Woman One Emeritus Scholars
Elizabeth Centurion, MD ’22
Dr. Centurion was born in Philadelphia and raised by parents originally from Paraguay in South America. She received her undergraduate degree from Drexel University, becoming the first college graduate in her family, and later earned a master’s degree from Temple University. She graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2022 and is currently in the first year of a residency in family medicine at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia. During her time in medical school, Dr. Centurion was co-chair of the student-run Health Outreach Clinics. She also volunteered at the Eliza Shirley House in Philadelphia, serving homeless women and children. She is committed to becoming a physician advocate who will work with patients in underserved communities, improving quality of life and reducing health disparities. Elizabeth Centurion’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust.
Dominique Jones, MD ’21
A Philadelphia native, Dr. Jones earned her undergraduate degree in biology with a minor in public health from George Washington University and a master’s degree from Hampton University. She graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2021 and is currently in the second year of a pediatric residency at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Wilmington, Delaware. During medical school, Dr. Jones was active in extracurricular activities, serving as co-president of Drexel’s chapter of the Student National Medical Association. She was a founder of Drexel StAR: Students Against Racism, and coordinated the annual Racism in Medicine Conference. Dr. Jones has always had a special interest in pediatric and adolescent mental health in the Black and Latino communities, which are often undiagnosed and underserved. After her residency at Nemours/duPont, Dr. Jones plans to stay in the Philadelphia area to practice medicine where she is needed most. Dominique Jones’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.
Jacqueline Koomson, MD ’21
Dr. Koomson is from Worcester, Massachusetts, and is a first-generation college student who completed an undergraduate degree in biochemistry at NYU and a master’s degree at Boston University. She graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in 2021, completed an intern year at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in the Philadelphia region, and is now in a four-year residency in diagnostic radiology at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. During her time at Drexel, Dr. Koomson was involved with the Mentoring and Pipeline Program, the Drexel student chapter of the American Medical Association, and the Learning Climate Committee. She also interned for two summers at a medical hospital in Accra, Ghana, helping underserved patients suffering from trauma. After her residency, Dr. Koomson plans to pursue her interest in women’s health by completing a fellowship in mammography/women’s imaging. Jacqueline Koomson’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by The Leader’s Edge/Leaders By Design.
Rita Akumuo, MD ’20
Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey, Dr. Akumuo attended Syracuse University and graduated with degrees in nutrition science, neuroscience and biology. She received a master’s degree in medical science from Drexel University College of Medicine in May 2016 and entered Drexel’s medical school later that year. During her time there, Dr. Akumuo was involved with student government, and served as the president of her class and on the executive board of Student National Medical Association. Dr. Akumuo earned her medical degree in May 2020 and is now a general surgery resident at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia. She has plans to pursue a fellowship in transplant surgery, pediatric surgery or surgical oncology. Rita Akumuo’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Philadelphia Foundation.
Stephanie Belancourt, MD ’20
Dr. Belancourt grew up in Haiti in an underserved area of Port-au-Prince and moved to Florida as a teenager. She is a graduate of Florida International University with a degree in psychology and later received an MBA from Nova Southeastern. She earned her medical degree from Drexel University in May 2020 and is now an internal medicine resident at the University of Miami’s Holy Cross Hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is looking forward to having a positive impact on her patients’ lives, challenging herself and becoming a leader in the field of medicine. Stephanie Belancourt’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Otto Haas Charitable Trust.
Dareen Elgindi, MD ’19
Born in the Sudan, Dr. Elgindi moved to Columbus, Ohio, when she was a child and earned a BS from Ohio State University as a triple major in biology, microbiology and biochemistry. During her years in medical school, Dr. Elgindi volunteered her time at the Philadelphia Human Rights Clinic, serving asylum seekers. She also volunteered regularly at clinics and hospitals in the Sudan, shadowing doctors and nurses. Dr. Elgindi earned her medical degree in May 2019 and is now completing an internal medicine residency at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus, Ohio. Dareen Elgindi was a Dean’s Woman One Scholar.
