Meet the Staff Advisors

In alignment with county, city and campus recommendations, Health Professions Advising will be working remotely by offering phone appointments and workshops via Zoom. To schedule an appointment with an advisor, visit Please visit our the Upcoming Events Page for Announcement and Updates and Facebook page to learn more. If you have any questions, please email

Joanne Snapp, MSEd

  • Director of Health Professions Advising
Joanne founded Health Professions Advising in 2014 with the intent to use holistic advising practices to help more students reach their goals. Joanne grew up in Missouri and lived in New York for eight years where she worked at two different medical schools and a nursing college. Joanne earned her first masters in English and her second in Leadership and Policy in Higher Education. Joanne is passionate about helping students succeed.

Manisha Lakhotia, MS, NCC

  • Assistant Director of Health Professions Advising
Manisha is an alumna of UCD and has been with Health Professions Advising since October 2017. Prior to coming to HPA, she worked as an Academic Advisor for the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences Dean’s Office and served as pre-health advisor and career counselor at another UC and a private school for a number of years. As a first-generation college student, Manisha is avid about supporting students and alumni reach their personal, academic and professional goals. Outside of work, Manisha enjoys baking, reading and planning her next adventure.

Bryelle McRay

  • Staff Advisor, All Health Professions
Bryelle McRay is a staff advisor for all health professions. She graduated from UC Davis in 2016 with a B.S. in Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior and she has a minor in African & African-American Studies. She also completed a post-baccalaureate program at CSU East Bay where she served as a pre-health advisor. While she was a student at UC Davis, she co-founded the Black Community of Science organization (BCS) seeking to retain African-American students in the sciences. Bryelle worked with many patients and health care professionals as a dedicated member of Imani Clinic and served on the board as the Electronic Medical Records Specialist. She worked as a clinical research intern at the UC Davis Foods for Health Institute studying human breast milk oligosaccharide composition and beneficial gut bacteria in which she gained a great deal of exposure to the UC Davis Medical Center Departments of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Pediatrics and Neonatology. Bryelle is passionate about retention and seeing students thrive.

Elio Gutierrez-Montoya

  • Staff Advisor, All Health Professions
Elio Gutierrez-Montoya is a staff advisor for Health Professions Advising. He previously worked at UC Davis School of Medicine, with specific attention on their pipeline program initiatives and most prominently with their Postbaccalaurate Program. His experiences as an advisor particularly have focused on assisting students in reaching their academic goals and in developing students as future professionals. He graduated from UC Davis in 2009 with degrees in Psychology and Spanish. While at Davis he was heavily involved with Imani Clinic, the Filipino Association for Health Careers and the Early Academic Outreach Program. His passion for student advocacy and advising has propelled him to where he is today.

Elizabeth Ann Barajas, MA

  • Writing Specialist
Elizabeth is a staff advisor for Health Professions Advising, specializing in helping current students and alumni with their personal statements and other writing requirements for health professions applications. She received her MA from UC Davis in 2013 in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. After receiving her degree, she taught writing, grammar and pronunciation classes for international students through the UC Davis Extension and the Linguistics Department. More recently, she worked for the Academic Assistance and Tutoring Centers as a Writing Specialist, helping students with their class assignments and writing requirements for graduate and professional school applications. Elizabeth is passionate about giving students the support and tools they need to reach their goals.

Doug McLemore

  • Test Prep Specialist
Doug started his career teaching Astronomy and Chemistry at community college and university in Colorado.  In 2007, he got his first test of test prep when his university started an in-house MCAT prep program. He taught the course for two semesters.  Not long after, Doug went on to work as a teacher, tutor, trainer, and developer for one of the big test prep providers.  He spent about a decade focused on learning about the test prep business and even worked in an advising capacity for pre-medical students.  Afterwards, he started his own tutoring business. At HPA he is developing an in-house test prep program for the GRE, DAT, OAT, PCAT, MCAT, and other standardized tests that students need to get into health profession post-graduate programs.

Karen Draper

  • Staff Advisor, All Health Professions
Karen recently graduated from UC Davis in Spring 2019 as a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major. While she is not a transfer student, she did receive her Associated Degree in Arts and Humanities when she graduated high school. She became a staff advisor in Summer 2019, but was previously a peer advisor and co-coordinator for the Pre-Health Ambassador Network (PHAN), an organization within HPA. She also helped found and coordinate the High School Pre-Health Symposium. Karen attended the 2018 ADEA GoDental Recruitment Event in Orlando where she saw a mock interview and spoke with dental school admissions representatives. She loves advising, tabling, and hosting workshops to help students’ on their pre-health path. Her favorite part about working in HPA has been making my closest friends and working together on events, including the Summer Pre-Med Boootcamp. 
Office Hours
Karen also provides Drop-In Advising at the Center for Chicanx and Latinx Academic Student Success Center on Thursdays from 9 am - 12 pm.

Noreen Mansuri

  • Medicine
Noreen is an MS1 at the UC Davis School of Medicine and part of its five-year academic research track, ARC-MD. After graduating from UC Davis in 2018, she completed her graduate degree abroad and worked as a barista. As a medical student, she is passionate about women’s health, learning more about health policy, and integrating her interests to complete interdisciplinary, qualitative research as part of the ARC program. When she is not studying, Noreen loves gardening, exploring antique stores, and watching stand-up comedy. She looks forward to meeting you all!