Bhavna Balaney 0

The Petition

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As students of the UIC College of Medicine, we are disappointed and frustrated with the loss of qualified and committed staff, most recently illustrated by the termination of Jackie Kurzeja in the Office of Student Affairs. Over the past years, the UIC COM has struggled to maintain the most basic of student services – a friendly, supportive and effective staff. While an effort to reorganize student support services is commendable, the lack of student input in changes that directly affect students is disappointing. The loss of Jackie will further distance students from student services and engender the feelings that many students already hold by the time they graduate – what has UIC done for me? 

Jackie Kurzeja has been a dedicated student advocate in the OSA since 1997. She has provided that unique and desirable combination of service and friendship for over a decade, helping naive medical students navigate an overwhelming system of paperwork and deadlines.  As the M4 advisor, Jackie has dealt with time-sensitive scheduling issues, from applying to away rotations to planning electives.  It is a testament to her rapport with students that when she says, "Don't worry, dear," students know the task would be complete in minutes. The Class of 2001 even awarded her an Honorary Doctor of Medicine degree!

Jackie’s role extends beyond M4 advisor. Generations of young doctors know Jackie because of her years of hard work that have changed our curriculum and our lives as medical students. She was instrumental in the creation of the 4-week career elective, which made the M4 year more meaningful and useful for students. Her experience equates to time-tested, meaningful advice.  Her commitment to UIC students and the joy she takes in working with each of us is evident from her willingness to help and the
smile with which she greets every student.  Jackie is a true student ally.

It is difficult for the UIC COM to build students' confidence in this institution when students lose their most experienced and personable advocates.

On behalf of the Class of 2011,
Bhavna Balaney
M4 President


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