We at the Perry Initiative are very grateful to our many volunteers, who give their time and energy to help us run Perry Outreach Programs across the country and also work behind the scenes at our headquarters in San Francisco, California. Below are profiles of some of our volunteers who have gone above and beyond in service to our organization.
For a complete listing of event volunteers and their contact information, please see our Program Archives.
We welcome new volunteers at The Perry Initiative. Please sign up here if you are interested.
Annie was introduced to the world of Perry back in the summer of 2009, when by chance the combination of a bookstore and a bull-headed grandmother resulted in being tossed into a car and brought to a program late in the day. It was in the moment of repairing a femur break by driving a titanium IM screw into a foam Sawbone, that she realized her calling in life. Designing implants that would help others. Two years later, an Honors Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Delaware, it was through another strange incident of chance that she was added onto the email list sent out to welcome new volunteers to the Program. She embraced the opportunity, excited to see the inner workings of such an inspiring organization. Working as a Community Outreach Associate, she now spends much of her time working the phones and helping run the logistics behind each program. In doing this, she has not only had many unbelievable experiences and a great time, but she has also realized the importance of the Perry Initiative, and she hopes it is something she will be able to stay with for a long time to come as she has fallen in love with its cause. When not jetting off to Perry Programs, Annie balances several other things; caring for her 35 freshman students she lives with (as she’s a Residents Assistance), her studies, the UD Trap and Skeet Team, her research she does with the Grimes Group studying NOD2 and the human immune system, and enjoying her time with friends and family.
I am currently an undergraduate at the University of Delaware working towards a degree in Biomedical Engineering. Volunteering with the Perry Initiative has been a rewarding and exciting experience. The mentors and other volunteers that I have met have been a true inspiration that have helped to shape my future career goals. I know this experience will be helpful in my future research and professional life. I hope to inspire other women to pursue careers in engineering just as this program has inspired me!
Sommer Hammoud, MD
New York City, New York
I grew up in Southern California and attended UCLA as an undergraduate student with a major in Microbiology. I attended Johns Hopkins Medical School and continued my tour around the country at the Hospital for Special Surgery for my orthopaedic residency, which I have just recently completed. At HSS I was fortunate to have many examples of accomplished, skilled, intelligent and well-rounded women whom I could look to for guidance and mentorship or simply as a model for what I would like for my future as an orthopaedic surgeon to be. I thought this was so invaluable and wanted to be able to do the same for those who will follow in my path by encouraging young women to enter this field.
San Francisco, California
In high school I was lucky enough to hear about the Perry Outreach Program and signed up for the first program they offered in 2009. Experiencing all the wonderful things this program offered me, it truly opened my eyes to the possibility of a career in orthopaedic surgery and engineering. I am currently in my second year of college and I am working very hard to fulfill my dream of becoming an orthopaedic surgeon. The program inspired me to reach my potential and also gave me a place to find mentors through other volunteers, something I deeply value. I wanted to give back to the program that changed my life so I came back to volunteer, hoping that I can inspire other girls just as I was inspired.
Nadia Majlessi, BS
San Francisco, California
Nadia Majlessi is the Business Manager for The Taylor Collaboration, a biomechanical testing laboratory in San Francisco, and she volunteers her time at The Perry Initiative’s headquarters in San Francisco. After receiving her Bachelor’s of Science in Physiology (2008), Nadia Majlessi worked at the University of California, San Francisco’s Orthopaedic Trauma Institute Surgical Training Facility as a Laboratory Assistant and at the Biomechanical Testing Facility as a Laboratory Manager. Because of her continued interest in health and the sciences, she wants to pursue a Masters degree in Dietetics, become a Registered Dietitian, and own a business in the near future.
Kristin Miller, BS
I am currently a doctoral student in Bioengineering at UPenn, working in the McKay Orthopaedic Research Lab. I grew up in Houston, Texas and originally went to Occidental College as a dual-sport varsity athlete in swimming and water polo. After suffering my own career-ending shoulder injury, I became interested in shoulder biomechanics and transferred back home to Texas A&M University to pursue a degree in biomedical engineering. My dissertation research focuses on quantifying tendon structure-function relationships throughout development, specifically examining how tendon structurally responds to load. I am very excited and humbled to be a part of the Perry Initiative and am looking forward to meeting the next generation of women engineers and orthopedists!
Katie Reuther, BS
I am currently a doctoral student in Bioengineering at UPenn, working at the Mckay Orthopaedic Research Lab. I earned my Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical engineering with a concentration in Mechanical Engineering at The College of New Jersey. At my undergraduate institution, I was a competitive two-sport varsity athlete. I witnessed many “career-ending” orthopaedic injuries and have seen the devastation and heartache that these injuries can cause. As a result of my experiences, I have been inspired to improve the prevention and treatment of these injuries through research. My primary interest is studying orthopaedic overuse injuries, with my research specifically focusing on tendon injuries in the shoulder. I feel honored to be a part of the Perry Initiative program and I hope that more women will be inspired to pursue careers in engineering and orthopaedics!
Rosanna Wustruck, MD
San Francisco, California
I grew up outside of Portland, OR and went to college at Yale. There I became involved in various community outreach programs such as the National Youth Sports Program, a summer-long camp funded through the NCAA aimed at improving reading skills and getting kids interested in sports especially in resource-poor communities. Following college I spent three years in Tanzania as a Peace Corps Volunteer teaching biology and chemistry to high school students. There I developed an interest in orthopaedic surgery and entered medical school. I feel very fortunate to be at UCSF where there are opportunities like the Perry Outreach Program to stay involved in community service projects and get high school girls interested in a career involving science and medicine.