Student stories

Teresa J. Whetstone

I am a member of the College of Medicine Class of 2024 and a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. I don’t come from a long line of doctors. In fact, I will be the first doctor in my family. I come from a long line of Airmen. Both my parents, my two older sisters, and several other family members were all Airmen, so I imagined I would be too but it took a few years for me to figure out my passion.

After attending high school in Medina, Ohio, I went on to receive a bachelor’s degree at Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. I worked as a financial planner after undergrad but that wasn’t the career for me. After a trip to Guatemala as a translator for a medical mission, I found a new way to serve and joined the Peace Corps in Western China. I served for two years as an English teacher and women’s health group advisor before returning to Ohio and beginning my journey into medicine. While attending Cleveland State to complete prerequisite requirements, I worked as a medical scribe and applied to NEOMED. After securing a seat in the Class of 2024, I was offered a position as the interim coordinator for an afterschool program for immigrant and refugee children with Asian Services in Action (ASIA) at Findlay Elementary, Jennings Middle, and North High Schools in Akron. The International Community Empowerment Project (ICEP) put me back in the community that I love to serve.

I matriculated to NEOMED during a pandemic but that hasn’t stopped me from serving the NEOMED community. I was elected to the NEOMED Student Council and selected for the Student Impact Committee and Social Justice Pathway. I believe that it is important for each student to take ownership of their place at NEOMED and invest their time and talents to leave it a better place than they found it. That is why I am involved and why I am supporting the NEOMED Blue Fund campaign with my own philanthropy.

Students come to NEOMED from different paths. Each student benefits from gifts to the Blue Fund as it supports future physicians, pharmacists, researchers, and medical practitioners at all levels.

Please consider a monthly gift to NEOMED. Gifts of any amount make a difference to students like me.

On behalf of my NEOMED community, thank you for your consideration.

Teresa J. Whetstone
College of Medicine, Class of 2024

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Muhammad Farooqui

My name is Muhammad Farooqui, and I am a first-year student in the College of Pharmacy at NEOMED. I am a American-Canadian and the first in my family to study pharmacy in the United States.

I was born in Sacramento, California, and grew up in low-income neighborhoods near Toronto, Canada. Throughout my school years, I had a low-to-middle-class upbringing.

My parents worked blue-collar jobs with overtime on 12-hour shifts for us. Their toil motivated me to achieve a 4.0 GPA in high school, which enabled me to study at Western University in London, Ontario. I graduated with a B.S. in medical sciences, and while a freshman, was selected to be a first-year representative in the Biology Undergraduate Society.

I frequently returned to the region I grew up in to give back and serve. I worked as a clinical screener at Scarborough Health Network during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This role compelled me to reflect on providing quality healthcare to medically underserved communities. I also worked as a research assistant at Toronto Metropolitan University, where I investigated the adverse effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the mental health of frontline health care workers. Here, I saw the toll inadequate resources have on health care providers.

This encouraged me to attend NEOMED to learn how to become a transformative leader in the pharmacy field. NEOMED teaches students how to apply their leadership skills in communities. With the financial resources provided by the Blue Fund, we can learn vital leadership skills and be prepared to provide quality care for patients from all communities. Gifts to the Blue Fund directly benefit students through scholarship support, enhanced academic programs and allows the institution to respond to the most current needs of students like me.

I hope you will consider contributing a monthly gift to the Blue Fund. This gift will foster a positive impact on generations to come. Every donation will allow NEOMED students to aim for the stars and ensure every patient is treated with equity and respect.

Thank you for your support of our NEOMED community. Sincerely,

Muhammad A. Farooqui
Pharm.D. Candidate, Class of 2026 Northeast Ohio Medical University

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Trinity Samson

My name is Trinity Samson, and I am a current M.D./Ph.D. student at NEOMED pursuing a doctorate in integrated pharmaceutical medicine. I graduated from Emory University with a degree in neuroscience and behavioral biology and a minor in dance and movement studies. I began my post-graduate degree work at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland and transferred to NEOMED in 2020.

Upon arrival at NEOMED I met Fayez Safadi, Ph.D., and quickly saw all the opportunities the University provides for students. His infectious energy inspired me to become an orthopedic research fellow in his laboratory working with NEOMED and Akron Children’s Hospital, and then to continue this work while pursuing my Ph.D. I believe medical research positively impacts society and I have a desire to promote the amazing research being conducted at this institution. As such, Dr. Safadi and I envisioned a scholarly, student-run, peer reviewed journal for NEOMED students, faculty and members of our consortium hospital affiliates to publish their research, entitled the Journal of Medical Sciences at NEOMED (JMS). The first volume of the JMS was published in August 2022, showcasing 11 impressive articles. We are eager to continue this work and publish the second volume.

As a student, I became involved in NEOMED’s NEOvations Bench to Bedside program which is a collaborative effort to educate students in medical technology and entrepreneurship, while also improving health care delivery through innovation and research. NEOMED supports teams of students as they tackle a healthcare problem and work with mentors to bring innovative products to the market. This has been a tremendous experience allowing me to develop and submit a patent for a medical device that has the potential to enhance the medical well-being of people in our communities.

These examples of innovation and impact at NEOMED would not be possible without the annual philanthropic support of alumni and friends. Gifts to NEOMED’s Blue Fund directly benefit students through scholarship support, enhance academic programs and provides flexibility for the institution to respond to the most urgent needs.

I hope you will consider contributing a donation of $10 per month to the Blue Fund. This gift will help support the innovative work of students like me and allow us to pursue additional activities that will greatly impact the communities we will serve through our professional pursuits.

Thank you for your support of our NEOMED community.


Trinity Samson
M.D./Ph.D. Candidate, Class of 2026

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Impact students all year long through NEOMED’s monthly giving option.

Contact Us

Craig Eynon
Director of Alumni Relations & Development Operations
Phone: 330.325.6663

NEOMED’s Blue Fund

Northeast Ohio Medical University