Ivonne Martinez, MD ’19
Originally from Bogota, Colombia, Dr. Martinez moved to the United States when she was 12 years old and lived in New Jersey, later graduating from Seton Hall University as a biochemistry major. She spent her third and fourth years of medical school at Drexel in Sacramento, California, doing clinical rotations, where she had the opportunity to advocate for Spanish-speaking patients. She earned her medical degree in May 2019, completed a three-year residency program at the University of California – Davis Medical Center and is now practicing medicine in the Bakersfield, California area. Ivonne Martinez’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Honickman family.
Christel Francois, MD ’18
Dr. Francois was born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, but attended high school in New York and graduated from the University of Maryland. While visiting Haiti in 2010, she found herself in the heart of the tragic earthquake, and working with the victims inspired her to become a physician. After completing a three-year family medicine residency at Montefiore Hospital in New York City (the Bronx), she began a New York City Homeless Healthcare Fellowship in partnership with the NYC Collaborative for Homeless Healthcare and the Montefiore Department of Family Medicine. Dr. Francois embraces the opportunity to gain insight into the impact of social factors on health issues, build relationships with her patients and serve those affected by homelessness. Christel Francois’ Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Suzanne Roberts Cultural Development Fund.
Jaclyn Heilman, MD ’18
A native of Philadelphia, Dr. Heilman attended Pennsylvania State University and earned a degree in bioengineering. After receiving her medical degree from Drexel University in May 2018, she went on to general surgery residency at Jefferson Abington Health in Abington, Pennsylvania, and is expected to complete residency in 2023. In addition to clinical work, Dr. Heilman is involved in research, quality improvement, community outreach, and medical creative writing. Recently, she was published in the New England Journal of Medicine's Perspectives section, as she wrote about her experience with treating trauma patients in Philadelphia in her article titled "What Did I Sign Up For?" She plans to pursue a fellowship in colorectal surgery. Jaclyn Heilman’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust.
Jillian Thayer, MD ’18
Originally from Seattle, Washington, and a graduate of the University of Washington with a degree in biochemistry, Dr. Thayer earned honors designation throughout medical school and received her medical degree from Drexel in May 2018. She is now in a five-year residency program in general surgery at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Dr. Thayer hopes to help patients in underserved communities and is considering a fellowship after completing her residency. She also plans to pursue leadership opportunities, eventually becoming the chief of surgery someday. Jillian Thayer’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the MD–WMC/MCP Trust Fund (in honor of Jean Forest, MD).
Christina Schroeder, MD, MBA ’17
A native of Sacramento, California, Dr. Schroeder graduated from the University of California-Davis and excelled academically during her time in medical school. She earned a dual MD/MBA at Drexel in 2017 and used both degrees during her pediatric residency at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She is now a practicing pediatrician in southern California. Christina Schroeder’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by St. Christopher’s Hospital and Health Partners.
Angela Bryant, MD ’16
Born and raised in Ohio, Dr. Bryant is a graduate of Ohio State University. She received her medical degree from Drexel in 2016 and completed her pediatrics residency at the Indiana University School of Medicine Hospital in Indianapolis. She is currently a practicing pediatrician in the Indianapolis area and enjoys working with children and their families.
Susan Ramirez-Chung, MD ’16
Dr. Ramirez-Chung is a native of the Bronx, New York. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and later received a graduate degree in biomedical sciences at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She earned honors designation in many classes during medical school at Drexel and received her MD in 2016. Dr. Ramirez-Chung completed her residency in pediatrics at Jefferson Medical College/DuPont Hospital for Children in Philadelphia and Delaware in 2019 and is now in private practice in the Philadelphia suburbs, taking care of children of all ages from birth until college. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Susan Ramirez-Chung’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Sunshine Lady Foundation.
Ingrid Schmiederer, MD ’16
Dr. Schmiederer is from Morrisville, Pennsylvania, and is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University. She received her medical degree from Drexel in 2016 and is now a general surgery resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital in Queens. During her time at Drexel, she was an active volunteer with many organizations including the Drexel chapter of the Latin Medical Student Association and the Drexel Mentoring and Pipeline program. In 2015, she was inducted into the Gold Humanism Honor Society due to her background of service and academic excellence. Dr. Schmiederer recently took a year away from her general surgery residency for a fellowship in educational research at Stanford University. When the COVID-19 crisis overwhelmed hospitals in New York City in spring of 2020, she returned to her residency in Queen, New York, to take care of seriously ill patients. After her residency ends, Dr. Schmiederer will serve for two years in the U.S. Army Reserves. Ingrid Schmiederer’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the W.W. Smith Charitable Trust.
