Council Minutes for May 2012:

Persons in Attendence:

Vijay Pandyarajan, Meredith Whitney, Tom Richardson, Andrew Lavik, Emily Hamburg, Heather Connelly, Alex McMillan, Zach Nevin, Marisa Winkler, Kumar Sukhdeo, Joe Vithayathil, DaShawn Hickman, Kirkland Wilson, Abner Murray, Jeff Krimmel, Cliff Harding



May 1, 2012



1.     Summer Retreat

2.     Representative to Faculty Council

3.     Representative to BGSO

4.     Representative to GSS

5.     Women’s Group

6.     Student mentorship program

7.     Admissions

8.     Other business


Summer retreat:

Meredith said that the agenda and plans have been finalized.  The only remaining issue is to get t-shirt designs.  As originally planned, the MSTP will also need to make a plan for matching mentors and mentees at the retreat.  Meredith asked whether we could have mentors and mentees meet for the first time during the lunch breaks, either Monday or during the Tuesday lunch separated by department as Joe suggested.  Marisa said it would be best to match mentors early, several weeks before the retreat, and Kumar suggested designated people who can help entering M1s find housing or summer rotations.  Emily said that admitted students have been contacted by current MSTP students regarding these issues, as part of recruitment.  Cliff agreed with the students’ plan to match mentors before the retreat, and have them meet during the lunch.  Vijay also recalled that there was not a great deal of interest among the M1s to request specific mentors this year, so having the Executive Committee do the pairings should work again.  Meredith suggested that after the pairings are finalized along with the incoming class, the mentors should send an introductory email prior to the retreat.


With regards to housing arrangements at the retreat, Kumar inquired about cabins as we had in the past.  Meredith said she would have to ask Kathy.  Cliff said he did not think we were planning to this year, since the last time the cabins were given to us due to a mix-up with our room reservations, but he would ask.


Cliff also inquired whether there would be any reasons to have students attend the M1 orientation session on Monday afternoon, to give any advice.  Council replied that there are other opportunities during the retreat, such as the mentor/mentee introductory lunch, and incoming M1s can address specific questions to their mentor.


Representative to Faculty Council:

Zach reported that a new early concerns form is live and available on the ePortal, but has not yet been advertised to the students.  At Faculty Council, a representative from the Committee on Students reported this new system.  It applies to all medical students in all phases, including MSTPs in the PhD phase.  It is a web form that is an anonymous reporting system (the reporting student only needs to leave a name so the Society Deans can seek more information if needed, and only the Society Deans see the name).  Cliff asked how the students feel about this new system.  He felt there is a key balance in situations where authority is needed and where it may be overstepping.  This balance is mirrored in the approach the MSTP is taking with student mentors, since the MSTP strives to keep confidentiality in mentor/mentee interactions.  Council members generally favored this new early concerns system.  Andrew felt this was a good outlet as it is not a student-teacher reporting relationship, but rather more of a support net for peers, which is good for students.  Heather also noted that students feel comfortable talking to their Society Deans about personal problems, so this system would be a continuation of that relationship.


Zach reported that the Anatomy Department is still in flux while the Dean’s Office is proceeding with a top-down analysis of all School of Medicine departments, with a focus on addressing the Anatomy and Genetics Departments.


Zach also reported discussions about faculty salary packages, but was not sure if MSTP Council would be interested since these matters do not directly pertain to students.  Andrew was curious about the starting salaries for new faculty, since MSTP students are likely to be interested in faculty positions in the future.  Cliff reported that many groups publish statistics on salaries.  For example, the AAMC does a comprehensive survey for clinical departments, and other groups have publications on basic science salaries.


Representative to BGSO:

Meredith announced that there is an event in Pittsburgh on Friday May 4, titled “what can I do with my PhD.”  Also, the BGSO is doing a social event at the Blind Pig on May 18.


Representative to GSS:

Meredith reported that the GSS is working on a resolution regarding accessibility, funding, and services at Veale.


Women’s group:

Meredith and Marisa announced that instead of a lunch meeting in May, the MSTP women’s group is invited to the Women Faculty of the School of Medicine Spring Dinner on May 30.  Students should RSVP to Kathleen Beal by May 18.


Graduation party:

Cliff reminded students to attend the graduation party, May 2 at 5 p.m.



Cliff announced that April 30 was the deadline for admitted students to indicate their choice of program in AMCAS.  Twelve students indicated a yes to CWRU, which will probably remain solid but is always flexible due to admissions decisions from wait lists.  The Case MSTP will have eleven entering M1 students and one student entering in the PhD phase, who was a Case University Program MD student previously.  The goal size for the program is fourteen, and so Cliff will be making a few more offers soon.


Monthly meeting:

DaShawn reported that the M1 class is still working on a speaker for May, and that the monthly meeting will be towards the end of the month.


Mentorship and action items for the Executive Committee:

Once all the new M1 class is committed, and in order to do the mentor pairings in advance of summer retreat, the Executive Committee will obtain a list of the incoming students and a list of volunteer mentors who are currently not assigned to mentees.  If we need to recruit more volunteer mentors, we can start with the existing M2 students who are transitioning into labs and the PhD phase this month.


Next MSTP Council meeting: Tuesday June 12, 5:45 p.m.


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