Student/Postdoc Career Projects
We invite students and postdoctoral scholars to get real-world work experience by forwarding career and professional development projects for biomedical trainees.

Elissa Hamlat portraitElissa Hamlat, PhD, UCSF Department of Psychiatry

Elissa June Hamlat is in her first year as a post-doctoral scholar-fellow in the department of Psychiatry. As GSICE/MIND Program Coordinator, Elissa works primarily with Linda Louie to develop to plan and lead GSICE and MIND sessions in order to facilitate career exploration for participants. She is very happy to be supporting such fantastic resources for trainees at UCSF.

Elissa received her PhD in Clinical Psychology from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and previously served as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Elissa's research focuses on the pubertal transition as a developmental period of risk for mental and physical health issues. She is interested in racial differences in the relationships between puberty and health outcomes and how they may contribute to health disparities.




Alona Harris headshotAlona Harris, Career Counseling Intern

Alona Harris serves as a Career Counseling Intern, assisting Anna Correa and Sara Ayazi. Alona provides career counseling services to Medical, Pharmacy, and Global Health Science students. She is a second year MS Counseling student at San Francisco State University. Her counseling specialization is in Career and Clinical Mental Health. Alona is deeply committed to client wellness and career confidence. She is interested in the ways that emotional regulation, stress tolerance, and trauma shows up in career performance and relationships.

Before starting her master’s program at SFSU, Alona spent several years working in the Bay Area in education, student relations, and outreach.

Alona received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz.



Portrait of Hailey Juszczak, UCSF OCPD traineeHailey Juszczak, UCSF School of Medicine

Hailey Juszczak, a third-year medical student, serves as a student worker procus on career development for health professionals. Hailey works with the OCPD program directors to design and implement skills-based workshops and resources with a focus in women’s career advancement in healthcare fields.

Before attending UCSF Medical School, Hailey worked as a healthcare consultant in San Francisco. She is interested in the intersection and application of corporate career advancement tools in the setting of healthcare. Currently, Hailey hopes to pursue a career in surgery. She has a passion for promoting female representation and empowerment in the surgical field and other areas of healthcare. She is part of the leadership for UCSF’s Women in Surgery student group and is a clinic coordinator for the student-run dermatology clinic at one of San Francisco’s homeless shelters.

Hailey received her Bachelor of Arts in Human Biology from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California.



Portrait of Jennifer La, UCSF OCPD traineeJennifer La, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Jennifer La serves as a Career Peer Advisor at OCPD. Jennifer works to advise students and alumni from all professional schools on their resumes, CVs, cover letters, and letters of intent. Jennifer also manages the outreach and social media communications for OCPD as a pharmacy student brand ambassador and coordinates research to discover methods to foster professional development in students.

Before attending UCSF School of Pharmacy, Jennifer worked as a pharmacy and smoking cessation coordinator at a free clinic that served people experiencing homelessness in Sacramento. She also served as a lab manager at a developmental psychology lab at UC Davis focused on understanding how social environments shape children's health. As a first-generation college graduate, Jennifer is passionate about serving as an advocate for disadvantaged populations and is excited to support students with her work at OCPD.

Jennifer received her Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Davis.



Portrait of Nicolai Parhami, UCSF OCPD traineeNicolai Parhami, UCSF School of Pharmacy

Nicolai serves as a Career Peer Advisor at OCPD. Prior to attending UCSF School of Pharmacy, Nicolai volunteered at Children's Hospital of Oakland for several years, interned at both a plant tissue culture laboratory and a family-owned pharmacy, and helped run the Pre-Pharmacy Club and Plant Science Club at his university where he set up and managed professional workshops and informative meetings. Nicolai is thrilled to continue to provide his peers with resources and advice to achieve their career goals and aspirations.

Nicolai received his Bachelor of Science in Plant Sciences from the University of California, Davis.





Portrait of Punam Patel, UCSF OCPD traineePunam Patel, UCSF School of Dentistry

Punam Patel is working with the outreach team aiding in disseminating information catered to individual programs at UCSF through various social media platforms. Punam focuses on developing ways to effectively and creatively promote current OCPD programs to ensure students/post-docs are aware of the resources available and can utilize them throughout their career at UCSF.

Prior to attending UCSF, Punam worked as a research assistant in a neuroscience laboratory at UCLA and a stem cell laboratory at USC. She primarily trained undergraduate students on molecular biology techniques and conducted experiments on various projects, including the development of new protocols and those utilizing CRISPR genome editing. She hopes to incorporate her passion for research and teaching in the future through her career in dentistry.

Punam received her Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles.



Portrait of Sumitra TatapudySumitra Tatapudy, UCSF Graduate Division

Sumitra Tatapudy, a sixth year Tetrad PhD student, is working with the Program Director of Academic Careers, Laurence Clement to assist in the execution of career and professional development programs for researchers.

Sumitra has been involved in multiple initiatives to improve the student education climate at UCSF with a focus on improving mentorship practices and leading initiatives to promote an inclusive learning environment. Through her time in graduate school, she has developed a keen interest in teaching and science education research and hopes to explore those further.





Vicky Valentine, UCSF School of Nursing

Vicky Valentine is is a proud SON MEPN student in the Family Nurse Practitioner speciality. Prior to starting at UCSF, Vicky worked for nearly twenty years in the nonprofit sector, exploring diverse niches from behavioral health, to Harm Reduction street outreach and comprehensive sex education. In her last role, she directed a local college access/health career pipeline program for high potential low income high school students. 

She is honored to work in a Peer Advising role with the OCPD team to support the professional goals of fellow UCSF students. 

Upcoming Events


Virtual PAC-UP: Applying for Faculty Positions - Step 5

Date: September 22, 2020
Time: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Every Month Series: Nonprofits Job Simulation

Date: September 25, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m.

Virtual PAC-UP: Interviewing for Faculty Positions - Mock interviews

Date: October 8, 2020
Time: 2 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Manage Up: Using the Interview to Avoid a Bad Fit

Date: November 18, 2020
Time: 1 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.