Hi, I’m Emily Barnes! I graduated from Ravenwood High School in Brentwood, Tennessee. I will be majoring in microbiology, minoring in IDMD, and be involved in the music program here. My future plans include either an MD-PhD or PhD with the goal of being a medical researcher. I’ve always wanted to pursue a STEM career, but after taking AP Biology, I became interested in genetics, cells, microbiology, medicine, and everything in-between! The potential of the impact this could make in the real world is what drives me. Attending the HudsonAlpha Genes and Greens program solidified my love for microbiology along with a Biological Breakthroughs Club I helped run at my high school. The club brought discussions of medicine, biotechnology, and biology innovation to our school, allowing myself and others to unabashedly explore the science and research topics we cared about: something I hope to find through McCollough as well. I also am a National Merit Scholar and have played flute since I was seven years-old! Being involved in concert ensembles at school, Vanderbilt symphonies, and solo flute performance has enhanced the STEM side of my life with creativity and opportunities to express myself freely. Both of these passions have shaped the person that I am today, and I can’t wait for the further improvement I’ll gain from being a McCollough Scholar! I’m incredibly excited for the research opportunities and community provided by this program.
Hi! My name is Micaela Bravo and I’m from Chantilly, Virginia—about an hour out of D.C. I’m an incoming freshman planning on the pre-med track with a major in Biology and a minor in either Creative Media or Creative Writing! After medical school I plan on becoming an ER Doctor, so I’ve been working on my NREMT certification this past year in order to volunteer as an EMT in Tuscaloosa. For the past 4 years of high school, I have been part of my school’s FIRST Tech Challenge robotics team and was Co-Captain for 2 of those years. I was also part of the school cheer team and did all-star cheer outside of school. For the past year I’ve held a job at a local pharmacy and trained as a Pharmacy Technician. At the start of junior year, I also founded and became President of the K-Pop club, and we even performed at a Korean Culture Festival! I enjoy mentoring those younger than me, so I became an Ambassador to my school’s Academy, visited local middle schools to talk about my experience in career-oriented classes, and even got to share my experiences with Fairfax County Public Schools executives! Some of my hobbies include board games, puzzles, and video games. These are some of my highlights and most cherished memories from high school, and I plan to continue being involved at UA! Here’s to the next 4 and Roll Tide!
My name is Anna Chong, and I am from San Diego, California. I plan to major in biology and minor in music (flute). I am not completely sure what I want to do career-wise, but for now I am thinking about biotech or pharmaceutical sales, marketing or consulting. In high school, I was involved with peer counseling and academic league trivia team. I am a National Merit Finalist. I love traveling internationally – 17 countries including Australia, Peru, Hungary, and Turkey. I also enjoy traveling domestically. I collect National Parks Stamps in my National Parks Passport. In my free time, I like to play the flute, hike, eat chocolate, and listen to music. At UA, I am excited to join a band or orchestra ensemble, Christian community. Roll Tide!
Practicing medicine takes a lot more than just intelligence. It takes compassion, understanding, and a strong drive to help others. My name is Harrison Collins, and I plan to bring all of these attributes with me to the University of Alabama. I was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, and I’ve called it my home for the majority of my life. Now I’m going to be calling UA my home and I couldn’t be more excited for what awaits me! I like doing and enjoying a variety of things including (but not limited to) digital and traditional art, character design, music, video games, hanging out with friends, hiking, and much more. I also plan to take my experience in theatre, in which I’ve made many friends and memories, and use that to positively affect those around me. I’m looking forward to my first year here at the University of Alabama and all the friends and memories I’m going to make!
Hello! My name is Kaitlin Deans, and I’m from Bentonville, Arkansas! I graduated in the top 5% of my class as a member of National Honor Society and the varsity swim team, president of the school Choir Program, and captain of the Quiz Bowl team. I am a National Merit Scholar as well as an AP Scholar with Distinction, and I am a three-time Arkansas All-Region and All-State SATB Choir member. I graduated with my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certifications through my school’s Ignite program, which also allowed me to experience and confirm my passion in the medical field by shadowing surgeons. My hobbies are baking, reading, singing, and watching sports (especially football!) As an aspiring neurosurgeon, I plan to double major in Biology on the pre-medicine track and Music with a vocal concentration, as well as additional minors through McCollough and the Randall Research Scholars Program. I am super excited for my journey at the University of Alabama! Roll Tide!
I’m Alejandro Gonzalez, born and raised in South Florida. My interest in the medical field stems from my mother, a dedicated nurse at the VA Hospital, whose compassionate care for patients inspired me during my summer volunteering. Witnessing the positive impact, she made motivated me to follow in her footsteps. I also enjoy baking, practicing taekwondo, playing soccer, and watching movies. With a deep-rooted passion for healthcare and a range of diverse interests, I’m excited to pursue a rewarding career while embracing life’s simple pleasures.
