Get to know our ASA Heroes

Heroes rise to the occasion. They’re at their best when things are at their worst. They uphold the values of their profession, even when it means they are putting themselves at great risk. During the time of this pandemic, so many ASA College graduates have become essential workers – medical professionals and support staff – who have fought the virus on the front lines in order to save lives. We are proud of those heroes who began their important careers at ASA, and thankful for their commitment now, when we need them the most.


Frances Jarin

Currently in the Health Information Technology/Nursing Program

Though Ms. Jarin is currently in the Health Information Technology/Nursing Program, she has been on the front lines since 2008 as a Patient Care Associate at Northshore University Hospital of Northwell Health. Amazingly, Ms. Jarin works full-time hours on her hospital’s designated COVID floor while also taking online classes. She feels the flexibility and support provided by ASA has made it possible to pursue her goal of becoming an RN at Northshore. She wants future students to know, “if you are consistent and work hard enough, even with a full-time job, getting a good education is possible.” Ms. Jarin, thank you!


Dominique BrunsonDominique Brunson

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’20

Ms. Brunson is an essential worker as a CMAC for the Richmond University Medical Center. Her story inspires: from breakup, homelessness and hardship, to writing research papers, making flash cards, and going to class while working, Ms. Brunson focused her life towards betterment. Now she assists a gynecologist and a neurosurgeon in medical procedures and aspires to an advanced medical degree. She has a powerful message of transformation for future ASA students – “it takes dedication, shedding, knowing what you want, boundaries, meditation, prayer, and overall being grounded.”


Rohan Patel

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’20

Mr. Patel has just finished his AOS Medical Assisting – Class of 2020, and is working at Columbia University Hospital as a first respondent during this challenging time. Rohan, your professors, advisors and classmates at ASA are so proud of you. Thank you!



Ritchie Ramos PinosRitchie Ramos Pinos

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’20

Ritchie Ramos Pinos has been making a difference with her AOS degree in Medical Assisting during the time of COVID-19. It’s no surprise that she is working on the front lines. When she spoke to Career Services and the Alumni Association about her decision to study medicine, she said “what I like most is the challenge, in every patient to grow, to improve myself in delivering the best possible holistic care.” Ms. Ramos found a career that made going to work “effortless” because “it fills her heart’s desire.” Ms. Ramos credits supportive professors and her international classmates as having made her ASA experience a time of self-discovery. Her journey and her destination are inspiring!


Nana Opare

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’19

Nana Opare, CMAC for drawing upon his training, skill, and courage to help his community persevere during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. Opare takes pride in his ASA degree and his career path because he has proven himself and has achieved financial stability doing something he loves. When he reflects on his journey, he sees that “I learned that I could succeed at anything I put my mind into. I learned that I could feel fully satisfied knowing that my career path inspired others.” We are proud to share Mr. Opare’s story and his advice for future students: “If they have a passion for something, they should go for it without hesitation.”


Karla Paiz AOS in Medical Assisting,Karla Paiz

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’19

Ms. Paiz fights the pandemic on the front lines in her roles at both the Davita Dialysis Center and Center Urgent Care. Her bravery and commitment stem from her lifelong goal of having a career in the medical field. Though she faced challenges during her time at ASA – a new language and family responsibilities – she worked closely with her professors and found success. Now that Ms. Paiz is preparing to enter a Nursing program, she’d like to thank her professors, especially Dr. Veloz because, “in my actual life, I’m applying everything I learned from him!” Thank you, Ms. Paiz.


Samantha Downes

 AAS in Nursing, class of ’19

She has recently stepped into a new role at Bellevue Hospital as a member of their Labor and Delivery staff. In addition to this role, Ms. Downes continues to fight the pandemic on the front lines with NYC HHC as Lead Nurse for Covid Testing Center. Nobody could be more responsible for Ms. Downes success than herself; however, Ms. Downes would also like to thank ASA faculty, Professor Monika Dixon especially, and “generally everyone that has guided me through this journey, then and now.”


