MEET YOUR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Bastyr University, Washington
Bastyr University, Washington
please, do not hesitate to ask.
International Chief Administrative Officer
Bastyr University - Washington
Ritchie is a father of four, and a native of Los Angeles, California. After his 8-year career as a naval officer, and a 2-year entry as a midwifery student, Ritchie decided to pursue an education at Bastyr University, Washington as a naturopathic doctor. Amazed by the powers of nature, Ritchie is committed to empowering families in navigating the wonderful journey of better health.
Ritchie strives to be a powerful wizard of all things administrative at NMSA.
Ritchie's free time is spent playing video games, tossing his four kids in the air, and exploring Washington's abundant natural beauty.
International Chief Financial Officer
Bastyr University, Kenmore
My name is Evelyn Le. I am a fourth year Naturopathic Medical Student, class of 2021, at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. Concurrently, I am a grad student in the Executive Master of Public Health at University of Washington in Seattle, WA.
I am from Houston, TX and originally grew up in Vietnam for 15 years. After graduated from Baylor University with a bachelor’s degree focusing on biochemistry, medical humanity, pre-med and honor program in 2016 in Waco, TX, I served as a National AmeriCorps Member in Van Asselt elementary school in Southeast Seattle.
In my free time, I enjoy volunteering, sightseeing, hiking in the nature, cooking and spending quality time with friends and family.
Imane Squalli Houssaini
International Vice President for Members
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
International VP of Communications & PR
National University of National Medicine
Tara is a third year student at National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, OR. She completed an undergraduate degree in biology and chemistry at Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario, Canada before embarking on a backpacking trip spanning 13 countries across 3 continents. This travel allowed her to volunteer in a variety of capacities (from children with special needs to ecological research in the jungle) and participate in natural medicine practices in both Peru and India. She has lived all across Canada
and has experience managing an integrative health clinic.
Her goal as Vice President of Communications and PR is to unite the voices of students from all the naturopathic schools and to
promote collaboration and community for all NMSA members.
International VP of Development
Bastyr University - San Diego
12 Years ago, I graduated UC Riverside with a degree in medical biology and my world in health began. At this time, I started a well-known integrative medicine clinic in Hollywood, CA. During this time, I furthered my education by pursuing a graduate education in Regenerative Medicine from University Utrecht, Netherlands. From here, I went on to obtain other certificates in fields such as nutrition, cancer biology, alternative medicine, drugless medicine, and more. Now I am working on my naturopathic medical degree focusing on Naturopathic Medicine at Bastyr University.
During my professional development, it became very obvious to me that healthcare needed to be looked at from a different angle. It needed to focus more on the fundamental principles of health: health mindsets, good food, clean water, exercise… When these thoughts hit me it drove me into creating a natural wellness and supplement brand that I have been operating for the last four years. During this time it allowed me to find Naturopathic Medicine and for a new opportunity to grow and give back to the healthcare field.
International VP of Social Media
Bastyr University California
Poonam Gahlla is a second year Naturopathic Medical Student at Bastyr University California located in San Diego, California. She was born and raised in Orange County and graduated from the University of California, Riverside in 2016 with a major in Business Economics and a minor in Germanic studies, while simultaneously completing the Life Science core curriculum necessary for medical school.
Poonam volunteered for 3 ½ years in the operating rooms at the University of California, Irvine Medical Center, a trauma 1 medical center located in Irvine. She was hand selected to help pioneer a volunteer program to assist in the 18+ state of the art operating rooms. Poonam went on to complete her Masters of Public Health degree in 2017 from California Baptist University.
She has had her fair share of exposure to medical doctors in her life and has always believed that there has to be a better way to help people heal. This curiosity coupled with her determination and passion for helping others heal is what sparked her love for Naturopathic healing. She is very excited about her future and the impact she will be able to make with Naturopathic Medicine. She was the proud recipient of the 2020 NMSA Rising Star Award and the 2020 NMSA President’s Choice Award. She is so excited to be able to serve the NMSA again as the VP of Social Media!
In her free time, Poonam loves spending time with good friends, reading, exploring new cities with amazing food, and listening to great music, especially going to concerts. Poonam continues to chronicle her journey to becoming a Naturopathic doctor in a blog that she has run for a few years called A SoCal Girl’s Journey. She is also very passionate about giving back to those in need, which is why she recently launched a small business, Lyrical Graffiti Online. This not only provides a creative outlet for her, but is also a platform that allows her to give back to those in need.
Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
Carlee is entering her second year at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine (BINM), in British Columbia, Canada and is excited to fulfill the Role of, NMSA President for the year of 2020 – 2021.
Before entering the Naturopathic profession, Carlee seized the opportunity to study allopathic medicine in Europe, where she was able to use her leadership skills on the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA). Although naturopathic medicine was her specific saving grace, pursuing such a profession, did not surface until late into her first year of allopathic medical school. Her passion as an advocate for people’s personal growth grew stronger and knew she needed to further serve her purpose in a new light. Promoting healing, wellness, support, and positivity to enhance an upswing in someone’s life was her driving force. This position will foster the ability to create change in numerous settings. Incremental change leads to societal shifts.
In her free time, you will find her in a yoga room, both perfecting her craft and sharing her knowledge. She also loves using her creativity in the kitchen, the outdoors, and enjoys spontaneous adventures.
Bastyr University, Washington
Catherine In is the President of Bastyr University’s NMSA chapter in Kenmore, Washington. She is currently in her fourth and final year of the naturopathic medicine program and works as a mental health counselor for students in her program. She loves that naturopathic medicine offers tools to help explore and unearth each individual body’s strength and resilience at their own tempo. Catherine is a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Musical Arts in piano performance and a minor in Gender and Health. Catherine is a first-generation Korean-American and proud introvert. Her favorite ways to recharge include playing piano and cello, cooking (but mostly eating), and hiking in the mountains with her vital 14-year-old pup, Fluffy.
Bastyr University California
Brittany Ptak, a fourth-year student at Bastyr University California, is proud to be serving the NMSA as the BUC Chapter President, having previously held the positions of Integrative Medicine Representative and President-Elect. At Bastyr, she helps to plan NMSA events and is the Retreat Lead for Restore the Vis (through the Association for Naturopathic Revitalization). Her primary goals are to unite the student body and to keep the Vis alive in patient care and in our profession.
Prior to naturopathic medical school, Brittany attended Princeton University where she studied molecular biology, visual arts, and philosophy, was the captain of the women’s varsity volleyball team, led Catholic small groups and planned retreats through the Aquinas Institute, and served as a Student Athlete Wellness Leader.
Brittany, originally from Orange County, CA, is so happy to be attending ND school so close to home and the beach. When she is not studying, you can find her drawing/painting, playing beach volleyball, out hiking, or scuba diving!
Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Sumar Chams is a fourth-year naturopathic medical student studying in Toronto, Ontario. She graduated from Western University in 2017 with a Bachelors of Science Honors Specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics. Sumar is currently the 2020-2021 Chapter President of the NMSA at CCNM. Before taking on this position, she was the Integrative Medicine Co-chair in 2018 and the President-Elect in 2019.
As a future Naturopathic Doctor, Sumar strives to help her patients discover the root cause of their health concerns. As a strong supporter of evidence-based medicine, Sumar looks forward to help build the growing body of complementary and alternative medicine research and provide integrative medical care in a collaborative setting. Sumar is passionate about giving back to her
community and is currently a member of the Interprofessional Healthcare Students Association at the University of Toronto.
Her passion for preventative health and lifestyle stemmed from her experiences working with the Canadian Cancer Society for four years as well as dedicating her time within the interprofessional healthcare space. In her free time, Sumar loves to read, swim at the beach, play basketball and spend time with her big vibrant family.
National University of Natural Medicine
Atara Jaffe grew up in New Jersey, and received a B.A. from Tulane University in Environmental Studies and Psychology. Through her education, she cultivated a passion for human connection to natural surroundings in order to promote health and wellness for both.
Atara pursued a career in architectural sustainability before committing to a career in naturopathic medicine. Since making the change into the natural health field, Atara has worked with Chinese herbal medicines and currently works for Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy. She also has her own herbal tea company, works as a tutor and as a representative for plant-based skin care lines. Atara is currently in her third year at NUNM, pursuing a degree in Naturopathic Medicine and a Masters in Integrative Research. During her academic career at NUNM, she served as the NMSA Cup Coordinator, President-Elect, and is excited to support the amazing 2019-2020 NMSA board as President to represent our ND students and further their careers through a variety of programming and events. In her spare time, Atara enjoys all things outdoors, gardening, woodworking and exploring her creativity.
