2024 Tillman Scholar

Nicole Parkas

Military Spouse
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

“As a physician, it is my goal to provide the next generation of women with a richer experience – one in which they feel invested in, cared for, and empowered.”

Nicole was born and raised in northern New Jersey where she broke barriers as a first-generation high school and college graduate. Nicole earned a degree in Biology and distinguished herself as Valedictorian of the Rutgers University Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program. Following graduation, Nicole devoted five years to serving as a Perinatal Sonographer, delivering essential care to high-risk, underserved obstetric and gynecologic populations in Manhattan and Washington, D.C. It was during this time that Nicole became aware of two major issues plaguing our healthcare system: limited access to healthcare and health illiteracy. Sonography served as Nicole’s entry point into public service. 

Today, she is a first-year medical student at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she aspires to accrue the knowledge, network, and tools necessary to become a leader in women’s healthcare. She remains committed to her mission of providing healthcare to underserved populations of women through volunteering at Mount Sinai’s student-run free women’s health clinic, East Harlem Health Outreach Program. Furthermore, she actively engages in mentoring first-generation college students in New York City, and founded a Rutgers alumni advocate program aimed at supporting sonographers as they navigate their transition to higher education and the workforce. 

Nicole’s goal is to leverage her education and platform as a physician to expand access to women’s healthcare and increase health literacy. She recognizes the pivotal role that mentorship and education played in her own overcoming of limitations and hopes to replicate that experience for as many women as possible.