Riley Alvaro, MS/Biomed
As chair of the Biomedical Sciences Council for two years, Riley Alvaro worked alongside
peers to create an inclusive diverse, and academically supportive environment. Riley
used feedback from students to begin advocating for a civility campaign, a program
aimed at establishing a more civil learning environment through practicing empathy,
accountability, encouraging students to use their voice, modeling exemplary behavior
and most importantly promoting diversity of thought and inclusiveness. This campaign
brought together faculty, staff and students from all three campuses.
Janai Groves, MS/Biomed
As a member of SNMA and Local Community Outreach, Janai Groves enjoys pouring back
into the community which has so generously poured into her. Janai advances diversity
and inclusion by being a mentor and example to those who look like her. Janai's research
study focuses on cadaveric studies of lung cancer in south Georgia to further understand
the community's needs. Janai will continue her community involvement by working with
PCOM South Georgia faculty to strengthen community ties with her hometown, Dougherty
County. Janai is working with the GEAR-UP program to ensure student success beyond
high school and a pathway to the DO program.
Karen Honoré, MS/PHMA
Karen Honoré has experience working in multiple fields under the umbrella of social
determinants of health in the Philadelphia area. While working at Holy Redeemer Health,
she identified a gap in care. Karen's capstone focused on healthcare inequity in maternal
health. The impacts of antebellum age slavery to post systemic oppression has an active
role in maternal and infant mortality. She proposed an interprofessional birth care
team utilizing doulas and midwives to combat and improve birth and medical outcomes.
Maria Maldonado Weng, MS/MHC
Maria Maldonado Weng created a mental health program for the Health Promoter program
at Saint Joseph's University with the help of the PCOM faculty. The mental health
program provides free mental health resources and clinics near Philadelphia for the
Latinx community. The program also provides psychoeducation for the community. The
goal of the program is to help eliminate the negative view on mental health by educating
the Latinx communities and debunking any misconceptions about mental health.
Tommie Suggs, MS/ODL
Tommie Suggs is an artist, storyteller and author who uses his art as a platform to
create opportunities to discuss and address difficult issues such as trauma among
black men and boys, identity, navigating the healing process and celebrating diversity.
He has collaborated with various Philadelphia based businesses, nonprofit organizations
and churches to rally listeners around these issues. His storytelling piece, “What
Color is a Soul” which was released in 2021 encourages us to celebrate and embrace
our differences while also acknowledging that we are more than the differences that
tend to separate us.
Zoe Tirado, MS/PA
As the physician assistant liaison for the Latino Medical Student Association, Zoe
Tirado worked collaboratively with the board members to create mentorship, service,
and educational initiatives to advocate for the improved health of the Latinx community.
Ms. Tirado served as the student society secretary, where she had the opportunity
to work with the board to develop unifying activities for her class during the COVID-19
pandemic. During her clinical year, she was a peer tutor for the physician assistant
studies program which allowed her to form an inclusive environment where students
can feel supported intellectually and academically. Ms. Tirado has created safe spaces
on multiple platforms to promote class unity and connect PA students of various backgrounds.
She has also served as a medium to increase diversity representation in the program
by connecting faculty with physician assistants of color who would be willing to give
lectures at PCOM.