• Annual Meeting Scholarship Recipients

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    2021 AAST/AWS Annual Meeting Scholarship

    For the seventh year, AAST has partnered with the Association of Women Surgeons to award a scholarship to one of the association's members. The recipients of this joint-sponsored scholarship are listed below

    Sarah Cottrell-Cumber, MD


    Sarah Cottrell-Cumber, DO is a PGY-3 general surgery resident at the University of Mississippi Medical Center. She developed an interest in trauma and acute care surgery after working with underserved patient populations with a high penetrating violence incidence in Jackson, MS. She has an interest in surgical palliative care, particularly focused on trauma and surgical critical care patients. She is currently applying for a hospice and palliative care fellowship in between her 3rd and 4th clinical years. Her research interests include the utilization of palliative care and quality of life mediated care in surgical patients and evaluating and reducing racial and social disparities in acute care surgical outcomes. She works as an instructor for Stop the Bleed in the community and acts as a facilitator for medical students in their surgical clerkship workshops. She plans on pursuing a fellowship in trauma surgery and critical care after general surgery residency.

    AAST Military Liaison Committee Annual Meeting Scholarship

    The AAST Military Liaison Committee offered a scholarship for the fourth time this year to medical students, residents, or in-training fellows within the military. 

    Marissa Beiling, MD

    Captain Marissa Beiling, D.O. is a current PGY-3 general surgery research resident at Oregon Health and Science University under the mentorship of Dr. Martin Schreiber. She earned her undergraduate degree in chemistry from the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, then cross-commissioned into the Army and attended the College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific-Northwest in Lebanon, Oregon on an HPSP scholarship. CPT Beiling has the privilege of training at OHSU thanks to its unique partnership with the Army, which matches one active-duty general surgery resident each year. She intends to make a career out of Army general surgery, devoting herself to the care of our nation’s servicemembers.

    John M. Ruggero, DO, FACOS, FACS, LCDR, MC USN

    I am a current trauma/ surgical critical care fellow at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. From October 2019 to May 2020 I deployed as the Officer in Charge and surgeon for ERSS 22.5. Our team was attached to Task Force 51/5 in Bahrain. While deployed our team supported afloat missions onboard the USS Lewis B. Puller in the Persian Gulf, Straits of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman. During the last half of our deployment, our team was TACON to CJSOTF in Iraq. While in Iraq we reinforced the organic Role 2 unit at Al Asad Air Base after the Iranian missile strike. After this, we pushed forward to support SOTF-W in Defeat Daesh operations in western Iraq/ Syria out of FOB Al-Qa’im. In addition to deployment experience, I have been active in training multiple hospital corpsmen and nurses through the HMTT program at Cook County Hospital and my active research projects focus on austere medicine and readiness preparation for deploying surgeons.

    Carl Beyer, MD

    Major Carl Beyer grew up on the Florida Gulf Coast and received a B.A. in economics from the University of Florida. After college, he completed his M.D. at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, PA in the Air Force Health Professions Scholarship Program. He then moved to Sacramento, CA for General Surgery training in the integrated UC Davis Health/David Grant USAF Medical Center residency. During his two years of dedicated research time, he focused on using DoD and VA data to study long-term trauma outcomes, as well as translational trauma resuscitation research. Carl is currently a first-year Trauma and Surgical Critical Care fellow at the University of Pennsylvania. Outside the hospital, he enjoys hiking and skiing with his wife and two young children. 

    2021 20forTwenty In-Training Fellow, Resident, and Medical Student Scholarship Recipients

    James Zebley, MD


    My name is James A Zebley (Drew), and I am a rising fourth-year surgical resident at The George Washington University Hospital. I am originally from a small town in Delaware County, outside of Philadelphia, PA. For undergraduate, I went to GW where I studied Latin and Greek as a Classics major and worked as an EMT. After my undergraduate, I took some time off to work in the Emergency Department at GWU Hospital before returning to Philadelphia for medical school at the Lewis Kartz School of Medicine at Temple University. It was so great to come back to the Washington, D.C. area for residency now as a surgical resident. My background in EMS has helped develop my passion for acute care surgery and my clinical interests include trauma system development, outreach, disaster medicine, and surgical education while trying to keep up with all the latest news on Twitter (@Drewmergency). When not in the hospital, I enjoy following Philly sports teams (Go birds!), going to trivia, and eating Ben and Jerry’s ice cream.

