on Diversity Affairs, CODA, which seeks to enhance educational experience, recruiting and retaining students from minority and other disadvantaged groups. I also serve as the M1 president of Georgetown’s Black Men in White Coat, an organization that focuses on promoting the training of black male physicians. Additionally, I volunteer as a pre-med mentor for One Step Ahead Mentoring, OSAM, Program at Georgetown university, a program with the goal of improving the matriculation rate of underrepresented minorities in medical schools. I aim to continue working with organizations that seek to advance the training of minorities in medicine, and service to the underserved.

Janessa Mendoza

I am a Filipino-American daughter of immigrants, and I was born and raised in Edison, NJ. I graduated from Georgetown University, completing a Bachelor of Science in Human Science with a Psychology minor. When I was a teenager, my family and I volunteered in Philippine medical missions to mitigate the issues of lower quality health facilities, scarcity of providers, and more serious conditions without proper treatment. Despite these circumstances, I was able to connect with patients on a personal level and learn about their fascinating lives outside of the clinical setting. This immersive experience inspired me to pursue a career as a physician, since it was gratifying to be part of a team of altruistic people doing good for humanity. It also sparked my interest in promoting health equity especially in underserved and vulnerable populations. Throughout college, I sought opportunities that had the mission of addressing inequities: I was a DC Reads Elementary School Tutor for underprivileged students, a free medical clinic volunteer that delivered care to uninsured individuals, a health literacy instructor for immigrant and refugee English language learners, and an AmeriCorps service member that restored a community garden for low-income and low-access residents. As a future physician, I envision myself continuing to empower communities through service and compassion, and hope to make a lasting impact by addressing the needs of communities overlooked in health discussions. As a current M1 student, I am a member of the Council on Diversity Affairs to build on resources that promote diversity, inclusion, and belonging on campus, and to cultivate an environment in which my peers can flourish and thrive. I am interested in specializing in Dermatology and integrating community-based practices to ultimately improve access to health care, in order to treat chronic and acute skin conditions among patients in diverse populations. Aside from my professional endeavors, I enjoy indulging in different cultural cuisines, engaging in different fitness classes from HIIT to Pilates to Yoga, and watching comedy movies & NBA games.

David Perez

I was born and raised in Davenport, Florida. As a proud Chicano, I have always had a passion for helping underserved populations, especially Spanish-speaking immigrants. Coming from a family whose primary source of income relied on construction, in addition to the experiences I had in my community where there is limited knowledge regarding the effects of unprotected sun exposure and access to culturally-competent dermatologists, I am a second-year medical student with a strong interest in joining the fight against health disparities, especially dermatologic ones. Outside of classes, I lead GU’s and GUSOM’s Skin Smart Campus initiative, work closely with IMPACT Melanoma to promote Safe Skin at Work, am the Outreach Chair for GUSOM’s chapter of UV&Me and sit on the executive board of our Dermatology Interest Group. In addition to my dermatologic endeavors, I am the Co-President of the Hoya Medical Pride Alliance, act as the Chief Financial Officer of our Latino Medical Student Association, help lead the Medical Spanish Initiative, serve on GUSOM’s Council on Diversity Affairs and am a Population Health Scholar. A year ago, I chose to come to GUSOM because of the Stewart Scholar community and our shared vision of assisting the most vulnerable, and I am so glad I did.

Octavia Allen Whitfield

Octavia is from Elyria, Ohio, and received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and Health Education with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from Howard University in 2022.  Octavia decided that she wanted to be a doctor at the age of eight. As a first-generation college student, Octavia is grateful for the sacrifices her parents made in helping her work toward her dream of medicine. At Georgetown, Octavia has had the honor of being an ARCHES Fellow, GEP Coach, Primary Care Leadership Track Scholar, Diversity Representative for the 2023-2024 academic year, and a member of the Council of Diversity Affairs. Octavia is currently interested in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and hopes to impact the field by working to improve health outcomes among Black women. Outside of medicine Octavia most enjoys spending time with her three little sisters and eating ice cream. 

Inochi Gonzalez Calvo

I was born in Habana, Cuba and moved to Miami at the age of 11 years old. Growing up I always knew I wanted to be a doctor so I went to University of South Florida and earned a  bachelor’s degree in Biomedical Sciences with a minor in Psychology. As a first generation student, I have always been very passionate about promoting diversity and equality especially in healthcare so attending a medical school that embraced diversity was a requirement for me. I chose to go to Georgetown because even during my interview I felt welcomed, I could feel that Georgetown was a place that encouraged open conversations about health inequities and was ACTIVELY working to better those for their students, and faculty. Currently, I am involved in the Council of Diversity Affairs (CODA) and Medical Spanish Initiative to assure that others like me can also attend Georgetown and striving to help other medical students gain training in Medical Spanish so that they can build better relationships with their patients. I am currently interested in hand surgery but i am keeping an open mind since I still have so much to learn, however I am determined to continue promoting healthcare equality and mentorship for underrepresented students in whatever field I end up in!

