WSU College of Medicine appoints four new deans

By Doug Nadvornick, College of Medicine

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine at Washington State University recently added four new administrators.

Danny Teraguchi is associate dean of student affairs. Ann Poznanski is associate dean of curriculum. Ralitsa Akins is associate dean of faculty talent, recognition and enhancement. Dawn Cooper is interim assistant dean of medical student scholarship.

Danny Teraguchi

From the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Teraguchi will develop new programs at WSU that support students throughout their education. He is from southeast Idaho and received his doctorate from Idaho State University.

“I’m excited to help the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine become a national leader in training physicians to serve in challenging healthcare environments,” he said.

Ann Poznanski

Poznanski and Akins both come to WSU from the California Northstate University College of Medicine in Elk Grove, near Sacramento. While there, Poznanski helped the college develop an innovative curriculum and gain preliminary accreditation.

“I was intrigued by the opportunity to join a strong group with a vision to create a curriculum that integrates clinical and basic sciences,” she said. “I also want to prepare students to be leaders in interprofessional teams of healthcare providers, especially in primary and rural care settings.”

Ralitsa Akins

Akins will help clinical faculty improve teaching and gain recognition for their accomplishments. She grew up in Bulgaria and worked to reform that nation’s medical education system before coming to the U.S., where she has worked in health sciences at several universities.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to be on the ground floor in creating a new medical school,” she said.

Dawn Cooper

From the University of British Columbia’s M.D. undergraduate program, Cooper will develop ways to support and assess medical student research and scholarly initiatives. She is Canadian and received her Ph.D. from Simon Fraser University.

“I’m excited to work with people who are so committed to education, collaboration and innovation,” she said.

“These four deans haven’t been with us very long, but they’re already making important contributions to the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine,” said Founding Dean John Tomkowiak. “I think they all recognize, as I do, how exciting it is to have the opportunity to build a new medical school from the ground up.”


Doug Nadvornick, WSU Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine communications, 509-358-7540,


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