College of

College Leadership

Interim Dean


Aron Sousa, MD, FACP, was appointed interim dean of the College of Human Medicine, October 25, 2019. He previously served as interim dean in 2015 and 2016, prior to the appointment of Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. as dean.

In his previous role, Sousa served as senior associate dean for academic affairs at the College of Human Medicine, a post he held since 2006. He was responsible for the medical education programs of the college in the seven community campuses across Michigan. During that time he managed the doubling of the college’s class size and converting its two-year, 60 student Grand Rapids campus into a four-year, 350 student campus. He also led the creation of a pair of new, two-year clinical campuses in Traverse City, Midland and in Southeast Michigan.

The majority of Dr. Sousa’s work is in medical education and curriculum. He led the design of the college’s new and highly successful Shared Discovery Curriculum, which is characterized by robust clinical experiences in each year of medical school, promotion based on progress testing, and content organized by chief complaint rather than organ system or discipline. Dr. Sousa leads the college’s accreditation activity and regularly serves as a site team member for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education. As the leader of the college’s $30 million expansion in Flint, Dr. Sousa was the PI on the C.S. Mott Foundation grants that led to the college establishing the College of Human Medicine building and the creation of the Division of Public Health in downtown Flint.

Dr. Sousa is a practicing general internist. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and his medical degree from Indiana University School of Medicine. He then served as both a resident and chief resident in internal medicine and completed a primary care fellowship at Michigan State University.

Senior Associate Dean of Research


Walter J. Esselman, PhD, steers the research efforts of the MSU College of Human Medicine in concordance with the university’s office of the executive vice president for health sciences and the vice president for research and innovation. 

Known for fostering research collaborations, Dr. Esselman works locally, regionally and nationally to expand MSU’s efforts to solve key health and developmental problems. He promotes relationships between physicians and scientists, institutional and business leaders, and community partners, harnessing their combined efforts to transform health care in Michigan.

Dr. Esselman led the College of Human Medicine’s efforts to hire more than 20 researchers through the university’s Global Impact Initiative, oversaw the creation of the Health Colleges Research Services Office, which provides pre-award grant submission services to three health colleges, and guides faculty and staff involved in matching medical students to faculty members for research experiences. 

Prior to joining the medical school, Dr. Esselman chaired the Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics for 10 years. Under his leadership, the department recruited more than 20 faculty, the research productivity of the department more than doubled, and the department’s esteemed faculty included four National Academy members.

Dr. Esselman was instrumental in recruiting the dean of the College of Human Medicine in 2016, the director of the Institute for Quantitative Health Science and Engineering (IQ); the director of the Precision Health Program and the director of the Elemental Health Institute. Dr. Esselman has furthered relationships with leaders and researchers at Spectrum Health, Henry Ford Health, Van Andel Institute, and public-private partnership collaborators in the Grand Rapids region. 

Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs


Wanda Lipscomb, PhD, is the senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion and the associate dean for student affairs. Dr. Lipscomb is also the director of the Advanced Baccalaureate Learning Experience (ABLE) program.

Dr. Lipscomb received her Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Lincoln University, Penn., Master of Arts degree in psychology from Washington University, and PhD in counseling psychology from Michigan State University. She completed the AAMC Healthcare Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion Certificate Program in 2016. Dr. Lipscomb is nationally known for her work promoting diversity in medical education and work in medical student affairs.

Currently the national chair of the National Council on Diversity in the Health Professions (NCDHP), Dr. Lipscomb is also a member of the national steering committee and the past national chair of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Student Affairs. She is a founding member, past regional chair, and former national steering committee member of the AAMC Group on Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Lipscomb is a Past National President of the National Association of Medical Minority Educators and a past national president of the Association of Multicultural Counseling and Development.

