Biomedical Graduate Student Ambassadors

The Wake Forest Biomedical Graduate Programs Ambassadors are current students who love being a student with us so much that they volunteered to represent our biomedical graduate programs and serve as a resource to prospective students. Each of them is eager to answer any question that you may have about being a student here. Ambassadors help with a variety of events including campus tours, open house events, and assisting with formal Biomedical Graduate Programs events. If you schedule a tour, you’re likely to meet an ambassador.  

Have a question for a current student? We encourage you to reach out to any of the ambassadors listed below via email regarding questions about the program, application process, career resources, life at Wake Forest, living in Winston-Salem, or any other questions you may have.
Jessica Bodie_392x510
Jessica Bodie

Program: Biomedical Research MS

Hometown: Richmond, VA

Undergraduate School: North Carolina State

Why Wake? After graduating from a large university, I knew I wanted to attend a smaller school for my graduate work. The low student-faculty ratio at Wake Forest has allowed me to form close relationships and have mentors that care about my personal and professional development. 
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Luis Poveda

Program: Biomedical Engineering MS/PhD

Hometown: Bogota, Colombia

Undergraduate School: Universidad del Rosario

Why Wake? I chose Biomedical Engineering at Wake Forest because of its partnership with Virginia Tech. I believe collaborative work is great! Also, the existing research projects are unique and really caught my attention.
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Madison Badje

Program: Genetic Counseling MS

Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska

Undergraduate School: University of Nebraska-Omaha

Why Wake?
When considering all my options for graduate school, Wake Forest was my riskiest choice. It was the furthest away from home, and I had no family or friends in the area. However, when I interviewed with Wake I felt comfortable. All the faculty were very engaging and truly wanted to get to know me beyond my application. They got to know me as a person and it was evident that they wanted a well-rounded person, not just someone who looks good on paper. There were also several unique aspects of the program that drew me in including its focus on ethical situations and the different options to complete the capstone project. Even though the program is only in its second year I have been very satisfied of my time here. An additional benefit to Wake is the location! I love being in North Carolina and being within driving distance of both the beach and mountains. 
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Justin Napolitano

Program: Medical Physics MS/PhD

Hometown: Deer Park, NY – Waxhaw, NC

Undergraduate School: Clemson University

Why Wake? I joined Wake’s Medical Physics program for the opportunity to learn from the accomplished faculty and staff in a highly active clinical environment.
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Hannah Pugh

Program: Biomedical Science MS

Hometown: Holden Beach, NC

Undergraduate School: High Point University

Why Wake? I selected Wake Forest because it offered an ideal environment to further my education, providing abundant opportunities for both research and networking with fellow students, faculty, and potential mentors. I can say that the faculty here is deeply committed to nurturing our education and equipping us with the necessary tools to pursue and achieve our future aspirations in the healthcare field.
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Evelyn Feng

Program: Addiction Research and Clinical Health MS

Hometown: Beijing, China

Undergraduate School: Wake Forest University

Why Wake? I chose to continue my higher education at Wake because I had a good experience as an undergraduate student on the Reynolda Campus and working with researchers on the Biomedical campus. I have always been interested in all kinds of research since I was an undergraduate student, and Wake Forest provided a good platform of opportunities for learning and gaining research experience. I was first in the Neuroscience MS program and participated in Nonhuman Primates electrophysiology research. I then transferred into Addiction Research and Clinical Health program and started doing clinical research because my interest shifted towards addiction counseling.
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Ariana Pirzadeh

Program: Addiction Research and Clinical Health MS

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Undergraduate School: UNC – Chapel Hill

Why Wake?
I am in the Addiction Research and Clinical Health MS program at WFU, but I was previously in the MS Neuroscience program. I switched halfway through because I realized that wasn’t the best fit for me, and have found my home in this program. Because of that experience, I am incredibly passionate about listening to your intuition and doing what is best for you and your goals. A few of the reasons I wanted to go to WFU was because there are so many opportunities to learn and explore your interests, as well as create connections with and learn from so many incredible people. I’m so glad to be at Wake and I’m excited to share more about this school with others!
Taniya Ballard_392x510
Taniya Ballard

Program: Biomedical Science MS

Hometown: Military Brat (GA, Japan, OK, TX, MD)

Undergraduate School: Winston-Salem State University

Why Wake? I enjoyed networking with the Biomedical Science and School of Medicine staff, connecting with peers and felt welcomed during my time interning as an undergraduate in the ENGAGED program. Continuing my education and pursuing a master’s degree through the Biomedical Science program felt like the right decision for me.
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Mia Simpson

Program: Biomedical Science MS

Hometown: Durham, NC

Undergraduate School: East Carolina University

Why Wake? I wanted to go to school that felt like a community and felt where I belonged. I missed that experience during undergrad and wanted to get that through grad school!
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Leslie Granados

Program: Biomedical Science MS

Hometown: Benson, NC

Undergraduate School: Wake Forest University

Why Wake? Having graduated from Wake Forest with my Bachelors degree, I knew I wanted to return to my alma mater for graduate school. In my four years, I developed great relationships amongst my peers and professors – those of which I can continue to maintain throughout my Masters. I always had a great amount of support with faculty, and I knew this was something that I would continue to have in graduate school. Whether it is for professional or personal development, there is always someone to help us along the way. Wake’s academics have allowed me to pursue many things that I was not comfortable in, like research. Research is now one of my favorite things. Being a part of Wake has allowed me to dive deeper into my interest and continue my ongoing projects and community service, specifically within the Hispanic/Latinx community. This program challenges me and is allowing me to become a competitive candidate for my future academic endeavors.
Ankith Rao_392x510

Ankith Rao

Program: Biomedical Science MS

Hometown: Morrisville, NC

Undergraduate School: UNC – Chapel Hill

Why Wake? As an NC native, I grew up around UNC & Duke’s Level I Trauma Centers daydreaming of being a part of the Emergency Medicine team. Personally, I think a chain is only as strong as its weakest link and I know I haven’t grown enough to be a strong link in that chain. I chose Wake Forest’s Biomedical Science MS to deepen my skills and join the team I’ve long watched and supported from the sidelines. While I can’t be better than every physician out there, I can consistently choose to be better than myself and, after a semester at Wake, I know this was the best place to do so.