Fourth Year Medical Students

Gabriela DeOliveira

Photof Gabriela DeOliveira - MSU Medical StudentGabriela is from Novi, MI. She completed her undergraduate degree from Central Michigan University with a major in Biomedical Sciences. Gabriela studied the effect of social instability on hormone secretion in cichlid fish. She has volunteered many hours with the Isabella County Mobile Food Pantry. In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking and camping.

Marguerite Esler

Marguerite Esler - MSU Medical StudentMarguerite is from Traverse City, MI. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Michigan State University (MSU) in Chemistry and Kinesiology. Marguerite worked as an anatomy cadaver lab teaching assistant at MSU. She completed volunteer services at Help a Willing Kid Foundation in Lansing, MI. Marguerite enjoys sports, reading and traveling.

Stephen Holihan

Stephen Holihan - MSU Medical StudentStephen is from Saginaw, MI. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Saginaw Valley State University. Stephen has participated in research involving aromatase inhibition and endocrine disruption, communication and primary care output from medical education institutions, and the impact of poverty on health outcomes. He has volunteered as a pharmacy assistant to help vulnerable patients receive low-cost medications and has worked as a peer tutor. Stephen is an active member of the Christian Medical and Dental Association. He enjoys exercising and spending time with his family and friends.

Alexandria (Alex) Marks

Alexandria (Alex) Marks - MSU Medical StudentAlex is from Jackson, MI. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Michigan Technological University (MTU). During her time at MTU, Alex volunteered with MTU EMS, she also traveled to Alaska to work as a support specialist for Hope Community Resources. In her free time, she enjoys video games, reading and knitting.

Alexandra (Allie) Rachwitz

Alexandra (Allie) Rachwitz - MSU Medical StudentAllie is from Bay City, MI. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biochemistry from Albion College. Some of her recent research involves working in the Adipose Lab at UM Department of Surgery. Allie did volunteer work at the Best Buddies mentorship program. She is married to her husband, Seth and mom to her cat, Stella. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, volleyball and SCUBA diving.

Laura Schroeder

Laura Schroeder - MSU Medical StudentLaura is from Sanford, MI. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science from Saginaw Valley State University and a Masters of Science degree in Physiology from Indiana University. She worked as an anatomy and physiology associate laboratory instructor at Indiana University and volunteers as a high school track and field throws coach. In her free time, she loves spending time with her family, her fiancé Aaron and her cat, Luna. She also enjoys bike riding, hiking and cooking.

Eric Sheffield

Eric Sheffield - MSU Medical StudentEric is from Freeland, MI. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Grand Valley State University (GVSU) in Biomedical Science. Eric was a student summer scholar at GVSU and works as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters. He enjoys spending time playing basketball, weight lifting and fishing.

Carolyn Strzalka

Carolyn Strzalka - MSU Medical StudentCarolyn Strzalka is from Eagle, MI. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Michigan. Carolyn has volunteered with AmeriCorps where she worked to address food insecurity in children by managing an after-school food program in Ionia and Montcalm counties. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time outside, playing with her dogs, and baking.

Shelby Walker

Shelby Walker - MSU Medical StudentShelby is from St. Charles, MI. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Central Michigan University (CMU) in Biology. Shelby worked as a chemistry tutor at CMU, College of Science and Engineering. She has also been an eleven (11) volunteer in her hometown elementary school. Shelby enjoys anything to do with plants, reading and scrapbooking.

Kristi Wegener

Kristi Wegener - MSU Medical StudentKristie is from Bay City, MI. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. During her studies, Kristie worked as a PsychSystem behavioral technician and volunteered with Misericordia Home in Chicago. She enjoys reading, hiking and cooking.

David Westphal

David Westphal - MSU Medical StudentDavid is from Roscommon, MI. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Technology, Human Biology and a Masters in Public Health from Michigan State University. David worked for Oakland County as a Public Health Sanitarian performing food inspections and volunteered with the Capital Area Humane Society. In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his partner Adrienne, as well as hiking the Upper Peninsula, downhill skiing and board games.

Elizabeth (Liz) Williams

Elizabeth (Liz) Williams - MSU Medical StudentLiz is from Saginaw, MI. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Michigan in Biochemistry and completed her PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology from Michigan State University (MSU). Liz has a wide range of employment history including; Dow Chemical Water Solutions, working at restaurants, pre-clinical research in cardiovascular and neuroscience research labs. She has a fascination with research, it began in middle and high school with science fair projects about the body's natural defenses against HIV. This lead her to work in the pharmacology lab at U of M during her undergrad, where she studied the oxidation and recycling of potassium channels in the myocardium in the context of oxidative stressors. She then joined the MSU MD/PhD program, and completed her PhD in Pharmacology & Toxicology. For her dissertation, she studied sex differences in the physiology of neural circuits in mouse models of depression. She discovered a difference between male and female mice in the activity of the neural projection from the hippocampus to the nucleus accumben, a circuit that has been linked to addiction and depression. Liz showed the heightened activity of this circuit in female mice, and this activity may be linked to an exaggerated susceptibility to mood disorders such as depression. She is interested in continuing her research throughout her medical career.

Liz is lives at home with her husband, Tom a cat. She loves crafts, especially sewing and working with different media such as paper, vinyl, and various textiles. Liz also enjoys traveling and trying new foods, and recreating at home recipes she discovers through her travels.

Culture of Caring

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