Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine
Beaumont Health


Robert Folberg, M.D.
Founding Dean and Professor of Biomedical Sciences, Pathology and Ophthalmology

Dr. Folberg became Founding Dean of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in September, 2008. He came to the School of Medicine from the University of Illinois at Chicago where he was the Frances B Geever Professor of Pathology and Head of the Department of Pathology. He was also a Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Science at UIC.

Dr. Folberg received a BA degree from LaSalle College in Philadelphia (now LaSalle University) and his MD degree from Temple University. He is board certified in Anatomic Pathology and Ophthalmology. He began his academic career at Thomas Jefferson University Medical School in 1982, and moved in 1984 to the University of Iowa where he became the first Frederick C. Blodi Professor of Ophthalmology. He moved to UIC in 2000.

Dr. Folberg is a clinician scientist who was funded for 20 years by the NIH to study the biology of uveal melanoma. While head of pathology at UIC, he served as deputy director of the University of Illinois Cancer Center from 2003 to 2005. He has published more than 200 original articles and book chapters. He is recognized for innovation in medical education and continues to teach pathology of the eye to medical institutions within and outside the United States. He also continues his consultation practice of ophthalmic pathology at Beaumont Health where he is William Beaumont Hospital's Chief Academic Officer.

Dr. Folberg brings experience in developing academic cultures that are high achieving, self actualizing, and humanistic to the new Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. At the new medical school, he has recruited a diverse and talented team to design and implement an innovative paradigm for medical education.

Nelia Afonso, M.D.
Assistant Dean for Community Integration & Outreach
Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Nelia Afonso, M.D. is the Assistant Dean for Communication and Outreach and Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences. She is the Director of the Art and Practice of Medicine Course. This is a longitudinal course that introduces and develops the students’ history taking and physical diagnosis skills. In addition, this course incorporates topics of professionalism, ethical practice, fundamentals of patient safety, inter-professional communication skills, patient privacy, and functioning in a team setting.

Dr. Afonso received her M.B.B.S. and M.D. degree from the University of Mumbai in India and received her M.R.C.P. degree from the Royal College of Physicians in the United Kingdom. Teaching both medical students and residents has always been a central part of her career as an academic physician. Since 1992 she has been a member of the teaching faculty of the Department of Internal Medicine at Wayne State University School of Medicine. As the Director of the Physical Diagnosis Course at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, Dr. Afonso has developed and implemented innovative medical education programs for medical students such as the use of standardized patients. She was instrumental in the introduction of several novel initiatives in the medical school curriculum including inter-professional education and the introduction of bedside ultrasound teaching into the physical diagnosis course. Her research projects have a focus on novel curriculum initiatives in medical education and women’s health issues.


Jeffrey M. Devries, M.D., MPH
Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education

Dr. Devries grew up in southeastern Michigan, and received B.S. & M.D. degrees from the University of Michigan and a Masters of Public Health from the University of Rochester (NY). Dr. Devries brings a wide range of experiences and expertise to the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. He completed Pediatric Residency at Children’s Hospital of Michigan and a General Pediatrics Academic Development Fellowship at the University of Rochester (NY). Dr. Devries served for ten years as Pediatric Residency Director in the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, followed by nine years as Corporate Director of Children’s Health Services & Director of Pediatric Education in the Oakwood Healthcare System in Dearborn, Michigan. He then returned to Children’s Hospital of Michigan to serve as Vice President of Medical Affairs, with responsibility for quality and safety initiatives. Most recently, he served as Medical Director of Health Plan of Michigan, the state’s largest Medicaid managed care plan.

Dr. Devries has served on the Board of Directors of the national Ambulatory Pediatric Association (APA) and chaired its Education Committee. He has led workshops & presented Faculty Development seminars & research papers at national meetings. Dr. Devries has earned recognition at both local and national levels, including multiple teaching awards from medical students and residents, community service leadership awards, and the APA’s first Award for Innovation in Pediatric Education. 

Linda Gillum, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs
and Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Linda Gillum, a Michigan native, joined the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in October, 2008 after a 30 year career in academic administration. At the University of Michigan, she served as Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and Academic Services in the School of Medicine, and Assistant Provost for Academic Affairs. She was a Fellow of the American Council of Education at Princeton University and University of Michigan. Her scholarship has focused on learning and learning behaviors and effective learning environments.

