Stories of Dedication, Drive and Gratitude

Jennifer Lindwall Schwab, MD '98
Now a pediatrician, Jennifer (Jenny) Lindwall Schwab, MD, had aspirations as a young child to work with children. “I looked at a lot of medical schools and it was a physician faculty member at Tufts Medical School who encouraged me to look closely at UMass. I was impressed with the UMass faculty, the size of the student body, the clinical clerkships and its primary care focus, and having now graduated, am so pleased with my decision.” Even though she felt it was the best bargain around, she would not have pursued a medical degree at UMass without the financial assistance that she was fortunate to receive from the school. “My experiences have truly prepared me to be a doctor and not having the financial burden of so many other medical students has allowed me to pursue my dream to have my very own pediatric medical practice.” When asked why she is giving back now, Jenny replied, “I am passionate about the mission of UMass, its commitment to undergraduate medical education and its efforts to strive for excellence in all that they do. I am so proud to be an alumna of one of the top medical schools in the country.

Jenny Schwab

Lindsay Gittens, Class of 2012
For Lindsay Gittens, her dream to become a doctor began at the age of ten. The opportunity she had in high school to shadow a doctor, combined with her work as a unit coordinator at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, cemented her decision to pursue a pre-med undergraduate education and, ultimately, medical school. Ms. Gittens was thrilled to be accepted to UMass Medical School, as she believes it is both an extraordinary and affordable school close to home. Now a third-year medical student who has received scholarship aid at UMass Medical School, Lindsay recounted, “I would not have gotten where I am today without financial aid. Every day I am truly grateful for all of the support of so many generous people whose commitment to my education instills a desire within me to return the gift to future generations of UMass Medical School students.”

Lindsay Gittens

Patrick Demartino, Class of 2014
Raised in a single-parent household by his mother, Patrick Demartino was always told he needed to work hard to accomplish his dreams. Neither of his parents graduated from college, so it was important to his mother that Patrick be able to pursue his academic and professional interests. “I always had an interest in science and wanted to work with people and not in a laboratory and decided to pursue a career in medicine. I was drawn to UMass by the sense of community that I found within the first 15 minutes of my interview. Having just begun my medical education at UMass, I’ve found the medical school community has exceeded all expectations. From top to bottom, everyone works toward a common goal. As much as my passionate instructors and supportive peers are helping me along my path, none of it would be possible without the financial aid programs. Without the generous donors it would be difficult for me to pursue my interests in primary care.”

Patrick Demartino

Marguerite Rafuse, UMMS Parent '83
Ms. Marguerite Rafuse, the parent of a UMass Medical School graduate, recognized the power of helping to bring medical education within reach for all qualified students. Inspired by the legacy of her daughter, she is making lifelong dreams possible through her generosity with the founding of the Linda Rafuse Goudey, MD, Memorial Scholarship to be awarded to a young woman enrolled in the Medical School.

“It means a lot to me to continue this scholarship each year because I know I am helping a medical student live her lifelong dream of becoming a physician—and I know that would have made Linda happy,” says Ms. Rafuse. She finds great reward with what she is doing, especially given the large amount of debt these medical students have accumulated from undergraduate education. “Financial aid is so important to support the future generations of good physicians and leaders in medical research.”

Marguerite

Matthew Wszolek, MD '05, and Lauren Wszolek, MD '05
For Drs. Lauren and Matthew (Matt) Wszolek, it is all about giving back. Both 2005 graduates of the School of Medicine, they agree that they benefited from a great education and owe much to UMass for opening doors to excellent medical careers. Lauren chose to specialize in dermatology, remained at UMass to do her residency and has continued as an attending physician. Matt is pursuing a career in urology and is finishing up his residency at Lahey Clinic in Burlington. “Our UMass education molded us and we are motivated each year to give to the scholarship program so that other students less fortunate are able to access the great medical education that benefited us,” said Lauren.

Lauren & Matt