Chinwe Ibeh, MD ’15
A graduate of Columbia University, Dr. Ibeh is originally from Nigeria. She was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society in her fourth year at Drexel. After receiving her medical degree in 2015, she completed a residency in neurology at the University of Washington in Seattle, serving as chief resident. Dr. Ibeh then completed a two-year fellowship neuroepidemiology and vascular neurology at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and is currently an assistant professor of neurology in the Division of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease at Columbia University. She specializes in stroke and vascular diseases of the brain and nervous system, with research interests in the neurological manifestations of heart failure and left ventricular assist devices.
Amber Peterson, MD ’15
A native of Oxon Hill, Maryland, Dr. Peterson graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. She earned her medical degree from Drexel in 2015 and completed a residency in the emergency department of the University of Hackensack Hospital in 2018. She now works as an attending physician at the University of Maryland Charles Regional Hospital in LaPlata, Maryland, and plans to pursue a career in emergency medicine administration to further develop her strong leadership abilities.
Nejat Naser, MD ’14
Dr. Naser was born in Ethiopia, moved to Maryland as a teenager and is a graduate of the University of Maryland. She received her medical degree from Drexel in May 2014. During her time at Drexel, Dr. Naser volunteered with Squash Smarts, tutoring students in English, math and other subjects. She completed a residency in internal medicine at George Washington Hospital in Washington, D.C., and is now a practicing physician in the Baltimore region.
Donyell Doram, MD ’13
A native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University, Dr. Doram received her medical degree from Drexel in 2013 and completed a residency in internal medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She practiced medicine as an internist in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, for several years and is now a nocturnist for the Neurosurgical Department at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. During her final year of medical school, Donyell Doram’s Woman One Scholarship was sponsored by AmeriHealth Mercy.
Alicia Howard, MD, MPH ’13
Dr. Howard grew up in North Carolina and is a graduate of Howard University. She completed a master's degree in public health at Drexel University while simultaneously pursing her medical studies. She was also a Greater Philadelphia Albert Schweitzer Fellow for a project that involved working with an anti-poverty organization in West Philadelphia. Dr. Howard earned her MD from Drexel in 2013, completed a residency in internal medicine-primary care at Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, and is now a hospitalist at Catawba Valley Medical Center in rural Hickory, North Carolina. Alicia Howard’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Sunshine Lady Foundation.
Stephanie Johnson-Sirianni, MD ’13
Dr. Johnson-Sirianni grew up in western Pennsylvania and graduated from Temple University. Throughout her time at Drexel, she volunteered as a tutor for disadvantaged children, both in Philadelphia and in Pittsburgh, where she completed many of her clinical rotations. Since graduating from Drexel in 2013, Dr. Johnson-Sirianni pursued a master's degree in public health with a research focus on combined/interdepartmental psychiatry and cardiology studies. She now resides in Sarasota, Florida.
Sharrón (Ronni) Manuel, MD, PhD ’13
Originally from West Virginia, Sharrón (Ronni) Manuel earned dual MD/PhD degrees while at Drexel. Because she wanted to be able to provide continuity of care for patients throughout the lifespan, Dr. Manuel specialized in ob/gyn and graduated from Drexel in 2013. She completed a residency at the University of Kentucky in Lexington in 2017, followed by a two-year Master of Reproductive Science and Medicine program at Northwestern University in Chicago. She worked for several years as assistant professor at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in El Paso, Texas, in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, where she worked with a large underserved Latino population. During that time, she conducted a research study on the effects of COVID-19 in pregnancy in the El Paso community. Dr. Manuel recently began a fellowship at University of Cincinnati in reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
Carla Zeballos, MD ’13
Dr. Zeballos was born in Bolivia, but grew up in Virginia and is a graduate of the University of Virginia. She was involved in the Latino Medical Student Association at Drexel, in which she volunteered as a tutor and mentor and presented health programs to underserved
populations in North Philadelphia. Dr. Zeballos graduated from Drexel with her MD in 2013 and completed a residency in general surgery (research track) at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where she was able to work with the large underserved Latino population. She completed four years of a PhD program in cancer biology and in 2019 decided to switch her career path to diagnostic radiology, which will allow her to work closely with cancer patients. Dr. Zeballos is currently completing a radiology residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Ifeoma Nwabuzor, MD ’12
Born in London to Nigerian parents, Dr. Nwabuzor lived in Connecticut and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. After earning her medical degree from Drexel in 2012, she completed an ob/gyn residency at North Shore Long Island Jewish Hospital in New York. After practicing for several years with the Crozer Keystone Health System near Philadelphia, she is now a physician working for Virtua Health in New Jersey.
