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June 1-July 27, 2021



Jennie Yang headshot

Jennie Yang

Jennie Yang is an inaugural Mauricio Castillo Diversity & Inclusion Scholar, joining the Department of Anesthesiology. Growing up, Ms. Yang first knew she wanted to pursue a career in medicine when she watched caring physicians put the needs of her father first. This informed her desire to become a physician and planted a seed of interest in anesthesiology.  Ms. Yang loves how anesthesiology intersects physiology and procedure and requires attention to detail to ensure pain relief and positive health outcomes. Having spent most of her childhood living under the poverty line as a daughter of immigrants, Ms. Yang proactively sought out role models and mentors in medicine while in college. During her time in college, Ms. Yang endured several tragedies in her personal life that eventually made her more resilient and determined to become an anesthesiologist who alleviates pain and suffering, quells fears, and sees patients as people. Ms. Yang enjoys singing, making videos, and sending handwritten letters in her free time.


Smith Ngeve headshot

Smith Ngeve

Smith Ngeve is an inaugural Mauricio Castillo, MD, Scholar joining the Department of Radiology. Since he started studying human biology in Cameroon, Mr. Ngeve has always had a passion for pursuing medicine and becoming a physician. Growing up in America since the age of fourteen, Mr. Ngeve has navigated the unique challenges of what it means to be black in America. However, Mr. Ngeve perseveres through these challenges by keeping the vision of being a physician as his higher calling. He has worked as a nursing assistant at the hospital for over four years now, which only fueled his fascination for the art of radiology. With an increased sense of duty, dedication to community uplifting, and continuous self-improvement, Mr. Ngeve worked his way into medical school at UNC Chapel Hill and is finishing his first year. Mr. Ngeve believes that the call to medicine does not start and end in the clinic but extends beyond that into the communities we serve. He enjoys serving in the different positions entrusted to him. He serves as the Recruitment Co-Chair and Community Service Co-Chair for UNC SOM’s Student National Medical Association and a Medical Team Junior Coordinator for the Student Health Action Coalition. Mr. Ngeve enjoys photography and his free time videography in, but any time is always a great time for soccer.


Victoria Eisner headshot
Victoria Risner

Victoria (Tori) Risner is an inaugural Mauricio Castillo, MD, Scholar joining the Department of Radiology. Ms. Risner became fascinated with radiology during her first-year curriculum of medical school. Every time she was introduced to a new imaging modality, she was so amazed that radiology enables physicians to peer within the body and make diagnoses without the invasiveness of surgery. Ms. Risner furthered this fascination by joining and co-leading the Radiology Interest Group, where she has already organized events for medical students with radiology faculty. She also is engaged in research with a faculty member in the Breast Imaging division to investigate rare epithelial carcinomas of the breast. In radiology, women only comprise 21% of practicing radiologists, and only 13% of radiology leaders are women. Ms. Risner has made it her mission to help narrow this gender gap and serve as a bridge for upcoming women medical students to gain exposure to radiology. In her free time, Ms. Risner enjoys knitting, traveling, and playing with her puppy, Winston.


Marvin Albert Meza Jarquín headshot
Marvin Albert Meza Jarquín

Marvin Albert Meza Jarquín is an inaugural Mauricio Castillo, MD, Scholar joining the Department of Urology. Mr. Meza Jarquín is a first-generation Nicaraguan immigrant and a first-generation college graduate. Having an opportunity to shadow his father’s urologist during college, Mr. Meza Jarquín found urology fascinating and versatile. Before starting medical school, Mr. Meza Jarquín worked as a research assistant at the O’Brien Lab at UNC, which focuses on kidney development, maintenance, and disease. During this time, he also interpreted for Spanish-speaking patients at a student-led free clinic, where his desire to work with minority groups in medicine grew. With the expanding population of Spanish speakers in the country, Mr. Meza Jarquín has made it his goal to nurture his Spanish clinical skills during medical school and for the rest of his career. Mr. Meza Jarquín enjoys jumping rope, reading poetry, and making omelets in his free time.

Vascular Surgery

Jonathan Smith headshot
Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith is an inaugural Mauricio Castillo, MD, Scholar, joining the Department of Surgery in the Vascular Surgery division. The scarcity of minority physicians, especially African American males, has motivated Mr. Smith’s desire to become a physician and makes him want to help open doors for others in the future. During his first year of Medical School, Mr. Smith was exposed to many specialties. Still, he became particularly interested in vascular surgery after his uncle underwent an urgent, life-saving vascular procedure at the end of 2020. The experience made him more aware of hypertension complications. When he became a UNC Minority Men in Medicine co-chair soon after, he helped the organization partner with the Shop Docs Initiative. Shop Docs was originally developed because African Americans have higher rates of heart disease. Mr. Smith and other UNC medical students now volunteer at a barbershop in Durham, NC, to facilitate free blood pressure screenings and discuss preventative health measures. Mr. Smith is very concerned with health disparities and is already taking steps to help address them in the local community. He looks forward to being in a position that allows him to do more, but right now, he is striving to become the best physician and most impactful person he can be. In his free time, Mr. Smith enjoys writing, watching basketball, working out, and spending time with his family.