    Taylor N Anderson, MD

    Taylor is currently an intern in General Surgery at Stanford after recently graduating from Oregon Health & Science University. She is strongly interested in a career in trauma and critical care surgery, with an additional focus on clinical and translational research. Her previous investigative work has centered on topics related to traumatic brain injury, including serum biomarker profiles and the diagnosis and management of traumatic coagulopathy. She looks forward to further exploring this field and is excited for the opportunity to join other like-minded surgeons in Atlanta this year.   

    Gillian Leigh Hoshal, MD

    Dr. Gillian Hoshal is a current 4th year General Surgery Resident at the University of California, Davis. She grew up in Muskegon, Michigan and graduated with a B.S. in Brain, Behavior, and Cognitive Science from the University of Michigan. She then completed her medical degree from Michigan State University. Throughout her undergraduate and medical degrees, she was a caregiver for her terminally ill father, which awakened her interest in critical care medicine. Last year she spent a dedicated career development year doing research with focus on investigating non-opioid alternatives for pain management for critically ill trauma patients. She wishes to pursue a fellowship in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care with ultimate plans for a career as an academic Trauma Surgeon.

    Rebecca Treffalls, MD

    Rebecca Treffalls is a second-year medical student at the University of the Incarnate Word School of Osteopathic Medicine in San Antonio, TX. She is from Houston, TX, and completed her undergraduate degrees in Biology and Psychology at Texas State University. Her interest in trauma surgery was influenced during her time as a clinical researcher at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore, MD prior to medical school. Becca has been involved in research throughout medical school with a primary focus on hemorrhage control and trauma vascular management. She performed large animal research in the Hemorrhage Control and Resuscitation Lab at the Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore during the summer following her first year of medical school. She is interested in community and hospital-based violence prevention programs with ongoing research and outreach. Additionally, she currently holds a leadership position as the President of the Surgery Interest Group to educate her peers in the field of surgery. Becca is fortunate and thankful to have incredible mentors including Drs. David Kauvar and Jonathan Morrison have fostered her interest in trauma vascular surgery. She hopes to pursue a career in academic trauma surgery.

    Owen S. Henry, MD

    Owen S. Henry graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Massachusetts with a B.S. in biochemistry, molecular biology, and classical piano performance. He is currently a second-year medical student at the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University in Camden, New Jersey. Mr. Henry serves as a leader of the Rudolph C. Camishion Surgical Society and conducts ongoing research in the Department of General Surgery. His career goals are to become a successful pediatric surgeon and accomplished researcher. Through various scholarly opportunities, Mr. Henry has published 10 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of pediatric surgery and trauma. In 2018, he joined the Department of Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital to conduct research on pediatric intestinal failure, colorectal and pelvic malformations, and pilonidal disease. He comes to this year’s AAST meeting following a summer clinical research fellowship at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and the University of California San Diego. His current research investigates health care disparities among pediatric trauma patients in the California-Mexico border region. The goal of this work is to implement a focused plan to improve outcomes among specific injuries such as bike vs. auto and pedestrian vs. auto that are prevalent in neighborhood disadvantaged areas.

    Kovi Bessoff, MD

    I am in my final year of general surgery residency at Stanford University with a clinical focus on surgical critical care, trauma, and acute surgery. During this time, I have been an active contributor to the academic pursuits of Stanford University’s section of trauma and acute care surgery. Some of the group’s recent work includes the application of machine learning techniques to predict outcomes in rib fracture patients, identifying new methods to improve care pathways for elderly patients with rib fractures, and developing new methods for quality improvement in emergency general surgery care. I also had the opportunity to travel to Zimbabwe where I helped develop a study examining the role of the human intestinal microbiome in burn management. As chair of the AAST Associate Member Council’s Committee on Scholarship, Awards, and Development, I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with many other members of the AAST and look forward to meeting them in person at this year’s meeting. I am very grateful to the AAST and the Research and Education Fund for the scholarship support and look forward to strengthening my network as I transition into critical care/acute surgery fellowship and beyond.

    Brian Cain, MD

    Born in Green Bay, WI, Dr. Brian Cain attended the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI for his undergraduate education, where he graduated with honors. After his undergraduate education, he spent a year in Seattle, WA working with a non-profit organization focused on educational and community support for at-risk students before returning to the University of Wisconsin where he spent two years researching cellular immune responses to HIV homologs in the macaque model. He underwent his medical training at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health before beginning surgical training in 2017 at the University of Utah. His research interests during residency have focused on health systems research with a specific interest in the influences of social determinants of health on surgical outcomes.