National University of Health Sciences
Tara is currently in her third year at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in the windy suburbs of Chicago.
It was love at first sight when she discovered Naturopathic medicine as the core philosophy of this medicine aligns with her vision of true healing. She has implemented this form of medicine to heal her chronic health conditions and wants to educate along with empower future patients to improve their well-being to achieve optimal vitality and their highest potential. Along with her passion for natural medicine she is currently on her second year of completing her Master of Acupuncture degree. In the future she envisions the integration and use of both western and eastern therapeutic approaches to healing in her practice.
She is excited to be part of the NMSA community and looks forward to supporting students and the growth of this beautiful profession. In her free time she enjoys exploring nature, rollerblading, learning new languages and spending time with friends and family.
University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine
Rachelle is a 4th year naturopathic medical student at the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine. Her anticipated graduation date will be in May 2021. During her medical school years, she has taken on many leadership roles, two of which include NMSA UB chapter social chair and eventually president.
Natural medicine is strongly rooted throughout the world and should be recognized for its multifaceted uses. To Rachelle, naturopathic medicine means providing culturally-based, age-old healing modalities for all those in need, especially those who have been traditionally marginalized from more contemporary approaches to medicine. After graduating, Rachelle will focus her practice on general health care.
Prior to starting her academic career at UBSNM, Rachelle completed her B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of Connecticut. She also completed a Masters in Public Health. Following her masters, she worked as a research associate at a Connecticut-based federally qualified health center. The skills acquired from her past career will help her develop evidence-based treatment protocols for her future patient base
Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
Hello everyone, my name is Shonanate Temoney and you can call me “Shawn” or just plain “T-Money” as a lot of my peers like to refer to me. I am a country boy and grew up in a small rural community called Latta, South Carolina. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and received a B.S. in Biology (minor in Chemistry) and I also have a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences. Prior to attending medical school, I conducted cardiovascular and neurology research and I also worked in a major consulting firm as a Chemical and Biological Subject Matter Expert supporting the Department of Defense.
My journey to naturopathic medical school came from discovering the work of the late Dr. Sebi and I saw a way to give back to my community and improve my own health in a different way. I am excited to be the Chapter President of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and I look forward to working with my future colleagues and giving back to our community in the most rewarding way.
Ana G. Mendez University, Turabo Campus, Puerto Rico
Cristina M. Rivera Rodríguez is a four-year Naturopathic Medicine Student in The School of Naturopathic Medicine of in UAGM of Puerto Rico. She is currently the NMSA Chapter President from UAGM in Puerto Rico. Cristina is a graduate of UPR Cayey Campus in Puerto Rico with a Bachelor degree in Biology. She has a big passion for Naturopathic Medicine at the ability it has to help restore help. She consider herself a true believer of the Healing Power of Nature and want to be a guide for her future patients to achieve help. She wants to help build up more the Naturopathic Medicine profession in Puerto Rico and establish healthy and productive relationships with other health care professionals.
Cristina has a special interest for global medicine, community medicine, vitalism and mental health. She had collaborated with organizations like NWB and NDI. Cristina is a true Caribbean, proud to have Spanish as her first language, which enjoys the sun, the beaches, the rivers and the forest in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. Traveling is another of her passions. Dancing, cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends are an important part of her life.
NMSA Executive Director
A passionate advocate for the naturopathic medicine profession, Stephanie Fogelson brings nearly 20 years of business acumen to the NMSA. Her background is in new market entry, revenue development and business strategy in several market sectors including Naturopathic medicine. A personal health setback took her away from a career in aviation and a first introduction to naturopathic medicine. This medicine saved her life and gave her an opportunity to successfully have a family. Taking on the role as the Executive Director for the NMSA is a passion-driven mission for her. She is driven by the opportunity to continuing to discover and connect opportunities to students in accredited naturopathic schools across the United States and Canada.
Izabela joined the NMSA 3 years ago as the Conference Coordinator and has since expanded her role to support the students in a way that allows them to grow in their role. Passionate about the holistic approach to healthcare, Izabela’s involvement with the NMSA is to truly allow these students to lead the way in healthcare and provide a true healing for all.