Cassie Niino, UCLA Medical School Student

Alumni in College

MHS grad approaches final phase to becoming a doctor

By Laura Toney, College and Career Readiness Coordinator

Clarissa “Cassie” Niino is this edition’s MHS featured alumna in college. Cassie is the daughter of Eric and Kathy Niino of Madera. Cassie attended St. Joachim’s School Kindergarten through 8th grade. She attended Madera High School all 4 years and graduated from the Madera High class of 2012. She was a Smittcamp Honors Scholarship recipient and graduated from Fresno State, as a Smittcamp Scholar in 2016, with a Bachelors of Science Degree in biochemistry. Cassie is currently a 3rd year medical student at UCLA. Cassie shared that she enjoyed many of her classes at Madera High School, but it was chemistry in Mr. Markarian’s class that allowed her to see that a subject, which initially seemed daunting, could be both approachable and fun. “It was his class that made me excited about science and ultimately helped me to choose my major of biochemistry in college.” Cassie stated that she had her first thought about a future in medicine when she was in high school. Her father was in a car accident and broke his collarbone. He had a great orthopedic surgeon with a very caring demeanor. “It wasn’t until college when I fully decided on a future in medicine.”

Cassie shared that this third year of medical school has allowed her to rotate through various medical specialty areas. She has enjoyed all that she has learned from each rotation but, at this time, is considering a medical career in obstetrics and gynecology. She shared that she really enjoys the personal aspect of primary care of patients and women’s health. In October 2019 Cassie will apply for her medical residency that will begin after graduation from the UCLA medical school in 2020. “I find it very interesting to work with different people and different challenges every day.” This dedicated alumna is clearly on her way to becoming the future “Dr. Niino” as she continues to accomplish her college and career goals that began to form in a Madera classroom many years ago.


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