    Zongyang "Tom" Mou, MD

    Zongyang “Tom” Mou is a PGY-4 general surgery resident at UC San Diego. Prior to coming to the west coast, Tom spent most of his life south of the Mason-Dixon line, splitting his time between Atlanta, GA and Bethesda MD. He graduated from Emory University with a major in Neuroscience and minor in English Literature, and subsequently obtained his MD from Vanderbilt University. At Vanderbilt, Tom was first introduced to Trauma Surgery and Bioinformatics, which has now become his main field of interest. As a current National Library of Medicine Bioinformatics post-doctoral fellow at UCSD, Tom is involved in multiple projects that aim to apply big data and health informatic techniques such as artificial intelligence and clinical decision support tools to improve the care of trauma and emergency general surgery patients. His career goal is to be an academic acute care surgeon and bioinformatician.

    Outside of work, Tom enjoys playing tennis despite being decidedly average at it, rooting for and getting his heartbroken by Atlanta sports teams, cooking, and most importantly, spending time with his fiancée Mary and their dog Lucy.

    Ayman Ali, MD

    Ayman Ali is a fourth-year medical student at Tulane University School of Medicine applying for a general surgery residency position in the upcoming cycle. He received an undergraduate degree in mathematics at the University of Connecticut. Prior to medical school, Ayman spent two years as a programmer and research analyst at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he wrote models of numerous diseases. While at Tulane Medicine, Ayman has published extensively with the trauma department, primarily focusing on outcomes and cost-effectiveness research. In addition, he is a DeBakey research scholar at Tulane and has won an award for excellence in research and presentation for his work during medical school. Outside of medical school, Ayman is a runner and cyclist, and frequently trains and competes in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

    Ahmad Zeinddin, MD

    Ahmad Zeineddin is a resident in General Surgery at Howard University Hospital. He is currently working as a post-doctoral research fellow in trauma at the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. Ahmad started his medical education in his hometown in Aleppo, Syria, which he left in 2012 due to the war and moved to the U.S. in 2014. He graduated from the International American University – College of Medicine in St. Lucia in 2018 as a salutatorian. He started and led the Student Government Association in his medical school and led multiple student committees. Dr. Zeineddin is a resident member of the American College of Surgeons and is involved in many committees within its Resident and Associate Society. He is an associate member of the Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma and a candidate member of the Association for Academic Surgery. His academic interests focus on trauma and critical care, hemorrhagic shock, coagulopathy, and surgical education.

    Robert Olmeda Barrientos, MD

    Robert Olmeda-Barrientos is a third-year medical student at the University of California, Riverside, School of Medicine. Robert’s interest in surgery began prior to medical school when he volunteered at a community hospital’s surgery department for over a year, where he scrubbed into trauma, vascular, and orthopedic cases. During medical school, his interest in surgery became a passion through his school’s surgery interest group, attending local and online webinars, shadowing surgeons, and spending his summer with the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor through the LEAGUES Fellowship. With an interest in academia and leadership, Robert is part of UC Riverside’s admissions committee and was selected for their 4-year designated emphasis in Leadership Healthcare track. He serves as the Chief Financial Officer for the Latino Medical Student Association-West, a region with 25 medical school chapters across 10 states. As a former Public Health Officer for the Flying Samaritans, a monthly student-run clinic in Tecate, Mexico, and in combination with learning to be a researcher with his mentors, Robert plans to mesh his experiences and skills to collaborate with surgeons and pioneer impactful global initiatives. In his free time, he enjoys backpacking, gravel biking, traveling, comic books, and being open to new experiences.

    Zachary Coles, MD

    My name is Zachary James Coles and I am a current MS2 at the Albert Einstein College Medicine in the Bronx, NY. I am from Englewood, NJ, a Stanford University alum, and previous Masters student at Rutgers NJMS. At Rutgers, I did research with Dr. Stephanie Bonne and thus why I am here today to see her present some of our fantastic and necessary hospital based violence intervention research. I aspire to be a surgeon, one that makes a major impact in disadvantaged communities and helps to alleviate many of the health disparities currently in the healthcare system. I appreciate and thank the AAST committee for selecting me as a scholarship recipient and hope to continue making a difference and making mentors like Dr. Bonne and Dr. Livingston proud.






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