Hello, my name is Sophia Greene, and I grew up in Hahnville, Louisiana! I graduated high school as valedictorian of Mount Carmel Academy in New Orleans in addition to being a National Merit Finalist and an AP Scholar with Distinction. There, I realized my passion for the sciences and learning, and I furthered my interest in the medical field. I have loved medicine for as long as I can remember, but I realized how much I want to make a difference in someone’s life when I had a spinal surgery in 2017. After seeing how much my doctors cared for me and helped me through an extremely difficult time, I knew that I wanted to do the same for others, and I began participating in patient outreach through interviews, commercials, and medical conferences about my experience. I found it extremely rewarding to be involved in others’ experiences and get to know the medical professionals and their care for others. So when I learned about the McCollough Institute for Pre-Medical Scholars, I knew that it would be the perfect opportunity to pursue my passion. Outside of academics, some of my interests include sailing and playing music through guitar and piano! I currently plan to major in Biology and Psychology, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for the future!
Hey there. My name’s Victoria Hand – I spent most of my early life moving around Texas and Alabama, but I spent the entirety of middle & high school in Oregon. I’m a percussionist and I love playing, composing, and listening to music; my favorite band is The Dear Hunter, a progressive rock band, due to their creative and nuanced playing as well as having an overarching story in a lot of their albums. I plan to major in biology, and I’m considering taking a minor in Spanish or musical performance, with the ultimate goal of moving on to medical school. Looking forward to meeting you!
My name is Cole Heatherly. I was raised on a chicken farm in Ford City, Alabama. I graduated from Muscle Shoals High School, where I was active in HOSA as president and National Honor Society as secretary. In 2022, I participated in UA’s Rural Health Scholars Program and received a National Merit Commendation. My hobbies include rearing cattle and weightlifting. I aspire to become a family medicine physician to give back to my rural community.
My name is Nicolas Hewitt, and I am from Mobile, Alabama. I spend my leisure time gardening, fishing, and reading the first few pages of a book before moving on to another. I graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School as salutatorian; I’ve always preferred silver to gold anyway. Outside of academics, I played alto saxophone in the band and competed on the Hi-Q team. I enjoy learning about practically anything, but biology and philosophy interest me in particular, which is part of why I joined the McCollough Institute. I intend to major in Spanish and Philosophy, and I plan to pursue an M.D. after graduation.
Hey! My name is Allison John and I am from scenic Idaho Falls, Idaho. I am a National Merit Finalist, and with this award I have the opportunity to have an amazing scholarship at the University of Alabama. I love sports, and I was on my high school’s varsity soccer team for four years. I also was involved in various clubs in high school, and I was the president of the French club, vice president of our chapter of NHS, and participated in chess club. I love volunteering with kids and hope to keep doing service at the University of Alabama. I also love science, national parks, and watching almost every sport imaginable. With my love of science, I plan on getting a bachelors in chemistry at UA before I go to medical school. I am so excited for my adventure at UA and roll tide!
My name is Abbie Kratofil and I am from Kansas City! I love running, being outside, reading a good book, and trying new recipes. In high school, I was involved in cross country, track & field, National Honor Society, National English Honor Society, Medical Club, Kansas Association for Youth, Environmental Club and more. This year, I look forward to being at Alabama where I will be majoring in Biology and participating in the University Fellows Experience. I am excited to be joining this program and I am thrilled to connect with other pre-medical students!
Hello, I’m Ethan Likas from Irmo, South Carolina! I was a student at Dutch Fork High School, where I served as captain on the Varsity Soccer team and as the Student Body President. While attending high school, I earned the National Recognition Award and the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. I was also a part of the STEM Academic Magnet program at my school, and
was an ambassador for the program. I love writing, spending time with my family and friends, as well as playing nearly every sport! I also like to watch movies, swim, and watch sports! I can’t wait to cheer on the Tide! I listen to all genres of music, and I love to play the cajon! I have always been fascinated by healthcare, largely because of the personable professionals that I have met growing up. Their desire to form relationships with their patients is a great passion of mine and is one of the main reasons why I feel called to pursue a career in healthcare. I am looking forward to being part of The McCollough Institute for Pre-Medical Scholars and cannot wait to learn about medicine through a diverse and interdisciplinary approach. I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Interdisciplinary Medical Studies.
