Ryan Close: Ryan was born in Bitburg, Germany, before finding his way to the western hemisphere. All recent schooling has been in New York City, where he majored in philosophy at NYU before completing his MD / MPH at Columbia. He has completed infectious disease research both domestically and in Vietnam, Ethiopia, and Swaziland. In 2011, Ryan co-hosted the Northeast Regional Med-Peds Conference in New York City. He rowed crew in college and has completed three half-marathons.
Jessica (Jess) Harris: Jess was born in nearby Ridgewood, New Jersey, but has completed her education in much of the American south. She majored in biology at Appalachian State University (and was there in 2007 for the big Michigan upset) and was a four-year player on the varsity field hockey team. She completed her MD at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, where she also coaches field hockey at nearby Rhodes College. Jess has researched E. coli vaccine targets and also volunteered at a homeless shelter in her hometown of Elkton, Maryland, which is about an hour south on I-95. She has completed a number of triathlons, and enjoys playing with her Dachshund mix named Stella.
Andrea Maxwell: Andrea was born in Neenah, Wisconsin. She attended Harvard College where she majored in biomedical engineering, then enrolled at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she took a year off to return to Harvard for MPH training. Andrea has researched transitions of care for complex adolescents, and written on post-traumatic stress disorder. She enjoys outdoor activities and travelling, and attends opera and theater performances.
Michael Rey: Michael was born in Englewood, New Jersey, and attended college at Harvard, where he majored in history and literature and wrote his thesis on the famous physician-writer William Carlos Williams. At some point in there, he spent a summer in the Pacific northwest and wrote a travel guide to the region. He completed a post-bac and subsequently enrolled in medical school here at Penn, where he did research in medical ethics for several years. Michael welcomed his first child, a daughter, in 2011, and he enjoys cooking and long-distance running.
Kea Gilbert: Kea attended Stanford University as an undergrad, where she majored in Italian (and Biology, but the Italian is way more interesting). From 2005 to 2007, Kea launched the Boston chapter of a group that trains college students to teach a comprehensive health curriculum in public high schools. She enrolled at Penn for medical school in 2007. At Penn, Kea participated in a Gold Foundation service fellowship in Cambodia, and explored interests in HIV/AIDS care. Her career interests include adolescent medicine and transgendered youth, and personal interests include ceramics, vegetable gardening, and trips to national parks. It is unknown whether or not she used Italian to teach transgendered Cambodian adolescents how to raise delectable vegetables.
Moonjoo Han: Moonjoo attended Williams college, kicking butt and taking names as the captain of both the field hockey and lacrosse teams, and graduating in 2003 with a degree in biology, to become a… life insurance underwriter! After two years of this, she left for bigger & better things, enrolling in the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – New Jersey Medical School in 2007. During medical school, Moonjoo participated in oncology-related research, and was the founding vice-president of the med- peds interest group. Recently she has coached field hockey and lacrosse, and enjoys surfing and running.
Jonathan Ludmir: Jona was raised in distant Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, thousands of feet away from Philadelphia, before majoring in history at the University of Pennsylvania for his undergraduate work. Apparently ensnared by Philadelphia’s wily charms, Jona enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine in 2006. Finally embracing his rebellious side, Jona has found an interest in global medicine, travelling to Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, Argentina, and ultimately (for a year-off research project) Botswana. He enjoys playing piano and eating sushi, hopefully at the same time.
Adam Small: Adam is also threatening to become a certified “lifer,” having completed undergraduate (major in psychology), post-graduate (remediating the psychology for pre-med training), and medical school studies all at the prestigious University of Pennsylvania. During medical school, he worked in a Guatemalan day-care center while taking Spanish language courses, and successfully completed the Philadelphia marathon, which is about 25.9 miles further than either of the program directors can run without dropping out most of their left ventricles. In his spare time, Adam is a published creative writer, and his career interest is in children and adults with congenital heart disease.
Barry Rothschild: Born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin -- where cheese is put on things that would be considered criminal in some states -- Barry ventured out to the wild, wild west where he got a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford. During his junior year, he did a study abroad on a cruise ship where he circumnavigated the globe and visited 11 countries along the way. After college, he returned home for medical school at The Medical College of Wisconsin. While at MCW, he spent time doing medical work in the Philippines and Honduras. Now, he is thrilled to call Philadelphia home! In his spare time, Barry enjoys typing biographies in the third person, global travel, trying new restaurants, concerts (everything from hip-hop to independent rock to jazz), books, nerdy podcasts, and generally spending time with friends and family. His academic interests include medical education, transition of care in the context of chronic illness, critical care medicine, non-medical determinants of health, and roughly two trillion other things.
Stefanie Ruffolo: Stefanie was born and raised in Kenosha, WI, which sits on Lake Michigan about 50 minutes north of Chicago. She grew up within a 5 mile radius of most her close family and friends. Her first love was soccer, and played competitively through 1 year of college before deciding to direct her passions elsewhere. She moved on to become a Badger at the University of Wisconsin- Madison and majored in Psychology. Contemplating where she might get her best education and quality of life, she decided to stay close to home and attend the Medical College of Wisconsin. Being exposed to a strong Med Peds presence, she quickly sparked an interest in transitional care between pediatric and adult medicine. She is also very interested in medical education and how it can relate to the med-peds world. Coming from a strong Italian family, she found Philadelphia to be a perfect place to practice her Italian and feel like a home away from home. Along with the fabulous residents and staff, she has loved exploring the culture, music, and most importantly food the city has to offer.
