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Michael Salamanca

MCN&DHS Class of 1997

College: Monroe College, King Graduate School

Major: MS in Criminal Justice

Career: Supervisor of a Non-Profit

Future Plans: Be his own boss as a Chef and Food Truck Owner

Taylen Kirkland

MCN&DHS Class of 2020

College: Russell Sage College

Major: Psychology

Career: Playing Lacrosse

Future Plans: Graduating from college

MCN&DHS Class of 2010

College: Brooklyn College

Major: Master of Art in Community Health Education

Career: Coordinator of Career Resources and Student Development Initiatives at Essex County College.

Future Plans: Accepted into the Ed.D. in Community College Leadership at New Jersey City University (NJCU), and she was scheduled to start the program this Summer 2020, but had to defer it for next year 2021.

Usman Kaukab

MCN&DHS Class of 2003

Major: Computer Science

Career: Sr. Financial System Developer

Khabir Ahmad

MCN&DHS Class of 2014

Career: Master Barber and owner of KA Association, LLC, a personal styling service

Future Plans: Building a personal styling service empire

Shuai Han

MCN&DHS Class of 2008

College: Queens College

Major: Accounting and Finance

Career: Associate Senior Manager at Pepsi Co where I manage over $150 billion intercompany transactions with over 180 international trading partners around the globe, period/quarter/annual reporting, FAS109 and a multi-phase global template project.

Feroze Khan

MCN&DHS Class of 2001

College: Brooklyn College

Major: Creative Writing

Career: Social Security Administration

Future Plans: Win the lottery and get married

Stephen Asiedu

MCN&DHS Class of 2017

College: The City College of New York

Major: Biology, Pre- Med

Career: Working on graduating college

Future Plans: A career in medicine

Fraimy Alberto Rodriguez

MCN&DHS Class of 2015

College: Bronx Community College

Major: Human Services

Career: Community Services

Future Plans: To earn a bachelor's degree

Ashton Shiraz

Last week I had the pleasure of catching up with an old alumnus, Ashton Shiraz.

Ashton was one of the earliest participants in our Rockefeller University Lab Animal Technician Program.

An opportunity he has taken as far as you can. Read his inspiring story below.


I graduated from MCN&DHS in June, 2005. Then, I went on to pursue my pre-health degree from Hunter College. I double-majored in Biology and Biochemistry and graduated in 2011. Throughout high school and college I studied animal health, husbandry, nutrition, disease and welfare. Working at Rockefeller University, I also had the opportunity to work with a variety of laboratory animals such as monkeys, hamsters, gerbils and rabbits, as well as amphibious bullfrogs and African frogs. After that, I conducted laboratory research at Weill Cornell Medical College, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where I interacted with many physicians, scientists, and veterinarians. I realized that science and work synergistically giving a better understanding of disease mechanisms.

Currently, I am enrolled in the combined DVM/PhD program at Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. My PhD thesis is identifying the role of tuft cells in human norovirus infection in gnotobiotic pigs transplanted with human gut microbiome. As a future veterinary-scientist, my goal is to practice comparative medicine and conduct laboratory research. This would afford me the opportunity to take cutting edge research from the laboratory directly to the clinic. As a veterinary-scientist, I want to investigate the molecular basis for enteric epithelial cells, and other diseases such as canine norovirus, to develop new treatment approaches. I want to be a veterinary-scientist that blazes the trail for others to follow and someone who discovers groundbreaking treatments.

Lastly, I want to mention that, my journey would not have been possible without the dedicated support of MCN&DHS loving and caring teachers and staff. I would like to thank all of you, who have worked tirelessly and encouraged me to be a better person.

Thank you,

Ashton Shiraz

Alumni shown running a restaurant


Alumni shown currently as a FDNY employee


Ria Roberts

Since my journey at MCNDHS, I have been presented with numerous wonderful opportunities. I went on to complete my undergraduate degree at Brandeis University, with the help of my high school college advisor, who helped me decide on this great institution. Post college, I served as a Research Assistant in the Microbiology and Immunobiology Department at Harvard Medical School, where I worked on the project: The Development of a Conjugate Vaccine for the Prevention of Tularemia.

After Harvard, I commenced my medical school journey at The George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and have remained very active in my medical school community. I have had several leadership roles serving as Co-President for the GW Chapter of American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA), and as Community Service Chair of the GW Chapter of Student National Medical Association (SNMA). I have also been actively involved in community outreach, serving as a Wellness Partner & Health Literacy Trainer at the GW Healing Clinic. My medical school summers have been spent serving a as the Lead Instructor at Emory University School of Medicine Summer Science Academy in Atlanta, and doing clinical research at Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Medical Student Summer Fellowship in New York. At MSK, I worked on the project: Attitudes towards opioids in patients with cancer pain.

Last Spring, I was very fortunate to be pronounced a Biomedical Science Career Program Hope Scholar, an award granted by the Biomedical Science Career Program (BSCP) at Harvard Medical School. I also served as a panelist on “Getting into Medical School and Succeeding” at the 2014 BSCP Conference in Boston. More importantly, I was recently published as a first author for a research project that I worked on in medical school with my medical biochemistry professors and another medical student. Our article is entitled: Is There Pandemic Vitamin D Deficiency in the Black Population? A Review of Evidence. The entire paper can be found here:

As you can see, my life since Manhattan Comprehensive High School has been nothing short of wonderful, and I know that the dedication of teachers, college advisors and support staff there has assisted me on this amazing academic journey. I have two years left at medical school, and I aspire to be an interventional gastroenterologist. To all the students reading this I’ll like to encourage you to “never regard study as a duty, but as the enviable opportunity to learn.” Seize every learning opportunity, give your best at everything you do and success will certainly follow you. -Ria.