Logo: California University of Science and Medicine- Faculty Affairs

Volume 01

June 2023

CUSM building photo

Offices of Faculty Affairs

& Faculty Development

Greetings CUSM Faculty, 

It is with great pleasure that we present the first edition of our CUSM Faculty Affairs Newsletter. We plan to publish 3-4 editions a year to share news, events, opportunities for development and highlight the achievements of our faculty. Please send your news items or ideas on content you would like to see to facultyaffairs@cusm.org.

In this initial edition, we would like to begin by introducing/re-familiarizing you with our role and the members of our team. The Offices of Faculty Affairs & Faculty Development are here to help faculty successfully navigate academic life at CUSM. We partner with our departments to enhance their efforts and ensure that clear processes are in place to support faculty needs. 

Our responsibilities include: 

  • Facilitating faculty appointments (initial ranking, orientation to faculty life, reappointment) 
  • Supporting our faculty and departments in the promotion process 
  • Fostering and sustaining faculty governance (faculty assembly/committees) 
  • Maintaining and providing expertise on faculty policies, procedures and data 
  • Encouraging faculty recognition through publication of achievements and awards 
  • Designing, developing, and implementing professional faculty development programs and initiatives focusing on medical education, wellness, productivity, and faculty satisfaction.

Meet our Team!

Louise Borda

Louise Borda

Senior Associate Dean of

Educational Operations



Linda Connelly Profile Photo

Linda Connelly

Associate Dean of

Faculty Affairs



Shannon Richardson Profile Photo

Shannon Richardson

Director of

Faculty Affairs



Jonathan Townsend Profile Photo

Jonathan Townsend

Director of

Faculty Development



Luke Ridout Profile Photo

Luke Ridout

Professional Development




Stephanie Diaz Profile Photo

Stephanie Diaz

Administrative Assistant

Faculty Affairs



Visit our website
Send us an email

Faculty Recognition

Teaching Excellence Awards

On Thursday, May 18th, fourteen faculty members from the School of Medicine received teaching excellence awards. These awards were selected by the graduating class of 2023 and CUSM Faculty members. These awards were presented at the annual Spring Awards Banquet.

Student Nominated Awards

Pre-Clerkship Faculty Award

Joseph Dhahbi

Student Advocacy Award

Frank Scali

Leadership Award

Vy Han

Research Mentor Award

Hani Atamna

CUSM Spirit Award

Gordon Green

Clerkship Faculty Award

Maryam Zand

Faculty Nominated Awards

Excellence in Pre-Clerkship and Graduate Teaching,

MD and MBS Programs

Timothy Hantz

Excellence in Clerkship Teaching, MD Program

Tommy Lee

Advancing the Mission Award

Devadas Moses


Alexandra Lopez Vera

Research or Scholarship Award

Jun Ling


Fauzia Nausheen

Spring Awards Faculty group photo

Lisa Schwartz (Interim Chair, Department of Medical Education), Paul Lyons (Dean, School of Medicine), Alexandra Lopez Vera, Fauzia Nausheen, Hani Atamna, Frank Scali, Joseph Dhahbi, Jun Ling, Helena Spartz, Vy Han, Shawn Koh, Timothy Hantz, Devadas Moses, and Robert Suskind (Founding Dean).

Maegen Dupper and Tommy Lee photo

Maegen Dupper (Associate Dean of Clinical Curriculum) and Tommy Lee

Stephanie Diaz, Maryam Zand, and Linda Connelly photo

Stephanie Diaz (Office of Faculty Affairs), Maryam Zand, and Linda Connelly (Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs)

Suskind Awards

The Robert Suskind and Leslie Lewinter-Suskind Awards for Excellence in Preclinical and Clinical Medical Education were established through a generous gift from the Suskinds and are awarded annually. Dr Suskind was the founding dean of CUSM and was dedicated to establishing a culture of educational excellence. 

Nominees for the pre-clinical award are selected by the first and second year medical students; nominees for the clinical award are selected by the third and fourth year students. The Faculty Awards Committee then select award recipients.

Suskind Pre-Clerkship Teaching Award

Helena Spartz

Helena Spartz and Robert Suskind photo

Helena Spartz and Robert Suskind

Suskind Clerkship Teaching Award

Shawn Koh

Shawn Koh and Robert Suskind photo

Shawn Koh and Robert Suskind

Faculty Assembly Updates

The Faculty Assembly is the faculty governance body for CUSM. The Faculty Assembly consists of all individuals with faculty appointments – so if you are new to our faculty then welcome also to the Faculty Assembly! If you would like to learn more about the functioning of the Faculty Assembly access the Faculty Assembly bylaws here: Bylaws Link

The Faculty Assembly has recently completed the election process for members of our Standing Committees for the 23/24 academic year. The new membership will take effect on July 17th with the start of the new MD academic year. Training for all Committee members will be held on July 27th at noon with both in person and online participation offered. More information will be shared nearer this date by email. 


