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PGY-4 Residents

Aliana Abascal

Aliana Abascal

B.A., Cornell University

M.D., University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine

Aliana is committed to achieving parity for mental illness and facilitating its de-stigmatization.   Why should we be ashamed when we are depressed, but not when we are hypertensive?  She has been dedicated to the community as evidenced by her extensive volunteer work.  Aliana has been an active participant in the Wolfson Department of Community Service (DOCS), a student-run organization that oversees ten annual health fairs and weekly clinics for underserved patients.  She also volunteered for Project Medishare, an organization partnering with Haitians to achieve quality healthcare and development services.  Those who interviewed Aliana commented on her enthusiasm and resilience.  In her spare time, she enjoys participating in outdoor activities, such as whitewater kayaking, hiking, and playing with her dog, Zoey.


Jason Caness

Jason Carness

B.A., Tufts University

M.D., State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Following college, Jason worked in Information Technology, first as a computer programmer, and then in a leadership position as a project manager.  Missing the human element as well as his exposure to medicine by his father (an oral surgeon), he began to consider a career in health care, and decided to pursue medical school.  Jason has an interest in working with underserved urban communities, sparked by his research work at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he interviewed HIV-positive Medicaid recipients about their health and health care.  Jason’s Dean’s Letter commented that he was “one of the best and most intelligent students I’ve ever worked with.”  He was one of the few students in his class to be selected for the Arnold P. Gold Humanism Honor Society in recognition of exemplary service, integrity, clinical excellence, and compassion.



David Halverson

David Halverson

B.S., United States Naval Academy

M.D., University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health

David grew up in Wisconsin. After discovering the movie “TOP GUN” in 5th grade, he began on a path that would lead to military service. After graduating from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, David began training as a Naval Aviator, which culminated with him flying jets off of aircraft carriers. After leaving active duty service, David moved to Washington, DC, to climb the corporate ladder. It was during this time that David realized he missed a profession that best espoused values similar to the military, so he decided to pursue a career in medicine. David’s interest in psychiatry began early in his military career, but it blossomed when he began seeing patients as a medical student. David is currently a member of the Army National Guard, having joined a medical detachment where he could participate in the healthcare of soldiers, and specializing in behavioral health.



William Hudson William Hudson

B.A., University of Virginia

M.D., Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University

Howard graduated from the University of Virginia, majoring in psychology.  Following college, he spent several years as a musician.  While living in Athens, GA, he was a vocalist and guitarist for the band Pacific UV, which released 2 records on the WARM label.  The band’s first album received 4 stars by Rolling Stone Magazine and is still widely distributed in the US and Canada.  He decided to change paths and went to medical school.  He had the opportunity to work with the Department of Psychiatry in a summer research fellowship on sex-related communication in multiple sclerosis patients and has presented his work at national meetings.  Howard matched into a Pathology Residency at Cornell in 2012, but felt disconnected in the specialty and missed patient interaction which he previously thrived on and returned to psychiatry.



Adaku Njoku-Animashaun

Adaku Njoku-Animashaun

B.S., University of South Carolina

M.D., University of Illinois

Ada was born in Atlanta and raised in Nigeria. She completed a four year residency at Cook County Health & Hospitals System and then practiced OB/GYN as an active duty Air Force officer for six years. During her time on service, her interests gradually shifted from the surgical aspect to the psychology of the human mind. She then decided to return to Georgia and joined our psychiatry residency.  She considers life a journey and her final destination in medicine continues to evolve. She enjoys yoga, spin, cooking and exploring the spirituality of the human mind.



Emily Novik

Emily Novik

B.A., Williams College

M.D., Sackler School of Medicine

Emily has a longstanding interest and appreciation for the mind-body connection.  Her volunteer work at Silver Hill Psychiatric Hospital completing patient intakes solidified her interest in medicine and psychiatry.  Her medical school rotation evaluations describe her as a very talented individual and comment on her intelligence, motivation, maturity, and initiative.  She has been involved in volunteer work providing medical services for the underprivileged populations in Israel.  In addition, she has been active in an international project that provides life-saving heart surgeries and follow-up care for children who suffer from congenital heart disease.  Emily also enjoys working out and traveling.



Andrew Owens

Andrew Owens

B.S., Clemson University

D.O., Edward Via Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine

Andrew grew up in eastern South Carolina, and spent the majority of his summers working in the tobacco fields at his family owned farm. Andrew was a stand out from an early age graduating valedictorian of his high school class.  Finishing up at Clemson University Magna Cum Laude, he continues to be a proud alumni and huge Clemson fan. Andrew excelled in medical school at Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine-Virginia Campus, and was selected to be a member of Sigma Sigma Phi honor society. The Dean’s Letter commented that Andrew is “an exceptional student at the top of the class.” Those meetings with Andrew described him as bright, thoughtful, mature, and compassionate. Andrew has an interest working with the underserved population and also in forensic psychiatry. Andrew had a multitude of volunteer activities during his time in medical school including working with rural patient education clinics, community prescription drug disposal, and medical informational sessions with high school students.  In his spare time, Andrew enjoys traveling around the US, hiking, and kayaking.

Jonathan Peeples

Jonathan Peeples

B.A., University of Mississippi

M.D., University of Mississippi School of Medicine

Jonathan graduated from the University of Mississippi with a B.A. in History. He attended medical school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center where he served as the Associated Student Body Vice President during his final year. While in medical school, he worked with friends to create Revolution Jackson, a non-profit organization that served Jackson’s homeless community. He started his Adult Psychiatry residency at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire. During his intern year, he was awarded the Arnold P. Gold Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award by the students at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. He transferred to Emory as a PGY-3 in an effort to gain experience working with a mentally ill population in an urban environment. His academic interests include systems of care and mental health services embedded in primary care settings. He enjoys spending time with family, recreational sports, writing, Roman history, diplomacy, and skyr.