Gisela Vargas, MD ’12
A Johns Hopkins University graduate, Dr. Vargas was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and grew up in Maryland. During medical school, her goal was to work in primary care and preventive medicine and to make a difference in the lives of her patients. She graduated from Drexel in 2012 and began an internal medicine residency at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pa., working with the growing underserved Hispanic community in the Lehigh Valley. Dr. Vargas completed her residency and now practices medicine in Allentown.
Michelle Ballentyne, MD ’11
Dr. Ballentyne is a native of Jamaica and a graduate of Temple University who worked full time to support herself through college while also volunteering to help the elderly and disabled. During her medical school education at Drexel, she traveled to Kenya on a medical mission trip. Dr.
Ballentyne received her medical degree from
Drexel in 2011, finished a residency in ob/gyn
at Chestnut Hill Hospital in Philadelphia, and is
now practicing medicine in Lancaster County,
Janielle Hyde, MD ’11
Dr. Hyde was a graduate of Howard University with roots in Canada, Jamaica and Florida. After graduating with her medical degree from Drexel in 2011, she completed a residency in neurology at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C., and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and epilepsy at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She was a practicing neurologist in Florida for several years. Dr. Hyde passed away in 2022.
Edwina Coleman, MD ’10
Dr. Coleman is originally from Umatilla, Florida. During her time in medical school at Drexel, she
held leadership roles in the Student National
Medical Society. After graduation, she completed
an internship in family medicine with the
Main Line Health System in the Philadelphia
region. She is now a staff physician at the
Georgetown University student health center in
Washington, D.C. Edwina Coleman's Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Sunshine Lady Foundation.
Emilia Cuneo, MD ’09
Dr. Cuneo completed her residency in family medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia. She practiced medicine at the Lynn
Community Health Center in Massachusetts, near
Boston, and now works as a primary care physician
in Parkesburg, Pennsylvania. She has always
had a passion for women's health, patients with
HIV/AIDS and working with underserved populations.
Keri Fugarolas, MD ’09
Dr. Fugarolas finished a four-year residency in pediatrics at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, followed by a neonatology fellowship at the hospital. She is currently an attending neonatologist at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.
Veronica Ramirez, MD ’09
During her fourth year in medical school, Dr. Ramirez was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. After graduation, she returned to her native California to become a resident in pediatrics at Children's Hospital Central California – UC San Francisco, and is now a pediatrician in Fresno, California. She is also a volunteer clinical instructor at UCSF Fresno and works with the UCSF Fresno Latin Center to mentor underrepresented high school and college students who are interested in health careers. Veronica Ramirez’s Woman One scholarship was sponsored by the Suzanne Roberts Cultural Development Fund.
Annette Lopez, MD ’08
Prior to graduation from Drexel in 2008, Dr. Lopez was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. During her residency at Albert Einstein Hospital in Philadelphia (2008–2012), she was named chief resident in emergency medicine. Dr. Lopez later moved to Portland, Oregon, where she worked for two years as a toxicology fellow in the Emergency Medicine Department of Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) Hospital. She is now on staff at the Oregon Poison Center and is assistant chief of the Emergency Department of the Portland VA Hospital.
LaToia Marks, MD ’08
Dr. Marks completed her ob/gyn residency at the University of Texas at Houston, Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital and is now a practicing physician at the Women’s Healthcare Center in Baytown, Texas. A Houston native, she returned to Texas to treat underserved patients in her home community. LaToia Marks' Woman One scholarship was sponsored by AmeriChoice.
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