Alumni Association Council

RUSM Alumni Association

The mission of the RUSM Alumni Association is to support Ross University School of Medicine in realizing its vision to be a premiere institution of academic health programs; provide advocacy and goodwill on behalf of the University within local, national and international medical communities and the public; and promote fellowship among the alumni, faculty, and students of the University.

RUSM Alumni Council

The RUSM Alumni Council serves as the Alumni Association’s governing body, providing a voice and assisting in the development of programs and initiatives that are beneficial to all alumni.

Jessica Shepherd, MD '05 - President

Dr. Shepherd is an OB/GYN and women's health expert and also the founder of Her Viewpoint, an online women's health forum that focuses on addressing taboo topics in a comfortable setting.  As an OB/GYN, she practices at the University of Illinois at Chicago and also serves as the Director of Minimally Invasive Gynecology.  Dr. Shepherd has written in various journals including Women's Day, Women's Health, Self, Family Circle, Parents,, Heart and Soul, Best Health, Essence, and WebMD. 

She is also seen regularly as an expert on The Today Show,  Dr. Oz, Steve Harvey, CBS News, FOX news (NY, LA Chicago and Dallas), WGN News and WCIU in Chicago where she is a monthly health contributor as well as guest co host.  In addition to radio programs nationwide, Dr. Shepherd also gives lectures nationally and internationally on fibroids and myomectomies and women's health issues.  

Melissa Woo, MD '16 - Vice President

Dr. Woo was born and raised in central New Jersey. From a young age, she shared a passion for both music and medicine. She completed the pre-medicine pre-requisite courses while simultaneously earning her Bachelor of Music degree from Vanderbilt University in Spring of 2012. She made her way through MERP in Fall 2012 and started first semester in Dominica in January 2013. She completed her core clinical clerkships in the South Florida Track, including Cleveland Clinic Florida (CCF). Internal Medicine was her first clinical rotation of 3rd year and she fell in love with both the specialty and hospital, so much so that she completed her Internal Medicine residency training at CCF and is now a staff hospitalist there.

Emerson Franke, MD '17 - Secretary

Dr. Franke is a current Emergency Medicine Physician practicing in New Jersey. He graduated from Ross in 2017, and did residency in Miami, Florida at Aventura Hospital and Medical Center where he was also Chief Resident. He has been increasingly involved in advocacy and health policy since residency being an active member of ACEP, NAEMSP, and the current New Jersey Chapter President of AAEM. He completed an EMS, Disaster, and Tactical Medicine Fellowship at Rutgers Health/RWJ Barnabas and is now part of the residency faculty at Community Medical Center in Tom’s River, New Jersey.

Taki Galanopoulos, MD '07

Dr. Galanopoulos has spent most of his medical career in the state of Kentucky, first as a resident at the University of Louisville Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine, then as a family practitioner in Hopkinsville. He recently transitioned back to his native country, Canada, where he works in outpatient family medicine. Dr. Galanopoulos’s professional interests include obesity medicine, addiction medicine, complimentary medicine, teaching both medical students and residents, as well as using telemedicine to help patients overcome obstacles to medical care.

Eric Wilson, MD '07

Dr. Wilson always had a dream of going into medicine but did not realize his dream until 12 years after graduating from college.  After graduating from Ross in 2007, he returned to his hometown of Fresno, CA to complete his internal medicine residency at the UCSF Fresno Medical Education Program.  After residency, he matched at this top spot at Harbor UCLA Medical Center where he completed his fellowship in Sports Medicine.  A lifelong competitive athlete, Dr. Wilson was able to find his professional path by working with athletes and active individuals as a non-operative orthopedist and sports medicine specialist at Kaiser Permanente in Santa Clara, CA.  

He has been a representative for Ross University since his clinical science years, attending countless RUSM information seminars and events.  After graduating, he returned to RUSM as a junior faculty for one year before starting his residency and has continued to be involved in outreach to prospective students as well as alumni relations.  After Ross opened doors for him, he feels it is his obligation to give back and help others open doors for themselves.  He is currently board certified in Internal Medicine, Sports Medicine, and Lifestyle Medicine, and completed his Juris Doctor degree in 2020. 

