12 PAC: Meet Your 12-PAC
USF Health

Meet your 12-PAC!!

Evans Heithaus, Co-chair





Hey ya’ll.  I’m Evans, one of your new 12 Pac co-chairs. 

So if you’re wondering “who the heck is this guy”..…

I was born in Tampa but grew up in Mississippi (small town called Hattiesburg).  After dropping out of high school (true story), I decided to go to Ole Miss for college where I pursued a degree in Physics with a minors in math and Makers Mark.  When I wasn’t shooting skeet, mud ridin, or relaxing by the lake I was busy running into burning buildings (also a true story).  After my scholarship money ran out and I was kicked off the fire department and I somehow managed to bribe one of the secretaries in the admissions office to put me on the list for the class of ’12.

I’ve spent the last year studying, doing craniotomies (on live patients), riding roller coasters (we don’t have those in Mississippi), dreaming about all of the hunting I’m not doing…, watching Ole Miss beat UF in football, and fulfilling my dreams of becoming a pirate.  So, if you have any questions at all—especially pertaining to NOT doing schoolwork—I’m pretty much your go-to guy.

I look forward to being one of your 12 Pac chairs.  We’re going to have a lot of fun this fall.





Josh Smith, Co-Chair




Congrats on choosing USF COM class of 2013! My name is Joshua Smith and I am excited to meet each of you this summer. I am from Jacksonville and I came straight to USF COM after graduating from The University of Florida. I have had a great 1st year of medical school and I think most of you will be surprised how much fun you will have with your new classmates and our class of 2012. My best advice for you is to get to know everyone as soon as you can during the first few weeks of school. POM is a perfect time to go out in South Tampa, go to Busch Gardens, or grab dinner with people in your class. We will be inviting you to go out with us over the summer so if you are in town try to come. Don't hesitate to asck people on 12 PAC anything! See you soon.

Leah Baker



Hey Guys!  I am Leah Baker and I am pumped to be on 12 PAC this year.  I am from beautiful Naples, FL and spent four glorious years at University of Florida cheering on the Gators as they dominated NCAA sports over and over again.  Somehow I graduated with a Bachelors degree in something or other and through some administrative error; USF let me in to their 2012 class.  Here are a few tidbits about me:  I grew up on the beach in Naples and being on the water is an obsession I will never get over.  My idea of a great time is listening to live music in a chill bar or pub.  And last but not least, I am excited to meet all you guys in 2013!  Congratulations on your acceptance and I look forward to hanging out with you at events this summer or in the fall




Ryan Buckley





Name: Ryan Buckley
Undergrad: University of Florida
Undergrad major: Nutrition
From: Farmingville, NY
Interested Field: Peds, or surgery, or internal, maybe orthopedics, possibly ER, or maybe I'll just drop out and become a helicopter pilot... they all seem like they'd be pretty cool
Ideal Saturday: Wake up at 11ish, eat 2 Eggo waffles, go to the beach, play some bocce, eat some lunch, come home and shower, play my guitar, maybe some video games, watch the same Sportscenter loop 4 times in a row, then go out with friends, eat Pita Pit at 3am on Howard, and then get home sometime around 4am
Stress Relief: Being a rock star
Best Thing I did in 1st year: Hosted a BCS Championship party and watched the Gators win again... it never gets old.  Special thanks to Evans' Rebels for lighting a fire under Timmy.  If that speech was my alarm clock I'd be the first one in the classroom every day.
Other Notes: Don't stress out about medical school.  You're going to work hard, you're going to have fun, and you're going to do fine.  What do they call the kid who graduates last in their class?... Doctor.



Lenny Gomez


 Hello future COM 2013 and DPT 2012!

