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The Peer Support Advocate Program is composed of 14 students per phase, who are selected annually by their classmates to be advocates and serve as peer counselors based on their records of service, diversity, and good academic standing. Advocates serve for a one-year term and are assigned to one of 7 advisory colleges so that they can participate in Advisory College lunchtime sessions, coordinate social aspects of the colleges, hold informal support sessions, and invite confidential inquiries. Peer Support Advocates receive guidance from College Advisors, veteran advocates, School of Medicine Wellness Coaches, and the Office of Student Affairs so that they can help their peers resolve common academic, administrative and personal problems.

What can I expect?

  • Respectful and validating conversation
  • Social and emotional support
  • Linkage to on-campus and community resources
  • Privacy
  • Being met where you are at
  • A response within one business day

What should I not expect?

  • Professional counseling
  • Medical advice
  • Emergency help

Requesting Peer Support

Use the Peer Support Submission Form to submit a request for Peer Support through the Peer Support Advocate Program. After submitting the form, an advocate will reach out to you within 24 hours during normal business hours (M-F 8AM-5PM). Please refer to the information above for what type of support you should expect to receive. The form is Onyen protected and requires you to log in to view it.

Your Advocates

Foundation Phase

Cefalo College:

Andrew Bouffler
He, Him, His
(608) 218-0550

G’day all – I’m Andrew and I’m delighted to be a peer advocate for Cefalo. I grew up in Sydney, Australia before making my way over to North Carolina for college, graduating with a BS in Biology from Duke. My hobbies include board games, the worldle, golf, football and spending too much time looking up the box score of college hoops games. I’m excited to be a resource and friend to talk to as we navigate medical school. I want to be a kind and trustworthy support for anything you’d like to talk about, so please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Harini Sridhar
She, Her, Hers
(919) 530-0080

Hi everyone, my name is Harini! I am so happy to serve as a Peer Support Advocate — to listen, share, and reflect on our experiences as medical students. At UNC, I’m a psychiatry FIRST scholar and I lead narrative medicine didactics for residents. Some of my favorite things to do outside of school are to write poetry, dance, and paint pottery. I look forward to supporting you in any way I can!

Cross College

James Hong
He, Him, His
(336) 392-5082

Hi! My name is James and I am one of the peer advocates for Cross College. I was born in South Korea but moved to the US when I was around 10 years old. I love to vibe around, listen to music, watch sports, and sleep. Please reach out if you have any questions!

Peter Said
He, Him, His
(919) 780-2348

Hey! My name is Peter and I am from Egypt but have been living in Chapel Hill since I moved to the US ~13 yrs ago. I am hoping to go into PM&R and sports medicine but still keeping an open mind about other specialties. Outside of medicine, I am a portrait photographer but recently started getting into street photography. I also love to cook and go on hikes with my husky Zeus. I am very friendly and love to help others to the best of my abilities, so please feel free to reach out at any time.

Dent College:

Maddie Hill
She, Her, Hers
(413) 668-4107

Hi friends! My name is Maddie and I’m so excited to be an advocate for team Dent! I’m a 2018 UNC grad & took three years off working in clinical research before starting medical school. I am passionate about student wellbeing and function as the co–president of the Student Wellness Task Force. My path to medical school (and my time in medical school!) hasn’t been without its challenges – but it certainly became more manageable with the help and love of my mentor. I hope to provide you all with a safe space in which you feel trusted, validated, and heard. I intend to be there for you all no matter how big or small your question, worry, or concern. I am a huge proponent for honoring what you love to do outside of school/studying – for me that’s practicing yoga often, spending time traveling & hiking on off weekends, and hanging out with friends. I can’t wait to meet you!

Connor Willis-Hong
He, Him, His
(661) 331-4404

Hello! My name is Connor Willis–Hong and I am an MS2 here at the UNC School of Medicine. I am originally from California and went to UC Davis for undergrad before doing Teach For America in Chicago from 2017–2019. UNC School of Medicine is a wonderful place and I can’t wait to work with our incoming class and UNC faculty to provide the best experience and learning environment possible. Go Heels!

Dimock College

Blair Byrd
She, Her, Hers
(336) 380-0891

Hey y’all! My name is Blair! I am from Snow Camp, NC—fortunately it does not snow there any more than it does in Chapel Hill. I grew up with two younger siblings playing soccer, making trails in the woods, and spending many summers at White Lake. I graduated from UNC Wilmington with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and worked as a Nurse Aide at Duke University Hospital. During my three gap years, I did not participate in the obligatory traveling due to Covid. However, I did get to read a lot of books on my “must read” list (shout out to Sarah J. Maas readers) and developed a healthy exercise routine! Since medical school has started, I have become a Live Wedding Painter and advocate for mental health! Please reach out to me if you would like to talk about medical school or anything in your life—I’m an open book!