Christina Grabowski, MSA
Assistant Dean for Admissions and Financial Services

Christina Grabowski has more than twenty years of higher education experience. A Michigan native and Oakland graduate, Christina previously held leadership roles at Oakland University in the undergraduate and graduate admissions offices. Having served as the Assistant Director of Admissions, the Associate Director of Graduate Study and Lifelong Learning, and the Director for Graduate Marketing and Recruitment, she brings both experience and passion for student service to the OUWB School of Medicine.

Richard Kelley, MBA
Senior Director of Development

Richard Kelley serves as the Senior Director of Development for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Richard comes to Oakland University from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry where he served as the Executive Director of Advancement, Continuing Education and Alumni Relations. He has extensive major gift fundraising experience working at several schools the past decade at the University of Detroit Mercy (Dental, Business, and Law Schools) as well as past fundraising positions at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and RuffaloCODY. He also has private industry experience at Sun Microsystems and Ford Motor Credit. Richard holds a bachelor degree from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Detroit Mercy.

Sandra LaBlance, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean of Student Affairs and Career Development

Sandra LaBlance, Ph.D., is the assistant dean of student affairs and career development. Dr. LaBlance has over 20 years of experience in higher education, most recently at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine where she served as director of academic and career counseling followed by three years of post-doctoral research with a focus on the socio-cultural issues that impact the career paths of biomedical scientists. Other research completed by Dr. LaBlance includes work focused on the role of relationships in medical student specialty choice as well as research on learning assistance, learning disabilities and effective pedagogical and learning techniques to support student needs.

Dr. LaBlance works closely with medical students throughout the medical specialty choice process, including residency application, interviewing and the match process. In addition, Dr. LaBlance has experience working with medical students who are interested in improving their study techniques and those seeking guidance in the process of preparing for the USMLE Step 1 and Step 2 board exams.


Robert J. McAuley, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Institutional Effectiveness and Technology
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Robert McAuley is the Associate Dean for Educational Information Technology and Assistant Professor of Biomedical Science. Dr. McAuley has an extensive and diverse work history at the University of Illinois at Chicago, serving as Chief Information Officer, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Associate Dean for Informational Resources, and Assistant Dean. He most recently served as a member of the AAMC Group on Informational Resources steering committee. His interests include medical education, instructional technology, and medical cognition.


Lynda Misra, DO, FACP, MEd
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Clinical Education
Associate Professor of Internal Medicine
Associate Professor of Neurology

Lynda Misra DO, FACP, MEd is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Clinical Education and also serves as the Director of Students at Beaumont Health. Dr. Misra received her medical degree from Michigan State University and completed her residency training and chief resident year at Beaumont Hospital. She has been a member of the academic faculty in the Department of Internal Medicine for the past 15 years. Dr. Misra completed her Masters in Higher Education at the University of Michigan in 2010 with emphasis on curricular design, instructional methods and techniques in professional education, and educational research.


Robert Noiva, Ph.D.
Associate Dean for Medical Education
Associate Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Robert Noiva is the Associate Dean for Medical Education and Associate Professor of Biomedical Science. His primary role at OUWB School of Medicine is to oversee all aspects of the medical student curriculum, including course planning and evaluation, managing schedules and educational resources, and student and faculty assessment. Noiva received his B.S in Biochemistry from Michigan State University and his Ph.D. in Biological Chemistry from Creighton University. After postdoctoral training at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Noiva spent 18 years in the Division of Basic Biomedical Sciences at the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine where he served as Course Director for Medical Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. His efforts in educational outreach programs for K-12 students have been recognized nationally. Most recently, Noiva served as Director of Medical Biochemistry at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Angela Nuzzarello, M.D., MHPE
Associate Dean for Student Affairs and
Associate Professor of Psychiatry

Angela Nuzzarello MD, MHPE, serves as associate dean of student affairs. Dr. Nuzzarello has served as associate dean for student programs and professional development at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Over her 20 year career in medical education, she taught in communication, ethics, professionalism, behavioral science and psychiatry curricula. Dr. Nuzzarello has a special interest in career development and medical student wellness and has presented at national conferences on varied student affairs topics. Her clinical focus is in the treatment of anxiety disorders.