The Faculty Executive Council is the administrative branch of the Faculty Assembly. This year Dr. Carol Lee, Professor of Emergency Medicine will serve as the Chair for the Faculty Executive Council and the Faculty Assembly. Dr. Helena Spartz, Associate Professor of Medical Education and Pathology has recently been elected to serve as Vice Chair/Chair Elect. 


If you are a new faculty member who would like to learn more about opportunities to participate in Faculty Assembly or the Faculty Assembly Committees, please contact Linda Connelly, Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs (connellyl@cusm.org)


The final Faculty Assembly meeting for this academic year was held on Wednesday March 31st. At this meeting we recognized our Committee Chairs for the 22/23 academic year as well as faculty who were recently promoted. 

Faculty who were promoted:

  • Dr. Sunny Nakae, Professor
  • Dr. Amir Azar, Associate Professor
  • Dr. Hina Mohsin, Associate Professor
  • Dr. Helena Spartz, Associate Professor
Ozzie Zhang and Dr. Lyons photo

Ozzie Zhang and Dr. Lyons

Jonas Addae and Dr. Lyons photo

Jonas Addae and Dr. Lyons

Hina Mohsin and Helena Spartz with Dr. Lyons photo

Hina Mohsin and Helena Spartz with Dr. Lyons

2022-2023 CUSM Faculty Committee Chairs

Faculty Executive Council

Linda Connelly


Webster Wong

Assessment & Evaluation

Hina Mohsin


Rodney Borger


Helena Spartz

PreClerkship Subcommittee

Jonas Addae

Clerkship Subcommittee

Greg Fenati

Diversity & Inclusion

Vanessa Orozco

Graduate Admissions

Maiyon Park

Graduate Curriculum

Ozzie Zhang

Rank & Promotion

Fauzia Nausheen


Munther Alqaisi

Student Academic Standards and Promotions

David Seigler

Vanessa Orozco and Dr. Lyons photo
Maiyon Park and Dr. Lyons photo
Fauzia Nausheen and Dr. Lyons photo
Linda Connelly and David Seigler photo

From left to right: Dr. Lyons photographed with: Vanessa Orozco, Maiyon Park, and Fauzia Nausheen; Linda Connelly and David Seigler.

Faculty Spotlights

Jun Ling photo

Dr. Jun Ling, PhD

Professor of Medical Education, Biochemistry, and Immunology 

Dr. Ling was invited to give an oral presentation at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Conference held from March 25th to 28th in Seattle, WA. Dr. Ling’s talk was titled “Phosphorylation of ribosomal proteins by p21-activated kinase 2 (PAK2) is a novel mechanism to inhibit mRNA translation under oxidative stress.”

One of our CUSM MD students, Ms. Rachita Pandya, was a co-author on this research study. Dr Ling was also selected to Chair a Spotlight session on “Protein synthesis, structure, modifications and interactions” at the conference. 

Dr. Nicole Stern, MD, MPH, FACP

Assistant Professor of Medical Education 

Dr. Stern recently published an Open Editorial in the Neurology Blog titled “Achieving Health Equity in the Native American Physician Workforce.”

You can read Dr. Stern’s article using the link below, there is a bio of Dr. Stern underneath the article.

Click here to read the article
Nicole Stern photo
Sherif Hassan Photo

Dr. Sherif Hassan, MD, PhD

Professor of Medical Education, Anatomy, Neuroanatomy

Dr. Hassan and his CUSM faculty colleagues Frank Scali, Charity Thomann and Tommy Lee along with many of our MD students have shared their research at recent national and international conferences. Platform and poster presentation topics included “Diagnostic Accuracy of Artificial Intelligence in Vertebral Fractures: A Systematic Review,” “Medical Student Engagement & Self-Efficacy in a Teaching Blended Sequential Model in MSK Anatomy Lab” and “Student vs. Resident Instructor Effectiveness for Basic Laparoscopy Training."

These were presented at the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada, the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons Annual Meeting in San Francisco and the American Association of Clinical Anatomy Annual Conference, Orlando, FL. 

Faculty Development Updates

CUSM Annual Development Week

August 7-11

This annual event draws all CUSM staff and faculty to interactive workshops and trainings on a range of topics to gain new knowledge and a fresh perspective on professional and academic practice. Development Week is produced by the Office of Faculty & Professional Development. Look for a more detailed schedule soon. 

Faculty Development Session Archives

Our faculty development session archives has launched! Did you miss a session because you were teaching or in a meeting? Access all session recordings and documents in our session archives. Housed in our SharePoint site (requires CUSM login).

Access the Session Archive

Upcoming Events

Orientation for Faculty Assembly Standing Committee Members

July 27th | 12:00 PM-1:00 PM

This event will provide training to all CUSM Faculty Committee members. Individuals will given guidance on the roles and responsibilities of all committee members. This session will be held in-person and online - invitation to follow by email.

Please contact us for any faculty news items or spotlight submissions.

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