Each year, IUPUI honors 50 graduate and professional students who demonstrate excellence beyond the classroom—in areas such as campus leadership, scholarly work, and community engagement. These IUPUI Elite 50 represent the best of the best among IUPUI’s graduate and professional students and capture everything that makes IUPUI exceptional.
This year, five students from IU School of Medicine were recognized among the IUPUI Elite 50. Congratulations to these exceptional students!
Julie Bittar is a medical student graduating in the Class of 2020. As President of Medical Student Council, the State Representative of Indiana for the American Medical Women’s Association, and a regional executive board member of the American Medical Association, she has had incredible opportunities to lead, serve, and grow. Together with her peers and faculty, Julie restructured student government to focus on service, education, and wellness. She is excited to begin residency training, to learn from physicians and patients alike, and to become a dermatologist who leads by example, furthers medical research, and serves her patients and community.
Hannah Kline is pursuing her MD/PhD in the Medical Scientist Training Program at IU. Hannah is involved with academic leadership and student interest groups that have allowed her to work with fellow students to improve the IU experience. Hannah credits her fantastic mentors who have helped her conduct valuable research while pursuing my PhD. Her friends and family, especially her husband Jacob Kline, have helped her pursue volunteering in the community to better understand the needs that can be filled by both research and medicine.
Nimisha Kumar is a rising fourth-year medical student finishing a research year as the first Cochrane Fellow of the US Satellite of the Cochrane Pregnancy & Childbirth Group under Dr. David M. Haas. During this time, she engaged with key stakeholder organizations in Indianapolis and worked with the IU Grand Challenges Precision Health Initiative Hoosier Moms Cohort study team, assessing risk factors for the development of gestational diabetes and of Type II diabetes postpartum. Nimisha is the current President of the Medical Student Service-learning Group, promoting community engagement through the nine medical school campuses. She is also the President of the Student Research Symposium, which fosters and recognizes research by medical students. She served as the national Diversity & Inclusion Committee Co-Chair for the American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), promoting diverse membership within AMWA as well as healthcare leadership teams around the country.
Rebekah Roll is a rising fourth-year medical student. She is recognized for her commitment to student leadership, community engagement, and involvement in scholarly work. One of Rebekah’s most valuable experiences as student at IU School of Medicine has been her involvement with Medical Student Council. She credits her colleagues in this group with continually pushing her to improve in professionalism and student advocacy.
Andy Tsai is a doctoral student in the Medical Neurosciences Program at Stark Neurosciences Research Institute. As a student with diverse cultural experiences, he served as a peer mentor of the IUPUI Post-Baccalaureate Research Education Program, the president of Taiwanese student association at IUPUI, and the seminar coordinator in Medical Neuroscience Graduate Student Organization. He plans to keep serving as a peer mentor for graduate students and to invite more respected scientists from around the world to speak at IU School of Medicine. Through his efforts as the seminar coordinator, Dr. Thomas Südhof, a German-American biochemist who received the 2013 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, visited IU School of Medicine in October 2019. Tsai works with Drs. Gary Landreth and Bruce Lamb to research novel therapeutic strategies for Alzheimer’s disease.