Vol. 12 No. 2 - September, 2009

Message from the Senior Associate Dean for Educational Affairs

Expanding excellence—delivering on the 'ideal learning environment'

Michelle Pugnaire
UMMS Media & Technology Services
Michele Pugnaire, MD

Welcome to the Class of 2013—our largest entering class to date, with 125 students. And to all our returning students, welcome back.

We begin this academic year with our curriculum redesign process well underway, and our strategic plan for creating “the ideal learning environment” providing the essential resources for our new, state-of-the-art educational program.

We are off to a great start, with the launch of our fully renovated and expanded anatomy lab. Transformed from a traditional dissection facility, the anatomy lab is now a premier learning environment for the anatomical sciences, blending computer-based teaching and learning technologies and high definition audio-visual systems with our renowned anatomical gifts program, all in one space and available year round for our students, residents and faculty. Also undergoing renovation and refurbishment are Amphitheater III and four additional student independent study rooms to complement Room S4-103, which is now available for student use all day, every day.

Beyond our near term plans for the upcoming year, we are looking ahead to construction of the new Albert Sherman Center, which will include dedicated space for learning communities, small group and conference spaces, a fitness center, campus community amenities and the Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation. With the official ground breaking event in September, the Albert Sherman Center is scheduled to be ready for full implementation of our new curriculum and our entering class in the fall of 2012.

As we are expanding excellence in education at UMass Medical School, we look forward to an unprecedented time of innovation and growth in the coming year . . . and we’ve only just begun.