The Student Affairs Team

Meet the Team

Berkley Browne, Ph.D.
Berkley BrowneAssociate Dean for Student Affairs
Assistant Professor of Foundational Medical Studies

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Dr. Browne provides leadership and oversight of OUWB's student support programs and services, signature student events, and student organizations in support of the school's efforts to incorporate best practices in student wellness, residency match preparation, and professional identity development.

In addition to overseeing the career development, academic success, and student wellness and well-being programs, Dr. Browne serves as an adviser for medical students, M1 through M4 years. Dr. Browne is also an assistant professor in the Department of Foundational Medical Studies and serves as a co-course director for the PRISM curriculum.

Her professional background includes more than 15 years of student affairs and student support services experience at the secondary, undergraduate, and graduate levels. Dr. Browne joined OUWB in 2014 as the director of Academic Success. Her most recent positions were assistant dean and interim associate dean for Student Affairs.

Dr. Browne is an alumna of Albion College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in political science. She earned her master’s in clinical counseling from Ashland Theological Seminary and earned a doctorate in higher education leadership from Oakland University. Her doctoral research, which explored student wellness and wellbeing issues in medical education, was named the Most Outstanding Dissertation (non-STEM category) by Oakland University in 2020.

Jennifer Root, Ed.D.
Jennifer RootAssistant Dean for Student Affairs & Career Development 

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Jennifer Root, Ed.D. is the assistant dean for Student Affairs. As assistant dean, Dr. Root supports the associate dean in executing the overall mission and vision of the Office of Student Affairs by providing leadership and strategic support for all student affairs matters including career advising, academic support, student wellness programming, and large-scale events.

Dr. Root’s professional background includes over 10 years of student support ranging from career counseling, academic advising, and wellness support at the undergrad and graduate levels. Throughout her career, Dr. Root has maintained a strong passion for student advocacy, student success, and continuous program improvement.

Dr. Root first joined OUWB in 2018 as the Senior Medical School Advisor and was promoted to the Director of Academic Success position in 2019. Dr. Root is an alumna of the University of Detroit Mercy where she double majored in Psychology and Addiction Studies. She earned her master’s degree in Community Counseling with a focus on Career Counseling from Oakland University. In May of 2021, she completed her Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with a focus on Lean Leadership. For her doctoral project, Dr. Root conducted a study on the role of new student orientation in building a supportive community among novice medical students.

Mohammad Jafri, M.D.
Mohammad JafriAssistant Dean for Career Advisor Programming and Student Advising

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Dr. Mohammad Jafri is the assistant dean for Career Advisor Programming and Student Advising. In his role, he works closely with M3 and M4 students to prepare them for the residency application process as well as working with OUWB specialty advisors to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to support students’ residency match goals. Dr. Jafri also serves on the OUWB faculty as the clinical course director for the Renal/Genitourinary organ system course during the M2 year. He has been practicing as a urologist at the William Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak Campus since 2012 and is one of the lead clinicians serving the Department of Urology Residency Program. His clinical interests focus mainly on urologic oncology as well as men’s health.

Dr. Jafri is an alumnus from the University of Michigan where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics. He completed his medical school education at Emory University and did his residency training at the Emory University Department of Urology.

Danielle Turner-Lawrence, M.D.
Danielle Turner-LawrenceAssistant Dean for Career Advising

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Dr. Danielle Turner-Lawrence is the assistant dean for Career Advising. She joined the OUWB School of Medicine inaugural faculty body in 2009. Since that time, she has been involved in many aspects of undergraduate medical education. She served on the OUWB Admission’s Committee for 5 years including her role as Chair from 2013-2016 and was the former Clerkship Director for Emergency Medicine. Her current role in Student Affairs allows her to spend time, one-one-one, with M3 and M4 students ensuring they have support with career exploration and throughout their residency search.

In addition to Dr. Turner-Lawrence’s role within the medical school, she is a Clinical Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and is faculty within the Department of Emergency Medicine at Beaumont, Royal Oak. She serves as the Residency Program Director for Emergency Medicine as well as the Medical Education Fellowship Director. Dr. Turner-Lawrence received her Bachelor of Science in 2001 and her Medical Doctorate in 2005 from the University of Michigan before heading to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, for her residency training. She has a passion for medical education and enjoys working with trainees at all levels.

Mariana Allushuski, Ph.D.
Mariana AllushuskiDirector of Academic Success

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Dr. Allushuski leads the Academic Success Team, focused on supporting students’ academic endeavors. In her role, she monitors student progress and provides support through workshops and individual meetings focused on effective learning strategies and USMLE preparation. In addition, Dr. Allushuski oversees the tutor program and is the liaison for students needing accommodations.

