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SOM Admissions Office receives Chancellor’s Award for Advancing UMMS Mission

Admissions team cited for “immense skill, innovative thinking and an inspirational attitude”

Award recipients (from left): Brenda Fusaro, Jennifer Lee Shea, Karen Lawton and Paul Charles

The School of Medicine Admissions Office at UMass Medical School was honored with the Chancellor’s Award for Advancing the UMMS Mission at the 41st Annual Employee Service Awards Dinner on Wednesday, Oct. 9. Chancellor Michael F. Collins recognized Karen Lawton, director of admissions; Jennifer Lee Shea, admissions coordinator; Brenda Fusaro, interview coordinator; and Paul Charles, project coordinator.

“You exemplify the very best of what it means to be an employee at the University of Massachusetts Medical School,” Chancellor Collins said. “With this recognition, please know that your hard work and attention to detail are noticed and appreciated.”

The School of Medicine, which began accepting out-of-state students three years ago, has grown its class size to approximately 162 students; adopted the multiple mini-interview format for prospective students; transformed its admissions process; and incorporated the new and unique curriculum track for Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health (PURCH), which is based at the new regional campus in Springfield, UMMS-Baystate. In all of these many developments, the admissions team has played a key role, Collins said.

“Consider that three years ago, our School of Medicine received approximately 1,200 applications from Massachusetts residents each admissions cycle. Last year, the admissions office received more than 4,000 applications,” he said. “They have responded to a more complex and complicated admissions process with immense skill, innovative thinking and an inspirational attitude. A sense of purpose and passion pervade the office. Their dedication to the School of Medicine and to upholding the highest values and ideals of our institution is powerfully demonstrated every day and in each interaction with an aspiring physician.”

“As a team, they go above and beyond routinely to fulfill their duties and responsibilities,” he said.

The Chancellor’s Award for Advancing the UMMS Mission recognizes an individual staff member or team whose actions make a substantial impact in advancing the mission of the institution through public service, research, teaching or health care delivery. The honorees do so with a commitment to the vision and mission of UMMS; dedication to always supporting what is in the best interest of UMMS; initiative to accomplish goals using new and improved methods; vision to see opportunities for change and develop innovative solutions; and passion for achieving UMMS goals and mission.