Director, Positive Learning Environment: Mark Miceli, Ed.D., MSW

Creating a positive learning environment for every learner at on the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) campus is a top priority. The UMMS Director for a Positive Learning Environment is dedicated to ensuring a safe, secure and positive learning environment for all learners on campus, including students from the School of Medicine (SOM), Graduate School of Nursing (GSN), Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS), post-doctoral scholars and residents/fellows in Graduate Medical Education (GME) programs.

The Director serves as a confidential resource for all of our learners, offering guidance and support to learners who have experienced or witnessed mistreatment, and collaborating with other university offices including, but not limited to, the Diversity and Inclusion Office (DIO), the Title IX Officer, Human Resources (HR), the Associate Deans for each School, and Student Counseling Services to further advocate for and support our learners.

The Director also works actively to promote a positive learning environment by:

  • serving as a confidential resource for students,
  • serving as an educational resource for faculty and staff,
  • fostering an open and inclusive environment by providing training, support and advocacy,
  • and working to provide transparency and awareness regarding the UMMS Appropriate Treatment of Learners policy

Students and faculty may initiate confidential contact with the Director for a Positive Learning Environment either by phone at the number above or by using the Professional Concerns and Learner Mistreatment Incident Reporting Form to submit a detailed report regarding the incident or concern. All communications about experiences in the UMMS learning environment are confidential. The reports are reviewed by the UMMS Director for a Positive Learning Environment alone.

What is mistreatment?
Inappropriate treatment of Learners occurs when behavior by a member of the Educational Community shows disrespect for the dignity of Learners such that it may interfere with their learning process. Examples of such inappropriate behaviors include, but are not limited to:

  • Humiliation of Learners
  • Verbal attacks towards Learners
  • Inappropriate anger or harsh language when addressing a Learner
  • Requiring a Learner to perform tasks that belittle them
  • Requiring a Learner to perform personal services, e.g. babysitting, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Insulting conduct to a Learner
  • Disregard for Learner safety

Additional information regarding mistreatment, and the process by which learner mistreatment is investigated, can be found in the UMMS Appropriate Treatment of Learners Policy.

What can be done about mistreatment?
Reporting mistreatment when it is experienced or witnessed is an important step towards creating a safe and inclusive learning environment that fosters excellence and maximizes opportunities for professional growth and development. Reporting mistreatment can:

  • Increase awareness regarding mistreatment, thereby providing opportunities for change,
  • Identify and eliminate factors that contribute to a negative learning environment,
  • help all learners and educators to understand expectations in the educational environment,
  • improve communication between learners and educators and strengthen interprofessional and interpersonal relationships.

This form is to be used by learners to report an incident of mistreatment within the learning environment and can be used by the individual experiencing mistreatment or anyone who has observed mistreatment in the learning environment. Please note that information will be kept confidential, unless there is eminent danger or concern for personal health and safety. Contact may also be initiated with a confidential voice mail at (508) 856-1822 or by email to positivelearning@umassmed.edu. Any such email will not be shared or forwarded without permission; please be aware that email may be less secure. For the most prompt response, for the purposes of tracking reports, and for the most reliable, confidential mode of communication, please use the online form when possible.

The Director for a Positive Learning Environment is committed to the principles of the International Ombudsman Association Code of Ethics, which include:

INDEPENDENCE
NEUTRALITY AND IMPARTIALITY
CONFIDENTIALITY
INFORMALITY

To report an incident please use the Professional Concerns and Learner Mistreatment Incident Reporting Form.