Being an Indian American, I grew up visiting India every year. It was during these trips that I began to see the significant disparities between my life and the underprivileged in India. My parents strongly believed in giving back and made sure I accompanied them when they distributed food or gave blankets to the poor in India. These early experiences shaped my desire to serve my community and I found myself volunteering through the American Cancer Society throughout middle and high school. In college, NYU’s Office of Student Activities gave me the opportunity to go on six service trips and be a four-year board member through Alternative Breaks and be President of Habitat for Humanity. These experiences were my greatest learning experiences. Following graduation, I enrolled in TouroCOM, where I hope to instill a commitment to community service in my position as vice president of the Student Government Association.
Payal AggarwalTeam Captain
Kaushik GovindarajuTeam Member
Kaushik Govindaraju is a first year medical student at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York. He was born in Hyderabad, India and grew up in Las Vegas, NV before completing his undergraduate education at Northwestern University in the Chicago area. During undergrad he was involved with several social justice groups, including the Northwestern University Conference on Human Rights, which is the largest student–run undergraduate conference on human rights in the country. Kaushik was also the co-president of the Student Health Advisory Committee, a platform for students to voice their opinions regarding campus health issues. While at Northwestern, he also conducted research in the field of early–onset Alzheimer‘s disease. Kaushik looks forward to employing his passion for developing and synthesizing ideas for the betterment of global health in the communities with which he has worked and which he will work with in the future.
Westley Reinhart-McMillanTeam Member
I am a first year medical student at the Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine in New York. Prior to Touro, I attended Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, where I graduated with honors in Biochemistry and Biology. I began volunteering at Dalhousie and immediately saw the positive ramifications of my actions. It influenced me to continue finding ways to improve the community and lives of others. Since then, I have volunteered alongside physicians across North America, provided pre-ambulatory care as an EMT, helped rebuild communities ravished by Hurricane Katrina and delivered care to the medically underserved in Peru. After Dalhousie, I worked with physiatrists to coordinate the implementation of best practices that would improve health outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injury. I believe that my desire to provide care to the disadvantaged, coupled with implementation experience, makes me a strong link in a chain eagerly anticipating the Global Health Challenge.
Celsa TonelliTeam Member
Growing up, I volunteered along side my parents in local soup kitchens. I learned the importance of serving others at a very young age. In high school, I took the next step by traveling to volunteer at women’s shelters and Native American reservations in Oklahoma, and summer camps in Detroit, Michigan. At the University of Oregon, I worked as the Philanthropy Chair on the Panhellenic Council to coordinate the philanthropic events for the year. Since moving to New York, I have worked as a tutor and teacher for children in the Harlem community. Living and working at the International House of New York, I have had the opportunity to interact with fellow graduate students from around the world, and to learn about their countries and cultures. Finally, as the President of Touro COM’s AMA-Medical Student Section, I work to educate the Harlem community about medical concerns and health care.