Interim Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education


Dr. Wagner graduated from the University of Illinois Abraham Lincoln School of Medicine, and did her internal medicine residency with Michigan State University.  She has presented and published nationally and internationally on systems of assessment, performance-based assessment and simulation, as well as patient safety and team training.  She is the recipient of multiple teaching awards, and most recently was the recipient of the Lester J. Evans MD CHM Distinguished Service Award.

Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Staff Administration


Nara Parameswaran BVSc, MS, PhD, is the associate dean for faculty affairs and staff administration and a professor in the Department of Physiology.

Dr. Parameswaran completed training in veterinary medicine in India. He then obtained a master’s degree in veterinary physiology and pharmacology from Ohio State University and a PhD in physiology from Michigan State University. Following a postdoctoral fellowship at Kimmel Cancer Center (Thomas Jefferson University), Dr. Parameswaran joined MSU as an assistant professor in the tenure stream in the Department of Physiology and is currently a full professor in the department.

Dr. Parameswaran’s research is focused on understanding the mechanisms involved in innate immunity, inflammation and disease, as well as identifying potential therapeutic targets.  His research program has consistently received funding through NIH and other agencies (PubMed link to his publications).

In addition to extensive classroom teaching, Dr. Parameswaran has mentored and continues to mentor undergraduate, graduate and professional students. He also serves as an associate editor, and reviewer for several journals as well as serves on several national and international grant review panels including the NIH. He is a current member of the AAMC Group on Faculty Affairs. He has also served in a variety of leadership roles in the department, college and the university and has received the College of Human Medicine Distinguished faculty award in 2018. 

Assistant Dean for Diversity and Cultural Initiatives


Dr. Lowery completed her medical education at the University of Michigan, and her combined Internal Medicine/Pediatrics Residency at Spectrum Health-Butterworth Michigan State University.  Dr. Lowery completed a subspeciality fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where she also obtained a Master of Public Health.  

Dr. Lowery is very active in her community serving on several boards.  Dr. Lowery is a recent inductee in the Gold Humanism Honor Society.

Assistant Dean for Research


Jeff MacKeigan, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Biology and Pediatrics & Human Development, and Assistant Dean for Research at the College of Human Medicine. Dr. MacKeigan has fostered several relationships for the college with leaders and researchers at Spectrum Health, Henry Ford Health System, Van Andel Institute, and the many great collaborators in the region. 

Dr. MacKeigan received his Ph.D. in Microbiology & Immunology at the University of North Carolina Comprehensive Cancer Center. He completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School with fellowship funding from the American Cancer Society. Prior to joining MSU, Dr. MacKeigan held positions at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research and Van Andel Research Institute. 

Dr. MacKeigan’s research focuses on signaling pathways essential for cancer cell growth and survival to inform new treatment strategies. His research investigates the cell signaling networks that encompass autophagy, the mTOR pathway, and cancer metabolism. The MacKeigan Lab uses a variety of cutting-edge technologies, combined with tumor biology expertise and pathway knowledge to study complex diseases. The laboratory has been awarded over 30 externally funded Research Grants. All of Dr. MacKeigan’s research projects have one common goal - to identify novel therapeutic targets. 

Assistant Dean for Precision Health


Anna Moore, PhD, is the director of precision health program, assistant dean in the College of Human Medicine, and a professor in the Departments of Radiology and Physiology. Prior to joining MSU, she worked for 27 years at Massachusetts General Hospital(MGH)/Harvard Medical School and was a professor of radiology and director of molecular imaging laboratory. 

Dr. Moore received her Master of Science degree in chemistry from Moscow State University, Russia, and obtained her PhD degree in bioorganic chemistry from the Institute of Biochemistry, Russian Academy of Sciences 

Her work is aimed at developing image-guided therapies for metastatic cancer. Dr. Moore is a recipient of multiple grant awards from the NIH and other funding agencies, and published her work in the most prestigious journals including Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Biotechnology, PNAS and others. She received multiple national and international awards including a Distinguished Investigator Award from the Academy of Radiology Research and an Outstanding Teacher Award from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine. She served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the World Molecular Imaging Society. For her service to the Society Dr. Moore was elected as a Fellow of the World Molecular Imaging Society.

