About Us

Education Research Sciences Collaborative Team

Gurjit Sandhu, PhD

Vice-Chair, Resident Life

Associate Professor, Surgery

Associate Professor, Learning Health Science Division of Professional Education

Dr. Sandhu is a Surgical Education Scientist, Associate Professor in the Department of Surgery. Dr. Sandhu completed her B.A. in 1996 at the University of British Columbia, Canada and earned her PhD in 2006 from Queen's University, Canada. She was the Educational Developer for Postgraduate Medical Education at Queen's University before joining the faculty at the University of Michigan in November 2013. Dr. Sandhu's research concentrates on progressive entrustment and graduated autonomy in surgical education. More broadly, her work focuses on the scholarship of teaching and learning, specifically looking at professional education, teaching methods and assessment. Dr. Sandhu also uses her strengths as a qualitative researcher to support her work on social accountability in medical education, health equity and disparities, and physician wellness.

Niki Matusko

Niki Matusko, MS

Statistician Senior

Niki is a senior statistician and currently provides statistical consultation, interpretation, and analysis to surgery residents across the Department of Surgery and their faculty mentors. Prior to this, Niki was a Research Area Specialist Senior for the Research Center for Group Dynamics (RCGD) within the Institute for Social Research (ISR). During her time at the Institute, Niki developed analytic strategies/plans for NIH R, P, and K series grants, conducted numerous analyses, prepared and managed data for public release, and co-authored manuscripts with have been successfully published in high impact journals. She also brings expertise in health equity and diversity as they relate to patient oriented outcomes. Niki comes to the ERSC with over 17 years of experience in both private and public sectors and is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Julie Thompson-Burdine

Julie Thompson-Burdine

Research Assistant

Julie is a research specialist with a background in qualitative research in social and behavioral psychology. Before joining ERSC, she worked as a research assistant in the van Anders Social Neuroendocrinology Lab at the University of Michigan. She conducted research on the social modulation of testosterone; exploring the social phenomenology of testosterone as well as intimacies like sexuality, nurturance, and partnering/pair bonding. Her academic research focused on gender, sex, and sexual diversity informed by biological expansiveness and by lived experiences. Currently, Julie is collaborating with the ERSC on several studies, including: OpTrust entrustment research, gender parity in academic surgery, and surgeon and trainee wellness. Julie received her B.A. from the University of Michigan and is currently completing her Master's degree in health psychology. Julie is energized to be furthering her career as a health and social science researcher with the ERSC by advancing surgical education that serves to better surgeons and patients for generations to come.

Janice Vallie

Administrative Assistant

Janice has worked in multiple Departments at the University of Michigan prior to coming to the Department of Surgery in the fall of 2018. She was hired as an Administrative Assistant working for the Chairman's Office and the Education Research Sciences Collaborative. In addition to administrative responsibilities, Janice is the department contact for provider enrollment and credentialing process with Faculty Affairs and Provider Enrollment for all sections in the Department of Surgery. She is excited to be a part of the ERSC team and be able to have a hands on experience with surgical education and research. Janice earned her B.S. from Eastern Michigan University in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.

Faculty & APP Collaborators

Resident & Fellow Collaborators

ERSC has been instrumental in my ability to achieve my goals in surgical education research. The mentorship has been amazing. The ERSC team has helped promote ideas, insight, statistical aid, and clinical impact, which have all been crucial to help achieve my goal of improving autonomy for surgical residents in the operating room. Through this ERSC team, we have been able to push ahead to make an impact on the future of surgical training and resident autonomy.” – Aaron M. Williams, MD

Michaela Bamdad, MD
Meredith Barrett, MD
Katelyn Bennett, MD
Katelyn Bennett, MD
Anna Boniakowski, MD
Anna Boniakowski, MD
Ana De Roo, MD
Cali Harbaugh, MD
Cali Harbaugh, MD
Arielle Kanters, MD
Arielle Kanters, MD
Michael Kemp, MD
Alisha Lussiez, MD
Samantha Rivard, MD
Katherine Santosa, MD
Sarah Shubeck, MD
Sarah Shubeck, MD
Amy Strong, MD
Joceline Vu, MD
Joceline Vu, MD
Glenn Wakam, MD
Glenn Wakam, MD
Robert Wang, MD
Robert Wang, MD
Ton Wang, MD
Aaron Williams, MD

Medical Student Collaborators

The ERSC was fundamental in my learning as a medical student and in my decision to pursue surgery as a career. Through the ESRC I was able to observe cases via the OpTrust initiative, creating opportunities for me to learn about resident education from a unique, “fly on the wall” perspective and to contribute to research. Watching residents and faculty operate together has given me invaluable perspective on how to set myself up for success during residency. ERSC mentorship was also incredible; through the steady guidance and encouragement of ERSC team members, I was able to present at a national conference and draft a manuscript. ERSC helped me build connections with faculty and residents, who I was then able to reach out to for bolstering the medical student “Surgery Olympics” research and skills curriculum. Overall, I have the ERSC to thank for my interest in surgical education and for setting me on the path to become a surgeon!” – Kristen Kolberg, MD

Kenneth Abbott, MS
Dena Ballouz, BS
Kristian Black, BS
Michael Broderick, BS
Alexandra Highet, BA
Charles Hwang, BS
Sunjong "Sunny" Ji, BS
Lulia Kana, BS
Charles Keilin, BS
Kristen Kolberg, BS
Anderson Lee IV, BS
Christine Nguyen, BS
Carol Noronha, BS
Daniella Ortiz, BS
Jamaal Tarpeh, BS

Graduate & Undergraduate Student Collaborators

As an undergraduate hoping to enter the medical field, the ERSC has provided me with distinct research opportunities in addition to valuable insight as I enter medicine as a student. The ERSC has shown me that research can mean a variety of things — not just traditional wet lab work that is often associated with undergraduate research in the sciences. It has also been extremely helpful in shedding light on what it means to be a student at the hospital. The ERSC highlighted the different facets of a medical education that most undergraduate students, including myself, are unaware of as we pursue a career.” – Emma Chang

Emma Chang
David Lenzi, MS
Akira Nishii

OpTrust Raters for 2019-2020

  • Keegan Brown
  • Neddie Byron
  • Sarine Carroll
  • Eric Choi
  • Zac Curtis
  • Ania Dow
  • Stephanie Erickson
  • Katharine Estell
  • Elizabeth Fraser
  • Haikel Haile
  • Phaejare Jamerson
  • Nikit Kapila
  • Hannah Kimmel
  • Rebekah Kopesky
  • Danielle Leander
  • David Lenzi
  • Kaylyn Lilly
  • Mark-Anthony Lingaya
  • Claire Mattson
  • Nicolas McNellan
  • Christine Nguyen
  • Akira Nishii
  • Anshul Puli
  • Casey Singler
  • Alexandria Sullens
  • Josh Richmond
  • Miranda Viars
  • Michael Wang
  • Micah Wildes
  • Daniel Winfield

Learn More

Contact Administrative Assistant Janice Vallie at jvallie@umich.edu or at (734) 615-7052 to find out more about our work and how to collaborate with us.