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AAMC mailing lists are available for sharing valuable information and resources with our member institutions and constituents.

Committee on Student Affairs (COSA)

About COSA

The GSA National Committee on Student Affairs (COSA) provides guidance on issues related to student support and services, including personal advising, career advising; the health and well-being of medical students; the ethical and professional development of students; academic support and resources, and the preparation of students for the transition from medical school to residency. The Committee discusses issues of national interest that are brought to its attention by GSA constituents, inclusive of students, and AAMC staff. The Committee may identify projects, where an issue is of national importance and interest. The Committee is advisory to the GSA Steering Committee and, as such, makes regular reports to the Steering Committee and seeks approval of the Steering Committee for special projects.

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GSA-COSA Crisis Management Resource

The purpose of the GSA Crisis Management Resource (formerly GSA-CRIER) is to provide GSA representatives with information and shared examples from colleagues  for creating a crisis response and intervention plan and for responding to a crisis situation. Resources include understanding the nature of crisis situations; sample Crisis Management Plans including procedures for responding to medical emergencies, bomb threats, death and suicide attempts; Crisis Management Teams structures; Emergency Preparedness, and Responding to an unexpected student death. The GSA Crisis Management Resource also includes templates that can be adapted to your specific institutional needs, and a GSA contact list for additional peer support and resources.

Please contact Brandon Hunter, Director, Student Affairs and Programs, AAMC at 202-478-9876 or if you have a resource you would like to contribute to the GSA Crisis Management Resource.


Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a major event that threatens to harm the organization, its stakeholders, or the general public.

Crisis Management Model (Gonzalez-Herrero & Pratt):

1. Issues or crisis detection
2. Prepare to avoid crisis or plan how to react to it
3. Limit effects of the crisis
4. Efforts made to “get back to normal”
5. Evaluate and learn from crisis
Crisis Intervention: Understanding the Nature of Crisis Situations (Springtide Resources)

Types of Crisis:

1. Medical Emergency – epidemic or poisoning
2. Violent Crime or Behavior – robbery, shooting, personal injury (existing or potential), etc.
3. Political Situations – riots, demonstrations, etc.
4. Off-Campus Incidents/Accidents Involving Students, Faculty and/or Staff
5. Environmental/Natural Disasters – fires, flood, chemical spills or leaks, explosions, etc.
6. Bomb Threats
7. Student, faculty or staff deaths (accidents, homicide, or suicide)

Crisis Management Plan Examples:

Cowley College Crisis Management Plan
Creighton University School of Medicine: A Practical Guide to Crisis Management 
Duke University Crisis Communication Plan

Crisis Management Team Structures:

Behavioral Intervention Team
Students of Concern Team (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Students of Concern Team (University of Kansas)

Emergency Preparedness Resources

Resources for Responding to an unexpected student death

GSA Contact List and Peer Support

COSA has developed a contact list of individuals with experience and/or expertise in crisis situations, who are willing to provide support and resources to other GSA members experiencing a crisis situation. Please contact Geoffrey Young, Ph.D., Senior Director, Student Affairs and Student Programs, AAMC, at 202-741-6466 or to be connected with one of these individuals or to have your name added to the list as a resource.

COSA Committee Roster


Kathleen Kashima, PhD (November 2017 – November 2020)
Senior Associate Dean for Students
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Central Region (CGSA) Representative
Aurora J. Bennett MD (November 2017 – November 2020)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions
University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

Northeast Region (NEGSA) Representative
Charles A. Pohl, MD (November 2015 – November 2018)
Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Career Counseling
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Southern Region (SGSA) Representative
Hilit Mechaber, MD, FACP (November 2017 – November 2020)
Associate Dean for Student Services
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine,
Family Medicine & Community Health University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Western Region (WGSA) Representative
Adam Stevenson (July 2016 – July 2019)
Associate Dean of Student Affairs
University of Utah School of Medicine

Committee on Student Diveristy Affairs (COSDA) Representative
Daniel Hiroyuki Teraguchi, EdD (November 2016 – November 2019)
Associate Dean for Students Affairs
Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

GSA - National Chair Elect
Wanda Dean Lipscomb, PhD (November 2017 – November 2018)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison
Austin Witt (November 2017 – November 2018)
MD Candidate
East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine

Message from the COSA Chair

On behalf of the COSA, we are honored to represent and work with the medical school student affairs officers nationally as we address issues in student affairs. As with all GSA national committees, we are advisory to the GSA Steering Committee and to the AAMC. The COSA membership includes a representative from each of the four GSA regional organizations, the GSA National Chair Elect, the GSA Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA), a representative from the AAMC Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) and the Chair. COSA receives outstanding guidance and support from the AAMC’s Constituency Engagement Director for GSA and their team.

We are thrilled to build on the important work done by prior committee chairs and members. The COSA will continue to receive and respond to student affairs issues and work closely with the AAMC staff as well as external constituents who deal with student affairs issues. The COSA activities are guided by the GSA Steering Committee approved Charge .

Kathleen Kashima, PhD
Senior Associate Dean of Students
Clinical Assistant Professor, Psychiatry and Medical Education
University of Illinois College of Medicine
Chair, GSA National Committee on Student Affairs

Featured Resource

GSA-COSA Crisis Management Resource

The goal of the GSA Crisis Management Resource is to provide GSA representatives with a resource for creating a crisis response and intervention plan and for responding in a crisis situation.

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