Assistant Dean for Professional Development and Director of the Office of Medical Education, Research and Development


Randi Stanulis, Professor, OMERAD Director and Assistant Dean for Professional Development, leads educator development on effective teaching and learning practices. She also leads professional development for faculty and staff leaders, including leading the CHM initiative to develop college-wide culture enhancement through promoting habits of effectiveness. In 2007, Stanulis received MSU’s prestigious Outreach Scholarship Community Outreach Award for her partnership work with the Lansing School District to enhance the learning support of new teachers.

Assistant Dean for Student Wellness and Engagement


Assistant Dean of Clinical Experiences


Assistant Dean of Admissions


Dr. Maurer completed his medical education at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, NE, a family medicine residency at Middlesex Hospital in Middletown, CT, and an obstetrics and gynecology residency at the University of Missouri Hospitals and Clinics in Columbia, MO.   

Dr. Maurer is actively involved in the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) and is known for his advocacy for disadvantaged and marginalized students entering medicine.  He has served regionally as the Chair of the Central Region Group on Student Affairs Steering Committee and nationally as the Central Region Representative to the AAMC’s Committee on Admissions.  He has also made active contributions to the AAMC’s Ad Hoc Working Group on Admissions Tools and Resources and Ad Hoc Working Group on Social Justice and Advocacy in Admissions.  He regularly presents at national/regional meetings and pre-health conferences.  He has additional experience and interest in mentoring premedical applicants who identify within the LGBTQAI+ community. 

Assistant Dean for Program Evaluation and Continuous Quality Improvement, Executive Director for Academic Affairs and Director of Continuing Medical Education


Carol Parker oversees the college’s efforts to continuously evaluate the MD educational program for consistency with accreditation expectations as well as provides administrative leadership to Academic Affairs and the Continuing Medical Education Office. Carol earned her doctorate in epidemiology from the college and a masters in public health from the University of Michigan. Carol is the director for one of the four required intersessions for first year medical students (Health Systems Complexities and Patient Vulnerabilities) and a co-director of the Public Health Intersession. She has taught in many courses for CHM legacy and Shared Discovery Curriculum including Applications of Epidemiology and Biostatistics (EPI 547), Health Policy Module (HM 547), Integrative Module (HM 547), and Epidemiology/Evidence Based Medicine Intersession.

In addition to her administrative and teaching roles, Carol has a diverse scholarly background including assessing student progress, health professions workforce policy, patient safety training for medical residents, stroke quality metrics, and health information exchange organizations and their role in clinical research including the ability to inform transitions of care for stroke patients.

Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education


Dr. Pearson completed his medical education at Wayne State University and his internship and residency in Family Medicine at the MSU/St. Lawrence Family Practice Residency, where he served as chief resident in his third year. After two years in private practice, Dr. Pearson joined the faculty at MSU-CHM, where his career has been dedicated to resident education. He has served as both residency and sports medicine fellowship director and is currently a core faculty member of the Sparrow/MSU Family Medicine Residency. His research interests lie in primary care sports medicine, particularly the diagnosis and management of sports concussion. 

Dr. Pearson is a fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Sports Medicine. He was selected to receive the CHM Outstanding Clinician Award in 2015 and was inducted into the Sparrow Physicians Hall of Fame that same year. Nationally, he serves on the faculty for the National Family Medicine Board Review Course and is a consultant with the AAFP Residency Program Solutions. He has also served as Team Physician for MSU Football since 1994.

Assistant Dean, Student Career and Professional Development


Julie Phillips, MD, MPH, is Professor of Family Medicine and the Assistant Dean for Student Career and Professional Development at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Dr. Phillips received her medical degree and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Michigan, and completed her residency training in Family Medicine at the same institution.  