Hello! My name is Spencer Likas, and I am from Irmo, South Carolina. I attended Dutch Fork High School, where I served as Student Body Vice President and graduated in the Top Ten of my class. Throughout my time as a student, I earned the National Recognition Award and the AP Scholar with Distinction Award. I have always been very active, playing soccer for my school and volleyball, basketball, and golf with my friends. I was exposed to the world of healthcare through frequent visits with childhood illnesses and broken bones. Seeing how physicians selflessly serve and help their community inspired me to look further into medicine. After shadowing numerous physicians and engaging in research related to the medical field, I felt the calling to pursue medicine. I am extremely excited to start this new journey in the McCollough Institute for Pre-Medical Scholars and look forward to where this journey takes me! Aside from being a student, I spend my time with my friends and family, and enjoy watching sports (especially college football) and movies. I play the bass guitar and ukulele, and love listening to and playing all genres of music. I also love playing any and every sport! I am majoring in Psychology and minoring in Interdisciplinary Medical Studies and cannot wait for every second of this new chapter!
My name is Pharris Livingston, and I am from Franklin, TN, where I graduated as Valedictorian of Page High School. I am a National Merit Scholarship Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Candidate. I grew up on a farm and founded a fresh produce business that I have continued to expand for 12 years now: winning numerous 1st place ribbons for my produce in various 4-H horticulture competitions. Additionally, I helped cofound a special needs ministry at my church where I served as a leader and aide. In high school, I had the honor of serving as an intern for the Cooper Trooper cancer foundation, Treasurer of the National Honor Society, Public Relations Officer of the Science National Honor Society, Associate Buddy in Best Buddies, and Vice President of the Cryptocurrency and Investment Club. In my free time, I enjoy just about anything active, including lifting weights, mountain biking, and hiking. I am pursuing a degree in Chemistry as well as a Master of Business Administration through the STEM Path to the MBA in hopes of being accepted into Dental School. My end goal is to operate my own Dental or Orthodontic practice. Roll Tide!
My name is Kameron Marple and I was born and raised in the small town of Angola, Indiana. My hobbies are reading, spending time with family and friends, playing sports, traveling, and crocheting. I have always dreamed of being a physician and my goal is to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology, but I am in love with all facets of the medical field.
My name is Tonie-Kaprice Oclaray, and I am originally from Honolulu, Hawai’i but have lived in Murfreesboro, Tennessee for the past ten years. I graduated from Central Magnet School where I was a part of the orchestra and the cheerleading team. I plan on majoring in Biology, earning a minor in Interdisciplinary Pre-Medical Studies, with the goal of attending medical school and becoming a surgeon after I graduate from the University of Alabama. I enjoy traveling, reading, attending football games, and being with friends.
Hey y’all, I’m Moyin Ojo from Houston, Texas. I plan on majoring in Biochemistry and minoring in Spanish. My goal is to go to medical school and become an anesthesiologist. Throughout high school I was the president of my schools Health Occupational students of America (HOSA) and African Student Association (ASA). I ran track, played tennis, and swam throughout high school. I volunteered with the George Foundation’s Youth in philanthropy program to assist nonprofit organizations in my community. I enjoy listening to music and dancing in my free time. I am a very outgoing person and plan on joining multiple student organizations at UA.
My name is Ansley Othersen, and I am from Chapin, South Carolina. I am a not-so-undercover book lover who is semi-addicted to running half marathons. During High School I focused on both the Sciences and the arts through research on Hand Drying methods as well as Bacterial Art Preservation methods. In the coming years at Alabama, I plan to continue to research within the Biochemistry and Art fields before expanding my education in Medical School.
John Charles “J.C.” Peacock, III
I am JC Peacock, and I graduated from Houston Academy in Dothan, Alabama. At Houston Academy, I was very active in Student Government and National Honor Society. I was a National Merit Scholar semifinalist. I was an accomplished athlete in track, cross country, and soccer; I hold school records in the half mile, 1 mile, and 2 mile. I served on the Alabama High School Athletic Association Leadership Council for two years. I have a passion for teaching and have tutored throughout my high school career. I am a fitness enthusiast, and I really enjoy collegiate and professional sports. My faith is extremely important to me; I am very active in my church. I have long known that I would become a physician. I am honored to be a new member of the Gaylon McCollough Premed Scholars program. I am confident that my association with this group will help facilitate the accomplishment of my academic and career goals.
Hi! I’m Adonai Ross! I graduated from St. John’s School in Houston, Texas. I plan to major in chemistry and anthropology, and I hope to become an OBGYN. I love baking bread and cooking for friends and family! Advocacy and community service are two things that drive how I show up in the world, and I can’t wait to get involved in both at UA. I am a National African American Recognition Program Scholar, and I am the third of six children in my family! In high school, my favorite class was scientific research and design, and I spent my time researching the intersection between class and sustainability, specifically how we as a society could make compost more accessible to people from different socioeconomic backgrounds. I’m really excited for the numerous opportunities for research in both the chemistry and anthropology worlds! Roll tide!