Tyrel Powell

I was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens, New York. On multiple occasions, I have heard the tragic stories of young black men I knew whose lives were lost to street violence in New York. Such events birthed within me a desire to be an advocate to those who have lost their voices. These young men, who are no longer with us, deserve to have their stories told and justice ought to be served if at all possible. I am on a mission to contribute to the fight for justice in this way within my future practice as a Medical Examiner. Unfortunately, street violence is just one of many societal issues that ought to be addressed and this is why diversity and equity is essential for improving the lives of all. A multitude of changemakers focused on their missions, while being unified by the common pursuit towards a safer and healthier society, will make significant progress. I am exceedingly grateful to be an M1 at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where faculty intentionally teach us about the manifold inequalities and injustices that plague varying patient populations. Additionally, faculty equip us with necessary wisdom to be strong voices for the overlooked. I am currently seeking to do my part to promote diversity and inclusion on my campus by serving as a member of the Council on Diversity Affairs with the goal of creating an optimal learning and social experience for my peers. Additionally, I intend to encourage and inspire other change makers who desire to join this noble profession through mentorship.

Adaora Ewulu

Adaora is a current M2 hailing from Dallas, Texas. She came to Georgetown because of the Sarah Stewart Scholarship and because of Georgetown’s well-respected reputation. Both living in DC and attending a school like Georgetown with financial aid help were great incentives. Adaora hobbies include playing piano, which she has been playing since the third grade, and exercising. Adaora is unsure of her medical interests yet but is leaning towards dermatology and plastic surgery. Adaora defines diversity as any characteristic that makes someone unique while inclusion is having the ability to make those people feel welcome and part of the group. Adaora hopes to give back to the community and serve the underserved by getting involved in community service events and projects that especially concern the underserved in DC. During her M1 year, Adaora was a part of a Correctional Health Outreach group at Georgetown that volunteers at the Arlington Country Jail once a month to do health talks with inmates. Additinoally, Adaora has volunteeed and completed “mini-med school” lessons for middle schoolers in Southeast DC, which she found very rewarding.

Whitney Peterson

Whitney is originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma, grew up in Houston, Texas, and returned to Oklahoma for her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Oklahoma State University. She is interested in pursuing a medical career in primary care, where she hopes to advocate for underrepresented and underserved patient populations who may have limited access to quality healthcare, including working with under/uninsured patients and Indian Health Services or Native American tribal health. Whitney chose to come to Georgetown University because she believes that her passion for improving quality of care aligns with the cura personalis that Georgetown fosters amongst its medical students. Outside of school, she enjoys cooking, painting, and spending time with friends and family.

Magdalena (Maggie) Lana

Maggie Lana is a current M2 from Mar del Plata, Argentina. Her hobbies include surfing, soccer, squash and hiking. She decided to come to Georgetown Med because she is convinced that its focus on cura personalis will provide her with the tools necessary to become a well-rounded physician and individual. She would one day like to give the skills she learned as a Sarah Stewart and Population Health Scholar back to the community. Maggie’s goal as a future physician is to understand the determinants of ‘good’ health and to use that knowledge to expand the scope of possible explanations of illnesses. She believes that analyzing an entire population group, as opposed to a single patient, can effectively improve healthcare outcomes and needs of underserved communities.

Ehab Bahrun

Ehab is a third year medical student at Georgetown University interested in Anesthesiology, Internal Medicine, and Surgery. He is from Orange County, California and attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he graduated Honors with a degree in Psychobiology. Ehab decided to attend Georgetown for its commitment to addressing health care disparities and its history in creating physicians who are advocates for their patients both inside and outside of the hospital. He defines diversity as the understanding and appreciation that each individual is unique. However, to him it is also a conscious practice of respecting those qualities and experiences that make us different. As a future physician, he hopes to extend his care to the underserved and address the health inequities facing low-income and minority communities. In his free time, Ehab likes watching sports, keeping up with politics, going to the gym, and spending time with his family and friends.

Ariunzaya (Ari) Amgalan

Born in Mongolia and raised in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, Ari is a medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine. She chose Georgetown for many reasons. She loves Georgetown’s devotion to the cura personalis principle, which is embodied in the school’s community, curriculum, and opportunities that the school provides. Another reason why she chose Georgetown is for its ideal location, close to home and the epicenter for advocacy. Ari is particularly passionate about health equity and advocacy for underserved communities. During her time at Georgetown so far, Ari has been actively involved with the Health Justice Scholar Track, Georgetown chapter of Physicians for Human Rights, Street Medicine Outreach, Council on Diversity Affairs, and more. During the remainder of her medical training and in her future career as a physician, she strives to continue serving the community, especially the underserved and underprivileged. Outside of academics, she enjoys arts & crafts, community service, and spending time with family and friends.