Meet the Fellows

The current cohort of Leonard A. Lauder Community Care Nurse Practitioner Fellows come from a variety of backgrounds and share a commitment to using this unique opportunity to further their education and clinical experience to help solve the challenges they see in their chosen field.

  • Mahnoor Allawala

    Hometown: Karachi, Pakistan
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “Self-care is so hard to implement given the expectations from our coworkers, patients, and the desire to prevent disappointment. I hope to incorporate self-care practices and recognize when I need a break to avoid harm to my patients, though—because I certainly do not want to be a health care provider who yawns or seems like I’m burdening patients with my problems.”

  • Hannah Dario

    Hometown: Burtonsville, MD
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “Many clients when I was working as a mental health crisis counselor wanted treatment, medication, and support—but did not have the money, transportation, or stable housing to attain any treatment, and program wait-lists can take years for a person’s name to rise to the top. When they were finally connected to those resources, they improved significantly. Eventually, I hope to open up my own mental health crisis residential program to support underserved communities.”

  • Erica Foltz

    Hometown: Lititz, PA
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “I’m motivated to continue to work in underserved communities as a nurse practitioner because I’m committed to providing holistic, person-centered, and trauma-informed care via a harm reduction lens to my community.”

  • Sophia Geffen

    Hometown: Brookline, MA
    Program of study: Family Nurse Practitioner

    “I seek to be a family nurse practitioner who accompanies my patients on their health care journeys and tirelessly fights for their care needs, while advocating for changes in our health care system that allow for consistent access to high-quality care.”

  • Taylor Giambrone

    Hometown: Lancaster, PA
    Program of study: Family Nurse Practitioner

    “My current role [as a nurse with Nurse Family Partnership at Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health] has taught me how invaluable it is to have strong communication skills in order to build positive, healthy relationships with patients. I look forward to being able to build on this skill set of reciprocal trust with patients in a clinical setting, increasing my scope of practice to where I can reach more individuals.”

  • Emma Gilliam

    Hometown: Plainfield, NH
    Program of study: Women’s Health/Gender-Related

    “My goal is to grow into a provider who is capable and willing to provide empathetic and personalized care to her patients. Our health care system has become a massive machine that makes empathetic care difficult to provide. I want to work to understand the barriers to this care provision and begin to break them down in my personal practice.”

  • Sophie Henderson

    Hometown: Gladstone, NJ
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “Children are in their prime to build resilience, and right now we are failing them as a system. I like to remind myself we can all be dominos, causing proximal change with farther reaching effects than we may know, so we just need to stay motivated and passionate.”

  • Sherry Huang

    Hometown: Brooklyn, NY
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “Nurses have the ability to directly disrupt health care deficiencies by providing a high quality of care at a lower cost. By increasing access to preventative care, nurses can service those deterred by cost and treat these patients before their health issues compound. In return, there will be an overall lower cost burden to society. I hope to impact more systemic changes by advocating for my patients on a larger platform, including in the political sphere.”

  • Hason Jafrey

    Hometown: Wilmington, DE
    Program of study: Primary Care Adult/Gerontology

    Growing up in a medically underserved area inspired Jafrey to find options to provide more preventative care as a way to improve health in his hometown—and what inspired him to pursue an advanced nursing degree at Penn Nursing. He says, “It’s okay to leave work to pursue higher purpose and higher education. My University of Delaware nursing professor Dr. Paula Klemm inspired me to never give up in pursuit of what I want.”

  • Lily Keohane

    Hometown: Norwell, MA
    Program of study: Pediatric Primary Care

    “Looking back on my career, I am most proud of the moments when circumstances were challenging, where I was unwavering in the support of my patient’s needs, whether that be improved pain management, psychosocial support, or palliative care transitions.”

  • Dianne Jane Lansangan Garcia

    Hometown: Metro Manila, Philippines
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “I understand that for many vulnerable patients and their families, there are often multiple layers of social needs and circumstances that require attention before one can focus on achieving health goals. My interests have always been aligned with working with underserved communities like the one in which I grew up.”

  • Aimee Mamich

    Hometown: Livingston, TX
    Program of study: Psychiatric-Mental Health

    “Every act of service, every job dedicated to uplift underserved communities, has deeply enriched my life. Yet, the pinnacle of these experiences was my time with the Big Brother/Big Sister program. There, I had the honor of watching my ‘little’ blossom academically and socially, despite the daunting challenges she faced—and today she is thriving in college. Her resilience and growth inspire me and prompts me to ask how I can further impact the lives of others.”

  • Greta Morrissette

    Hometown: Scarborough, ME
    Program of study: Family Nurse Practitioner

    “I volunteered as a labor doula and postpartum doula in Philadelphia during undergrad. I got to know people with such different backgrounds than my family, such different cultures than my hometown, and so little access to appropriate care. I loved feeling out of my element and learning the world through other people’s experiences, and knew I wanted to help close the gap so people could access the quality of care they deserve.”

  • Nicole Rivera-Rodríguez

    Hometown: Connecticut and Puerto Rico
    Program of study: Family Nurse Practitioner

    “The biggest challenges in the field of nursing right now include providing holistic care and tailoring health care to the individual. Many times we forget that the patient in front of us is a person too. We get lost in the medicine and forget about things like social determinants of health and the invisible forces that limit our patients’ abilities to follow through with their plan of care.”

  • Melissa Rudolph

    Hometown: Ambler, PA
    Program of study: Family Nurse Practitioner

    “It continues to be difficult to see patients that do not have the resources they needed to succeed with their healthcare. Situations like these have always left me hoping I could have done more to help the patient. I hope as a nurse practitioner, I am able to have more tools to bring about change to help these vulnerable populations.”

  • Kufre Samuel

    Hometown: Providence, RI
    Program of study: Midwifery/Women’s Health/Gender-Related

    “Serving patients throughout clinical that lived in underserved communities [is what motivates me to want to work in underserved communities]. These experiences allowed me to see the direct correlation between poor health outcomes and limited access.”

  • Janelle Scruggs

    Hometown: Norristown, PA
    Program of study: Pediatric Primary Care

    “Diversity in health care assists in ensuring culturally competent care can be provided to patients of all races, ethnicities, religious beliefs, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Without it, the reach of medicine is restricted to a single ethnic lens and a limited set of values.”

  • NyAsia White

    Hometown: Philadelphia, PA
    Program of study: Women’s Health/Gender-Related

    “I am the underserved. I want to work and serve people like myself. It has led me to be a leader for my community—someone who can give back, be an example of excellence, and be the Black health care worker that I didn’t have access to growing up.”