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Meet the OUME Team

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education (OUME), Curriculum Innovation, & the Interprofessional Center for Experiential Learning and Simulation (iCELS)

Melissa A Fischer, MD, MEd
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. 

Assistant Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education

Gail March Cohen, PhD, MFA
Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine
Gail joined UMMS in 2017. Her focus is in preparing learners for their future roles as physicians through effective curriculum design, educator’s development, and integration of educational technology. She is working closely with curriculum committees and co-chairs the Clerkship Directors Committee. Gail teaches in the Teaching in Medicine: Physical Diagnosis 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. Gail is a Junior Faculty Development Program mentor, an 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.


OUME Staff Listed Alphabetically

Colleen J Burnham, MBA
Program Manager | 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 library, computer, and audio visual "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
Carly Eressy
Education Specialist II


Curriculum Support
Doctoring Clinical Skills I (FM104)
Doctoring Clinical Skills II (FM204)
Teaching in Medicine Elective (xx4011, xx4020)
Course & Clerkship Administrator Committees
Carly joined the OUME team in 2015. She has worked in a number of positions supporting various parts of the curriculum during her time at UMass. She received her bachelor's degree in studies in world literature with a concentration in Latin-American studies and a minor in studio art from the College of the Holy Cross in 2013. Post-matriculation, she obtained a certification in web applications from Quinsigamond Community College.
In her free time, Carly enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling as much as possible. She also enjoys reading, hiking, and all things outdoors, and is currently learning to shoot and develop 35mm film!
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 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 of Health Education and 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 club, and trips to the beach.
Kathy Moylan
Administrative Manager


OUME Operations
Advanced Studies Curriculum Committee
International Medical Education-Global Health Pathway Program
Senior Scholars Program
Transition to Internship
Kathy has been with the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education since 1986, and has supported many courses, programs and committees during that time.  Currently her primary responsibilities include overseeing the day- to- day operations of the department which includes budgeting, staffing, and space.  She also manages the group of OUME staff who support FOM1 and FOM2 curriculum courses, as well as the FOM3 Interstitial Course.  Prior to joining UMass, Kathy served for four years in the United States Air Force, spending most of her time stationed in Zweibrucken, Germany.
In her free time, Kathy and her husband enjoy traveling, especially to Maine and New York, and spending time with their families and friends.
Sonia Nunes
Education Specialist
Curriculum Support
Learning Communities
Principles of Pharmacology (FM106)
Transition to Advanced Studies
Clerkship Directors Committee
Core Clinical Experience Committee
Longitudinal Curriculum 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! 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.
Sonia is a lifelong student, currently pursuing her Master of Arts in Higher Education Administration through Stony Brook University. When she’s not studying, 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, lover of art (which she will argue includes reality television), and lover of nature.
Michael Sweeney, MS, NREMT
Education Specialist


Curriculum Support
The Brain (FM201)
Development, Structure and Function (FM105)
Medical Physiology, Histology and Embryology (HSP502)
FOM1 Curriculum Committee
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 College.
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)! He has a myriad of funny photos at his work desk in OUME and welcomes visitors!
Maria Paz Torres Gutierrez, MBA
Administrative Assistant III


Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education
Educational Policy Committee
Research & Curriculum Experience Summer Program
Maria joined the OUME team in 2017. She received her bachelor's degree in business administration from UMass Lowell in 2018. She is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration with an international business concentration.
In her free time, Maria enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She also loves traveling and exploring new cultures.
"Travel opens your heart, broadens your mind and fills your life with stories to tell."
—Paula Bendfeldt
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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