CIAO Members


Libby Weaver, M4 Kristie Chang , M3

Brandon Fairless, M2

Eric Sollenberger, M3

Community Outreach
Polina Varavva M3, Stephen Juel M2, Sarah Kortebein M2, Andrew Moore M2

International Trip Planning
Maryn Gardner M4, Stefan Czestochowski M3


Alicia McClary, PhD
O: 901.448.2739
H: 901.726.5830

Hershel Wall, MD
O: 901.448.5684
P: 901.728.3010



Jordan Pyda

Jordan Pyda is a fourth year medical student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. After graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2006 he relocated to the Central Plateau of Haiti to volunteer with Zanmi Lasante (Partners In Health). As part of the nutrition team, he helped implement outpatient use of a fortified peanut-butter therapeutic food. During his three years in rural Haiti, Jordan’s engagement expanded to include teaching high school English and assisting visiting medical teams. He returns regularly to Haiti as part of an effort to build a clinic in a remote rural area called Boucan Carre. In Memphis, he has served as AMSA Chapter president and has been active with CIAO for four years including serving as co-president. Currently, he is back in Haiti working for the year with Partners In Health at the hospital in Cange, Haiti as a Surgical Sub-Intern. Jordan hopes to bring together his interests in social justice, public health, and international health through a career in global surgery.

Jordan Halsey

Hi! My name is Jordan Halsey and I am an M2 (almost M3) from Washington D.C. Since I was young, I have always been interested in global health and serving the underserved. While living in D.C., I was actively involved with working in urban outreach and soup kitchens in inner-city regions and I traveled on three medical missions trips to Nicaragua before attending college. Nicaragua is a country I am passionate about and while in Masaya and Managua, our clinics were able to distribute medicines and vitamins to thousands, including several communities settled on a trash dump (literally). While a student at Lee University, I traveled on two more medical missions trips- one to Ecuador and one to Guatemala. In Ecuador, I was able to travel with a singing group from Lee and perform concerts nightly after daily clinics in the mountain regions. In Guatemala, our clinics were located in rural mountainous regions near Huehuetenango, which is a region populated mainly by Mayan Indians. While at Lee, I also did urban outreach and service projects in Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. Since coming to medical school, I have been able to be a part of CIAO, which has been a blessing. I love that CIAO is able to assist medical students in their pursuit to travel abroad to do medical missions and that recently, CIAO has become more actively involved in local projects like soup kitchens and health fairs. It is inspiring to see our organization focus on meeting healthcare needs both here in Memphis and abroad. In addition to being involved with CIAO- associated local projects, I have also enjoyed volunteering at Clinica Esperanza and the Binghampton Clinic- both serve underserved populations in the Memphis area. I am hoping to also get a chance to travel abroad during my rotations in my 4th year. My future plan is to be a surgical oncologist with a dual focus on research and medical missions- local and global.

Jensen Hart

Jensen's interest in international service followed closely on the heels of her interest in medicine. Beginning early in her college career, Jensen traveled to Nicaragua with the Manna Project International as part of a team to support educational and medical work going on in the rural areas surrounding Managua. Returning from this experience Jensen teamed up with a close friend and founded Rescue and Aid for the Dominican Republic (RADR), a non-profit organization focused on fund-raising to support the severely under-supported ambulatory care systems in the Dominican. Jensen continued to advocate for this cause as Miss Tennessee International 2010 with her platform, "Act Locally, Heal Internationally" which seeks to connect domestic resources with clinics around the world working closely with the Atlanta-based non-profit MedShare.
In 2010, Jensen was thrilled to become a board member of the Council on International and Area Outreach (CIAO) at the University of Tennessee's School of Medicine.

Sarah Heston

Sarah grew up outside of Memphis in the suburb of Bartlett, and during her college years spent time at Davidson College in North Carolina, LSU in Baton Rouge, and Uni Würzburg in Germany. After much indecision and searching, it was finally through various volunteer experiences that Sarah realized her interest in becoming a physician. Her most inspiring opportunities were assisting with hurricane relief in New Orleans, mentoring teenagers with emotional and behavioral disorders in rural North Carolina, and caring for children in a domestic violence shelter in Guatemala. As a member of UTHSC’s CIAO, Sarah hopes to educate and encourage fellow students to find the service inherent in their chosen career.

Zach Nahmias

Zach was born in NC but soon moved to Germantown, a suburb of the Bluff City, and he's pretty much been a Memphis man ever since. He attended the University of Memphis (Go Tigers!). After finishing his undergraduate education, he spent a year working for AmeriCorps as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) at BRIDGES, a local nonprofit. His experiences working with children and education inspired him to join CIAO upon starting medical school at UTHSC. A member of CIAO since 2010, Zach believes the importance of travel, mission work, and local volunteerism for the development of a complete physician cannot be overemphasized.


Petrina Craine

Petrina is thankful for the eclectic experiences that have been instrumental in shaping her commitment to medicine. Having grown up in an inner-city neighborhood in Memphis, she observed early in life the many factors that contribute to the deterioration of a community’s health (especially the underserved). This early exposure stimulated her desire to pursue opportunities designed to address the multi-layered health challenges disadvantaged and underserved communities like her own face. Serving as a HIV/AIDS counselor and health researcher in the southeastern United States and as a consultant in health development projects in western and eastern Africa are some of the opportunities that have equipped her towards meeting this goal. As a CIAO member, she not only hopes to help increase awareness among UT COM students about global health issues, but also help future professionals develop skills that will allow them to more effectively respond to the public health and medical needs of the global community.

