What do you do and why?
I’m the Laryngologist-Vocal Cord and Airway Surgeon for the Lehigh Valley Health Network in Allentown, Pennsylvania. I chose this field because it was the perfect blend of all my passions in life. As a former mechanical engineer, former teacher, and former actor/singer, finding this area of surgery combined my love of people, engineering, teaching and performing seamlessly!
What change would you like to enact in the world?
As a surgeon, you are constantly reminded that illness does not discriminate. Underneath our skin, we are all strikingly similar. We all bleed when cut; we all breathe the same air; and at some point, we all fall ill. Ideally, I would love a world that embraced similarity instead of focusing on differences. Mother Theresa said, “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” My drop in the ocean? To give back to my patients some semblance of what they feel they have lost — to give them back their voice, to help them breathe a little easier.
Tell us a fun fact about yourself.
I still carry a pocket camera! It’s a Sony Cybershot DSC-TX30 that is super small, takes amazing pictures (18.2MP) and is waterproof. I don’t leave home without it. I get teased for carrying it all the time!
Why did you join IVY?
I wanted to continue to surround myself with like-minded, diversely ambitious people much like I encountered during my undergraduate experience at Duke University. It’s easy to forget how inspiring it is to be in close proximity to people who are constantly challenging you, themselves and the world.
What has been your most memorable IVY Experience?
It would have to be the first IVY event I ever attended, a pre-screening of the 2014 movie Wild. Not only was the film wonderful, but it was a small crowd, and I ended-up meeting people that became great friends.