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GSA Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA)

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The GSA National Committee on Student Diversity Affairs, formerly the Committee on Diversity Affairs (CODA), provides guidance on medical student diversity on a local, regional, and national basis, with respect to student recruitment, admissions, enrollment, retention, and graduation.

Committee Charge

The strategic priorities of COSDA are defined under two overarching themes – increasing diversity in the physician workforce and professional development of its constituency. In order to meet the strategic priorities, COSDA advances the full cycle of student engagement and educational support spanning the K-12 through medical school educational continuum in order to increase diversity in the physician workforce. COSDA constituents provide programming and services to engage and support diverse learners in the K-12 pipeline, pre-medical and post- baccalaureate programs, and medical school. They are involved in outreach, recruitment, admissions, retention, support and graduation of diverse students in medicine. The committee is advisory to the GSA Steering Committee, it makes regular reports to the GSA Steering Committee and seeks approval of the GSA Steering Committee for special projects.

Message from the Chair

On behalf of the committee, it is my pleasure to take this opportunity to welcome all to the Group on Student Affairs - Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (GSA-COSDA). I look forward to working with all of our Student Diversity Affairs representatives, and others, as we come together on a local, regional and national level, to advance a holistic approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion so that all of our medical students successfully thrive across the undergraduate medical education continuum.

COSDA is one of the five national committees of the GSA. COSDA regularly comes together to discuss issues, contribute to, and provide guidance on medical student diversity on a local, regional, and national basis, with respect to student recruitment, admissions, enrollment, retention, and graduation.

COSDA serves as the representative body of the larger constituency of Student Diversity Affairs representatives at the AAMC member medical schools. In that regard, COSDA represents the institutional, individual and affiliate representatives, and/or other faculty and staff, who have responsibility for medical student diversity efforts.

We wish to take this opportunity to thank the several members who have recently completed their terms on the COSDA National Committee with a special thanks to Dr. Gerald Yutrzenka, PhD who has provided important leadership, perspective and insight during the past three years as National Chair of GSA-COSDA.

We also acknowledge the outstanding leadership and continued support provided to the committee by Dr. Geoffrey Young PhD, AAMC Senior Director for Student Affairs and Programs and his entire team.

GSA-COSDA continues to move forward in expanding our collaborative efforts with the various GSA Committees, the Group on Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) and other AAMC constituent groups to ensure that the diversity affairs expertise and voice is strongly represented in advancing and advocating for diversity in medical education.

In closing, we welcome your interest in the efforts of COSDA and the Student Diversity Affairs community in working towards advancing a holistic medical education experience for our increasingly diverse medical student body. Please feel free to contact COSDA if you have ideas, proposals or comments that might be of interest to the GSA-COSDA leadership and membership.

Ann-Gel S. Palermo, DrPH, MPH [she/her/hers]
Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Associate Professor, Medical Education & Pediatrics
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer in Education and Research
Office for Diversity and Inclusion
Mount Sinai Health System

Member Resources

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AAMC Resources

COSDA Committee Roster

Ann-Gel S. Palermo, MPH, DrPH (November 2018 – November 2021)
Senior Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 
Chief Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer in Education and Research
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Previous Past Chair
Wanda Dean Lipscomb, PhD (November 2020 –November 2021) 
Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Senior Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion
Associate Professor of Psychiatry
Michigan State University College of Human Medicine

Committee on Admissions (COA) Representative
Marlene Ballejos, PhD (February 2018 – November 2021)
Vice-Chair for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Associate Professor, Family, and Community Medicine
Assistant Dean for Admissions
The University of New Mexico School of Medicine

Committee on Student Affairs (COSA) 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

Representative to Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA)
Donna H. Jackson, EdD (November 2019-November 2022)
Assistant Dean for Admissions
Director, Student Outreach Programs
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicin

Representative to Committee on Student Records (COSR)
Sandra Mingo (May 2018 – November 2021)
COM & Visiting Student Coordinator
AOA Administrator
State University of New York Downstate Medical Center College of Medicine

Central Region (CGSA) Representative
Adrian De Gifis, PhD (November 2020 – November 2023)
Director of Student Programs, SEMich Campus
Student Development Coordinator
Ascension Providence Hospital Southfield Campus  

Northeastern Region (NEGSA) Representative
Sandra Quezada, MD, MS (November 2018 - November 2021)
Associate Dean for Admissions
Assistant Dean for Academic and Multicultural Affairs
Assistant Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Southern Region (SGSA) Representative
Shelvy L. Campbell, PhD (November 2020 – November 2023)
Associate Dean and Director for Diversity & Inclusion
Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine

Western Region (WGSA) Representative
Cherie A. Singer, PhD (November 2018 – November 2021)
Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Associate Professor of Pharmacology
University of Nevada Reno School of Medicine

Association of American Indian Physicians (AAIP) Liaison
Nicole Stern, MD, FACP (June 2018 – November 2021)
Sansum Clinic Urgent Care

Hispanic-Serving Health Professions Schools (HSHPS) Liaison
Norma Perez, MD, DrPH (June 2018 – November 2021)
Director, UTMB Hispanic Center of Excellence and Special Program
University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine

National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions (NAAHP) Liaison
Nika Daryooni (September 2020 – November 2021)
Manager, Graduation & Data
Office of Academic Assistance
College of Arts & Sciences
Georgia State University

Representative on the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) Advisory Committee for Medical School Programs
Princess Currence, DSW, MSW (June 2019 – June 2022)
Director, Curriculum & Education
Rush Medical College

Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison
Abdoulie Njai (November 2020 – November 2021)
MD Candidate
University of Missouri School of Medicine

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