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  • Affinity Group

    GSA Steering Committee

    The GSA Steering Committee is the executive committee for the Group on Student Affairs and is comprised of the executive leadership, the chairs of the GSA National Committees, the GSA regional chairs, as well as liaisons from the Council of Deans (COD), Organization of Student Representatives (OSR), and National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP). The areas represented by the GSA encompass a wide range of issues, policies, and operational characteristics that require study and deliberation on an ongoing basis. In order to provide a mechanism for the study of issues and problems associated with this full range of complex and diverse issues, the GSA Steering Committee established national committees in the areas of admissions, student affairs, student diversity affairs, student financial assistance, and student records.

    Message from the GSA National Chair

    Dear Colleagues, 

    Thank you for the honor and privilege to serve as your 2022-2023 GSA National Chair. I value my ability to impact the educational and professional careers of my learners, the lives of those I care for, and the work environment of my colleagues. In leading the GSA Steering Committee, I have a unique opportunity to work with an incredible and diverse community of committed, passionate medical school leaders who manage our domains of student affairs, admissions, diversity, equity and inclusion, financial aid, and records. We are also fortunate to collaborate with our medical student leaders in the Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) who continue to guide us with their important voice and vision. 

    We have all experienced quite a tumultuous time in medical education and it is your dedication and resilience that has helped leaders and students alike navigate our constantly evolving environment and experience for our students. We have learned to be nimble, flexible, and innovative as we encountered change and battled uncertainty. We have grown stronger as a community and you ALL have contributed to the GSA’s ongoing ability to support the student experience and our overall well-being. I thank each and every one of you, over 1900 institutional and individual representatives who make up the GSA from our AAMC Member schools. 

    We could not accomplish our goals without the support and guidance of our AAMC teams in Academic Affairs and Constituent Engagement, and our outstanding and productive GSA Committees. The committee chairs, members, working groups and regional chairs and steering committees are the powerhouses who focus on creating and disseminating the communications, resources, and guidelines that you receive and hopefully put to good use. We also collaborate closely with our liaisons from the AAMC Council of Deans, OSR and National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions to ensure that all critical issues are identified.  Please take time to familiarize yourself with all of our leaders and liaisons (listed below), and don’t hesitate to GET INVOLVED! You will find a community willing to welcome and mentor anyone who has an interest to learn or contribute. We rely on your feedback and involvement to make progress.

    Together, our leaders and our community have shared their priorities and we are excited to embark on our ambitious agenda. I am fortunate to lead our GSA Steering Committee during my term as we focus on initiatives within the following overarching themes: 
    •    Maintaining a lens of equity, safety, and wellness across the continuum
    •    Obtaining data to improve transparency in communication between UME and GME and holistic review across the continuum
    •    Supporting our staff

    Additionally, as your Chair, I committed to advocating for our stakeholders, collaborating across affinity groups and disciplines, and providing a dedicated and strong voice for those we serve.

    I was fortunately introduced to the AAMC “alphabet soup” as a medical student OSR in 1993 and never anticipated that I would remain engaged in such a deeply personal and rewarding way almost 3 decades later!  I value and will uphold the commitment, passion, and dedication that makes the GSA the type of group that encourages the drive for excellence in our everyday work. I have personally benefitted from the camaraderie among colleagues and friends who inspire each other to forge ahead, with energy fueled by a common goal to improve and develop programs and policies that support our medical students and our schools, now more than ever. I am grateful for your guidance and friendship. Please share your individual feedback as your contributions can be vast. We hope to make your affiliation with the GSA meaningful, and we look forward to working together.

    It will be an honor to serve this year.  


    HIlit F. Mechaber, MD
    GSA National Chair
    Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs
    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

    Steering Committee Members


    Hilit Mechaber, MD (November 2022 – November 2023)
    Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs
    Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


    Marcy Verduin, MD (November 2022 – November 2023)
    Associate Dean for Students and Professor of Psychiatry
    University of Central Florida College of Medicine


    Joel Maurer, MD (November 2022– November 2023)
    Assistant Dean for Admissions
    Associate Professor
    Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology
    College of Human Medicine
    Michigan State University Clinical Center

    Immediate Past Chair

    Kathleen Kashima, PhD (November 2022 – November 2023)
    Senior Associate Dean for Students
    University of Illinois College of Medicine

    Previous Past Chair

    Charles A. Pohl, MD (November 2022 – November 2023)
    Vice Provost for Student Affairs
    Vice Dean for Student Affairs and Career Counseling
    Professor of Pediatrics
    Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

    Committee on Admissions (COA) Chair

    Lina Mehta, MD (April 2020 – November 2023)
    Associate Dean for Admissions
    Professor of Radiology
    Case Western Reserve School of Medicine

    Committee on Student Affairs (COSA) Chair

    Tara K Cunningham, EdD, MS (November 2020 – November 2023)
    (November 2020 – November 2023)
    Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs
    Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

    Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA) Chair

    Donna H. Jackson, EdD (November 2022-November 2025)
    Assistant Dean for Admissions
    Director, Student Outreach Programs
    Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine

    Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA) Chair

    Cynthia Gonzalez (November 2021- November 2024)
    Senior Assistant Director FSM MD Financial Aid
    Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

    Committee on Student Records (COSR) Chair

    Alisha Corsi (November 2020 – November 2023)
    Registrar Coordinator
    University of Central Florida College of Medicine

    Central Region (CGSA) Chair

    Jay Behel, PhD (April 2023 - April 2024)
    Associate Dean, Medical Student Affairs    
    Rush Medical College

    Northeastern Region (NEGSA) Chair

    Sonia Garcia Laumbach, MD (April 2023 - April 2024)
    Assistant Dean for Student Affairs
    Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

    Southern Region (SGSA) Chair

    Lauren Cobbs, MD, MEd, FACP (April 2023 - April 2024)   
    Associate Dean for Student Affairs    
    Texas Tech Health Sciences Center

    Western Region (WGSA) Chair

    Richard Amini, MD (April 2022 – April 2024)
    Interim Associate Dean of Student Affairs
    University of Arizona College of Medicine- Tucson

    Council of Deans (COD) Liaison

    Scott Strome, MD
    Vice Chancellor for Clinical Affairs
    University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine

    National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) Liaison

    Rhona Beaton (August 2022 - August 2026)
    President, NAAHP 
    Assistant Director of Health Professions
    Union College

    Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison

    Youssef Aref (November 2022 – November 2024)
    MD Candidate
    California University of Science and Medicine School of Medicine

    AAMC Staff Liaison

    Irena Tartakovsky, MD, MS
    Director, Constituent Engagement
    Association of American Medical Colleges

    Related Resources

    Please send any questions, suggestions, or requests for meeting minutes and archived agendas to gsa@aamc.org.