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Meet the OUME Team

OUME Staff Listed Alphabetically


Elliot Beane
Education Specialist

Curriculum Support
Doctoring and Clinical Skills (DCS) 1 and 2

Elliot joined the OUME team in 2021. She received a bachelor’s degree in management from Clemson University and a master’s degree in higher education from the University of Florida. Between 2016 and 2020, Elliot worked in various roles in undergraduate residence life where she facilitated community development through learning communities and extracurricular programs while supporting students throughout their undergraduate years. Prior to joining the OUME team Elliot served as a member of the UMass Medical School Vaccination Corp and assisted COVID-19 vaccination efforts as a vaccination site manager.

After spending 13 years away from New England, Elliot is happy to be back in the Northeast. In her free time, Elliot enjoys spending time with her pup Joe, exploring New England, and working on DIY projects.


Colleen J Burnham, MBA
Educational Specialist III | FCE, CSD
Instructor, Department of Medicine


Curriculum Support
Flexible Clinical Experiences (FCE) | CCE |
Capstone Scholarship & Discovery (CSD) | FOM1, FOM2, CCE, AS |
Colleen joined UMass Medical School in 2009 after 15 years in higher education as a professional teaching associate in psychology and an information specialist in the library, computer, and audiovisual "sciences." A nontraditional student, Colleen earned her MBA from Thomas College in 2009, specializing in adult online learning and conflict management. Colleen’s scholarly interests include information literacy, the ethical use of subjects (human and animal), and scholarly writing. She is a proud 13th generation Mainer, has three amazing grown children, and is a past cornet player in Civil War Era Serenade bands.
Personal websites include: Academic ePortfolio | Professional ePortfolio | Personal Blog
Pawel Stefan Chojnowski
Education Specialist


Curriculum Support
International Medical Education Program (IMEP)
Global Health Pathway (GHP)
Interstitial programming
Advanced Studies Curriculum Committee

Pawel joined the OUME team in 2021. He received his bachelor's degree from Suffolk University in 2015 having double majored in international affairs and history. He is also a graduate of the Macquarie University Global Leadership Program.

In his free time, Pawel enjoys spending time with his friends and family, cooking, and watching movies. He loves to travel where he likes to pack light, only bringing a few changes of clothes and his trusty Sony camera. He tries to see as much as he can and to meet as many interesting people as possible to learn their stories.

"The wide world is all about you: You can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out."
—J.R.R. Tolkien


Gail March Cohen, Ph.D., MFA
Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education 

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine

Gail March Cohen joined UMMS in 2017. Her focus is on preparing learners for their future roles as physicians through effective curriculum design, educator development, and integration of educational technology. She is working closely with curriculum committees and co-chairs the Clerkship Directors Committee. Gail teaches a summer curriculum elective. She oversees the OASIS SOM curriculum database for mapping, scheduling, and reporting. Dr. March Cohen is also leading the development of independent learning modules in partnership with the Academic Instructional Design and Technology team and consults with faculty on small group learning sessions. She directs the Educator Development Program for all who teach UMMS students and provides resources, self-guided learning modules, Med Ed Journal Club, and special event announcements. Gail is a Capstone Advisor, Junior Faculty Development Program mentor, AAMC MedEdPORTAL Faculty mentor, and reviews submissions to multiple medical education journals.

Gail is a visual artist, animator, writer, and film and television screenwriter. She loves to cook, garden, brainstorm new ideas, be with her family, analyze new films and TV shows, and laugh.

Victoria Cohen, MPP
Education Specialist

Victoria joined the OUME team in 2021. She received her Bachelor's degree in American Literature & Culture from UC Los Angeles in 2016. Between 2016 and 2019 Victoria worked in K-12 education and became an alumnus of Teach For America and the Urban Leaders Fellowship. She received her Master's in Education Policy from Vanderbilt University in 2021. While in Nashville she worked for Vanderbilt's OUME and as an education policy research partner.

In her free time, Victoria loves to socialize with people and animals and has a dog, two cats, and a pet hedgehog - all of whom she loves to take on outings. She also enjoys cooking, reading, painting, hiking, and attending poetry and art exhibits. 


Manas Das, MD, MS
Assistant Dean for Foundational Curriculum                   
Associate Professor

Division of Translational Anatomy, Department of Radiology

Dr. D joined UMass from the University of South Dakota in 2018 and has held instructional and educational leadership positions all over the world. He received his medical degree from Calcutta National Medical College, though he stopped practicing medicine to focus on his love of teaching. He is co-leader for the development, structure, and function (DSF) course for the MS1s and the organ system diseases (OSD) course for the MS2s, and in his Assistant Dean role will oversee and spearhead innovation throughout the biomedical pillar of our curriculum.

Interacting with students is his true passion – he loves to teach! When not teaching, he travels, sings, listens to music, watches sports/TV/movies (several of his teaching sessions have references from 'Friends' or a Brad Pitt movie!), and cook. Finally, he is a believer of 'to err is human, forgive divine' and 'to live and let live.'


Melissa A Fischer, MD, MEd
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education

Curriculum Innovation, & the interprofessional Center for Experimental Learning and Simulation (iCELS)
Professor of Medicine

Melissa joined the UMass team directly from her fellowship in Ambulatory Care and Master’s in Education from Stanford in 2002. A general internist by training, she was drawn to the UMass Medical School institutional commitment to education and mission to serve vulnerable populations. She has had the pleasure and privilege of working with colleagues across departments and schools in pursuit of these values. Since assuming leadership of the OUME in 2010, she has worked to support innovation and collaboration, inclusive and experiential learning, and engagement across our community.

