Skip to main content
The First Year Experience committee is here to welcome the incoming class of 2025 and provide tips, advice and support every step of the way.

Orientation 2021: Meet the First Year Experience committee

FYE Committee Holding Up Welcome Signs to Class of 2025

Welcome class of 2025! The First Year Experience (FYE) Committee is here to give you an inside look at starting medical school. Learn about the members, and jot down some advice. You have a lot to look forward to as a new member of the IU School of Medicine community.

Doriann Alcaide

Doriann M. Alcaide Amador

Hometown: Camuy, Puerto Rico
Undergraduate Institution: Binghamton University, NY
Campus: Indianapolis
Instagram Handle: @doriannmarie
Fun Fact: I have a newly discovered love for cacti!
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: I was completely clueless when I started medical school, and it was very nerve-racking. I know that having some guidance really is helpful and can be very meaningful. I joined the FYE committee to be there as a source of information for future students as they transition to medical school so that they have an easier and smooth transition.
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: I love the people! The upper classmates, mentors, advisors and physicians are super nice and willing to share meaningful advice.
Advice for Incoming Students: Enjoy your time off and spend time with family and friends, especially if you will be far from them once you start medical school. Get as many fun memories as you can with them, so you can look back on them to refuel your motivation. Also, train for waking up early like two weeks before orientation and classes, so that you are not super exhausted for your first class.


Aish Thamba

Aish Thamba

Hometown: Fishers, IN

Undergraduate Institution: Indiana University – Bloomington
Campus: Bloomington
Instagram Handle: @aishthamba
Fun Fact: Give me the first few seconds of a song and I know the title, artist and most likely the album it is included in! I listen to a TON of different music genres so hit me up if you want to talk music!
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: I love to be part of anything that involves meeting and helping new people. I also like being part of opportunities that work with incoming students, helping them navigate their journeys to becoming medical students at IU School of Medicine. I know that the process can be initially overwhelming. I wanted to work on a committee that reduced that stress, streamlined that information, and planned fun orientation activities and ways for future students to connect before they begin medical school.
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: I love the ability to get involved at IU School of Medicine. During my first year, I have worked on various student-led committees, mentored premedical students, and learned how to deliver COVID-19 vaccines! There's always something for you to discover and learn about at IU!
Advice for Incoming Students: Don't study ahead of time unless you really want to. Start looking at basic anatomy videos to start learning the basics, but don't stress. Take the summer off and celebrate your accomplishments! I did nothing the summer before medical school started except to set Anki up, hang out with friends and get my sleep in. Another thing I'd recommend is to start a healthy routine - knowing how to food prep, fit time in for hobbies, and self-care is super important!

Madeline Hathoot

Maddie Hathoot

Hometown: Valparaiso, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Ohio State University
Instagram Handle: @mad_hoots
Fun Fact: I love, LOVE being outdoors as much as possible. Whether it is taking a hike at the nearby Indiana lakeshore or rollerblading through campus, you will find me outside during my free time!
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: I had some great mentors coming into medical school, and when they say it "takes a village," they mean it. I feel that I gained invaluable advice from these upperclassmen and mentors. Thus, I want to pay it forward! I love interacting and getting to know people, too, so that's just a cherry on top! Medical school can be challenging to navigate at first, but with a strong support system, a little advice from peers and mentors like myself and some time, you'll be well on your way!
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: Despite going to a school with nine campuses, it really does feel like a tight-knit community. I have gotten to know my classmates and have a sense of camaraderie while going through our courses together. It's really something to take a step back, gain some perspective and realize how humbling of an opportunity it is to be a part of a statewide medical school system where students are working together each day to provide the best care possible to our entire state. It really is something!
Advice for Incoming Students: Everything you're considering doing, whether it be that backpacking trip or road trip to see a friend, DO IT!! Take time for yourself, breathe in the fresh air and recharge your batteries with whoever your support system may be so that you're ready for the upcoming days of medical school. While traveling to that friend's house or during downtime on a trip, it is never a bad idea to do some organizing type of tasks such as the required modules in Canvas (opening in May), setting up Anki, reaching out to your new classmates and getting in contact with your peer mentor and FYE committee with any questions you may have. You can pre-expose yourself to as many resources or as much material as possible, but it likely won't make much sense until you're in the thick of it, so at the end of the day, enjoy your time off!

