The ‘Great Resignation’ hit academia a little later than it did other sectors of society, but it’s hitting just as hard. The workload, burnout, new work model (be it hybrid or remote) and other factors are contributing to staffing challenges across the country. This spring and summer, we’ve felt the sting of several leadership appointments say goodbye to OGPS after years of dedication and service. In July, we said goodbye to some of the most influential people in our medical school research community. 

We thought we’d take a moment to give you an update on our exiting staff:

Although Lisa Gubaci, who previously held the title of OGPS Administrative Director, retired in January of this year, she’s finally been given a proper goodbye and shown appreciation for her 35+ years of service to Michigan Medicine. While at OGPS, she managed the financial needs of the office and several academic programs. Facilities, operations, and the implementation of strategic plans for the department were also subject to her leadership. This role is now held by Kevin Calhoun.


Nicole Koropatkin, Ph.D stepped down as both Associate Director of PIBS and the Program Chair for Microbiology & Immunology on April 30. She maintains a faculty appointment in the same program. This position will not be refilled at this time.

(Left to Right) Mary and Shoba; Bitter-sweet goodbyes.

Mary O’Riordan, Ph.D has stepped down from her role as the Associate Dean for OGPS. Fret not – she’s still here at the University of Michigan and is now the Program Chair for Microbiology & Immunology. After seven years of leadership, Mary has influenced many areas of training and services. Many initiatives for career development, wellness, and student success have been possible because of the priorities she has set. The Interim Associate Dean is Michele Swanson, Ph.D, who is also our Director of Postdoctoral Studies. 

Shoba Surbramanian, Ph.D has taken a position with Amazon – her last day with OGPS being in July 2022 after five years of service. In her role as Director of Curriculum & Education Initiatives, she founded and taught several professional skills courses, program series, and workshops. Additionally, she has directly advised countless students one-on-one to help them achieve their career goals. Finally, her voice for diversity, equity and inclusion is a passionate one that should be heard. This was a director level role that contributed to one of our office’s core functions. We’re beginning the search for candidates to lead in a modified version of this role and hope to fill the position before Fall 2022.

Beth Bodiya, previously the Postdoctoral Affairs Coordinator, has moved on after two years of service to OGPS. She was praised for her efforts working with the postdoc community. We’re in search of someone to fill this position within the next month.

Maggie Gardner, Ph.D took a position similar to her Career & Professional Development Program Manager role at OGPS with Rackham Graduate School at the end of 2021. During her four years of service working with Shoba, she organized many events, seminars and advised dozens of students. This role is now held by Kathleen Panagis, Ph.D.

We wish all of these very special people well in their future endeavors.

Given these staffing changes, this is an opportunity for us to reassess the structure of the department and we are currently hiring for multiple roles. We appreciate your patience and adaptability during this transition process. Regardless of the staff changes, our true North remains unchanged; service and support to our programs and learners.