Meet The Judges

Elizabeth Connallon, Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island

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Raising awareness of brain injury is an important goal of the Brain Injury Association of RI. Our resource center had contact with over 6,000 individuals with brain injuries, the families that care for them and professionals that are working with survivors just last year. Through our resource center, we are acutely aware of the complicated needs post traumatic brain injury. It is our privilege to be part of a project that brings this awareness to others.

Elizabeth Connallon is the Communications and Information Manager for the Brain Injury Association of Rhode Island, Inc. She holds a BA from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA and a MSED from Fordham University, Bronx, NY. Her background includes fifteen years’ experience in education in a variety of setting as well as work in marketing, advertising and project management.

Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, MD

Dr. Jeyapalan Tufts MC

Dr. Suriya Jeyapalan, MD serves as the Director of Medical Neuro-Oncology at Tufts Medical Center where she specializes in neurology and oncology. As a University of Iowa medical graduate, Dr. Jeyapalan went on to earn her Master of Public Health (MPH) from Harvard School of Public Health. She then fulfilled her internship in Medicine at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, followed by her residency in Neurology at Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center and her fellowship in Neuro-Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Currently, she focuses her research in genomics to determine the genetic basis of chemotherapeutic response in patients with high-grade gliomas. She also leads clinical trials in the treatment of malignant gliomas and metastatic disease to the brain.

Donna M. Nesselbush, Partner in Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP

Attorney Donna Nesselbush

In her decades of legal practice, Donna has represented thousands of Social Security Disability (SSD) claimants at all levels of review. Donna says helping people is the motivation behind her legal practice and her many public-service endeavors, including serving as Chief Judge of the Pawtucket Municipal Court and a Rhode Island State Senator.

In her work with SSD claimants, Donna has seen firsthand the devastating effects brain injuries and disorders have on people’s lives. “As attorneys committed to the health and safety of the communities we serve, we are excited to inspire the creativity of students to highlight the very real dangers of concussions, traumatic brain injuries and other types of brain disorders,” Donna says of the scholarship competition sponsored by her firm. Creativity, innovation and spirited content that effectively convey the message are among the key elements Donna is looking for in the winning videos.

Dr. Prakash Sampath, President/Founder of Rhode Island Brain and Spine Tumor Foundation

Dr. Sampath

Dr. Prakash Sampath is an Associate Professor at Boston University School of Medicine as well as Chief of Neurosurgery at Roger Williams Medical Center. After earning his BA in biomedical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University, Dr. Sampath went on to earn his medical degree at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons followed by his fellowship at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, studying neuro-oncology. In addition to his extensive educational background and professional experience, he is the President and Founder of the Rhode Island Brain and Spine Tumor Foundation.