An image of Victor Olafusi, a Circulation Desk Assistant at the Ruth Lilly Medical Library.

Victor Olafusi

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergraduate Institution: IUPUI
Campus: Indianapolis
Instagram Handle: @volafusi
Fun Fact: I love reading nonfiction novels.
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: I understand that there are students who are new to medicine, and there are some who are more familiar with the art of medicine. However, regardless of which one you identify as, it can be a little stressful when starting anything new. Personally, starting medical school for me was both exciting and a little nerve-racking, but I had the help and guidance of past IU School of Medicine students, who had been in the same situation that I was and were willing to help make my transition a little better. I joined the FYE committee to do the same for the new incoming students who have decided as well to embark on this new journey of medicine. As much as this is an opportunity for me to help ease the transition of students into IU School of Medicine, it is also an opportunity for me to learn more about the vast majority of new experiences that many new students will be bringing to the IU School of Medicine community.
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: One thing I have really appreciated so far about IU School of Medicine is the willingness of the professors to see you succeed as a student. The community service department of IU School of Medicine is nothing short of amazing.
Advice for Incoming Students: I worked at a nursing home the summer before medical school, but apart from that, I spent time with family and friends, played a lot of soccer and watched a lot of animes (#Onepiece) and television shows. I am not much of a trip person, but if you love taking trips, go ahead and travel to the places that you want to go, and make sure to enjoy your time. You will have ample time to worry about studying once medical school begins, so for your summer, just relax and enjoy.

Makayla Morning

Makayla Morning

Hometown: Bloomington, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Indiana University – Bloomington
Campus: Bloomington
Instagram Handle: @mak_morning
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: The transition to medical school is exciting and challenging. To me, being part of the FYE Committee was an important opportunity to help make this transition more fun and informative, setting up students to do well from day one! In addition, as the class of 2024 president, serving on the FYE committee presents a unique opportunity to support shaping the culture of IU School of Medicine for our incoming class!
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: I love that IU School of Medicine is a multi-campus medical school. Each campus offers such a unique, multifaceted perspective that is invaluable to becoming a physician. And though each campus is distinctive in their experiences, we are all part of IU School of Medicine. That's what makes our school so special!! 
Advice for Incoming Students: I was working full-time until about three weeks prior to the start of classes. The end of summer is a very busy time with my birthday, my husband's birthday and our wedding anniversary. So I truly just spent those weeks relaxing, celebrating and doing short-term travelling (weekend trip to King's Island type of thing). I will add I did do a few minor organizational things to prep for medical school (no studying), but I highly encourage incoming students to just enjoy yourself and the time with family, friends, significant others in the few weeks leading up to medical school. Being full and refreshed is so important for this transition. You will not regret this!!

Aditya Desai

Aditya Desai

Hometown: Fishers, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Purdue University
Campus: West Lafayette
Fun Fact: I have discovered a new passion for photography/videography.
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: With so many things in the world changing in the months leading up to medical school due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I found the FYE committee did an outstanding job orienting me to IU School of Medicine and answering my many questions. Having been involved in outreach activities in my undergraduate institution, I have always enjoyed connecting with new students. The FYE committee gives me an opportunity to get to know the incoming class of 2025, something I am really looking forward to!
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: One of my favorite things about IU School of Medicine is the culture of support and working together among students. Regardless of your campus placement, classmates from around the state will share resources, provide helpful tips and offer a lending hand. This atmosphere is very conducive to learning and allows students to succeed together!
Advice for Incoming Students: I recommend taking a genuine break. Pre-med students and medical students alike are notorious for not giving themselves a break from time to time. Utilize this summer to do something you've always wanted to do, or to just take a break from your professional and/or academic commitments. Taking some time for your own wellness this summer will pay dividends when you begin medical school. 

