Weekly Address from Mary Faria: Week 8

AOMA weekly updates (week of 8/ 31 /20)


1. AOMA’s desire to combat racism –

- No new updates this week but please see note below in announcement about the Virtual Relay that support Black Votes Matter!


2. Plans and issues related to COVID-19 crisis including clinic and campus re-openings

- Some key meetings were held this week to debrief on what has gone well and what opportunities exist for the next round of Clinics and Campus in the Winter Term. A list of 25 opportunities (many combined as the issues related to general safety) were identified. Action items have been developed and individuals with the “big R”(responsibility) to develop a plan for resolution or for resolving as quickly as possible. We will continue to meet next week.


3. Key operational issues or updates

- Computer updates in the classrooms will begin soon. Ralf, one of the dynamic duo of our Facilities team, has again amazed us with his creativity to install the cameras and speakers that will be installed in each classroom. These will allow students who join class remotely to have much greater viewing and listening capability!

- You will also see this in the Daily Briefing minutes but such great news. We are now using our Learning Management System (LMS) BrightSpace for competency testing. Students will receive an email with detailed information. There will a minimum of 1 exam but up to 3 so no need to schedule a time for proctoring any more, students can pick their own time of their own choosing. The exams in BrightSpace are timed and mimic the experience when taking Board exams.

Special thanks to Dr. Garrison (our LMS lead) and Dr. Hamilton for all their foundational work to get our LMS up and running!

4. Important announcements or answers to questions sent in by students, faculty or staff

- It is with very mixed emotions I share with you that after 20 years with AOMA Dr. Raja Mandyam has decided to retire. He worked very hard to establish AOMA’s Biomedicine program as one of the leading programs in the country and leaves a lasting legacy for AOMA. As Chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) he supervised the approval of research programs and enriched the learning opportunities for countless of our students.  I know it won’t be easy during this time of COVID but I’m going to find some creative way we can celebrate his many wonderful contributions to AOMA virtually and then again, in person after COVID is behind us.

Dr. Mandyam’s last day at AOMA will be September 30.  Please join me in thanking Dr. Mandyam for his long and valued service to AOMA and wish him well as he takes a new path in life, one that will allow him more time with his family and to pursue his passion for travel and golf!


- Reminder: Kate Donelon and I are organizing an all-woman virtual relay team for a great cause (Black Votes Matter). We will have a 20 member all woman team. We still need 3 more team members. If you are interested just send an email to me or to Kate. You don’t have to run to participate, cycling, yoga, swimming and many other activities will also count!

Happy September everyone, cooler temperatures will be here in no time!


Take care, stay safe and stay healthy (mind, body and spirit).

With Love and Peace,

Mary