Dean’s Update: August 5, 2022 | College of Human Medicine

August 5, 2022 – Aron Sousa, MD


I have a series of announcements for this week, and since I’m down with COVID, there will be no redundancy.

I think the big news of the 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 if not for COVID.) College EAPs are designed to partner the college with undergraduate institutions in hopes of preparing and attracting disadvantaged students to the medical profession. 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 it provides key access to higher education “that supports and sustains Anishinaabek culture and language.” As a tribal college, BMCC is a land-grant 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 to Liz Lyons, EdD, who has created these kinds of partnerships for years and who is now Associate Director of the college’s first Certificate in Rural Medicine Leadership program.

I am delighted to announce that Srinivas Kavuturu, MD will serve as the Acting Chairman of our Surgical Department. Sri is the Director of our Surgery I Fellowship and specializes in cancers of the upper gastrointestinal tract, which includes everything from the esophagus to the small intestine, liver, pancreas and biliary system. He went to medical school at Kurnool Medical College in India, then did his residency in general surgery at Albert Einstein College of Medicine before doing a fellowship in minimally invasive surgery and hepato-pancreato-biliary surgery at Penn State. His research interests include novel medical devices in pancreatic assessment. I am grateful and happy that Dr Kavuturu is stepping up to take on this role.

Earlier in the week there was a bomb hoax directed at Fee Hall. Our folks were great at making sure everyone was out of the building, and my sincere thanks to the MSU police for their work clearing the building. Our Director of Safety, 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 similar threats have occurred across the country. All have been hoaxes so far. Grand Rapids and Flint Operations and Security have reviewed our procedures and updated our training to ensure we are prepared should similar threats occur at a university building outside of 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 when the police respond or what our internal procedures are for our security team, Dave Bender or I would be happy to meet you and answer all your questions.

You can find the MSU police statement regarding the Fee Hall bomb threat here.”

The college development team is small but mighty. We only have three fundraisers, which is small for the university and very small for the medical schools. Nonetheless, the team raised a record $41 million this year, including a record $4 million in scholarship donations and pledges. The college ranked second in the university in fundraising after athletics. The workload is very high and I appreciate the institutional support of the team. Above all, I want to thank Senior Director Stephanie Stotenbur, Associate Director Susie Ziegler, and Director of Alumni and Donor Relations Marci Muller. Feel free to donate and view the team here.

One of the fun parts of my job is celebrating the great work of our staff, students and faculty. The university has asked all colleges to provide a document outlining “points of pride” that can be shared widely as an overview of the work we do. They requested that we include certain points that align with the MSU 2030 strategic initiatives Student Success and Staff and Faculty Success. Although we have ideas about what we want to highlight, we want to hear from you. We’ve created a Qualtrics survey to collect your suggestions. Please share your thoughts by August 19.

My thanks to everyone who helps the college excel in so many ways.

Serve people with you,


Aron Sousa, MD


Dean’s Update