A New Yorker by birth, Melissa loves to travel and explore the arts and nature with her family and friends. Though some are skeptical, she feels central MA and northern CA have a lot in common – with liberal perspectives, opportunities for cultural engagement, open space, beaches, and mountains. 
Gerlando LoTempio
Education Specialist
Curriculum Support
Organ System Diseases (OSD)
Transition to Internship
T3 Curriculum Committee
Gerlando joined the OUME team in 2021. He received his bachelor’s degree in English literature from Rutgers University in 2017, while also receiving minors in comparative literature and Italian studies. He also plans to continue his academic endeavors by pursuing his M.A. in English and American Literature. Most of his professional career has been based in higher education and serving students, and he looks forward to continuing to grow within this field.

Gerlando is passionate about academics and is a lifelong student. In his free time, he enjoys traveling in order to soak up all the culture and world experiences he possibly can, reads the literature of all eras and origins, enjoys nature, and spends time with his loved ones.

       "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
—Ralph Waldo Emerson


Arnaldo Machado
Administrative Manager II

Arnaldo joined UMass Medical School in 2021. He holds a degree in Management and Political Science from UMass Boston and comes to us after 12 years of managerial experience in state government. Throughout his career, he administered programs for Mass Health and provided logistics and operations support to the Bureau of Substance Addiction Service at the Department of Public Health. He is deeply committed to advocacy, diversity, and inclusion having volunteered for the CASA program to protect vulnerable children and as a crisis counselor. 

When not working, he reads, sings, draws, catches up on the latest shows, and plays computer and role-playing games. He also loves cooking and enjoying the company of his family and puppies.

“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes... you're Doing Something.”
—Neil Gaiman


Karen Morrissey, MBA, CAGS
Education Specialist
Curriculum Support
Interstitial Curriculum (ISC)/Interprofessional Experiences (IPE)
Transition to Core Clinical Experience (TCCE)
Elective Curriculum Committee (ECC)
Optional Enrichment Electives (OEE)
Karen joined the OUME team in 2019. Karen worked for 11 years in a postsecondary health and counseling setting where she tracked and reported student immunization requirements as well as case visits and facilitated the health and wellness events. Prior to her role in health and counseling, she worked at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the Caitlin Raymond International Bone Marrow Registry, and was an instructor for the American Red Cross. Karen has a bachelor's degree in health education as well as a Master of Business Administration with a certificate of advanced graduate study in health informatics.
In her free time, Karen enjoys time with family and friends, book clubs, and trips to the beach.
Sonia Nunes
Education Specialist
OUME Onboarding Partner
Curriculum Support
Learning Communities
Principles of Pharmacology (FM106)
Infections (FM109)
Transition to Advanced Studies
Clerkship Directors Committee
Core Clinical Experience Committee
Sonia joined the OUME in 2019. A proud native of Worcester, she earned her Bachelor of Arts in English literature and art history from Assumption College in 2017—Go Hounds! She went on to earn a certificate of advanced graduate study in higher education administration from Stonybrook University, School of Professional Development. Her background in editorial, health care, and higher education fields have prepared her for a dynamic role on our team, and she enjoys bringing energy and a creative eye to every project. 
On weekends, you can find her with her Polish or Brazilian families—sharing great food, listening to remarkable stories, and playing with cousins and nieces and nephews. She is a voracious reader, antique shop visitor, and subscriber to perhaps one-too-many true crime podcasts. 

Mirela Skaka
Administrative Assistant III

Mirela joined the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education department in July of 2021 after 18 years of experience as an Administrative Assistant and Case Management Coordinator in the Workers Compensation Insurance. She received a degree in Business and Economics from the Tirana Agricultural University in Albania and has a certificate in client-server technology from WPI. She now supports Melissa Fischer, Manas Das, and Gail March Cohen. She also oversees our summer Research and Curriculum Exploration program, clinical-grade turn-around, Poster Sessions, and new upcoming projects as they develop.

In her free time, Mirela enjoys being outdoors and spending time with family and friends.

Michael Sweeney, MS, NREMT
Education Specialist
OUME Onboarding Partner


Curriculum Support
The Brain (FM201)
Development, Structure, and Function (FM105)
Medical Physiology, Histology and Embryology (HSP502)
FOM1 Curriculum Committee
Senior Scholars
Michael joined the OUME team in 2019. Michael has been at UMass Medical School in various positions since 2010. He has worked in the Emergency Department as a Medical Scribe, as well as a Clinical Research Assistant. He also worked as a Standardized Patient for several years! He received his Bachelor’s Degree in Biology with a Neuroscience Concentration and Psychology from Assumption College in 2016. He earned his Master's in Medical Sciences from Boston University School of Medicine in 2019. He is currently enrolled in the MBA in Healthcare Management program at Assumption University.
In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with family and working as an EMT/firefighter in his hometown of Blackstone, Massachusetts. He also likes hiking, cooking, and taking care of his two cats with extra toes (Paulie and Buckey)! 
Jean M Welker, MA
Education Specialist
Program/System Support
FOM1 & FOM2: Academic Year Calendaring, Room Reservations
Oasis Curriculum Management and Student Scheduling
SOM Faculty Blackboard Learn Access
Curriculum Inventory
FOM2 Curriculum Committee
Jean joined the OUME in 2019 after many years in the UMass Memorial Health Care and UMass Medical School systems. Most recently, she worked as a project coordinator in the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society, managing the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) programs. Before that, Jean worked at UMMHC in the Center for Health and Fitness, working with employee wellness, cardiac rehab, and pulmonary rehab. 
In her free time, Jean enjoys being outdoors and spending time with family and friends. 
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