Requesting an HPAO Mentor

Students who have attended or watched the HPAO orientation may request an HPAO mentor. HPAO mentors are a group of dedicated, experienced, and trained students planning a career in the health professions who volunteer their time to assist other SDSU pre-health students. You will be matched with a HPAO mentor based on the information you provide and your health profession interest. 

To request a Peer Mentor, please complete the Google Form that cab be found on the canvas page.

*note: not all students can be matched due to limited staffing and matches will be made on a first-come first-serve basis 🙂

2022-2023 HPAO Mentors

Physician Associate

Samantha Menke

4th Year, Biology (cellular and molecular)

I am a fourth year pre-PA student. I plan to graduate this spring and take a gap year to work as an MA before applying to grad school. Right now, I am involved on campus through BPO, PASA, and DM. In my free time I read a lot and have started to really enjoy cooking.

Ananda Attiq

3rd Year, Biology

My name is Ananda Attiq and I am a pre-Physicians Assistant. I have been involved in PASA during my time at SDSU. I have been a volunteer at Sharp Grossmont Hospital and UC San Diego. My clinical experience has been working as a Physical Therapy Aide at a Therapeutics clinic and I have just started a new Medical Assistant position at a Cardiologist office. Some activities I enjoy doing outside of school related things is spending time with my friends and family, going on nature walks and trying new food places.

Olivia Hansen

4th Year, Kinesiology Pre-PT

Hi! My name is Olivia Hansen and I am a Kinesiology Pre-PT major on the Pre-PA track. I am so lucky to have been able to be a peer mentor for the last two years. On campus, I also currently serve as an SDSU Ambassador and the Executive Director for Dance Marathon. I was also involved in physical education research in Dr. David Kahan’s lab that is currently in the publishing process. Outside of classes and campus activities, I have completed the Pathmaker Internship at Palomar Hospital and am looking to start a job as a PCA or a PT aide this semester. Feel free to come visit me in the office and ask all of your pre-health related questions!
Alisa Saito
4th Year, Kinesiology Pre-PT
Hi everyone! My name is Alisa Saito and I am a fourth-year kinesiology major with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy. Aside from HPAO, I am the President of the Pre-Physicians Assistant Student Association and the active alumni liaison for Mortar Board. Outside of SDSU, I work as a certified medical assistant and have volunteered at various physical therapy clinics. In my free time, I love trying different food spots and hiking trails in San Diego! I am super excited to be a peer mentor this year, so feel free to stop by if you have any questions!
Madison Amoruso
4th Year, Biology (cellular and molecular)
Hi! My name is Madison Amoruso and besides being a Peer Mentor for HPAO, I’m apart of PASA and volunteer in the emergency department at UCSD Health. In my free time, I love being outdoors and going on walks or hikes. I also enjoy reading a good book and hanging out with my cat Miso! 🙂


Jake Carmichael

3rd Year, Public Health w/ Interdisciplinary Studies Minor

Hi everybody! My name is Jake Carmichael & I am a third year Public Health major on the pre-PA path & I am so excited to be one of your HPAO mentors this year! I am currently the PR Rep for PASA (which you should join if you are pre-PA :D) and I volunteer at UCSD Health in internal medicine. On top of that, I am in the process of obtaining my Medical Assistant License & looking forward to working in the field soon. Come stop by the office & say hi! I look forward to getting to help all of you out on your own pre-health journey!

Megan Strange

4th Year, Cellular and Molecular Biology

Hi my name is Megan and I am on the pre-PA track, my clinical experience includes working as a CNA for the past 2 years at a nursing home, and I absolutely love interacting with my patients. My passion for healthcare continued to expand through SDSU Flying Samaritans, where I volunteered in the lab/triage of a clinic in Tijuana, Mexico. Some other on-campus organizations that I am involved in include being an Organic Chemistry I Supplemental Instruction leader, and being an event coordinator for SDSU’s Pre-Physician Associate Student Association; both of which I genuinely enjoy and mean a lot to me. During my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family, trying new food/café spots, and going to music festivals with my friends. I am so excited to see what other experiences and amazing people I get to encounter during the rest of my pre-health journey!!


Alexa Joy Fernandez

4th year, Biology, Emphasis in Cell and Molecular/Honors Interdisciplinary Studies Minor and Public Health Minor

I am Vice President and Treasurer of Public Health Initiative and Treasure for VAW Global Health Alliance at SDSU. While I do not work with my EMT certification, I use these skills for service trips and clinics abroad, including a service trip to Cusco, Peru and clinical trips to Mexico with MEDLife. I am an undergraduate research assistant in the House Lab at SDSU where we study breast and ovarian cancer research! When I’m not studying, in research, or doing org work, I love to read, crochet, bake, and play games with friends (video and board)!

Samuel Greenbergs

3rd Year, Kinesiology-Pre Physical Therapy

Hello all! I am a San Diego local and have lived here my whole life. SDSU has been a great experience for me and I have had the opportunity to get involved in APPHO as the Fundraising Officer, tutoring for the MSLC, research in the Speech Language and Hearing Sciences, and of course HPAO. I love spending my free time doing anything outside and have also been training jiu jitsu for the last 2 years which I love. Working as an EMT for 15 months was an incredible experience that really solidified my goal of becoming a physician.