To start off, congratulations on beginning your graduate school careers at the University of South Florida. My name is Lenny Gomez and I am originally from Orlando, FL. After a year of college in Iowa I moved to Tampa where I completed my B.S. in Athletic Training at USF.  Throughout the year you guys will have a lot good times, but will have to deal with some pretty stressful times as well.  So as hard as you are going to need to study, make sure you that you still find an outlet for fun! I have found it helpful to go throw a few rounds of disc golf, or drink a beer and watch football. All in all you guys will have a great experience at USF and we as 12 PAC members will be here to help if you need us. Good luck next year and see you all in August!


Wesley Hill


Hey guys,

Welcome to the class of 2013! My name is Wesley Hill and I’m from Deerfield Beach, which is in south Florida. I went to UF for undergrad (Go Gators!! Don’t hate) and majored in Classics. I enjoy nature, animals, adventures, music, and anything else that seems interesting.

If I can give you any words of wisdom for the year, it’s to have fun! First year is one of the only opportunities you have to make friends, party a little, go to the beach, etc. So live it up before medical school really kicks in. This year will absolutely fly by, and at the end of it you’ll want to look back at great memories, not just studying 24-7. Of course you’ll need to work hard, just make sure you’re enjoying this experience too.

Good luck, looking forward to meet you all : )


Grace Li


Hi Class of 2013! My name is Grace Li and I wanted to first off congratulate you guys again for making it!! It’s a long hard road to get to where you are so it’s time to celebrate. Did you know: only the top 3% of US graduating seniors from an undergrad university are admitted into a US accredited medical school each year? You guys are in that top 3%. Good job!

Here is some info about myself: I am from Jacksonville, FL and I went to the University of Florida for my undergraduate degree. Since moving to Tampa, I have made some really great friends here. This city is extremely diverse in its culture and nightlife. Our class had a ton of socials last year which made it easy to have a tight nit class of friends. There are lots of great places to eat and relax so don’t hesitate to explore Tampa!

Please think of our class as a resource to you. If you have any questions ranging from where to live to which textbooks to buy, please do not hesitate to ask any one of our 12 Pac members or your big sib! We are here to help! Anyways, stop reading these online profiles and start exploring your new city. If it’s Wednesday night, go to Dubliner. If it’s Friday at 6pm, go to Macdintons HH. If you love sushi, check out Samurai Blue and The Rack. If you love dancing, Splitsville or Jacksons is great. We have two museums that are a must: MOSI and Dali. Get a fun pass for Busch Gardens, it’s worth it. We also have a couple IMAX theaters in town if you want to maximize your movie watching experience. Have fun, enjoy POM and be safe! =)

Barrett McCormick


Hello and welcome class of 2013! My name is Barrett McCormick and I'm looking forward to getting you all off to a good start before MS1 begins. I'm originally from Jacksonville, FL and I received a bachelor's degree in Spanish from UF. After Gainesville, I moved to Tampa, earned my Master's in Molecular Medicine from USF, did some research, and applied to medical school. USF was my first choice of schools and I know I made the right decision. I don't know what I'm interested in right now, but I've got some ideas. I do have a passion for medical ministry and want to have that play some role in whichever career I choose. My interests include all things Gator sports, the Chicago Cubs, cooking, exercising, drinks with friends, video games, and enjoying myself as much as possible. My biggest piece of advice to everyone would be to enjoy POM, be nice to everyone, and take advantage of all the opportunities USF and Tampa offer. School is tough, but you can find the right balance of studies and free time. I can honestly say my first year has been one of the best of my life and I hope you all can say the same too a year from now! Please feel free to email me or find me on facebook with any questions!


Elisa McQueen


Welcome to USF! I'm Elisa and am originally from the Northwest.  I did my undergraduate studies here at USF and have a degree in Microbiology. I love USF, especially the COM- but at heart I am an Oregon girl. I love to hike, play soccer, snowboard (although SO painful to learn), run (it's the BEST stress relief!) and party with my med school buddies.  Although it has been a lot of work, I've really enjoyed my first year of med school.  My most memorable time was the week I spent in Bolivia on a medical mission trip- it was great to use all of my newly acquired knowledge and I pretty much fell in love with every kiddo that I got to take care of! :-)  Make sure you really live it up this summer and don't stress too much about making the transition to med school- we're all here to help you in any way we can-- so just let us know!!  See you in August!