Deirdre Pitts, MAOM, IPMA-CP
Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs & Professional Development

Deirdre G. Pitts, MAOM, IPMA-CP, is the Assistant Dean for Faculty Affairs and Professional Development. Her professional background includes more than 25 years human resources and labor relations experience in the areas of retail management, health care administration, municipal government and higher education. Ms. Pitts joined Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine in 2011 as the founding Director of Faculty Affairs and Professional Development.

As the Assistant Dean, Ms. Pitts will provide leadership in the expanding areas of Faculty and Academic Affairs and support the school's efforts to incorporate best practices in faculty governance, recruitment, search committee training, faculty orientation, mentorship programs, faculty outcomes research and evaluation. She will play a major role in the implementation of several goals and recommendations contained in the school's strategic plan and provide support to more than 1,400 faculty members.

Ms. Pitts is a graduate of Central Michigan University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She received her Masters in Organizational Management from Spring Arbor University and completed her master's certificate in Higher Education Leadership from Oakland University.

Michele D. Raible, M.D., PharmD
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education

August 2, 1956 - June 21, 2010

Our friend and colleague, Michele D. Raible, MD, PharmD, passed away on June 21, 2010 while undergoing treatment for leukemia. Michele was diagnosed with leukemia in February, 2010, two days after the school received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee for Medical Education.

Dr. Raible received her medical degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and completed graduate medical education programs in Internal Medicine, Hematology, and Medical Oncology, followed by Anatomic and Pathology, Blood Banking / Transfusion Medicine and Hematopathology. She served as deputy head of pathology at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) until she joined our team in January, 2009. Michele is survived by her husband Bill Miles, M.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the School of Medicine and a staff psychiatrist at Beaumont Health.

Michele was deeply committed to the innovative vision of the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Her contributions to the school will live on as a legacy for our students and faculty in years to come.

Robert Noiva, Ph.D., associate dean of education programs, will carry on Michele’s work in administering and evaluating medical education programs of the medical school.

Dr. William Miles’ reflections as reported by the Detroit News, November 22, 2013

Scenes from the Memorial Convocation, July 19, 2010

Dr. Michele D. Raible Fund for Medical Students


Brooke Taylor, MPH, CCMEP
Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education

Brooke Taylor is the Assistant Dean for Continuing Medical Education for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and Director of Continuing Medical Education for Beaumont Health. Brooke received her B.S. in Dietetics from Iowa State University and her M.P.H. from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She is a Certified Continuing Medical Education Professional and holds a graduate certificate in Training and Development from North Carolina State University. Brooke has over 8 years experience in continuing medical education and most recently served as the Director of Continuing Medical Education for the Duke University School of Medicine.


David M. Thomas, Ph.D.
Assistant Dean for Medical Education

David Thomas, Ph.D., is the Assistant Dean for Medical Education. His primary role at Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine is to oversee curriculum evaluation and student assessment programs. Dr. Thomas is a graduate of the State University of New York at Buffalo, received his doctorate in Biological Sciences from Wayne State University, and completed postdoctoral training at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Thomas joined Wayne State University as a Research Assistant Professor in 2003 and was appointed Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2007. He became a founding faculty member and Master Educator in the Department of Biomedical Sciences at OUWB in 2011 and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2014. Dr. Thomas has held leadership positions in medical education at OUWB as Course Director for the Endocrine System course, Biomedical Sciences representative of the Academic Success Team, Chair of the Curriculum Evaluation Subcommittee and Secretary of the Curriculum Committee. Nationally, Dr. Thomas is a certified Team-Based Learning Consultant-Trainer of the TBL Collaborative (TBLC), currently Chairs the TBLC Educational Development Committee and is a member of the TBLC Steering Committee.


Cheryl Verbruggen, MSA
Vice Dean for Business and Administration

Cheryl Verbruggen is the Vice Dean for Business and Administration for the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine. Her background includes experience in both healthcare and higher education. Cheryl spent sixteen years with Beaumont Health, working in multiple areas of financial services. Cheryl’s higher education experience encompasses managerial roles in budget and financial planning at Oakland University and Wayne State University. Prior to accepting the Vice Dean position, she spent five years as the Assistant Vice President and Controller for Oakland University. Cheryl’s expertise lies in financial reporting models and systems, organization-wide budget development, institutional reporting and data analysis.

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