Makayla Kirksey

Makayla Kirksey

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Indiana University – Bloomington
Campus: Indianapolis
Fun Fact: I have an identical twin.
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: Being a non-traditional, first generation student, I had no idea what to expect when starting medical school. I was super excited to finally be starting on my medical journey, but I also was nervous. The FYE team helped answer a lot of of the questions that I had and helped to ease my nerves. I also loved hearing the perspectives of current students on what to expect when attending IU School of Medicine. The FYE committee had a lasting impact on me, and I hope to do the same for the class of 2025. 
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: I love how supportive our classmates are of each other. We are constantly sharing resources with each other, and everyone is always more than happy to help a fellow classmate out. I also love the mentorship from upper classmates. I have several MS2 mentors who are always giving me tips on how to tackle each class and checking up on me. It helps remind me that I have tons of support on this journey. 
Advice for Incoming Students: Enjoy yourself! Do things that you enjoy. Go on a vacation. Spend time with family and friends. Watch as much Netflix/Hulu as you want. You want to be fully rested and motivated when you start school in August, so make sure you spend the summer filling your cup up as much as possible. Self care is super important so that you can be the best student you can be when school starts! 

portrait of Jack Griffith Linsley

Jack Griffith-Linsley

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Indiana University - Bloomington
Campus: Indianapolis
Instagram Handle: @jacklinsley
Fun Fact: I had a different name for the first year or so of my life. I guess it didn't fit me, so I became Jack. Who knows maybe I'll switch it up again—suggestions are welcome!
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: Last year's FYE Committee. I basically had no idea what was going on as I started medical school and, believe it or not, that was a pretty stressful experience for me. The FYE Committee really eased a lot of my worry, answering the (many) questions that I had and even the ones I didn't know I had. Now that I'm the position they were in (as strange as that still feels), it seemed only right to pay it forward to the Class of 2025!
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: My favorite thing about IU School of Medicine is all of the guidance we're offered from so many different sources! As soon as I got here I was given an advisor, a peer mentor, and a physician mentor. I later applied for a career mentor, who helped me figure out research for this summer! I never feel alone in all of this—there's always someone just a text or email away.
Advice for Incoming Students: Seriously just relax! Hang out with family and friends, spend time on your hobbies, take a road trip. Really anything but school. You've all worked so hard to be here, you deserve a break. We'll make sure you all know what you have to do in the weeks and months before orientation. Outside of that just enjoy yourselves!

portrait of alex piroozi

Alex Piroozi

Hometown: Fishers, IN
Undergraduate Institution: Purdue University
Campus: Terre Haute
Instagram Handle: @alex_piroozi
Fun Fact: I don't look like it, but I am half Iranian!
Why I Joined the FYE Committee: I was heavily involved with Purdue’s orientation program back in college (BGR) and knew I had a passion for helping new students! Orientation will be the new students’ first exposure to life as a medical student and I know how important that impression can be. I want to be a mentor for the incoming class and answer any questions that people have about IU School of Medicine. Also, starting med school during an ongoing pandemic is tough! I hope to share my experiences during my first year to help the next group of students get started on the right foot.
One Thing I Love About IU School of Medicine: I really appreciate all the mentorship opportunities that IU School of Medicine provides you with. Each student will have an academic advisor, a peer mentor, and a physician mentor that you will get to know. I have reached out to all three of these mentors for advice on various topics and am glad to have established a great connection with all of them!
Advice for Incoming Students: Please please please do not feel like you need to study before coming to med school. Enjoy the next several months because when you are in the middle of next semester, you will be absolutely kicking yourself if you did not take the summer to enjoy life. Also, your time with friends outside of med school will be limited so be sure to spend time with the people you care about. Remember that this is probably one of your last extended periods of no responsibilities, so try to think about something you have always wanted to do and try it out!

The views expressed in this content represent the perspective and opinions of the author and may or may not represent the position of Indiana University School of Medicine.
Default Author Avatar IUSM Logo

IU School of Medicine

With more than 60 academic departments and specialty divisions across nine campuses and strong clinical partnerships with Indiana’s most advanced hospitals and physician networks, Indiana University School of Medicine is continuously advancing its mission to prepare healers and transform health in Indiana and throughout the world.