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GSA Committee on Student Affairs (COSA)

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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.

Committee Charge

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.

Message from the Chair

It is my pleasure to serve as the Committee on Student Affairs (COSA) chair through November 2023 and to support the work you all do every day to produce the finest of physicians, educators, scientists and patient advocates.

The COSA sits at the intersection of so many other important roles played by our colleagues in student records, financial assistance, wellness, diversity and inclusion, admissions, health and mental health and the other services that support our students from application to graduation, and beyond. We also work incredibly closely with our teaching faculty, curricular and assessment teams to ensure our learning environment is creating a thriving, not just surviving, experience for our diverse student body. Turning our focus forward, our community negotiates relationships with graduate medical education leaders and academic societies to advantage the best possible outcome for our soon-to-be-physicians. And of course we counsel and carry the emotions when life throws another curve ball to students that may lead to time away, decompression, or simply a hug. And when needed, we hold our students accountable to the academic and behavioral standards set forth for the safety of others.

Student Affairs is a tough job and just when you think you have the memory muscle to manage the next crisis, your playbook pages are empty and you are back at the drawing table. This work requires the same attributes we build in our students: resilience, compassion, professionalism, and through it all, we must protect ourselves from the burnout that comes with restless nights, weekend worries and fears about the safety of our students when they are not in our watch.

Of course you all know this if you are currently in the work and if you are transitioning into this work, welcome to a fulfilling career with many joyful celebrations as you walk alongside your medical students. Over the next few years, I look forward to building a community of practice with you to assist in your own professional development as much of that of our staff and students.

Wishing you the best,

Tara K Cunningham, EdD, MS
National Chair, GSA Committee on Student Affairs
Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Member Resources

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COSA Committee Roster

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

GSA National Chair Elect
Kathleen Kashima, PhD (November 2020 – November 2021)
Senior Associate Dean for Students
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA) Representative
Natalie G. Johnson, DHA, MA (November 2019 – November 2022)
Associate Dean for Diversity Affairs
College of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

Central Region (CGSA) Representative
Peter J Ziemkowski, MD (November 2020 – November 2023)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Western Michigan University
Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine

Northeast Region (NEGSA) Representative
Angela Jackson, MD (November 2018 – November 2021)
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Associate Professor of Medicine
Boston University School of Medicine

Southern Region (SGSA) Representative
Angela Peterman Mihalic, MD (November 2019 – November 2023)
Dean of Medical Students and Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Professor of Pediatrics
UT Southwestern Medical School

Western Region (WGSA) Representative
Jeffrey Phillip Druck, MD (November 2019 – November 2022)
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
University of Colorado School of Medicine

Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison
Adiba Matin (November 2019 - November 2021)
MD Candidate
University of Missouri–Kansas City School of Medicine

AAMC Staff Liason
Irena Tartakovsky, MD, MS
Association of American Medical Colleges

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