Leila E. Harrison, PhD, MA, MEd
Senior Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs
Dr. Harrison joined the WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine team in early 2017 with the onset of the inaugural admissions season. She oversees the Office of Admissions, Student Affairs, and Inclusion, which handles admissions, recruitment, student affairs, pathway programs, and diversity and inclusion for the WSU College of Medicine. She is a solid advocate for holistic review in admissions as well as helping any aspiring doctor along their journey. She is originally from Las Cruces, New Mexico with family roots in the state going back four generations. She is a first-generation college graduate and the first in her extended family to earn a PhD. Her own background makes her passionate about encouraging any aspiring doctor to believe that future is possible.
Dr. Harrison spent the first 14.5 years of her career in Texas where she worked for two state medical schools in admissions: Texas A&M College of Medicine and the University of North Texas Health Science Center Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine. For 8.5 years, she served at Texas A&M College of Medicine as the Assistant Dean for Admissions (previously as Director). For two years, she served as the first Assistant Dean for Admissions and Diversity and was involved in a broad range of aspects, including cultural competency in the curriculum, community engagements, special programs and faculty development. She also held a faculty appointment in the department of Medical Humanities and co-created/co-directed a 4th-year elective entitled “Self and Culture”. She has engaged in leadership at the national level, serving as the liaison for the Committee on Admissions (COA) for the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), executive secretary/treasurer for the AAMC’s Southern Group on Student Affairs and Western Group on Student Affairs, and as an AAMC Holistic Review facilitator training other medical schools’ admissions committee on how to include holistic review in their process. Finally, for 14 years she was involved with a statewide pathway program for economically disadvantaged students in Texas called the Joint Admission Medical Program (JAMP).
- PhD in Psychology, (Emphasis: Performance Psychology), 2018, Grand Canyon University
Dissertation title: The Relationship Between Medical School Performance and Residency Placement Location for Nontraditional Medical Students
- MEd in Counseling, 2006, University of North Texas
- MA in Anthropology, (Emphasis: Cultural Anthropology), 2003, New Mexico State University
- BA in Psychology, 2000, New Mexico State University
Presentation, teaching and research interests
- Admissions – outcomes, situational judgement tests, and process
- Holistic review in admissions
- Advising and mentoring applicants on the road to applying (or reapplying) to medical school
- Cultural awareness and bias in healthcare and admissions
- Student wellness, resilience, and emotional intelligence
Selected Publications and Presentations
- Harrison, L. E. (2019). Using holistic review to form a diverse interview pool for selection to medical school. Manuscript submitted for publication. Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 32(2), 218-221. doi:10.1080/08998280.2019.1576575
- Harrison, L. E., White, B. A., Hawrylak, K., & McIntosh, D. (2019). Explicit bias among fourth-year medical students. Manuscript accepted for publication in 2019.Baylor University Medical Center Proceedings, 32(1), 50-53. doi:10.1080/08998280.2018.1519519
- Harrison, L. E., & Nandagopal, R. (2019). Medical Student Selection – Engaging Faculty and Community Members Across Regions in a Holistic, Mission-Aligned Process. Session presentation at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Group on Regional Medical Campuses Spring Meeting, Spokane, WA.
- Nandagopal, R., & Harrison, L. E. (2019). So you want to build an Admissions Committee? And incorporate Holistic Review all the way through? How we got faculty on board and how you might, too! Session presentation at the AAMC WGEA/WGSA/WOSR Spring Meeting, Reno, NV.
- Harrison, L. E., Dunleavy, D., & Geiger, T. (2018). Situational Judgement Test Update. Session presentation at the AAMC Learn Serve Lead Annual Conference, Austin, TX
- Sanker, R., & Harrison, L. E. (2018). Development of Online Prehealth Professional Coursework. Session presentation at the National Association of Advisors in the Health Professions National Meeting, Washington, DC
- Harrison, L. E., & McIntosh, D. (2018). Explicit Bias: Beginning the Conversation Earlier. Session presentation at the National Association of Advisors in the Health Professions National Meeting, Washington, DC
- Grabowski, C. J., Harrison, L. E., & Ficalora, R. (2018). Impact of Holistic Review on Diversity and Mission: Experiences at Two Medical Schools and a Residency Program. Session presentation at the AAMC Continuum Connections Joint Meeting, Orlando, FL
- Harrison, L. E., & Kimble, J. S. (2018). Using AMCAS Indicators Effectively in Your Admissions Process. Session presentation at the AAMC Continuum Connections Joint Meeting, Orlando, FL
- Harrison, L. E., & McIntosh, D. (2018). Explicit Bias Among Medical Students: Themes and Insights. Session presentation at the AAMC Continuum Connections Joint Meeting, Orlando, FL
- Espenschied, J. R., Harrison, L. E., Grossman, S. D., Roberts K. P., & Tomkowiak, J. M. (2018). The UME to GME Transition: A New Community-Based Medical School’s Approach to a Long-Standing Issue. Poster presentation at the AAMC Continuum Connections Joint Meeting, Orlando, FL
- DeWitt, D., & Harrison, L. E. (2018). The potential impact of scribes on medical school applicants and medical students with new clinical documentation guidelines. Journal of General Internal Medicine. Doi: 10.1007/s11606-018-4582-8
- Conrad, S., Harrison, L. E., & Nakae, S. (2018). Holistic Review: You’re More Than a Number. Session presentation for the AAMC Virtual Fair.
- Harrison, L. E., White, B. A., & Sanker, R. (2017). Exposing premedical students to the full continuum and practice of a physician for informed decisions: Innovative partnership between an undergraduate program and a medical school. The Advisor, 9-13.
- White, B. A., & Diaz, L. E. (2016). Social scientists in medical education: Important contributors to the educational missions. Reflective MedEd. Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.
- Sanker, R., Diaz, L. E., White, B. A. (2015). Guide to Becoming a Physician. (2nd ed.). Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. ISBN-9781465275097 (Textbook)
- Diaz, L. E., & Amiri, L. (2016). Fundamentals of Pre-Medical Advising for New Advisors: Feedback from a Public and Private Medical School on Key Factors for Guiding Students. Session presentation for the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN
- Mitchell, K., Rijmen, F., Byrne, J., Witzburg, R., Diaz, L., & Amiri, L. (2016). The First Year of the New MCAT Exam. Plenary presentation for the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN
- Diaz, L. E., White, B. A., & Sanker, R. (2016). Exposing Pre-Medical Students to the Full Continuum and Practice of a Physician for Informed Decisions: Partnership Between an Undergraduate Program and Medical School. Poster for the National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions National Meeting, Minneapolis, MN
- Diaz, L. E., & White, B. A. (2016). Transformative and Reflective Learning Through a 4th Year Elective: Self and Culture. Poster for the Southern Group on Educational Affairs Regional Conference, Austin, TX
- White, B. A., & Diaz, L. E. (2016). Practical Leadership: A 10 Hour Mini Elective to Jump Start Physician Leadership Skills. Poster for the SGEA Regional Conference, Austin, TX
- White, B. A., & Diaz, L. E. (2016). Social Scientists in Medical Education: Important Contributors to the Educational Mission. Reflective MedEd. Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine. 5 July 2016
- Sanker, R., Diaz, L. E., White, B. A. (2014). Guide to Becoming a Physician. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt. ISBN-9781465247476 (Textbook)
- Diaz, L. E., Demmler, M., DeVaughn, L., & Kahn, M. (2012). Admissions Strategies for Schools with Multiple Campuses. Presentation for the Joint Professional Development Conference for Admissions, Diversity Affairs, and Student Records Officers, San Juan, Puerto Rico