Elaina grew up in West Virginia and first moved to Philadelphia in 2000 to attend undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania. There, she was captain of the varsity cross-country / track & field teams and graduated with a concentration in psychology and urban studies. After pursuing her post-bac studies, she attended Harvard Medical School. She moved back to Philadelphia to join the Penn Med-Peds family, and to join her husband- who practices law in the area. She intends to pursue a career in primary care. In addition to loving medicine, she also loves running, partaking in Philadelphia's fabulous restaurant scene and playing for the CHOP softball team!
Shelton Wright: Shelton was born in Boston but moved south to New Orleans just in time avoid an accent. Finally settling in Alabama, he spent his formative years in Birmingham, a place he will forever call home. He crept slightly north to go to college at Duke where he played rugby and learned the pleasures of Bojo’s and Cheerwine. After college he spent a year working in Zambia, helping manage an HIV program in a small town. Returning to the sweet home of grits and legit college football, he went to medical school at UAB. There he furthered his interests in global health research by working on a basic science project in a lab in Santiago, Chile during the summer after his 1st year of medical school and then for a year in-between his 3rd and 4th years, during which he obtained a master’s degree in translational research. In Chile, he was blessed with a mentor who “forced” him to learn to windsurf and to develop an appreciation for Chilean wine, two hobbies that are slightly difficult-but not impossible-to carry over to Pennsylvania. When he is not fattening himself up for the upcoming winter, Shelton loves to take advantage of the many trails at Wissahickon park, explore the countless eclectic scenes Philly has to offer and cheer his beloved Crimson Tide to victory
Hillary Dunlevy: Hillary spent her youth in Columbus, then left the great state of Ohio to attend Dartmouth College. It was an unlikely choice, as little Hillary screamed at the site of bugs and preferred quietly reading inside; suddenly she was hiking, canoeing and enjoying the Appalachian Trail. Encouraged by this newly found love of outdoors, she decided to skip out of the country and joined the Peace Corps in Malawi where she taught high school math, science and health education. Additionally, she had tons of experience (some personal) with various parasitic and infectious diseases and saw public health work up close and personal. This experience encouraged her to venture to U.Cincinnati College of Medicine. In this porkopolis, she met her future husband who is now training in internal medicine. Hillary also spent a year in her home city of Columbus at OSU school of public health, focusing on health behavior and health promotion. Always proud to be a buckeye but ready to leave Ohio, Hillary ventured from her home state to Philadelphia to join a friendly and impressive crowd of med-peds folks. She joined the global health track and is enjoying the readings and discussion as well as rotations to Kenya! She has enjoyed the walkability of the Philadelphia, the wonderful selection of microbrews and learning just what is the jersey shore.
Ryan McAuley is from the hills (pronounced “heels”) of East Tennessee, but his Southern twang is pretty modest thanks to a Floridian upbringing during his formative years of speech development. Ryan attended Furman University in South Carolina for undergrad and then came back home for medical school at East Tennessee State University. His interests in global health led him to take a lovely hiatus between 3rd and 4th year to pursue his MPH at Johns Hopkins where he completed a concentration in Humanitarian Assistance. During the MPH year, he realized that a med-peds residency would be ideal training for working in developing settings and was thrilled to match at Penn! In addition to the incredibly strong and well-balanced medicine and pediatrics programs at HUP and CHOP, the global Health Track was super alluring and Ryan looks forward to spending time in Botswana over the next several years. Outside of the hospital, Ryan can be spotted around town exploring incredible Philly restaurants, running along the Schuylkill River attending Philadelphia Orchestra concerts for next-to- nothing and searching for sweet vacation deals to exotic locales.
Laura Montague (unfortunately, not like Romeo; rather, rhymes with “plague”) grew up in Grand Rapids, MI. She spent her early years playing tennis and perfecting her penmanship, which has been widely regarded as "the neatest handwriting ever.” She escaped the frigid cold to attend college at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN, where she majored in Molecular Biology and cultivated an appreciation for country music. She returned to the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for medical school (Go Blue!), where she spent significant time with various campus and community service organizations, and performed research on disparities in healthcare. She decided to pursue a residency in Med-Peds because she was drawn to caring for adolescents with chronic illnesses, and became interested in working with patients transitioning from pediatric to adult care. She envisions herself pursuing an academic career in a subspecialty (yet to be determined!), and performing research on health disparities and access to care. In her free time, Laura enjoys harassing her cats (Mr. Darcy and Tensley), running and playing tennis with her fiancée, Mark, and eating her way through the Philadelphia BYO scene.
Sural Shah: Sural (pronounced just like the nerve) began life outside of Philadelphia, PA, spending her early years scheming with her identical twin sister. A dedicated Pennsylvanian except for frequent global-health related sojourns, Sural attended Bryn Mawr College, where she developed a hobby of learning romance languages and spent summers in the CHOP ED as a research assistant. These experiences led to a year spent studying the development of emergency medical systems in various countries before returning to the US to attend Penn State College of Medicine. There, with the help of her Med-Peds mentors and a year in Peru studying STIs in adolescents, she envisioned a career caring for adults and children both at home and abroad. She was excited to match at HUP/CHOP, and to join the Global Health Track at HUP. Sural aspires to professionally scheme with her twin sister, now a reproductive rights attorney, on public policy affecting underserved populations and global health education. Outside of the hospital, Sural can otherwise be found exploring the nooks and crannies of Philadelphia, reading in parks, and trying to cajole her colleagues into dancing the night away.