Eight RMC Alumni Start Their Medical School Careers

News Story categories: Career Preparation

In fall of 2020, eight Randolph-Macon College alumni entered medical school to begin their studies.

“This is by far the largest number of RMC alumni we’ve seen enter medical school in one year for several decades,” says James A. Foster, PhD, the Paul H. Wornom M.D. Professor of Biology and Chair of the Pre-Medical Advisory Committee. “This points to not only the hard work and dedication of the students while they were at RMC, but to the advantages they had through our programs and close work with faculty and staff.”

Dedicated Faculty and Internships: A Head-Start

In addition to the curriculum at RMC preparing them for the rigors of medical school, these alumni leveraged guidance from dedicated RMC faculty mentors, leadership opportunities and internships to further their future.

Five of the alumni participated in internships at Bon Secours Memorial Regional Medical Center, working under the guidance of Sarah Gardner, BSN, RN-BC, the hospital’s clinical director and residency coordinator.

“We are so fortunate to have a relationship with Sarah and the group at Memorial Regional,” says Josh J. Quinn, M.A., associate director of professional development and medical careers for the RMC EDGE. “Internships like these are a wonderful way for students to take what they’ve learned and talked about in class and see it applied in the working world.”

Taking Advantage of RMC Programs

This internship program is just one opportunity available thanks to the EDGE, the nationally-ranked four-year RMC program that focuses on personal and academic development while providing graduates with a competitive advantage when competing for jobs and top graduate schools.

Two other opportunities that several of these new medical students took advantage of while they were at RMC were the Wornom Fellowship and the Schapiro Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program.

The Wornom Fellowship is a full tuition scholarship awarded to students who demonstrate the drive and determination to pursue medicine. The SURF program is a unique opportunity to conduct full-time original research under the guidance of an RMC faculty mentor.

2020 Medical Students from RMC

Tara Balasubramanian ’18Tara Balasubramanian '18

Majors: Biology and French 

University of Maryland School of Medicine

While at RMC, Balasubramanian was engaged in research in the Biology Department and also gained leadership and teamwork experience as a Resident Assistant and Mentor Resident Assistant. After graduation, she spent two years as part of the National Institutes of Health Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Award program as a researcher in the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and received multiple offers of admission to medical school.


David Brooks ’10

Majors: Biology and Chemistry 

Virginia Tech Carilion Medical School

Brooks pursued multiple tracks to solidify his passion for medicine after completing his degree at RMC. This included taking a year to explore the Continental Divide Trail, a 3,100-mile continuous footpath from Canada to Mexico. Brooks also spent multiple years at a non-profit outdoor education center in rural West Virginia, where he took underprivileged and at-risk kids on backpacking trips to teach them life skills.


Kate Girtain ’20Kate Girtain ’20

Major: Chemistry

University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville

As a pre-med student at RMC, Girtain was a recipient of the Wornom Fellowship, a full-tuition scholarship awarded to students who choose to study medicine. She was also a participant in the SURF program for two summers and continued to engage in research throughout each academic year. Girtain served the Ashland community through Circles Ashland, and ran as an EMT with the Ashland Volunteer Rescue squad.


Ria Khandpur  ’20Ria Khandpur  ’20

Majors: Biology and Chemistry

Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

At RMC, Khandpur was a member of various honor societies including Phi Beta Kappa. She also served as president of Beta Beta Beta and president of the Pre-Health Society, a student-run organization. In addition, Khandpur served as a mentor in the Leadership Fellows program, did independent research in the Biology department, volunteered as a scribe at the St. James the Less Free Clinic, and was a member of the LUXE Show Choir and Delta Zeta sorority.


Ealon Mann ’18Ealon Mann ’18

Major: Biology

Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine

A cum laude graduate of RMC, Mann was a varsity swimmer while holding membership in two scientific honors societies and two Greek honors/leadership societies as well pursuing community service and clinical hospital hours. Mann took the time between graduating from RMC to gain more real-world experience before successfully applying to medical school.


Steven Neal ’18Steven Neal ’18

Majors: Behavioral Neuroscience and Biology

University of Virginia School of Medicine

While at RMC, Neal pursued research in the Biology department as a research assistant and through independent work. He also completed a SURF project through the Behavioral Neuroscience Department at RMC. That research background led him to become a Postbaccalaureate Intramural Research Training Awardee at the National Institutes of Health in the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Neal also cultivated leadership skills at RMC as a peer mentor and resident assistant.


Jose Trejo-Perdomo ’19Jose Trejo-Perdomo ’19

Major: Biology

University of Virginia School of Medicine

During his time at RMC, Trejo-Perdomo engaged in independent research and successfully applied for funding through the SURF program for two summers in the Behavioral Neuroscience Department. He volunteered at free clinics in Ashland and Richmond, made use of his bilingual skills in Spanish to assist patients, and became an Emergency Medicine Scribe before heading to medical school.



Abbie Winkelmann ’20Abbie Winkelmann ’20

Major: Biology

The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences 

Winkelmann was a recipient of the Wornom Fellowship while at RMC. This is a full tuition scholarship awarded to students interested in pursuing medical studies. In addition to playing soccer for RMC, Winkelmann secured internship opportunities to gain more medical experience and was involved in activities on campus, including Habitat for Humanity. She also did research in the Biology Department that contributed to a publication in the journal PLOS Genetics.