Dr. Phillips’ professional interests include student, resident, and faculty professional development; social mission-driven medical education; narrative medicine; women in Family Medicine; and development of the primary care physician workforce. Dr. Phillips is particularly known for her research on how students make career choices, and how this shapes the emerging primary care physician workforce. She has also published many narrative pieces and poems. 

Dr. Phillips is a core faculty member at the Sparrow-MSU Family Medicine Residency Program in Lansing, where she practices full-spectrum Family Medicine and serves as the program’s Research Director. She also serves as an Assistant Editor for Family Medicine, focused on narrative submissions; and as a founding Associate Editor for PRIMER. When she is not working, Dr. Phillips enjoys reading and writing poetry, biking, knitting, swimming, cooking, participating in her local church, and spending time with her family and friends.

Assistant Dean and Chief External Relations Officer


Jerry Kooiman has a bachelor's degree in political science from Calvin College and a master’s degree in public administration from Grand Valley State University. Mr. Kooiman oversees communications and marketing, hospital relations, community engagement and outreach, government relations and industry partnerships for the college.

Prior to coming to MSU in 2007, Jerry Kooiman served as an elected official from Grand Rapids (Kent County Commissioner and State Representative) for eight years and worked for two Members of Congress. Nationally, Mr. Kooiman has served on the Steering Committee and is a past chair of the Group on Institutional Advancement for the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Director of Wellness, Resilience and Vulnerable Populations


Claudia Finkelstein, MDCM, is a general internist who practiced for over 30 years in academic medical centers. She became interested in physician mental health and wellness as she listened to the suffering of trainees, and 20 years ago began to develop wellness curriculum for students and residents.   

Since then, her work has included creating peer support programs, a subsidized mindfulness training program, and numerous faculty development programs focused on wellness.  Claudia was recruited to the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine where she is an Associate professor in the department of medicine. She began her exciting new position as director of wellness, resiliency, and support for the vulnerable in July 2018.  

Claudia firmly believes well-adjusted, joyful physicians will improve the lives of hundreds of patients, trainees and family members and is committed to the goal of diminishing human suffering.

Communications Director


Geri Ann Kelley, MM, is the communications director for the College of Human Medicine, a position she has held for nearly 15 years.

From 2007 – 2011, Ms. Kelley managed marketing communication initiatives for the nation’s largest medical school expansion. In 2016, she established the branding and communication tools for the college’s new Shared Discovery Curriculum. She has also communications and media relations campaigns – from construction-to-grand-openings – for the college’s new headquarters in Grand Rapids, the Secchia Center, in 2010; the Flint Community Campus in downtown Flint in 2014; and the MSU Grand Rapids Research Center in 2017.

Among her roles are strategic planning and communication support for the medical school’s collaborative initiatives with hospital, institution, and research partners.

A mighty Spartan, Ms. Kelley holds a bachelor’s degree from the Michigan State University College of Communication Arts and Sciences and a Master of Management degree from Aquinas College, Grand Rapids. Prior to MSU, she served as PR counsel for health care and higher education clients.

Ms. Kelley is chair of the public affairs and communications group on the steering committee for the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement (GIA) and has served in other capacities for the GIA since 2011. In addition, she represents Michigan State University as a member of the communications working group for the Big Ten Cancer Research Consortium.

Senior Director of Development


In her role as Senior Director of Development, Stephanie serves as the lead philanthropic officer for the College of Human Medicine and manages a team of development and alumni professionals who support the College’s research and medical education mission. Prior to joining the CHM in 2018, Stephanie served MSU as the regional director for major gifts in West and Northern Michigan for more than ten years. Her fundraising career stems back to her work at Van Andel Institute and prior to that Davenport University. She is a graduate of the Big Ten Fundraiser’s Institute and a member of the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Advancement, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP),and the Council for Advancement & Support of Education (CASE).