Maher Agha, MD '93

Dr. Agha is a practicing Internal Medicine specialist in Charlotte, North Carolina and has been in private practice for over 20 years. After completing his undergraduate education at Wake Forest University, he participated in cardiovascular research at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine. Dr Agha received his medical degree from RUSM in 1993 and subsequently completed his internal medicine residency at the Yale affiliated Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut. He has worked as a consultant and speaker for numerous Pharmaceutical companies and continues to do so. Currently, he is conducting a number of clinical trials as Principal Investigator, for various diseases and new technologies.

Moazzum Bajwa, MD '15

Dr. Bajwa currently serves as core faculty at RUHS/UCR Family Medicine Residency, leading the program’s Community Health & Social Medicine initiative. He is the Medical Director of the Longitudinal Ambulatory Care Experience (LACE) at UC Riverside School of Medicine. Prior to his time at RUSM, he earned degrees in public health from the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health and the Jefferson School of Population Health. A former middle school teacher, Dr. Bajwa is passionate about promoting health equity through public health advocacy and education.

Kristi Ford-Scales, MD '10

Dr. Scales completed her residency training in Family Medicine at AnMed Health Medical Center in Anderson, SC, serving as chief resident during her final year. She worked in primary care and hospital medicine until 2019.  She completed her fellowship in Hospice and Palliative Medicine in 2020 and has since worked as Medical Director of Spartanburg Regional Hospice. She is also Associate Director of the Spartanburg Regional Hospice and Palliative Care Fellowship program. Dr. Scales is an active member of multiple professional and civic organizations. She is married to husband Matt, and they are raising their three children Wylie, James Florence, and Wilbur Lee on their farm in Union, SC. 

Kevin Green, MD '15

Dr. Green is currently completing his Fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care medicine at the University of Florida Health. He is a member of several professional organizations including the American College of Physicians, American College of Chest Physicians and American Thoracic Society. Dr. Green is grateful for the opportunity given to him by Ross. “As an alumni council member, I would like to share my story and help other students in search of finding a home at a prestigious university.”

Samuel Williams, MD '14

Dr. Samuel Williams, III is currently the Medical Director of Behavioral Health Services at Total Health Care, a federal qualified health center with 10 clinical sites in Maryland. He also works as a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist at Mary’s Center in Washington, DC. Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, he is a 2006 graduate of Ross University School of Medicine. He completed his Psychiatry residency training at Michigan State University/Kalamazoo Center for Medical Studies and his fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Michigan. In addition, Dr. Williams has an MBA from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and is a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Committee member of the America Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He has a strong interest in pediatrics,  adult and women’s behavioral health, integrated behavioral health, business of medicine/healthcare, public health and policy, decreasing health disparities and advancing diversity and inclusion. 

Kenneth Luberice, MD '19 – Alumni Council Member

Dr. Kenneth Luberice is a General Surgery Resident at The University of Florida College of Medicine -Jacksonville, currently undertaking a highly coveted two-year research Fellowship at the National Cancer Institute (NIH). As a former D1 collegiate student-athlete, Dr. Luberice transferred his skills, drive, and talent from the football field to the classroom and ultimately found his passion for medicine and mastered the art of research. With over 50 peer-reviewed publications and counting under his belt, Dr. Luberice is well underway in achieving his goal of being a thought leader and pioneer who continuously pushes the envelope of innovative companionate medicine. 

Upon completing his research fellowship at NIH and surgery residency, Dr. Luberice intends to complete a fellowship in Surgical Oncology to fulfill his dream of being a Surgeon-Scientist. In his spare time, Dr. Luberice enjoys mentoring the youth, running, and reading books about world history. 

Kimberly Brown, MD '14

Kimberly Brown, MD, MPH is a board-certified emergency physician in Memphis, Tennessee. She is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and earned her undergraduate degree from Fisk University. Loving warmer weather, Dr. Brown earned her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Florida. She attended Ross University School of Medicine and recently completed her emergency medicine residency as a member of the inaugural graduating class of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis.

