Outstanding Young Alumni Award
Established in 2018, the Canterbury School Outstanding Young Alumni Award honors an alumnus/a who graduated within the last 25 years; who has made significant contributions to civic organizations and/or a chosen profession; whose life is characterized by creativity, curiosity, and community service; and who reflects the highest ideals of Canterbury School.
2023 — Brianna (Carusillo) Theriault '08
Brianna Carusillo Theriault ’08 was raised in Woodbury, Connecticut, before attending Canterbury School. She is currently a third-year Neurosurgery Resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
After Canterbury, Brianna attended Fordham University, graduating in three years with high honors in Psychology. Following graduation, she worked in a neuroscience lab at Columbia University studying neural plasticity in opioid addiction. Her experiences at Columbia motivated her to pursue a graduate degree in neuroscience.
In 2016, she completed her Ph.D. at the University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) after studying the mechanisms of spontaneous hemorrhages in the brains of premature infants as well as the consequences of such hemorrhages—namely, post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus and encephalopathy of prematurity. Her work with colleagues at UMB and Yale led to a paradigm-shifting publication in Nature Medicine. During her Ph.D. experience, Brianna was inspired by the clinical work of her mentor, a neurosurgeon-scientist, to attend medical school.
She proceeded to study at New York Medical College and graduated in 2020, ultimately matching to the neurosurgical residency program at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
Brianna’s decision to specialize in neurosurgery was driven by her ongoing interest in the science and diseases of the brain and a strong desire to help patients and their families during what is oftentimes their greatest time of need. Currently, she assists with the treatment of all intracranial and spinal pathologies ranging from ruptured aneurysms to brain tumors to trauma. While no day is without its challenges, Brianna considers it a great privilege to work alongside her colleagues and the hospital staff in the treatment of these critically ill patients. Throughout her residency, Brianna has retained her more specialized interest in the brain pathologies of pediatric patients and plans to pursue a fellowship in pediatric neurosurgery—treating those whom she views to be the most vulnerable of all neurosurgical patients.
During her time at Canterbury, she was a member of the Honor Society, played varsity sports, traveled to Nicaragua on service trips, and was the stage manager for theater productions. Brianna currently resides in Cheshire, Connecticut, with her husband, Joseph Theriault. They met in college and were married in the Chapel of Our Lady at Canterbury in 2016. Her brothers, Jared ’06 and Scott ’14, are also alumni.