Originally from Brazil, Dr. Allushuski received a B.S. in Psychology from Lipscomb University, an M.Ed. in Counseling and a Ph.D. in Higher Education, both from the University of Mississippi. Prior to joining OUWB, she worked with undergraduate students for over 10 years in academic advising, first-year experience, early intervention, teaching, student retention, learning strategies coaching, and academic support programs.

Melanie Chamberlain, M.A.
Senior Medical School AdvisorMelanie Chamberlain

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Melanie Chamberlain serves as a Senior Medical School Advisor. She joined the OUWB Student Affairs Team in May 2023. In her role, Ms. Chamberlain provides guidance to students as they navigate the increased learning responsibility of a medical school curriculum.

She supports students through academic challenges, USMLE preparation,
and career/specialty exploration. Ms. Chamberlain holds a B.A. in Community Relations and Political Science from Michigan State University, and an M.A. in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University. Prior to her role as Senior Medical School Advisor, Ms. Chamberlain served Oakland University undergraduate students for seven years as an Academic Adviser in both the School of Education and Human Services and the First Year Advising Center. Throughout her career Ms. Chamberlain has placed focus on supporting students through transitions, college preparedness, and major and career exploration.

Katy Torma, M.Ed. (She/Her/Hers)Katy Torma
Administrative Coordinator for Student Affairs

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Katy Torma joined the OUWB Student Affairs team in December 2021 as the Administrative Coordinator. Previously, she was a part of the OUWB Admissions team. A native of Michigan and the area, Katy completed her B.S. in Athletic Training from Saginaw Valley State University and a M.Ed. in Higher Education Leadership from Oakland University. Prior to joining OUWB, she worked in hospitality and rehabilitation services with our single clinical partner, Corewell Health, for many years. Some of Katy’s responsibilities include management of student health insurance, immunizations, the physician observership/shadowing program, wellness and career development programming, and the planning and execution of large-scale events like the White Coat Ceremony and Honors Convocation.

Jamie Vassel, M.A.Jamie Vassel
Student Affairs Coordinator for Student Activities & Events

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Jamie Vassel joined OUWB in July 2021 as the Student Affairs Coordinator responsible for activities and events. Jamie also serves as the Student Affairs advisor to Medical Student Government and provides oversight to student organizations. Jamie holds a B.A. in History and Political Science from Saginaw Valley State University and a M.A in Higher Education, Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. Prior to OUWB, Jamie served as Director of Student Life and Greek Life Adviser at Lawrence Technological University.

Patty ZoiaPatricia Zoia
Office Assistant

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Patty Zoia joined the OUWB Student Affairs team in December 2021 as the Office Assistant.  Her responsibilities include managing the front desk in the CMSS suite, facilitating the distribution of materials to students, assisting the team with events, and much more. As the first point of contact, she is excited to interact with students and help them in any way possible. Prior to OUWB, Patty was employed at Brightwing, a recruiting and staffing firm, for several years.

Janae Kinn, LMSW
Medical Student Mental Health Counselor

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Janae Kinn

OUWB Medical Student Mental Health Counselor Janae Kinn, LMSW, is dedicated to providing a safe, confidential, supportive, and empowering space to all M1-M4 students, especially those struggling with school, life, or mental health related stressors. Janae is available to meet with students in O’Dowd Hall on OU’s campus and at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, MI to provide therapy, strengthen student wellness, and address medical student burnout.

Janae has a Master of Social Work degree from University of Michigan with a concentration in health and a certificate in adult and pediatric integrated primary care and mental health. She has clinical experience working with students and families as a therapist, crisis interventionalist, medical social worker, case manager, and advocate in Detroit.

Janae incorporates mindfulness techniques, integrated health perspectives, intersectionality, self-care strategies, trauma-informed care skills, evidence-based practices (such as CBT and DBT), and a strengths-based approach into her work with students.

Ashley Watters, MA, LPC, NCC
Medical Student Mental Health Counselor

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Ashley Watters

Medical Student Mental Health Counselor Ashley Watters joined the OUWB Student Affairs team in July 2022. Ashley is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Nationally Certified Counselor who came to us most recently from Central Michigan University’s Counseling Center where she has gained extensive experience providing individual therapy, group therapy, and mental health wellness programming to students, with a specialization in working with pre-health, pre-med, and medical students.

Prior to her work as a licensed professional counselor, Ashley spent several years working as a student affairs professional at Saginaw Valley State University. Ms. Watters holds a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a master of arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from CMU.

Ashley has worked with clients on topics such as; anxiety, depression, imposter syndrome, trauma, self-care habits, identity concerns, and relationships and approaches counseling from a client-centered strength-based perspective. Ashley strives to create an environment that is safe, interactive, collaborative, and purposeful. She places a high value on the therapeutic relationship and she makes every effort to understand who someone is as an individual and learn about their unique life experiences.