Eliza Filene
She, Her, Hers
(919) 537-2119

Hi all! My name is Eliza and I am originally from Carrboro, NC. After graduating from UNC in 2018, I moved to Colorado where I worked in public health for three years before finding my way back to Chapel Hill for medical school. I am interested in rural health and am in the Kenan Rural Scholars Program. I love drawing, cooking, and exploring NC through camping.

Simkins College

Abdul Hajjar
He, Him, His
(704) 953-9837

Hi everyone! I’m Abdul, and I am originally from Damascus, Syria. I spent the six years before medical school in Charlotte where I graduated from UNCC with degrees in biology and chemistry. I love to cook, game, spend time with friends & family, and pretend that we do not have a midterm next week. I am excited to get to know you guys and would love to chat about anything. I am here for you and just want you to know that you can always approach me with anything that might be on your mind. Medical school is better and easier together, so please never hesitate to reach out!

Anameeka (Annu) Singh
She, Her, Hers
(919) 621-3145

Halo lovelies – I am an MS2 who loves writing (currently working on some poems + a memoir)/reading, playing tennis/FitOn/being active in many ways, playing the piano/listening to music, cooking/baking, watching movies/TV shows, and spending time with loved ones when I’m not working. I’m a huge advocate for doing what moves you, being true to yourself, and investing in your mental + physical well–being. Being an RA was my favorite part of college – know that I’m here for you and that I’m always willing to chat about whatever’s on your mind (personal + professional) or just hang out (friends from all advisory colleges are welcome to reach out)!

Smithies College

Obinna Ejimofor
He, Him, His
(336) 501-6923

Hello, my name is Obinna Ejimofor. I’m originally from California but spent my formative years in North Carolina. I completed my Masters of Physiology at NC State University and received a Bachelor of Science in Biology at UNC–Chapel Hill. I also spent several gap years accumulating clinical experiences at institutions such as Novant Health and UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. As a medical student, I’ve been humbled to collaborate with phenomenal individuals, through opportunities such as Minority Men in Medicine, Castillo Scholars Program, CAMPOS enrichment program, and Care of the Older Patient Scholarly Concentration. But most importantly, my gratitude towards the support system of mentors and peers that helped pave my medical journey is immeasurable; therefore, I continue to mentor pre–health students as they navigate a career in medicine. And fun fact: I’m surprisingly good at table tennis. Still baffles me to this day.

Jason Lee
He, Him, His
(919) 827-6255

Hi I’m Jason, and I also go by Jas! I am grateful to have had a fun and enriching first year of medical school at UNC, and my goal is to make sure you do as well! I’m a part of CAMPOS, our medical Spanish co-curricular program, and I help coordinate the produce donations at our SHAC Clinic. I also enjoy eating tacos, performing the Chinese yoyo, and addressing social drivers of health. I believe that acts of kindness have a cascade effect that makes the world a better place!

Williamson College

Bina Amin
She, Her, Hers
(704) 956-5005

Hello! I’m an MS2 from Charlotte, NC and am one of the Peer Advocates for Williamson College. I graduate from ECU in 2019 with a BS in Biology and BA in Hispanic Studies. During my free time, I love to be outside, play soccer, run, hike, dance, lift, go to BurnBootCamp and try new acai bowl/smoothie places. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to talk, need some company, or just want to grab a cup of coffee (or a smoothie)! Looking forward to going through this crazy medical school adventure by your side!

Brazil McCray
She, Her, Hers
(631) 848-2046

Hi there! I’m Brazil! I was born and raised in Brentwood, Long Island, New York and then made my way “South” to American University in Washington, D.C. After studying abroad, getting involved with research, and then graduating with a B.S. in Biology, I became a permanent substitute 6th grade math teacher during my gap year to help with teacher shortages due to the pandemic. I love to eat pizza and tacos (sometimes at the same time), playing tennis and rollerskating, and when I am not on campus or studying, you can find me dancing to Anime intros/outros with my partner (Eli). I am so excited to get to know each and every one of you and support you along your medical school journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you ever need anything or if you just want to chat!

Your 2022-2023 College Advocates Cefalo Cross Dimock Simkins Smithies Williamson
Application Phase Taruni Santanam
Heather Shams
Christian Goodwin
Samuel Haddad
Jacob Pascual
Hope Gehle
Jillian Thompson
Brian Obika
Annmarie Wang Anna Jacks
Julia Kuno
Individualization Phase Ryan Lupo
Jake Francisco
Lauren Halsey
Aneesh Rahangdale
Clark Williamson
Andrew Love
Lauren Sibley
Holly Ozgun Dockery
Kisan Thakkar
Catherine Hendren
Elise Costa
Sarah Silver