New provost brings rich experiences to DMU

RalitsaAkinsTake a look at the resumé of the University’s new provost, and you’ll wonder what hasn’t she done in the worlds of education, administration, health sciences and scholarship.

Ralitsa Akins, M.D., Ph.D., joined DMU on May 1 after serving as associate dean of faculty affairs and professor in the medical education and clinical sciences department at the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University in Spokane, WA.

“Since first considering the possibility of joining the campus, I have been very impressed by DMU’s high student outcomes, legacy and strategic plans for advancement and innovation,” she says. “I am very privileged to bring my passion and experience in medicine and higher education to the University and help the faculty, staff and students fulfill our mission and vision.”

Akins has held a number of leadership positions at other institutions. At the California Northstate University College of Medicine in Elk Grove, CA, she served as senior associate dean of medical education and accreditation and as chair and professor in the department of medical education.

At the State University of New York (SUNY) Medical University, College of Medicine, she was associate dean for academic affairs and associate professor in the department of family medicine.

At Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s School of Medicine, Akins was director of the standardized patient program and associate director of the Advanced Teaching and Assessment in Clinical Simulation Center and the pediatric residency program. She also was associate professor in medical education, anesthesiology and pediatrics. She’s held administrative and academic appointments at the Texas A&M University Health Science Center as well as at United Healthcare Services Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City, NY.

At all these institutions, Akins served in numerous service and leadership roles in areas including policy development, curriculum, accreditation, assessment and interprofessional education. She’s a member of the American Medical Association, Association of American Medical Colleges and the National Board of Medical Examiners. In those organizations, she has worked to enhance health sciences education, clinical research, faculty development and quality innovation.

Akins earned her medical degree at the Medical University-Varna in Bulgaria, which she later served as chief officer of international relations, assistant professor in family medicine and founding member of the National Association of General Medicine Teachers. She received her doctor of philosophy degree in educational administration at Texas A&M University. She earned additional training and certifications in areas including medical education research, executive development and comprehensive assessment in health science education.