Jack Owens, MD '14

Dr. Owens is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, where he was raised and received his early education—accordingly he proudly says “y’all” and calls every carbonated beverage “Coke.” After completing medical school, Dr. Owens completed his psychiatry residency at Loyola University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois, and then his fellowship in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry at the Cleveland Clinic. Following fellowship, Dr. Owens worked for two years in Seattle, Washington as a Consultation-Liaison psychiatrist where he added considerable time as a court evaluator to his experience and has now embraced an opportunity to return to the Cleveland Clinic where he serves as a Staff Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist and is the Director of the Psychiatric ReCOVer Clinic, a multidisciplinary team focused on providing care to those experiencing long-COVID.

Dr. Owens enjoys learning about cultures, history, languages, and places and has had the chance to travel to many parts of the world. He uses these experiences as a foundation to understand how a person’s healthcare needs can be shaped by the world around them, which he believes is a crucial component to providing the best patient care. Dr. Owens has interests in Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Women’s Mental Health, LGBT+ psychiatry, Emergency Psychiatry, and Collaborative Care. In his personal time, Dr. Owens enjoys playing tennis, traveling, looking for the next great book to read, spending time with friends, and hiking. He and his spouse are involved in the greyhound rescue community and have two rescued hounds at home who are the true masters of the house.

Christine Persaud, MD '09

Dr. Christine S. Persaud is a Primary Care Sports Medicine Physician at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and currently serves as Medical Director for the Division of Sports Medicine. Dr. Persaud completed her Family Medicine residency training at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, Long Island. There she was appointed as Chief Resident and was awarded the Society of Teachers in Family Medicine (STFM) Award as well as the Chairman's Award. She went on to serve as a Fellow in non-operative sports medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center specializing in Primary Care Sports Medicine. Dr. Persaud is board certified in Family Medicine with a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine. She is the only credentialed ImPACT Consultant (CIC) for Athletic Concussions in the borough of Brooklyn. 

RUSM Alumni Association Benefits

4MED+ Professional Training & Certification

Ross University School of Medicine has recently partnered with 4Med+ to provide accredited online training to alumni on topics relating to compliance, government incentives, health IT, health and safety, best communication, and business practices. This training is designed to assist graduates and working practitioners to meet growing regulatory and compliance demands. All proceeds will be earmarked to benefit the notable Ross student scholarship program and Ross Alumni receive a 25% discount with the code ROSS25. 

Graphic text of "4Med Professional Training and Certifications"

Alumni Ambassador Program

The Office of Alumni Relations is proud to offer constituents of RUSM with the opportunity to connect with our distinguished alumni population. Through this program, our alumni are able to inspire others in a variety of ways including sharing their own personal stories, offering insight on how to navigate the challenges of medical school and beyond, and providing advocacy for their fellow peers.

Admissions Ambassador

Share your profession achievements with prospective students through programs hosted by the Office of Admissions. Hosted all year round, alumni will have the opportunity to provide words of encouragement at Ross Experience events, new student mixers, conference/career panels, and regional campus visits. Alumni can also converse with prospective students who have specific questions regarding the program via email or phone.

On-Campus Programming

Impart your wealth of knowledge on the next generation of RUSM trained physicians through the University’s on-campus programming. These programs are divided into the three segments of the student lifecycle: Basic Sciences. From day 1, students are exposed to the robust support structure offered by the alumni population, as they are greeted by Alumni Orientation Ambassadors. Our alumni are also present at the culmination of their education, welcoming them to the Alumni Association at the end of the Commencement Ceremony.

Profiles And Marketing Initiatives

RUSM’s strength is directly tied to the outcomes of its alumni population. Help us promote the professional achievements of our graduates by participating in regional marketing campaigns, local media requests and monthly profiles.

Alumni Association

Stay connected to RUSM and our 15,000+ graduates through the Alumni Association. The group’s purpose is to support the University through advocacy within the medical community, as well as promote fellowship amongst all constituents of RUSM. Those who seek a leadership role for the Alumni Association will have an opportunity through the Alumni Council, the group’s governing body.