Maria is currently a medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. She plans to apply into Ophthalmology with hopes of pursuing an oculoplastic surgery fellowship further down the line. Before medical school, she received her BA in Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia University in 3 years, and spent the additional time working in an optic neuropathy lab on campus. She graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0/4.0 GPA. Before college, she was the salutatorian of her public high school, Yorktown High School in Yorktown Heights, NY. Throughout her high school, college, and medical education, she has published over 10 peer-reviewed publications, 15 abstracts, and presented first-author work at 4 different international conferences.
Maria began her teaching and tutoring experience in high school. She worked with two middle school students and was able to increase both of their averages by at least one grade point (C to B, or B to A) in the subject at hand. In college, Maria became the president of The Columbia Science Outreach Program, aka "Brainiacs," a student-run after school program for middle school students in East Harlem. She designed a comprehensive 3-month afterschool curriculum focusing on biology, neuroscience, and science reasoning skills through interactive hands-on learning experiences. Maria also became a teaching assistant (TA) for an introduction to Biology course at Columbia. She designed a weekly 2-hour recitation session, hosted weekly 1-hour problem-solving tutorials, and proctored and designed exams. In medical school, Maria was a TA for both Anatomy and Molecular and Cellular Biology. Finally, after scoring in the 99th percentile for both the MCAT and USMLE Step 1 exam, she regularly meets with and advises premedical students and underclassmen in medical school who are preparing to take their respective exams.
Maria is also a certified medical interpreter in Spanish, and a certified NYC bartender! She is a younger sister, a daughter, a girlfriend, a best friend, a mentor, a feminist, a scientist, and a dog breed enthusiast. She loves tea, chocolate covered strawberries, and dresses with pockets.