Stanley Stoutamire, Jr.
Hello! My name is Addison Strunz and I am from Wisconsin. I am planning to major in biology with hopes of becoming an orthopedic surgeon. I graduated from Sauk Prairie High School where I participated in Future Business Leaders of America, Student Council, National Honor Society, and class officers. I was also on my high school’s gymnastics team and took dance classes at a local studio. Outside of school I volunteered at a local nursing home and 6:8. I’m also involved in 4-H, the Miss America Program, and run an Etsy shop – Tangled Crochet Crafts. I work on my family’s tree farm and enjoy showing pigs and dairy cattle. In my free time I enjoy hiking, painting, playing my trumpet, and spending time with my family and friends.
Hello, my name is Junqi Sun. I’ve lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama for seven years and graduated as valedictorian of Tuscaloosa Academy. Through a chemistry internship at Shelby Hall with MALDI-TOF, shadowing a general surgeon and cardiologist, and volunteering at the Hospice of West Alabama, I reinforced an interest in medicine. These efforts do not belie the fact that I perform equally well with extracurriculars. I captioned the Scholar Bowl and Math Team to state placements and was involved in Capture the Flag Cybersecurity, Team Programming, and NASA’s App Development Challenge. I also served as my school’s speaker for the Mu Alpha Theta and National Computer Science Honor Society chapters. When there’s time to spare, I enjoy winding down with cross country, drawing, chess, and cooking. Though the end goal of practicing surgery is in the distant future, I’m eager to further my education at the University of Alabama by majoring in Chemistry and grateful to be accepted into a program that has afforded me a chance to learn with a passionate community.
Hello! My name is Noah Taeckens, and I am from Ann Arbor, Michigan, although I spent the first 15 years of my life in Syracuse, New York. Throughout high school, I have competed in Science Olympiad, and Model United Nations, and currently serve as the President of my high school’s HOSA chapter as well as a Board Member for our Business Professionals of America club. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to be named a National Merit Commended Scholar and recently became certified as a Clinical Medical Assistant. At Alabama, in addition to the McCollough minor, I plan to major in Psychology and be part of the STEM path to an MBA program. Because of my passion for medicine and business, I hope to become a physician executive one day who splits time between patient care and administrative duties. Outside of academics, I was the captain of my school’s tennis team and am a sports fanatic. My favorite sports are football, basketball, and tennis. I also enjoy hanging out with friends, and hiking. I’m so excited about all the amazing opportunities that the University of Alabama and McCollough provide students. Roll Tide!!!
I’m Selene and I’m from Knoxville, TN. I graduated from Farragut High School and am a National Merit Finalist. In my free time, I enjoy drawing, hiking, and arts and crafts. I’m interested in child neurological development and hope to perform research in that area. I plan to attend medical school and become a pediatric neurologist.
I grew up in a (very) small town called Andalusia, Alabama, where I spent most of my time outdoors. I come from a very large, very close-knit family, and they have inspired me to put myself out there and do great things. I’m extremely modest when it comes to talking about my accomplishments, but I’ve received various honors, both for my academic achievement as well as my service to my community. I’m just as thankful for my servant’s heart as I am for the good head on my shoulders. Another important thing to know about me is that I love to meet new people and learn all about them. This love for people and my innate curiosity has driven me towards the field of medicine, specifically psychiatry. I worked at a mental health center throughout high school, and I also plan on doing so while attending UA. My absolute favorite thing about my job was working with children, and I intend on translating this into my future career. I plan on pursuing a degree in Psychology with a minor in Spanish (I also love to travel), and from there I will attend medical school. I am so excited for my future. Roll Tide!
Hi everyone! I’m Austin Yoder and I’m from Columbus, Ohio. I am majoring in Biology with an Interdisciplinary Pre-medical Studies minor, as well as participating in the STEM Path to the MBA. I enjoy hiking with my family in the Columbus area and on our vacations to National Parks. I also enjoy swimming, biking, running, and playing pickleball and spike ball when I have time. I was a member of my high school’s marching band, where I played trumpet and was a squad leader. I really enjoyed performing in front of the student section and parents at football games, so I decided to continue this at UA, where I earned a spot in the Million Dollar Band. I am fascinated with the human body and how the systems of the body interact. Some of my favorite science classes were AP Biology, AP Physics, and Anatomy and Physiology. Through shadowing experiences in sports medicine and orthopedics, I have been able to dive into my interest even more. I have also raised over $2,500 for cancer research in honor of my mom and cousin. One of my career goals is to provide medical care for underprivileged communities, where I can feel the impact of my work.