Amy Simas ASA in NurseAmy Simas

AAS in Nursing, class of ’19

Ms. Simas has been fighting for the safety of New Yorkers as a Healthcare Worker with New York Physicians, LLP. Since childhood, her dream of working in medicine was certain, but her path to becoming a nurse was anything but that. Her strength in the face of adversity helped her get through. During her time at ASA Ms. Simas overcame family losses, the illness of a child, and her own medical difficulties. For her, ASA’s flexible schedules and support made a difference – now she’s earning her BSN. Her advice is, “always pick yourself up, keep your head held high…YOU WILL SUCCEED.”


Edward Slaven

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’17

Mr. Slaven earned his AOS in Medical Assisting as part of the class of 2012, and currently works as an Operations Supervisor for Grifols Plasma, North Carolina. Grifols Plasma is engaged in the fight against the pandemic by collecting antibody rich plasma from convalescent donors who have recovered, in order to share it with those who are infected. Mr. Slaven believes his time with ASA gave him both the skillset and opportunity to take advantage of his years of experience working with NY Blood Center. We are so proud of Mr. Slaven and his impact at this time.”


Subjeidi Rosario

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’16

Ms. Rosario is putting her patients first in these trying times as a Clinical Support Associate in the PACU at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. When she started at ASA College, she was unsure if she had what it took to work in the medical field, but as she says, “It turned out I did!” Ms. Rosario cites the support of her Admissions Coordinator, Ms. Sepulveda, who “really believed I was someone who was born to be a healthcare worker,” as helping her take the first steps in her journey. Now she wants to tell students, “ASA has the tools to help you. Please don’t give up!”


Katrina Moore AAS in Nursing, Katrina Moore

AAS in Nursing, class of ’16

In 2016 Ms. Moore completed her A.A.S. Nursing degree with ASA College. Hired by Elevate Human Capital, she now serves as an RN Supervisor of Medical Assistants at Covid Testing Sites. In addition to this front-line position, Ms. Moore also works on a skilled Nursing unit and in long-term care. Her skills couldn’t be more needed in these times, and that’s just what she hoped when she pursued her degree at ASA. She said, “I was motivated to pursue a healthcare degree because I have been in situations when people were sick, and I felt powerless.” Ms. Moore, you’re using your power to help others now. You are a hero!


Sher Hang Okhrabu

AOS in Network Administration & Security

Career Services and the Alumni Association agree with Newsweek and CISA Director Christopher C. Krebs’s “Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure workers during the Covid-19 Response” – we can’t overlook the essential role that IT support personnel offer at healthcare facilities during this critical time. Our graduate Sher Hang Okhrabu, AOS in Network Administration & Security, is one of the many unseen heroes who rides the subway to make sure he’s available to deliver the support healthcare providers need. He assists doctors and administrators in troubleshooting and providing technical support, going to the site. Without ASA graduates like Mr. Okhrabu, who works at Manhattan’s Weill Cornell Medicine, we wouldn’t be winning the fight against Covid-19. Thank you, Mr. Okhrabu.


Ms. Gomez serves NYC on the front lines of the Covid-19Stephanie Gomez

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of’ 14

Ms. Gomez serves NYC on the front lines of the Covid-19 epidemic as an ER Technician with Mount Sinai Hospital. Her ASA professors and advisor prepared her for this present moment by believing in her ability to succeed and by challenging her to do so. Ms. Gomez said that the atmosphere at ASA College is special, “What I liked most about ASA is that I didn’t feel alone. My classmate and I always worked together and some of my professors were very supportive.” Now she has one message for her patients, coworkers, and future ASA students – “Never lose faith in yourself.”


Nilufar Salimova

AOS in Medical Assisting, class of ’12

Nilufar graduated from ASA College in 2012 with a degree in Medical Assisting, went on to earn her RN from NYU, and now she is a Registered Staff Nurse/Senior Staff Nurse in a world-class hospital, NYU Langone Health. She makes us so proud not only because of her great achievements at ASA as a student, but also for being at her best as a first respondent during this difficult time. Nilufar, your hard work at ASA prepared you to make a difference when the world needs you. You are truly an ASA Hero! Thank you.




If you are an ASA Alumni and have been working during this COVID-19 crisis, please share your story with us. Email our Alumni Association at and we will share your story.

Currently, ASA College is not accepting new applications for enrollment!