Dean’s Update: October 28, 2022 | College of Human Medicine

October 28, 2022 – Aron Sousa, MD


I had a great visit to the Upper Peninsula this week. It is always wonderful to meet our students and teachers. The UP campus does such a great job for our students and provides outstanding opportunities for students across the peninsula. About one-third of all physicians in UP have graduated from the College of Human Medicine or trained through a CHM residency. And it’s beautiful up there. Every trip I make to UP reminds me of the state motto: Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice. Seriously, that’s our motto. Of course, it could be worse.

I am pleased to announce that Jack Lipton, PhD, chair of the Department of Translational Neuroscience, has received the Lester J. Evans, MD, College of Human Medicine Distinguished Service Award for 2022. This is an award for lifetime achievement and service to the College of Human Medicine and is the college’s highest honor. Dr. Lipton is an accomplished scientist and leader, and, in particular, he is receiving the award for his many contributions to the department, college, and institution. You will recall that he was the founder and sole chair of the Department of Translational Neuroscience, that he supported and led the Spartan Spit COVID-19 testing program for the entire academic community, and that he is a dynamic and courageous leader of university governance for the benefit of faculty and the whole institution. His work in making our college and MSU a better place to learn, work, and pursue knowledge is greatly appreciated.

This past weekend, the Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians held its annual meeting and the chapter recognized the excellence of our faculty with a series of awards:

  • Reynard Bouknight, MD, FACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Laureate Award
  • Ved Gossain, MD, MACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Heather Laird-Fick, MD, FACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Laureate Award
  • Supratik Rayamajhi, MD, FACP: 2022 Michigan Chapter of the American College of Physicians Raymond Murray Governor’s Award – Early Career Physician

They are excellent teachers and true leaders in their discipline. Congratulations!

This week, someone posted political flyers on the walls of the Secchia Center and left them on tables in classrooms and study rooms. Flyers outside of approved display areas have been cleaned up and operations and housekeeping staff will continue to dispose of them when found outside of approved display areas. The college is part of a nonpartisan state university, and the Secchia Center is an academic building. By law, the university and college do not take quiet political positions such as endorsing or supporting specific candidates or proposals. The quorum does not, but its members can and do. After the Dobbs decision, I wrote about the difference between the opinions and positions of the college people and the college position.

Students, student groups and professors can take political positions and post posters in places (see IIA) where general information can be displayed. The distribution of leaflets in university buildings, such as the Secchia Center, is also subject to guidelines (see section III). Material that does not follow the guidelines will be cleaned regardless of its purpose. The university does not censor political speech, even when some of us don’t like it or think it will be bad for the institution. The college is part of the university and does not censor political speech even when some, or many of us, think it is unfair or incompatible with the profession.

And finally, I want to celebrate the new fellowship of Jennifer Johnson, PhD, and her Henry Ford/MSU collaborator, Brian Ahmedani, MSW, PhD. Beyond his roles as Henry Ford in The Link, Brian is a faculty member of MSU’s Department of Psychiatry and is part of the Diaspora CHM Epidemiology and Biostatistics. The NIH Center’s new $15 million grant, “National Integrating Health and Justice Center for Suicide Prevention,” has studies within the center focused on suicide prevention for people entering in contact with the criminal justice system. This follows the previous independent work of the two Drs. Johnson and Ahmedani. Their collaboration speaks to the opportunities that come with integrating Henry Ford’s scientists into the faculty at MSU. This work will be important to so many at-risk and underserved people in our community.

Serve people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD FACP


Dean’s Update

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