Julia Goebel

Second-year Graduate Student, Public Health – Environmental Health

I received my bachelor’s degree at UC San Diego but realized as I was finishing up that I wasn’t really prepared for life after undergrad: I hadn’t focused on my grades and never had the opportunity to pursue research or join an internship. An advisor at UCSD recommended I look into graduate school, and I ended up coming to SDSU for my Master’s in Public Health! I’ve had a wonderful time here and am finally in the right headspace to pursue a high GPA and balance multiple internships and a part-time job as an EMT. Mental health is incredibly important, and it’s difficult to succeed if your basic needs aren’t met (Maslow’s hierarchy, anyone?) Additionally, it’s OK to start over when you’re actually ready for something – it took me a while to learn that. I’m happy to discuss anything class, clinical, or extracurricular with you!

Hazem Chrabakh

4th year, Psychology

Hey there! My name is Hazem Chrabakh, I am a fourth-year Psychology major with a minor in Honors Interdisciplinary Studies, and I am planning to graduate this Summer 2023. I am from the Bay Area and my hobbies include playing sports (mainly football and basketball) and spending time with my friends. Along with being an HPAO peer mentor, I am currently on the executive board of Flying Samaritans SDSU and we are a student organization that holds monthly clinics in Tijuana, Mexico. While that has given me some clinical experience, I am hoping to use my gap year to get clinical experience at a hospital as well as study for the MCAT. Make sure to utilize the HPAO Office to check in on your Pre-Health progress and I hope we are able to assist you in any way you need!

Cesar Cortez

4th year, Biology

My name is Cesar Cortez and I am a fourth-year majoring in biology and following the pre-medicine track. I am currently the Vice President External of Flying Samaritans and an intern at Pathmaker Internship at Palomar Health. Outside of school I enjoy exploring new spots in San Diego, playing music, weight lifting, spending time with friends, and playing video games. I look forward to sharing my experiences and helping other students achieve their goals in their pre-health track.

Mariana Padilla

Alumni, Biology (Cellular and Molecular)

Hi, my name is Mariana Padilla and I just graduated in December with my degree in cellular and molecular biology. I am on the path of pursuing a career in medicine as a physician. Right now, I work as an EMT for an ambulance transportation company and a special event company. I am currently studying for the MCAT, but outside of studying I love to workout and spend time with my family. My motivation comes from my passion to want to help those in need and be a role model for my family now and in the future.

Geronimo Salcedo

5th year, Biology (Cellular and Molecular)

Hello everyone! My name is Geronimo Salcedo and I am a senior majoring in biology with an emphasis in cellular and molecular biology. On campus I am involved with Miracles for Kids and the Red Cross Club. Last year I volunteered in the Cripps lab and this year I am a BSCRIP intern in the Parast lab. I also work as a medical scribe in the ED but I have my EMT license and am working towards a job in that field. I am currently studying for the MCAT and hope to apply this upcoming cycle!

Alexandra Salcedo

3rd Year, Biology Major/ Interdisciplinary Studies & Anthropology Minors

Hi!! My name is Alex and I am a third-year Biology major with minors in Interdisciplinary Studies and Anthropology. I am currently pursuing the pre-medical path and have hopes to attend medical school after undergrad. On campus I am involved in Beta Psi Omega, the Red Cross Club, and the Women in Science Society. Outside of school I enjoy reading, going to the movies and playing with my dog!!

Andie Tanguilig

4th Year, Cellular Molecular Biology Major, Public Health Minor

Hello! My name is Andie, and I’m one of the peer mentors! I’m a senior studying Cellular and Molecular Biology with a minor in Public Health. On campus, I’m the president of the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), and an SI Leader for Organic Chemistry! Outside of school, I work at a clinical research site, and volunteer for Silverado Hospice. My hobbies include going to the beach, trying new coffee shops, and hanging out with my cat 🙂

Veterinary Medicine

Kayla Pham

4th year, Biology with an emphasis in Zoology

Hello, my name is Kayla and I am currently a 4th year pre-vet student majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Zoology. I am the President of Alpha Phi Gamma, and have participated in being an Academic Mentor in the residence halls as well as having been a part of the Pacific Islander Student Association. I’ve volunteered at an animal shelter since high school, worked as a kennel technician, and am now currently a veterinary assistant at the Animal Dermatology Clinic. I enjoy hanging out with my kitten Kharis and my boyfriend (specifically going out with her in her backpack and taking her on walks), singing, dancing, reading, and I’m currently getting into rock climbing. I’m also excited to announce that I will be attending veterinary school in the upcoming Fall 2023 semester!

Michelle Ward

6th Year, Classics with Humanities Emphasis

Hello! My name is Michelle Ward and I’m the Pre-Veterinary HPAO Mentor. Besides being an HPAO Mentor, I have been in multiple executive board positions with the Pre-Veterinary Medical Association. Outside of school, I volunteer with the exotic animal sanctuary Lions, Tigers, and Bears. I have had experience shadowing the vets at Lions, Tigers, and Bears; as well as with local veterinarians in San Diego, and have studied abroad with vets in South Africa and Thailand. I have experience as the class coordinator for the Topics in Veterinary Medicine course. In my free time, I usually am hanging out with my girlfriend in a Barnes N Noble, or reading/writing/drawing with my dog in my lap, or playing video games.

Nursing (Coming Soon)

DayLee DeWitt

5th Year, Kinesiology Pre PT 

I am a senior transfer student (transferred from a community college). I am involved on campus at sdsu as a community advisor, in HPAO, and in ultimate frisbee. I work in Temecula as a lead life guard and used to work at Sharp Chula Vista as a patient transporter but now work at Rady Children’s as a patient transporter. I am excited to help and advise!