Ben Osterrieder



Hello Class of 2013 and congrats on choosing USF COM! My name is Ben Osterrieder and I am from Jacksonville, FL. I went to the top undergraduate institute in the state of Florida…yes that’s right I went to Florida State University (the real Harvard of the south). Deciding to attend USF COM is one of the best choices I have made and I’m sure it will be for all of you as well. A little bit about me is I love sports, I love anything that involves the water like scuba diving, and I have the best dog in the world named Remi. I am excited to be a part of your 12-PAC committee and can’t wait to help ya’ll start your first year off right


Lena Patel



Hi, my name is Lena Patel. I was born and raised in Tampa. I went to UF for undergrad and majored in anthropology. I love to travel and so far have been to 12 countries. I also love roller coasters. One of my goals in life is to go to all the major amusement parks of the world. If I wasn't becoming a doctor, I think I would be a professional cake decorator.

Erika Reese







Hey Upcoming class of 2013,

So I have been advised by my classmates to let you in on a little piece of me, guard yourselves this could be scary. :o) I’m going to try to do this in an organized manner for all of you precise medical people, a class I do not belong to. :o)

 Geographic origin:  New York, Alaska, Florida, Virginia…. military brat. I spent most of my time in Northern Virginia just outside of D.C.     

College Shambles: Four, yes four, different colleges and finally graduated from George Mason University. Anybody watch basketball?? That’s probably the only reason you would know about my school.

How am I paying for this 4 year education:  HPSP program.For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s when you sign your life to the military so they will pay for medical school. :o) It was the best decision I have made. I will be at training at Ft. Sam Houston, the hot and arid Army base in San Antonio Texas this summer while you all are basking on the beach or traveling to exotic places.  

Miscellaneous: I’m a Red Sox fan to the core!   I love anything outdoors and active. Oh, and the Yankees suck!

Things I’m involved in at USF: Research Scholarly concentration, Sports Medicine interest group, Family Medicine interest group, BRIDGE clinic, Honor Council.


So if you have any questions about being a military student, being at 50 bazillion different  schools or how much the Yankee’s suck…. I’m your girl!( Me and Lisa are both your girls on the last one) :o)


Have a great summer, you’re gonna miss it when its gone!


Erika :o)


Lisa Sander


Hey 2013ers! My name is Lisa Sander and I am super excited to be meeting all of you over the next few weeks. I moved down to Florida last year from New England, where I spent the last 15 years.  After graduating in ’05 from the lovely University of Rhode Island, I worked in research science at Yale for a few years; while I miss the seasons and living outside of NYC, I absolutely love it here at USF.  You’ll be surprised at how much fun you’ll have your first year - there will be plenty of time for Bush Gardens (Kumba is the best in my opinion), a show, the beach, some games (Go Sox!), a drink or two and hanging out with your new friends.  As for advice: enjoy your time before school starts, and when it does, just go with the flow! Contact us if you have any questions and we’ll see you soon!


Amanda Young


Hi everyone!  My name is Amanda Young, and I’m a DPT student here at USF.  I’m from Riverview, FL (basically 30 minutes from Tampa), and I was born and raised in Tampa.  I went to undergrad at FSU (go Noles!!!) and got my degrees in Human Resource Management and General Management.  I’m a future physical therapist, and I am planning on specializing in pediatrics.  When I’m not studying, I like to go out with my friends, shop, lay out by the pool and try to get a tan, or play with my 2 puppies.  There are a lot of fun places to go out in Tampa, and you should go out as much as you can now before this crazy year starts!  If you have any questions about anything, feel free to e-mail/facebook/etc.  See you all in August!