August 5, 2022 – Aron Sousa, MD
I have a series of announcements for this week, and since I am with COVID there will be no pleonasm.
I think the big news this week is our new relationship with Bay Mills Community College (BMCC). On Wednesday, the college, Bay Mills and Lake Superior State University announced a new Early Assurance Program (EAP) partnership. (I would have been there without COVID.) The university’s EAPs are designed to partner with undergraduate institutions in hopes of preparing and attracting underprivileged students to the profession of medicine. This partnership will help Bay Mills community college students complete their undergraduate program at Lake Superior State University.
Bay Mills is one of three tribal colleges in Michigan and provides key access to higher education “that supports and preserves the culture and language of Anishinaabek.” As a tribal college, BMCC is a land granting institution like MSU. I think this is a wonderful new part of our EAP effort, and it’s an honor to partner with the Bay Mills community. My special thanks go to Liz Lyons, EdD, who has been building these types of partnerships for years and is now the associate director of the premier Leadership in Rural Medicine Certificate Program.
I am pleased to announce that Srinivas Kavuturu, MD, will serve as the Interim Chair of our Department of Surgery. Sri is director of our Department of Surgery I and specializes in the cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract, which includes everything from the esophagus to the small intestine, including the liver, pancreas and bile ducts. He attended medical school at Kurnool Medical College in India and then did his general surgery residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine before taking a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery at Penn State. His research interests include new medical tools in the assessment of the pancreas. I am grateful and happy that Dr. Kavuturu takes the lead to take on this role.
Earlier this week there was a bomb hoax targeting Fee Hall. Our people were great at making sure everyone was out of the building, and my deepest thanks to the MSU Police for their work in clearing the building. Our Director of Security, Jeff Murphy, has the following message for the college:
“Our CHM security team has been in contact with law enforcement and security partners and has learned that there have been similar threats across the country. So far, all of them have been frauds. The operations and security teams in Grand Rapids and Flint have reviewed our procedures and have revamped our training to ensure we are ready should similar threats arise in a college building outside East Lansing.
Finally, if any of our students, faculty, or staff would like to know how a bomb threat will be handled, what to expect if the police respond, or what our internal procedures are for our security team, Dave Bender or I would like to meet with and answer all your questions.
You will find the statement of the MSU police regarding the bomb threat for Fee Hall here.”
The university’s development team is small but mighty. We only have three fundraisers, which are small for the university and very small for medical schools. Nevertheless, the team raised a record $41 million this year, including a record $4 million in grant grants and grants. The college was ranked second in the university in fundraising after athletics. The workload is very high and I appreciate the institutional support for the team. I would especially like to thank Senior Director Stephanie Stotenbur, Associate Director Susie Ziegler and Director of Alumni and Donor Relations, Marci Muller. Feel free to donate and check out the team here.
One of the great things about my job is celebrating the great work of our staff, students and teachers. The university has asked all colleges to provide a “Points of Pride” document that can be shared widely as a snapshot of the work we are doing. They asked us to include some points that align with MSU’s 2030 strategic initiatives for student, staff and faculty success. While we have ideas on what to highlight, we’d love to hear from you. We created a Qualtrics survey to collect your suggestions. Share your thoughts before August 19.
My thanks go to everyone who helps the college excel in so many ways.
Serving the people with you,
Aron Sousa, MD
Dean’s update town halls