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GSA Steering Committee

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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,

It is an honor and a privilege to serve as your 2021-2022 GSA National Chair to lead the GSA Steering Committee and our community of medical school leaders from admissions, student affairs student diversity, financial aid and records.   During recent years we have undergone a particularly transformative period in medical education.  Throughout these times, the GSA has been steadfast in effort as a caring and resilient community focusing on the quality of the applicant and student experience from recruitment, retention, graduation, to residency and beyond, while attending to the well-being of our community.  All of this would not be possible without contributions from each and every one of you, our over 1900 institutional and individual representatives from AAMC member schools.  Thank you!

With guidance from the AAMC, specifically our AAMC teams in Academic Affairs and Constituent Engagement, much of GSA’s action occurs within our committees (chairs and members, work groups) focusing on such things as, information dissemination, resource development, and guideline creation.  These committees, whose chairpersons are listed below, serve an advisory function to the GSA Steering Committee.

We encourage you to contact and get involved with your regional communities as well as your role-specific national committee.  Our progress depends on your involvement and feedback.

In addition, our GSA Steering Committee is fortunate to have liaisons from the AAMC’s Council of Deans and Organization of Student Representatives, as well as the National Association of Advisors for the Health Profession; they are essential contributors to our deliberations and also named below.

During my term as chair in 2021-2022, the GSA Steering Committee will focus on the following:

  1. Establishing a strategic communications plan;
  2. Enhancing collaboration and communication with other groups (GEA), organizations (OSR) within the AAMC, and external to AAMC within the medical education community (i.e., NRMP, NBME);
  3. Reviewing GSA’s website, communications, and engagement strategies to align with our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In closing, through my 25 years in medical education, I am grateful to the AAMC and GSA community for being my ever-present source for information, consultation, support, inspiration, and friendship.  Building on the foundation of prior GSA chairs and leaders, the GSA Steering Committee wants to foster your affiliation with the GSA.  We value you and your feedback, and look forward to working together!

Kathleen Kashima, PhD 
GSA National Chair
Senior Associate Dean of Students
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Steering Committee Members


Kathleen Kashima, PhD (November 2021 – November 2022)
Senior Associate Dean for Students
University of Illinois College of Medicine


Hilit Mechaber, MD (November 2021 – November 2022)
Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine


Marcy Verduin, MD (November 2021 – November 2022)
Associate Dean for Students and Professor of Psychiatry
University of Central Florida College of Medicine 

Immediate Past Chair

Charles A. Pohl, MD (November 2021 – November 2022)
Vice Provost for Student Affairs
Vice Dean for Student Affairs and Career Counseling
Professor of Pediatrics
Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

Previous Past Chair

Anita Pokorny, MEd (November 2021 – November 2022)
Assistant Dean of Students
Assistant Professor, Family and Community Medicine
College of Medicine
Office of the Dean and Medical Education
Northeast Ohio Medical 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

Ann-Gel S. Palermo, MPH, DrPH (November 2018 – November 2022)
Associate Dean for Diversity and Inclusion in Biomedical Education
Associate Professor of Medical Education and Pediatrics
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

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

Alan Erickson, MD (April 2022 – April 2023)
Asst. Dean of Student Affairs
University of Nebraska Medical Center

Northeastern Region (NEGSA) Chair

Sonia Chimienti, MD, FIDSA (April 2022 – April 2023)
Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education
Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine

Southern Region (SGSA) Chair

Jennifer Caceres, MD, FACP (April 2022 – April 2023)
Associate Professor of Medicine
Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University

Western Region (WGSA) Chair

Richard Amini, MD (April 2022 – April 2023)
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

Francie Cuffney, PhD (June 2020 – June 2022)
President-Elect, NAAHP
Professor of Biological Sciences
Department Head, Biology
Meredith College

Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison

Lior Levy (November 2020 – November 2022)
MD Candidate
New York Medical College

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.

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