Stefan Czestochowski

Stefan is a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and was graduated from Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis. He entered the University of Richmond (VA) and, as part of the Bonnar Scholar program, was involved in teaching music lessons in areas of Richmond, where the public schools had discontinued their music programs. Later in college, he was part of a team that researched and ultimately created an NPR documentary about the various styles of music in Cuba, entitled “Cuba: Rhythm in Motion.” In 2009, he traveled to Honduras as a part of Global Medical Brigades, which was responsible for serving communities around Tegucigalpa. Stefan volunteered from 2008 – 2011 at Northwestern Children’s Hospital in Chicago in the child life department. Stefan was elected to the UTHSC Council on International and Area Outreach in 2011 and hopes to continue his service through local and international aid.

Maryn Gardner

I grew up in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and received a degree in American Studies from The University of Virginia. In addition to many national and international trips with my family, I have traveled to Chennai, India, with Unite for Sight: We worked to promote eye-health education, and identify patients for free cataract surgery in conjunction with local ophthalmologists. I also traveled with Dr. David McRay to Israel and the Palestinian Territories. Dr. McRay hosted a medical student “?eld trip” to examine the different medical systems at work in the area, examining health care disparities. I am excited to share my interest in global health with the UT community through the work of CIAO, and continue implementing travel into my future personal and professional life.

Matt Lorenz

Matt's interest in global and area outreach is what first introduced him to medicine. During college, Matt traveled with Cross-Cultural Solutions to northern Peru as part of a team involved in supporting primary education and rural healthcare. From there he moved on to Spain, where he spent three years teaching English and volunteering with the Red Cross, including one year working as an interpreter and health educator in southern Spain's only immigration center for refugees. He has also volunteered with Philadelphia FIGHT (Field Initiating Group for HIV Trials) and helped establish the Aid For Africa initiative at the University of Tennessee. In 2011, Matt was selected as a Class of 2015 member of the Council on International & Area Outreach at UTHSC.

Libby Weaver

My interest in global health began when I worked as a member of Mobile Medical Disaster Relief's medical team in Haiti. This wonderful organization based out of Nashville is now working to anchor its roots in Thomazeau with a new hospital, orphanage, and vocational school currently under construction. Volunteer opportunities are available locally and abroad for those interested in both medical and non-medical opportunities. (
Other interests include working for the National Institute for Human Factors Engineering in Medicine, serving as the class of 2015 Principles of Clinical Medicine Representative, and writing and singing music. My song, 'Can't Take That Away' was featured as the national campaign song for the Pacer Organization's Anti-Bullying Month in 2011 and I have been featured on television shows such as Ion's Flashpoint and WB's Gossip Girl. I hope to one day combine my interests in medicine and media and work as a medical journalist focusing on global health issues.


Logan Adams

Logan was born and raised in Franklin, TN. He attended David Lipscomb University and graduated with a degree in mathematics in 2011. His love for international service began seventeen years ago when he traveled to Rancho Los Amigos, an orphanage in Juarez, Mexico. Logan still makes trips to the orphanage at least once a year. During college, Logan actively served at local children’s clubs and was also involved with a prison inmate outreach. Shortly after graduation, he served on a medical mission trip to Lucyana, Peru. As a member of CIAO, Logan hopes to emphasize the need of medical students and physicians in both local and international service.

Kristie Chang

Kristie was born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee. She attended Vanderbilt University and graduated in 2012 with a degree in Psychology. Her interest for local and international outreach peaked during her time at Vanderbilt, where she was involved with various organizations. Her passion to help those living in underserved areas grew through her volunteer experiencestutoring former prison inmates, rebuilding homes for Hurricane Katrina victims, working with Nashville CARES helping those affected by HIV/AIDS, and tutoring and mentoring children from at risk environments, both in Nashville and Buenos Aires, Argentina. This is her first year as a member of the CIAO Board, and she is excited to continue her service while at UTHSC.

Catherine Gluszek

I'm Catherine Gluszek and I'm Polish-American, raised on the East Coast and in Singapore. I attended Christian Brothers University and received a degree in Biochemistry. While at Christian Brothers I became very involved with healthcare and human rights groups including the Church Health Center, GrowMemphis and Hope North (in Uganda). I am excited to work with CIAO for the next four years internationally and in Memphis.

Eric Sollenberger

Eric was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. While attending the University of Colorado, he taught English and snowboarding to first generation Mexican-American children. He graduated from University of Tennessee with a degree in Economics and in Logistics and Supply Chain Management. While at UT, he was an active member of SAA, a group with various alumni and community outreach events. From 2007-2012, he also volunteered at the Love Kitchen by cooking, packaging, and delivering meals to homebound individuals. He has helped rebuild homes of hurricane victims in the Abaco Islands and is excited to continue incorporating traveling with volunteer work. He has also traveled to less developed nations like South Africa, Botswana, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Nepal and seen the great healthcare needs of the people of those countries. He joined the CIAO board in 2012 and is excited to be a part of an organization that supports the outreach efforts of others.

Polina Varavva

Polina is a native of Odessa, Ukraine, and immigrated to the United States in 1993. She graduated from Barnard College in 2010 and later pursued a Master's degree in Anthropology from Columbia University. She is currently finishing the final edits on her thesis on gender violence and HIV prevention in Ukraine. She speaks fluent Russian and hopes to spend her first summer after M1 working at an AIDS clinic in Odessa. This is her first year as a CIAO representative and she is excited for the opportunity to contribute to local and international outreach efforts through UTHSC.

New Members


David McCormick


Natalie Best


Missy Barnhart
Brandon Fairless
Stephen Juel
Sarah Kortebein
Andrew Moore